Campaign Games, part four.
I have been running through options and game mechanics for the campaign in my head, some are still up in the air. I thought I might list some of them for anyone who might be considering a campaign of their own.
Victory Conditions or Ending the Game.
My original thought was the first player to occupy three of the seven hexes uncontested is the victor. After considering a “forced retreat” rule, I thought three hexes might be too easy, but then I realized that four hexes would mean that the two opposing forces had been forced into the remaining three hexes.
My next train of thought was to institute a “Campaign Level Doomsday Clock.” If a player manages to take and hold a controlling number of hexes they win and the campaign is over, but if this fails to happen by the time the clock winds down then the totaled victory points from all battles played would decide the winner. This has the potential to give the advantage to a player that looses the most mechs early in the campaign. With a smaller force to draw on, a player might find themselves at a constant advantage when determining victory points. I thought this might be a problem at first, but then I remembered how cliché this storyline is in anime – a small group of mech pilots battling against constantly overwhelming odds to eventually win the war. I now have no problem with this option.
Clearing Hexes or Occupying Territory.
My first thought was to eliminate the Doomsday Clock at the battle level, and make each individual game go to the last player standing. This version would allow players the option to retreat off the table to preserve mechs for future engagements. This however would also mean they retreated from the hex in question.
The second option kept the Doomsday clock and added a “forced retreat” rule based on a certain victory-point margin. If the margin of victory is high enough, the loosing player is forced to vacate the hex. The second half of the rule is that the retreating forces will always choose to retreat in the direction of friendly forces. This means that faced with the choice of retreating into a vacant hex, or a hex that is occupied by their own forces they must choose the occupied hex, also if the choice is between two vacant hexes, one adjacent to friendly forces and the other not, they must choose to retreat to the hex that is adjacent to the friendly forces. This gives the winning player the ability to “herd” the opposing players out of the contested hex in a direction that would be predictable before the battle is begun.
Tempering the “forced retreat” option.
The “forced retreat” option made the “under dog” syndrome even stronger. I could now see a player sending two mechs into a hex against another players much larger force, and then doing the “station dance” and ticking the clock down as fast as possible. If the defending player can’t close the victory-point margin enough they are forced to retreat from the hex. My solution to this right now is that your points per only tick up for fewest mechs and fewest attachments if your forces started the turn in the hex, not if they are invading.
End of part four.