sábado, enero 05, 2013


El Kickstarter de Beyond the Gates of Antares ya lleva recaudados 60.287 £ con 538 participantes, ya están a una quinta parte de la cantidad necesaria para dar luz verde a este proyecto.

Esta entrada esta dedicada a la secuencia del turno donde explica en todo detalle las fases de turnos, las acciones y reacciones de las unidades, desde luego que están consiguiendo llamar la atención con cada entrada que publican. Cada día nos espera una nueva sorpresa, realmente impresionante.

Además hemos creado el club de Somos Fans de Rorkror!!! en Facebook apuntaos os esperamos.

Recordad mientras dure el Kickstarter podréis participar de forma gratuita en el desarrollo y diseño del juego desde los foros de Dark Space Corp, una vez que finalice el Kickstarter solo podrán acceder a los mismos los que hayan participado en el Kickstarter.

Hi everyone, and welcome to all our new backers
Backer Development Program time - We've already opened up various GoA universe discussions and now it's time to start with the game proper. Our beginning game developmental topic is a look at the fundamental driver of the game – the turn sequence. This is the first thing that has to be nailed down – so without further ado let’s take a look at the gubbins.
The battle is fought in a series of rounds or turns which we call game turns.
During each game turn, both sides work through the following turn sequence. Once both sides have completed the sequence another game turn begins.
Both sides work through each step of the sequence. In some steps both players participate, in other steps one or other of the players acts, depending upon the situation.
1. Combat Status Checks – units that are already broken or exhausted are obliged to make a combat status check at the start of the turn.
2. Roll for Combat Intensity Level – roll a D10 and add or subtract any modifiers that apply to establish the combat intensity level for that game turn.
3. Roll for Priority – the players each roll a D10 and add or subtract any modifiers that apply to establish which side chooses priority for that game turn.
4. First Combat Turn
4.1. The player with priority selects any one of his units and makes an action. An action by one unit can potentially trigger one or more reactions from opposing units, orsupporting actions by other units on the same side.
  4.2. Once the player with priority has completed his unit’s action and any consequent actions and reactions have been resolved, the opposing player selects one of his units and makes an action in the same way.
5. Subsequent Combat Turns – Play continues in this fashion, with players alternating combat turns until each player has taken the number of combat turns corresponding to the intensity level.
6. Turn over – once each side has completed all of its combat turns, the players make any checks, tests or adjustments required at the end of the game turn.
Okay – that’s the basic turn sequence, and as you can see there are elements within it that need to be explained in detail, but for now I’ll just describe these in broad terms as I go along. I’ll take you through the sequence and then I’ll make a few observations about how the sequence and elements within it impact upon play.
To start with note we have game turns and combat turns, with each game turn comprising a number of combat turns – I’ll probably rename the latter ‘rounds’ to avoid any potential confusion for now that should be clear enough.
At the start of the game turn both sides make combat status (CS) checks. There are four CS levels: 
  • 1 active
  • 2 ready
  • 3 exhausted
  • 4 broken. 
CS levels are likely to drop when you are shot at and when you take casualties, depending on a test. Units that have already dropped to either exhausted or broken must check their CS now at the start of the game turn. Neither exhausted nor broken units can take basic actions or make unit reactions during the game turn, and although they will automatically take part in firefights and close combat if attacked, all their dice rolls are heavily penalised. Exhausted units that pass this initial test recover a CS step to ready if they are a good distance from any threat – if they are close to the enemy they remain exhausted (hunkered down sort of thing). Exhausted unit that fail this test remain exhausted if safely distant from the enemy, and drop a step to broken if under threat. Broken units are destroyed if they fail a test – but they can be given a ‘regroup’ action during play and this allows them to potentially step up one level to exhausted if they pass their following game turn’s CS test. Units don’t become either exhausted or broken until they have taken some damage, so it doesn't affect the game in its initial stages.
The next step is to establish the number of combat turns that you’re going to play in that game turn (CIL). This is basically a D10 roll but modifiers do apply – and these need to be firmed up with play testing – but the basic idea is that if opposing troops are close the CIL goes up +1 24”/+2 12”/+3 6”. These are provisional working values – but they seem to be holding up at the moment. CIL is also capped by the total number of units in play. As we progress we might find other modifiers to apply, and this is a value that can be potentially adjusted by situational or technological factors.
Once you have the CIL for the game turn each player rolls off for choice of priority – i.e. who will go first in the combat turn for the duration of that game turn. This is also a value that can be potentially modified, but for now we are sticking with straight roll-offs for choice of whether to go first or defer to your opponent. This is a level position for development purposes.
The combat turns are simple alternating turn – each player selects a unit and takes an action one after the other until each player have taken the number of actions equal to the CIL. I am treating this as a hard mechanic at the moment – i.e. we don’t apply exception to this sequence – and I think that is necessary to establish a good base for balancing purposes. The minute you allow players to double or treble action you introduce the potential for unbalancing the system – so although I won’t say never I certainly say not now! In fact, players can defer an action with a ‘support’ action which does allow units to move in concert – but as a deferred action it 1) alerts the other player beforehand, and 2) requires prior sacrifice – so there is a tension of choice built into this already.
Okay – so what is an action? The two basic actions are engage and manoeuvre. Engage means move up to a basic move and either shoot or fight close combat, and manoeuvre means make up to a double move without shooting or fighting. Only active and ready units can make these basic actions. The other common action is rest, which takes a unit’s CS up one level so long as it is not already broken. Other actions come in to allow units to support or for broken units to regroup – but for now it’s important to know that actions are what move and shoot your units and allow them to recover CS.
As you can see actions can trigger reactions – and whilst this sounds like it might get complicated I've narrowed down the way units can react so that it flows naturally. Some reactions are triggered automatically – for example a firefight. A firefight happens when you shoot at an enemy who can shoot back at ranges of 12” and less. In this situation both sides get to shoot simultaneously – the shooter and target – and that’s basically what a firefight is. Other actions are proactive and the player has to decide to trigger them or not. Only units that are of active CS can make these reactions. Reactions include returning fire if shot at from ranges greater than 12”, taking opportunity fire against moving targets more than 12” away, taking cover if shot at from more than 12” away, and withdrawing if enemy move within 12” without contacting. These types of actions require a test to be used successfully, and if this test is failed it can affect a unit’s CS negatively, so there is always a risk involved – but as only active units can make reactions the worse result is a drop one step to ready.
Finally, I've added a tidy up phase at the end of the turn – this is when you figure out whether you've won the game by achieving the victory criteria, any temporary markers are removed, and any ‘end of turn’ checks made. This is simply a holding rule at the moment – but having the phase ready establishes a basic design principle for making periodic checks.
So how does that work in practice – well there is the potential to move the same unit multiple times –as the number of actions a unit can take in a turn is unlimited (base value unlimited is a working hard rule but the potential for limits is obviously there). This tends to tempt first-time players into leaping forward with a single unit – and here you come across the first internal tension in the game play: do I concentrate at a point or spread my effort? It’s a genuine nail biter too – because if you go for the point and leave half your army out of the fight you tend to get overwhelmed in the end. Then there’s the question of whether you use your actions to keep your CS levels up or risk committing ready units in the hope of knocking opposing units down to exhausted. As CS is calculated per unit there is an advantage to having smaller units – but smaller units have less hitting power and can do corresponding less per action. Again, we have a natural tension arising from the size of units, and expending actions getting stragglers back to active CS is hardly worthwhile compared to activating larger units.
Overall, once players get the hang of the basic sequence, game turns are quite rapid. Of note is the fact that a player with many exhausted or broken units will always hope for a high CIL as it gives him enough actions to rest and regroup – conversely a low CIL will just bring the CS checks all the sooner and he risks loosing a good chuck of his forces. The drop in CS levels resulting from enemy shooting means that the game gets increasingly edgy as vital actions are needed both to keep your own side together and knock the enemy about – so the game play gets increasingly tense and picks up in pace as actions are quickly expended on resting units in readiness for a push.
I realise I have written a great deal about what is actually a very short section of rules, and I hope I have not given the impression that play is in any way complex or laborious – because it certainly isn't  Rather, I wanted to give you all an insight into how these things are done, and why certain decisions are made in certain ways, and how you lay the foundations for a game in something as simple as the turn sequence. I hope you found it interesting. If this is the sort of approach you favour let me know via the forums – if not also let me know – and I can adjust these sections going forward so that they are as useful and as informative as I can make them.
A forum topic has just been opened on the subject and you can find it here and if you're wondering what the Backer Development Program is then head here
Can you help us spread the word ?
We need to make sure everybody knows about us, we're doing good, but we've a long way to go yet so we've made some helpful artwork to help spread the word. GoA is all about involving you guys right at the start and our first job is to get us funded! So get creative on it, anything you can think of to spread the word from wandering around your home town with a robot WarDrone suit on (ok, so we haven’t actually made any but a simple cardboard box with the words “I’m a WarDrone – Pledge NOW or my IMTel nano-drones will infect you” will probably work!) to downloading this PDF (http://www.darkspacecorp.com/ks-flyer/), emailing it to your friends and relatives, printing it out and handing it out to literally everyone you come across, you can even get some blu-tack and stick it on the foreheads of shop owners if you like! (apologies if you are actually a shop owner… stick it to a customer’s forehead perhaps? ) 
Anyway, the point is: If you tell as many people as possible there’s a much better chance of us first: hitting our funding target, and second: hitting some of our stretch goals and ultimately giving you even more cool stuff to play with. 
Here’s the arty stuff: we've got banners, forum avatars and even facebook covers!
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