It is very common for game systems to give different units different to hit scores. The big question for me is, is it better to (1) give good units a higher to hit score or (2) reward higher dice rolls?
Wizard Kings: High combat rating is better
I’ll use the block board game Wizard Kings as an example. Wizard Kings gives units a “Combat Strength”, the number of dice to roll, and a “Combat Rating”, the score needed to hit on each dice. A good unit has a high combat strength combined with a high combat rating. Combat rating is the interesting bit for this discussion. Examples are: Feudal Hero 4; Feudal Crossbow 3; Feudal Knights 2; Feudal Bowmen or Spear 1. That means a hero hits on 4 or less, a crossbow unit on 3 or less, knights on 2 or less, and both bows and spears hit on a 1.
Pro: Better troops have higher combat rating number
Con: Roll low to hit
Tilly’s very bad day: Rolling high is better
Tilly’s Very Bad Day uses Resolve for the number of dice (the equivalent of Wizard King’s combat strength) then gives different unit types different to hit score (combat rating), either 4+, 5+, or 6 on 1d6, depending on the unit and the context. For example, all shot units, using decidedly dodgy gunpowder weapons in the Thirty Years War, only hit on a 6. Which is 1/6th chance of success. Pike+Shot hit on 5+ in melee, which is 2/6th chance of success. Charging horse hit on 4+, i.e. 3/6th chance of success. Put another way, a shot unit has Combat Rating of 6, a pike+shot unit has Combat Rating 5, and a Horse unit has Combat Rating 4.
Pro: Roll high to hit
Con: Better troops have a lower to hit score; so to hit score looks very odd as the combat rating.
Note: For consistency with Wizard Kings I’ve used the same feudal troop types in the example in the image. You’ll have to accept that Tilly’s Very Bad Day doesn’t actually have these troop types. Just concentrate on the maths.
By the way, Crossfire also uses this system i.e. a number of dice with hits on either a 5+ or 6 depending on the situation.
Observations and conclusions
The probabilities are the same using either mechanism. Units have a 1/6th, 2/6th, 3/6th or 4/6th chance of a hit.
|Chance of success (hit)||Wizard Kings||Tilly’s Very Bad Day|
So the Wizard Kings system is intuitive because a better unit has a higher rating.
But the Tilly’s Very Bad Day system is intuitive because a better dice roll has better chance of success.
Clearly I’m torn because I’ve posted about it. And I’m thinking what to use for Deep Battle.
Which system do you think is better?