Mid-Loaded Init

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Jackal
Posts: 1391
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:02 pm

Mid-Loaded Init

Post by Jackal » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:50 pm

I've had an idea for revising init I wanted to put out there. It stems from the fact that many people feel back-loaded init makes swarms too powerful, and that fact that many people (my self included) feel that front-loaded init is so punishing to players who have a numerical advantage that it makes swarms essentially unplayable. A good compromise between these two might be what I call middle-loaded or mid-loaded init.

Here's how it would work.

If you Player A has the same number of units as the Player B, init is the same as now:


1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8
B-A-B-A-B-A-B-A (if A wins init)
A-B-A-B-A-B-A-B (if B wins init)


If player A has more units than B, and B has an ODD number of units, then A's first extra unit moves at the same time as B's "middle unit." When A wins, his extra unit will come after B's middle unit. When A loses, his extra unit will come *before* B's middle unit.

So for 4 vs. 3 that would look like this (note: red shows the overflow units):

1-2-3-4-5-6-7
B-A-B-A-A-B-A (if A wins init)
A-B-A-A-B-A-B (if B wins init)


If Player A has 2 more units than B, A's units are pushed towards the BACK if he wins, and pushed towards the FRONT if he loses.

So for 5 vs. 3, that would look like this:

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8
B-A-B-A-A-B-A-A (if A wins init)
A-A-B-A-A-B-A-B (if B wins init)



If B has an EVEN number of units, you follow the same proceedure except there is no "middle unit." Thus if A wins, his first init is pushed towards the BACK, and if A loses his units are pushed toward the front.

So for 5 vs. 4 that would look like this:

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9
B-A-B-A-B-A-A-B-A (if A wins init)
A-B-A-A-B-A-B-A-B (if B wins init)


For 6 vs. 4 that would look like this:

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0
B-A-B-A-A-B-A-A-B-A (if A wins init)
A-B-A-A-B-A-A-B-A-B (if B wins init)


For 7 vs. 4 that would look like this:

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0
B-A-B-A-A-B-A-A-B-A-A (if A wins init)
A-A-B-A-A-B-A-A-B-A-B (if B wins init)


Note: I can probably think up a mathematical rule for this, but it's easier to explain visually.



Anyway, what I like about this system is it makes fighting with a numerical advantage/disadvantage a little more neutral in terms of init than either front- or back-loaded init systems. The extra units are generally going to come somewhere in the middle. In a case where one side has a *significant* numerical advantage they get the benefit of moving two units at the very end only if they win init. If they lose init they have to move them at the beginning.


Thoughts?

TigerShark
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Posts: 712
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:28 am

Re: Mid-Loaded Init

Post by TigerShark » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:12 pm

"Swarms" aren't really unplayable under Front-Load. I think that's more an effect of the BV spread restrictions. You're aren't able to anchor the force with anything threatening. It's just a mass of Wasps and Locusts, which are easily swatted away. Swarms work just fine under Front-Load on Legends or anyplace else.

11 v. 4
Player A (swarm) wins init w/Front Load:
B A A A B A A A B A A A B A A

Player A (swarm) wins init w/Normal Init:
B A A B A A A B A A A B A A A

There's only ONE unit difference between the two.

6 v. 4
Player A (swarm) wins init w/Front Load:
B A A B A A B A B A

Player A (swarm) wins init w/Normal Init:
B A B A B A A B A A


Not that I'm AGAINST such options. I do think there's a very simple change to the current language (coding) which could result in a better initative system.

Currently, the language reads "round down". So the 6-v-4 would require 2 to move on Turn 1 for the larger force (6/4 = 2.5, rounded down to 2). If you simply "round up," you get the desired result.

Jackal
Posts: 1391
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:02 pm

Re: Mid-Loaded Init

Post by Jackal » Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:31 am

Good insight Tiger Shark. Here's a quick counter-argument though:


I think where front-loaded init really hurts is when you've lost init, not when you've won init (as shown in your diagrams).


If you lose init then this is what you get:


A A B A A B A B A B.


In that case, by the time B's moved his 2nd unit, Player A has had to move 4 units. That means you have to do a LOT of init sinking.

Moreover, since a numerical advantage often means you've got lighter units (and often lighter armor and shorter range weapons) than your opponent, having to init sink can be particularly punishing. It might mean that 2/3rds of your force has to make medium range shots to your oppoents short range shot, or long range to medium range (assuming the lighter force has mostly 3/6/9 weapons).

Now you could certainly argue that making a force of six 3/6/9 shooters is simply a bad idea with front loaded init, and I'd have to agree with you. On the other hand, a swarm of 3/6/9 bugs can work pretty well with back-loaded (standard) init, because multiple units can maneuver for backshots against more heavily armored enemies. My suggestion was therefore to strike a compromise. Make it middle loaded then--theoretically--it's neither good OR bad to use a swarm of 3/6/9 units.

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