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Developing Team-based Scenarios for Events


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#1 KarmikazeKidd

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:41 PM

 A friend and I are tinkering around with various scenario rules for team-based events at our LGS. We think it would make things more interesting than just your standard Swiss or round robin tournament to line up two teams and go at it objective style. We'd love to hear any ideas you have on the topic.

The basic theory is to develop a system in which you have two tiers of objectives; Team and Individual. The Individual objectives will be essential to the success of the Team objective, but still independently tracked and scored. Partly because we want to be able to determine an individual Champion on the winning team, partly because we think this might be a good basis for a League scoring system. For now we're basing our models on 3 vs. 3 events, and then working on ways to modify them as necessary.

Currently we have two variations on a Base Assault scenario for use as examples. I'll start with Extraction, and use the Rebels. For them, the Team Objective is to recover a shuttle (which will shift to the Falcon instead once it's out) from a platform on an Imperial station into hyperspace (off the Rebel edge). The platform has a turbolaser and a tractor beam that needs to be put out of commission before the shuttle can take off (the fluff and other factors are irrelevant to the topic at hand but I'll be happy to share them if you're interested). Taking these out is one of the individual goals. Protecting the player responsible for this objective is another. Individual goals are not disclosed to the other team by the way, ya know, just to insure no personal grudges play a part in the outcome.

When setting up, each team receives their goals and 15-20 minutes to build their squads and they do so together. They decide amongst themselves who is responsible for each IO. For most of these scenarios, we've instituted a rule of one unique figure per squad, but each one is considered to have the text of Squad Leader printed on his card. We feel like this helps create the mission within a greater war feel we're going for.

I know I could do more to explain this better, buuuut I'm watching football. Gotta love old school games like this one. Anyway, I await your thoughts and questions.



#2 ShadowJak

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:53 PM

 How many squad points is each side?



#3 KarmikazeKidd

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:06 PM

 Obviously, it all needs playtesting and balancing. And we intend for it to vary based on the number of players. But for our base model (3 v 3) we're using 75 points.



#4 CaptainRook

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:17 PM

I actually feel like having multiple objectives is the only way to make a team game enjoyable.  This way you are still competing amongst each other in cooperative format.  I just dislike 'team' games because it feels like having two coaches for a football team.  My team is the force I have assembled, and command.  Obviously, as I've said on the subject before, that's my experience and I feel too few people invest the effort in making a team game practical outside of the social aspect of it.   


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#5 ShadowJak

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:36 PM

KarmikazeKidd said:

 Obviously, it all needs playtesting and balancing. And we intend for it to vary based on the number of players. But for our base model (3 v 3) we're using 75 points.

Each person for a total of 225 points or only 25 points a person? Also, is it one unique person per side or per person? Would the teams stay the same for the whole tourney or would people be randomly grouped up?

In any case, you'd want to be careful with conflicting interests. A player might try to sabotage a teammate's individual goal to hurt that teammate's standing in the tournament even if it comes the cost of losing a game.

Another concern would be real and perceived differences in goal difficulty. You'd want to be sure that individual goals are reasonably balanced along with the team goals. You'll also want to be able to demonstrate clearly and objectively how everything is balanced or else people may feel the games aren't fair. Even the perception of an imbalance would be bad. An easy way to balance the individual objectives would be to shift which person has each objective across successive rounds of the tournament. To do this with the team objectives, you could alternate which side is attacking and which side is defending if that doesn't interfere with the story you are trying to tell too much.



#6 KarmikazeKidd

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:46 PM

 I agree that a lot of times team-based games wind up being dominated by the most…well, dominant personality for either team. Our hope is that when this gets smoothed out we can actually incorporate that aspect in a fun way. For example, if this winds up being functional for a League as we hope, then League Standings would look something like this: 1st Place Bob ( W 6 L 2, IO Rating 78), 2nd Frank (W 5 L 3, IO Rating 86), 3rd Jim (W 4 L 4, IO Rating 74), 4th Ernesto (W 4 L4, IO Rating 58). And so on. This in turn would help us divvy up the teams each week. We're even thinking about tracking your W/L Ratio by faction, so that we might more even divide teams. So we start by pitting Bob vs. Frank as our commanding officers, and then determine which faction they will represent. Let's assume Bob gets the Imps and Frank gets rebels. When assigning teammates, Joe and Shortround each have the same W/L ratio and similar IO Ratings, but Joe has a much better W/L as a rebel than Shortround, so we let Frank have Joe to better balance the sides. I expect to allow the 'commanding officer' the privilege of breaking ties so to speak in assigning Individual Objectives among his teammates. But once in game they're not allowed to order anyone around. Would this appeal to your mindset Rook? Or would it still bother you? The more opinions I have from varying stances the better.



#7 CaptainRook

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:48 PM

Ernesto really needs to stop being so selfless. 

 As for my mindset?  I'd have to know what the end result of this scoring system is.  What is the ultimate purpose of the two-tiers of ranking? In one aspect, I understand your system, on the other it seems a little more complex than the average gamer will tolerate.  Trust me, I'm the master of complicating these sort of things and then losing the attention of everyone shortly thereafter.  It really depends on the sort of objectives you establish, I suppose. 


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#8 KarmikazeKidd

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:56 PM

ShadowJak said:

KarmikazeKidd said:

 

 Obviously, it all needs playtesting and balancing. And we intend for it to vary based on the number of players. But for our base model (3 v 3) we're using 75 points.

 

 

Each person for a total of 225 points or only 25 points a person? Also, is it one unique person per side or per person? Would the teams stay the same for the whole tourney or would people be randomly grouped up?

In any case, you'd want to be careful with conflicting interests. A player might try to sabotage a teammate's individual goal to hurt that teammate's standing in the tournament even if it comes the cost of losing a game.

Another concern would be real and perceived differences in goal difficulty. You'd want to be sure that individual goals are reasonably balanced along with the team goals. You'll also want to be able to demonstrate clearly and objectively how everything is balanced or else people may feel the games aren't fair. Even the perception of an imbalance would be bad. An easy way to balance the individual objectives would be to shift which person has each objective across successive rounds of the tournament. To do this with the team objectives, you could alternate which side is attacking and which side is defending if that doesn't interfere with the story you are trying to tell too much.

ShadowJak said:

KarmikazeKidd said:

 

 Obviously, it all needs playtesting and balancing. And we intend for it to vary based on the number of players. But for our base model (3 v 3) we're using 75 points.

 

 

Each person for a total of 225 points or only 25 points a person? Also, is it one unique person per side or per person? Would the teams stay the same for the whole tourney or would people be randomly grouped up?

In any case, you'd want to be careful with conflicting interests. A player might try to sabotage a teammate's individual goal to hurt that teammate's standing in the tournament even if it comes the cost of losing a game.

Another concern would be real and perceived differences in goal difficulty. You'd want to be sure that individual goals are reasonably balanced along with the team goals. You'll also want to be able to demonstrate clearly and objectively how everything is balanced or else people may feel the games aren't fair. Even the perception of an imbalance would be bad. An easy way to balance the individual objectives would be to shift which person has each objective across successive rounds of the tournament. To do this with the team objectives, you could alternate which side is attacking and which side is defending if that doesn't interfere with the story you are trying to tell too much.

75 per person. The basic goal is to allow just enough room for an average of 3 ships per person (with one decent unique and a couple of generics) for Rebel (Imps might get a slightly different point allowance depending on the scenario). One unique per person, so three to a side. And this would not be a tournament. It would be a single event for the day. Perhaps a double event, with the teams simply switching sides.

As far as conflicting interests, that's why we're trying to construct it in such a way that the IOs are fairly critical to achieving the Team Objective. And at some point you just have to trust that your players can keep to the spirit of the contest until they prove that they can't. And yes, the balancing of objectives will be important, but first and foremost we want to keep them varied and fun to attempt. The first few bouts of this won't be with any money involved, until we're sure it's being received the way we hope. In some cases, IOs will actually just be a simple kill count goal.

Part of the reason we wanted to put up this thread was to try to accumulate as many possible Individual Objectives as people could think of, and then find groupings that work well together, weed some out, modify others, and just generally give us as big a pool as possible to draw from when trying to construct various scenarios for these Events. 



#9 CaptainRook

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:05 PM

So, simply put, would the Individual Objectives be what inevitably accumulate to determine whether the team itself won?


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#10 KarmikazeKidd

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:09 PM

CaptainRook said:

Ernesto really needs to stop being so selfless. 

 As for my mindset?  I'd have to know what the end result of this scoring system is.  What is the ultimate purpose of the two-tiers of ranking? In one aspect, I understand your system, on the other it seems a little more complex than the average gamer will tolerate.  Trust me, I'm the master of complicating these sort of things and then losing the attention of everyone shortly thereafter.  It really depends on the sort of objectives you establish, I suppose. 

CaptainRook said:

Ernesto really needs to stop being so selfless. 

 As for my mindset?  I'd have to know what the end result of this scoring system is.  What is the ultimate purpose of the two-tiers of ranking? In one aspect, I understand your system, on the other it seems a little more complex than the average gamer will tolerate.  Trust me, I'm the master of complicating these sort of things and then losing the attention of everyone shortly thereafter.  It really depends on the sort of objectives you establish, I suppose. 

lol. It's not so much his selflessness, as his inefficiency. If we get this working as intended, that will actually just be more of an indicator of how much the person managed to contribute to the cause. Like I said, we're trying to make sure that all IOs are essential to the TO. The IO rating is mainly just a tool to help divide teams evenly over time, and could be viewed a couple of different ways. For one, if you have a low win ratio, but a high IO rating, that would tend to indicate that many of your losses were not really your fault. You held up your end. But if you have a low IO rating with a high win ratio, you might be getting lucky and riding to victory on others' coattails. But ultimately the standings are based on W/L, so that everyone's primary goal is the success of the team. And I understand what you mean about overcomplicating things for people. Honestly, half of the stats we're considering tracking won't even be public. As far as your mindset, I was actually referring more to the bit about the role of 'commanding officers'. That's just an idea we're toying with, it's not a core concept.



#11 KarmikazeKidd

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:18 PM

CaptainRook said:

So, simply put, would the Individual Objectives be what inevitably accumulate to determine whether the team itself won?

In many cases. In the instance above, knocking out the tractor beam is necessary. Though others can be failed and the team still win. But we intend for IOs to be fulfilled in degrees. The CURRENTLY VERY ROUGH idea would work like this: Let's assume that Group A is charged with bringing down the turbolaser and tractor beam (and chooses 3 Y-wings for the task) and Group B is charged with running escort, keeping them alive. If Group A brings down the tractor beam, but not the turbolaser, they get a base 50% on their IO for the game. If Group B manages to keep 2 of the Y-wings alive, they receive a base 66% on their IO for the game. But if B fails to get any of A out alive, the team can still win. So it's not just a straight pass-fail system. With possible bonuses to be worked on.



#12 CaptainRook

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:22 PM

 

 

I've seen this happen in some Warhammer 40K Team Tournaments, where it's essentially an individual playing with the other's miniatures while they watch.  The worst is actually when neither of them communicate as if they're playing two separate games, and at best it's when they do communicate and one player actually thinks their input is counting.  So, I'm a bit allergic to this, and I'm often the assertive one…so I've come up with a few ways to make it more balanced.  Some of my experiments are similar to what you're trying to achieve.  The simplest is basically just scoring kill points, whereas it's entirely possible a player from the losing team could be first or second.  So then we established a rule that the highest scoring player from the winning team is automatically first, and sometimes the lowest scoring player from the winning team is automatically second.  That latter part is just a matter of how punitive we want to make the record.   

Editted for ridiculous amounts of unforeseen quoting.


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#13 ShadowJak

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:49 PM

CaptainRook said:

 

 

I've seen this happen in some Warhammer 40K Team Tournaments, where it's essentially an individual playing with the other's miniatures while they watch.  The worst is actually when neither of them communicate as if they're playing two separate games, and at best it's when they do communicate and one player actually thinks their input is counting.  So, I'm a bit allergic to this, and I'm often the assertive one…so I've come up with a few ways to make it more balanced.  Some of my experiments are similar to what you're trying to achieve.  The simplest is basically just scoring kill points, whereas it's entirely possible a player from the losing team could be first or second.  So then we established a rule that the highest scoring player from the winning team is automatically first, and sometimes the lowest scoring player from the winning team is automatically second.  That latter part is just a matter of how punitive we want to make the record.   

Editted for ridiculous amounts of unforeseen quoting.

That's not a bad way to do it, but it does seem to penalize defensive teams. I wouldn't want to run any Y-Wings like that.



#14 CaptainRook

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:35 AM

ShadowJak said:

CaptainRook said:

 

 

 

I've seen this happen in some Warhammer 40K Team Tournaments, where it's essentially an individual playing with the other's miniatures while they watch.  The worst is actually when neither of them communicate as if they're playing two separate games, and at best it's when they do communicate and one player actually thinks their input is counting.  So, I'm a bit allergic to this, and I'm often the assertive one…so I've come up with a few ways to make it more balanced.  Some of my experiments are similar to what you're trying to achieve.  The simplest is basically just scoring kill points, whereas it's entirely possible a player from the losing team could be first or second.  So then we established a rule that the highest scoring player from the winning team is automatically first, and sometimes the lowest scoring player from the winning team is automatically second.  That latter part is just a matter of how punitive we want to make the record.   

Editted for ridiculous amounts of unforeseen quoting.

 

 

That's not a bad way to do it, but it does seem to penalize defensive teams. I wouldn't want to run any Y-Wings like that.

It is definitely an aggressive scoring method, and that was sort of the purpose.  These tournaments often have a time limit and it seems to help prevent stalling. 


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#15 KarmikazeKidd

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:47 AM

 I agree with both of you on that one. I like the general concept, and think it could be a helpful part of the final equation. But I hated the kill point system when DCI instituted it for Star Wars Minis. It prevented people from stalling or turtling, true. But it also severely limited the number of viable squads, skewed tournament results (in my opinion) and made it more difficult to endear new players to the game. I was never the type to just hammer my opponent into oblivion (especially my friend's kid who is still learning and deciding how much he likes the game), whereas the next guy over would be more than happy to, putting him ahead of me in the standings. And I enjoyed building off-beat squads and winning with them due to tactics, though I would rarely stomp anyone with such an 'underpowered' squad. But in that format you can't really do that and win. But that's just my personal experience.



#16 CaptainRook

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:54 AM

KarmikazeKidd said:

 I agree with both of you on that one. I like the general concept, and think it could be a helpful part of the final equation. But I hated the kill point system when DCI instituted it for Star Wars Minis. It prevented people from stalling or turtling, true. But it also severely limited the number of viable squads, skewed tournament results (in my opinion) and made it more difficult to endear new players to the game. I was never the type to just hammer my opponent into oblivion (especially my friend's kid who is still learning and deciding how much he likes the game), whereas the next guy over would be more than happy to, putting him ahead of me in the standings. And I enjoyed building off-beat squads and winning with them due to tactics, though I would rarely stomp anyone with such an 'underpowered' squad. But in that format you can't really do that and win. But that's just my personal experience.

The problem with a tournament is that few people are as selfless as Ernesto.  Lol


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#17 Norsehound

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:29 AM

Define an overall objective for each side and then give specific parts of the overall to members of a team.

For example, take a C90 Corvette (The Inoc). It is imperial-owned and assigned to an arms custom patrol in a backwater system. It is headquarters for an imperial inspection unit operating in the system. The Imperials have to protect it while the Rebels have to destroy it. During a rendezvous with the returning commanding officer, the Rebels decide to launch a strike in attempt to destroy the Inoc (or at least kill its commander)

Imperial team overall victory: Repulse the attack on the Inoc.

Flight group Alpha (Player one): Intercept all torpedo-carrying craft (X-Wings, Y-Wings). Points awarded for killing Rebel strike craft. Begin with TIE/LN within 2 distance of the Inoc. One point for each kill.

Flight Group Beta (Player two): Escort shuttle Rindo to the Inoc. Use the rules for the senator shuttle to represent the lambda craft. The Shuttle begins at the board egde, moves adjacent to Inoc, and remains there for one turn. Flight group beta immediately looses if the Rindo is destroyed before docking, but looses afterward only if the Inoc was destroyed after the transit.

 

Rebel team overall victory: Destroy the Inoc.

Red Group: (Player three): One flight element of X-Wings. Your objective is to neutralize all escorting fighters. One point for each TIE killed.

Gold Group: (Player four) One flight element of Y-Wings. Your objective is to cripple the Inoc (Destroy several systems) and if possible, destroy the shuttle Rindo.

Basically, when you sit down to think of an operation your fighters are undertaking try to split the party into specific tasks of the overall objective, and assign a flight (4 craft under one player''s control) for that assignment of the mission. So something like inspect cargo during an attack, or attack a specific group of enemies, or a decreasing victory condition for each point of damage awarded to a target (forcing a player to try limiting as much damage to that target).



#18 ShadowJak

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:34 AM

KarmikazeKidd said:

 

 I agree with both of you on that one. I like the general concept, and think it could be a helpful part of the final equation. But I hated the kill point system when DCI instituted it for Star Wars Minis. It prevented people from stalling or turtling, true. But it also severely limited the number of viable squads, skewed tournament results (in my opinion) and made it more difficult to endear new players to the game. I was never the type to just hammer my opponent into oblivion (especially my friend's kid who is still learning and deciding how much he likes the game), whereas the next guy over would be more than happy to, putting him ahead of me in the standings. And I enjoyed building off-beat squads and winning with them due to tactics, though I would rarely stomp anyone with such an 'underpowered' squad. But in that format you can't really do that and win. But that's just my personal experience.

 

 

In a way, it'd be like tracking stats for pro athletes. The difference is that pro athletes all have different jobs on their teams and in this game everyone is pretty much doing the same thing.

Maybe you could come up with different roles for each of the three players that would involve different types of team construction. Of course there would be the striker whose job is to deal the most damage. There could be a defender as well that needs to protect a certain amount of objects in the play area. Then there could be the person who actually completes the objective. He could "land" one of his ships and spend a round getting into the ship they are trying to steal and then fly it out of the play area somehow.

You could track things like number of kills/damage, number of objects saved from destruction, and number of turns required to get in and fly away with the stolen ship.

It'll be easier to come up with more differentiated teams once the next wave comes out. It might be good if the imps have some sort of way to give out ion tokens because that would slow down an escape attempt.



#19 CaptainRook

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:29 PM

ShadowJak said:

It'll be easier to come up with more differentiated teams once the next wave comes out. It might be good if the imps have some sort of way to give out ion tokens because that would slow down an escape attempt.

I'd have to assume the Firespray will have this, or at least hope at best.


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#20 ShadowJak

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:54 PM

CaptainRook said:

ShadowJak said:

 

It'll be easier to come up with more differentiated teams once the next wave comes out. It might be good if the imps have some sort of way to give out ion tokens because that would slow down an escape attempt.

 

 

I'd have to assume the Firespray will have this, or at least hope at best.

Looking more closely, the Firespray (Slave I) looks like it comes with a couple of Ion Tokens. Hopefully they are usable by the ship and not just the new mission that is being released with it.






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