Home Forums General Game Design Down with DRMs! A Modest Proposal

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    Angel Barracks

    I don’t mind rolling to hit and rolling to save.
    Once Samantha has hit and wounded my troops she has been doing all the dice rolling I am feeling very passive and left out of the rolling fun, it is nice to then try and save my troops be getting in on some of the sweet dice rolling action.
    True that roll to save could be factored into her rolls, but by letting the other player roll, they get some action and it feels like you have a chance to save your troops.
    It feels more interactive and less one way.

    As for not modelling things, I am not altogether fussed about realism, as long as the rationale is there and most importantly the results can be predictable then I am good.
    If I can’t get my units into a situation where I can predict they are likely to win then why bother with any sorts of tactics at all?



    My homebrew rules for solo wargaming somewhat follow the original poster’s suggestion.

    1. I assess the situation to determine whether the tester has an advantage or disadvantage.
    2. This determines the target number:
      1. Extreme advantage = 2
      2. Advantage = 3
      3. Neutral = 4
      4. Disadvantage = 5
      5. Extreme disadvantage = 6

    I have modifiers I can apply to move the target number up or down. Because I play solo, however, I usually dispense with the modifiers and make a snap decision on the level. Attacking an enemy behind a wall? Disadvantaged. Etc.

    I also use saving throws, even though I play solo and I’m still the one rolling dice. It just seems to create an illusion of agency on the part of the lead defenders, which just feels right to me, even if the math works out the same.


    Guess I should have specified that I’m looking at a system where the hit number is always the same, and the number of dice rolled varies. So for example you are always looking at 4+ (if that’s the desired number) and then sometimes modify the target number. Thus number of dice get modified (perhaps by strength of firing unit), as does the target number (by target conditons, etc.). I thought what I wrote was simple and straightforward. But then I always know what I meant. Others may and do differ.

    The Shadowrun RPG went through this in the course of its editions.  It started off using DRMs (well it called them TNs, but there was a difficulty number which then got modified by situational factors); skill levels were represented by the number of dice thrown.  But some sub-systems also counted the number of successes as well.  By 4th edition, they just got rid of it, had a static target number of 5, and just varied the number of dice thrown.  The number of dice could get quite large sometimes of course.

    Les Hammond

    I like modifiers that give the ‘required to hit’ roll (not sure what everyone else calls that method) for one reason: I don’t need to go down a list of modifiers and work out which apply, I look at the combatants on the table and I instantly recognise the tactical interaction going on. Maybe it’s because I know the rules.

    Target is in a bit of concealment, there’s a destroyed vehicle belching smoke out in LOS, firer was moving but has now stopped? I just knock off the penalties and add any of the very few bonuses and if I feel lazy, roll first and it might be obvious you don’t need to work it out.

    In every combat situation, you’re still going to have to mentally go through all the variables affecting the outcome anyway, whether that’s doing a bit of maths or deciding how many dice to roll or whether it’s 6s or 5s to hit.

    Unless you’re not going to include all the variables. That would certainly speed the game up.

    6mm France 1940



    We are conditioned to think that a negative number is a penalty and a positive number is a bonus.  We also are conditioned to think that rolling high is good and rolling low is bad.  So, you never really get everything you want with a TNM.

    In your example, a 4+ is a hit.  If there are favorable conditions, you get a -1 TNM.  That, is actually a bonus.  If you said, 3- is a hit, then a +1 would increase your odds.  A -1 would be a penalty.  That would be fine but now you are rolling low to hit.  If you use DRMs, rolling high is good and a -1 is still a penalty.  That is why many designers stick with DRMs.


    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln


    “I just rolls me dice and takes me luck”, with the knowledge that I am not a great tactical genius and will never rise to the higher echelons of command in anybody’s army in any time period.  Just spend my time pushing my toys across the table in the vain hope the dice fall lucky 😊.

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