Author Topic: The point cost system  (Read 6245 times)

Offline Niart Gunn

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The point cost system
« on: January 31, 2012, 05:10:32 PM »
First of all, hello everyone

I'm part of a small group of swiss dudes that started playing Warzone again some months ago and I once again fell in love with the game, the flavour, just everything. Of course, the saddest thing for me is that there will hardly be any new stuff for the game ever, in addition to some small issues I have with the UWZ rules, even though it seems the most awesome of the three editions.
Thus, I had an idea for a thread which could help playgroups to adjust or invent some things for their favourite tabletop themselves. Since doing so obviously requires some knowledge of the point cost system used in UWZ, everyone thinking about why something is as it is coud use some help. Especially due to the fact that the system probably is very complex to reverse-engineer (some input from the glorious Thom would be awesome), my experience when developing an own tabletop system a few years ago showed that.
I even saw that some guys here have some pretty extensive knowledge of exactly that system (see Enkers post here).

I am not exactly sure if this would cause any copyright issues, but I would love to see this thread becoming some kind of compendium of the point system used in Ultimate Warzone for unit and weapon stats, abilities and all kinds of special effects. Every help is deeply appreciated.

Toodles, Niart

Disclaimer: While I'd get to some part that someone could dislike the idea of fiddling with the holy bible that is the UWZ Rulebook, I really don't intend to hurt any feelings, and you'll probably never play against me anyways.

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 03:21:03 AM »
Hello Niart!

First of all, welcome to the game and to the forum! I do believe you´ve made a good choice with UWZ. It´s one of the best sets of rules for tabletop games from a tactician´s point of view, and with the rich Mutant Chronicles universe, it has a lot of background flavour.

I am sure the Warzone guys on this forum can help you with the math for points costs. Not all games have a fixed formula for this, though, and calculating will only get you so far in balancing your troops. Stat and ability combinations can result in synergistic effects that are not reflected in the points.

To illustrate: If, say, an additional fire action costs a fixed amount of points, it will still be more valuable on a model with a high ranged combat stat and/or heavy-hitting weapon than it would be on a rookie with a pistol. On the first example, it will kill an average of one more enemy model per round, while you´ll be lucky to get a single additional kill out of the ability over the course of a game on the second example – all for the same cost in the formula. This is why points costs in most games have no mathematical basis; they are usually based on rule-of-thumb and intuition of the game designers and playtesters.

Even if you come up with a number that is not too arbitrary, it won´t apply to any and all situations. At this point I would like to quote Jon Tuffley, of StarGrunt II fame:

Quote
(...) We had initially intended to include a POINTS VALUE system for "costing" units, to enable players to produce game forces that were theoretically "balanced". After long consideration, we decided not to take this route; there are a number of reasons for this decision.

Firstly, any kind of points value system is horribly artificial – none of them really work properly. A unit of troops is both more AND less than the sum of its parts, and if you start adding up the "cost" of each trooper in terms of armour, weapons, training etc., and then add all the men up to make the squad, you end up with some abstract number that in no way reflects the real capabilities of the squad in game terms. Most points systems fool players into thinking they´ve got "equal" armies, when in fact they´ve got nothing of the sort.

Second, the use of points actually encourages players to do exactly what we DON´T want them to do. It seems to start some players thinking in a kind of competition mentality, trying to find loopholes in the rules that will allow them to get that little edge over their opponent by exploiting the system. (...) (StarGrunt II, p.10 f)

I have found this to be true on more than one occasion, and I cannot say that I am completely free of that sort of thinking myself.

Furthermore, it is the type of scenario we play that really decides the relative value of your troops. If there is mainly open terrain with little cover, a cheap squad of Hussars will mince the most expensive close assault troops. If the objective is to reach a designated area first, quick troops will have an advantage over slower troops that is not reflected in their points cost. While the points value is a rough indicator one can start with, I have always found it necessary to balance things depending on the scenario: by assigning more points to one player, by rearranging the terrain in favour of the disadvantaged side, or by adding a one-sided handicap to the victory conditions.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 07:26:55 AM by Horned Owl »
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Offline Enker

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 10:30:35 AM »
What I have found out is that there excists a point system that works for Capitol and Bauhaus quiet good.
The attributes have fixed values and most times the special abilities cost the same, too.
For the weapons it is more complicated and here it doesn't fit always.
But I think we have found a good guideline here, too.
For Imperial and Mishima the point system doesn't match more often.
I think the creators have calculated the points in some way and after playtesting they modified some things by hand.
I will write more about it soon, but at the moment our pdf has priority.
Marines! Lets kick some A S S!

Offline Pollo

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 05:34:08 AM »
I am not exactly sure if this would cause any copyright issues,
I am very interested about this, since I think I exactly decrypted the rubric. I would like to post my results here, but I know that there are some implications...

Offline joshuaslater

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 06:44:55 PM »
Please keep it to yourself for the time being!!  Thom is looking into online sites that will allow him to put troops online.  I speak to him, but not for him.  I know everyone would just love to create everything and go wild, myself included, but he's figuring out how he wants to do this.

It took me five years to convince him to partner up with me and get a tiny online store launched after all the chaos of the Excelsior days.

I did tell him that I won't wait that long to see us gaming with many more models.   :D

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Offline Archer

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 07:29:58 AM »
good luck with that.

I can't even get a call back. :p
John "Archer" Tinney

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Offline Enker

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 10:30:28 AM »
Please keep it to yourself for the time being!!  Thom is looking into online sites that will allow him to put troops online.  I speak to him, but not for him.  I know everyone would just love to create everything and go wild, myself included, but he's figuring out how he wants to do this.

It took me five years to convince him to partner up with me and get a tiny online store launched after all the chaos of the Excelsior days.

I did tell him that I won't wait that long to see us gaming with many more models.   :D




What do you think, how long should we keep our investigations on the point system for ourself?
Or how long should we wait with our fan-made pdf about which we have talked in another topic a few weeks ago?

What I notice at the moment is that the small community which is left doesn't want to wait anymore.
They (me too) want to bring Warzone forward by their own as long as a rest of community is alive.
To often something "new" was promised.

With all given respect to Thom and the Crew and a big thanks for UWZ, but I cannot believe in new official units any more.
Marines! Lets kick some A S S!

Offline joshuaslater

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 12:18:11 PM »
I understand.  Archer has been working on this for even longer than me.   :'(

Thom is looking at Obsidian Portal, wiki, or some other means of putting the stuff online. 

There was a ton of material that didn't get to print.

That's what has been discussed. 

I'll keep reminding him.  Please respect his wishes as he's the one paying the bills for the boards. 

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Offline Enker

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 12:32:28 PM »
I understand.  Archer has been working on this for even longer than me.   :'(

Thom is looking at Obsidian Portal, wiki, or some other means of putting the stuff online. 

There was a ton of material that didn't get to print.

That's what has been discussed. 

I'll keep reminding him.  Please respect his wishes as he's the one paying the bills for the boards. 




Of course we will respect it and wait patient, but not until judgement day which will be on the 21.12.2012 accorrding to the Maya  ;D.
I really hope this time something happens.  ::)
Please keep us informed meanwhile.
Marines! Lets kick some A S S!

Offline joshuaslater

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2012, 01:08:10 PM »
I appreciate that Enker, and it's funny as hell.  If the Mayans are correct, and the world turns into Dark Eden, we'll be worried about more than toy soldiers.   ;D
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Offline joshuaslater

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 05:25:09 PM »
Talamania is this May.  

Thom will have handouts for everyone.  I don't know how much will go online at that moment, but I hope that gives you an idea of the time frame.

Slightly faster than glacier speed.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 08:52:59 AM by joshuaslater »
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Offline Melanieshaman

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 06:29:27 PM »
Talamania is the May. 

Thom will have handouts for everyone.  I don't know how much will go online at that moment, but I hope that gives you an idea of the time frame.

Slightly faster than glacier speed.

NOOOOO!!! Once again i cannot be there, but i wants them... my preciousssssssss...

Offline Niart Gunn

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 04:48:34 AM »
Glad to see that my thread got some attention, and I finally found time to reply.
First of all, I do know that a point system that accounts for everything perfectly is very unlikely to be found in any game, but still, you have to start somewhere when developing a game and then begin to tweak your initial system. At least that's how I'd do it, and Enker's and Pollo's replies seem to confirm that.

What I do not get, however, is why Thom would be so averse to people publicly posting their results regarding the point system. With all due respect to him, the UWZ crew and their nice work, the game is pretty much dead by now and could only profit if the playerbase could go ahead and do their own stuff with it. If he's actually planning to release new units, then please, don't do it as handouts at talamania, since, you know, not everyone can be there and at the point where it's not even put online, it just becomes really mean for the people abroad who don't want to travel around half the globe just to get some new numbers on a sheet of paper.
I'm sorry, but I really cannot respect the wishes of a person who obviously ranks one part of the playerbase higher than another one, seemingly based only on the place of origin.

So Enker and Pollo, I would be much obliged if you guys could send me your findings either per PM or email sometime. I'm also very interested in the pdf you're talking about Enker and would love to see it once it's finished.

Offline joshuaslater

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2012, 03:56:21 PM »
I'll clarify.  Talamania will see new stuff, and if I have my way, it will go online. 

If Thom wants to crank out a book, he may not want to spill everything in an open forum; I speak to him, but not for him.

Again, it took me five years of effort to get Thom on board to sell a few models online.  I hope to see the game engine come to life much sooner than that.

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Offline Alpha

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Re: The point cost system
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2012, 11:42:15 PM »
I am not exactly sure if this would cause any copyright issues,
I am very interested about this, since I think I exactly decrypted the rubric. I would like to post my results here, but I know that there are some implications...

I actually have that information....but I don't think it's something I can disclose. I wouldn't mind privately commenting on "how close" your information is, however....
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