Fire and Math!

Hey everyone,

Germán Gaussmann, the amazing animator for Diesel Tactics, has put together a sweet animation reel for the Conveyable Matter Liquefier Specialists unit from the Usonian army and I’m showing it off today!

These guys are a particularly devastating offensive unit against other infantry squads because their flamethrower attack hits all members of the enemy unit!  Most units have 3 squad members, and generally when a unit makes an attack they get just the one attack, but these soldiers get one attack per enemy squad member!

For example, if an enemy unit has a full complement of 3 soldiers, and the Conveyable Matter Liquefier Specialists have all 3 members alive as well, they would make 9 attacks against their opponent!

We’re considering changing this system a little though, and any feedback you guys might have would be great!

Okay here’s what we’re currently doing: squad of 3 attacks squad of 3 results in 9 attacks, just like I described above.

What we’re thinking of doing: squad of 3 attacks squad of 3 results in 3 attacks on each enemy squad member individually.  What I mean here is that we don’t just pool the attacks and remove that number of enemies, but instead check to see if any given member is killed.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about: if you use the current system and make 9 attacks and the last 3 attacks result in a kill, then all three enemies are killed.  If you divide up the attacks and the last 3 attacks result in a kill, then only one enemy is killed since those attacks were all specifically against the last enemy squad member.

To show the difference, let’s say each attack has 25% chance to kill enemy squad member.

Version 1 with 9 attacks results in 2.25 deaths on average.

Version 2 has a 64% chance of killing any 1 enemy unit member.

The odds of killing exactly 1 would be about 25%, the odds of killing exactly 2 would be roughly 44%, and the odds of killing all 3 would be 26.2%.

Finally, the odds of killing no one would be about 4.66%.

The math:

Odds of killing any given enemy: (1/4) + (3/4)*(1/4) + (13/16)*(1/4) = ~64%

Odds of killing no one: 0.36^3 = ~4.66%

Odds of killing exactly 1: (3!/(2!*1!)*(0.64*0.36*0.36) = ~25%

Odds of killing exactly 2: (3!/(2!*1!)*(0.64*0.64*0.36) = ~44%

Odds of killing all 3: 0.64^3 = ~26.2%

What do you guys think?

Whatever we go with, these guys are going to be incredibly dangerous when they get close to the enemy!

2 Comments

  1. Rui Castro May 1, 2014 11:07 am  Reply

    Jonathan Evans, had to read this many times. The way I used to play this kind of system, squad based units, it was based on the sum of the “attack power” of the offensive squad and the sum of the “defense power” of the defending squad. In each squad its made up of units with “attack power” and “defense power”. If you attack with a power of 1000 and the defending squad has two units with a defense power of 600 (600*2=1200 total defense power of the squad), only one unit in the defending squad would die. In my opinion makes it much easier to calculate perhaps because I’m used to it. I think Heroes of Might and Magic 3 was like this as also R-type Tactics.

    You are posting two ways:
    – “9 attacks and the last 3 attacks result in a kill, then all three enemies are killed.” – You are attacking all 3 enemy units at the same time.
    or
    – “If you divide up the attacks and the last 3 attacks result in a kill, then only one enemy is killed since those attacks were all specifically against the last enemy squad member.” – You are attacking each enemy unit separately

    Which one I like most, the first one seems to be very powerful and realistic and the second is weaker which makes the game more challenging but not so realistic.

    Are you going to have a splitting feature? If so then the second would be better, than I would try to manage the splitting of my units to be more attack efficient which would be more like the way I describe above about the sum of the attack power. I see no way in your first example to have some way to make it efficient, its already maxed out.

    Also if you have a counter attack feature of the defending units, perhaps the second way would be better, units would be able to still do damage to attacking squad. The first way just seems to over powered.

    I’ve posted over at the FB group, perhaps someone has more experience

  2. T-Go Co Games
    T-Go Co Games May 1, 2014 12:01 pm  Reply

    Thanks for the comment, Rui!

    There is a system in Diesel Tactics where the attack power of the attacking unit and the defence of the target determine the likelyhood of damage being done, but there is still a random element there so it’s not exactly like 1000 attack – 600 defence = 400 damage.

    Units will have a certain number of squad members in them (generally 3) and these squad members each get an attack when the unit attacks. If a unit has been damaged (say, one of the squad members has been killed) then it has less fire power since it has fewer members attacking.

    If a unit of 2 flamethrowers attacks a unit of 3 there are a potential of 6 attacks in either system I proposed.

    The difference is that the first system involves just multiplying the attackers by the defenders (2 x 3) to get a total number of attacks. The second system would work by having the first squad member of the attacking unit attack each member of the enemy squad. The second member of the attacking unit then rolls an attack against each SURVIVING member of the enemy squad. To use the example from before, there would first be 3 attacks made. Let’s say 1 of them killed an enemy soldier. The second member would then only make 2 attacks, since that’s all that’s left. Technically they would be making an attack on the dead squad member as well, but it’s wasted since that target is dead.

    In any case, this only applies to flame weapons!

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