New CP idea

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New CP idea

Postby stubby » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:39 pm

All right guys, I just had a new idea and I think this is a good one.

You know how the cost of everything is based on Construction Points? Fuck 'em. We've been playing this game for awhile and we've managed to build up a bunch of internal balancing systems. Instead, what if the cost is based purely in inches?

A minifig is a one inch Creature. He costs one inch.

A horse is a two inch Creature. It costs two inches.

A Size 4" tank is a four inch Vehicle. It costs four inches.

A Size 12" castle is a twelve inch Structure. It costs twelve inches.

And that's it. All weapons and devices are free, since their use is limited by the size of the creations using them, and we already paid for that.


But wait, you're saying. What's to prevent abusing the system by loading up on Heroes or Specialists or Size 0" vermin? What about SuperNatural Dice and Vehicle movement rates?

Heroes are already a little bit self-limiting thanks to the Ego, but the easiest thing is to tweak their cost. Each Heroic minifig or object costs as much as the number of Heroic minifigs or objects on your team. If you have three Heroes, then each one costs three inches.

We can limit Specialist abuse a little bit by saying they must start the battle carrying appropriate equipment; medkits and mechaniks' tools take up hands that could have been used for weapons instead. Pilots and gunners must start in pilot seats and gunner stations. Heavies must be carrying their heavy weapon. Officers must be in sole command of their squads.

Vermin would theoretically cost zero inches, but that's a recipe for disaster. Instead, three vermin to an inch.

SuperNatural Dice are tricky. Right now I'm thinking one inch per d4, d6, or d8 and two inches per d10 or d12.

Vehicle movement - I'm not sure what to do about this exactly, but it may have to get locked down to defaults according to vehicle type.


And that's my idea. So much easier, right?
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Re: New CP idea

Postby IVhorseman » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:14 pm

I like it! I completely ignored CP in the first place due to it being dumb as hell, but this might actually work out alright. I'll do my best to break the system, but here's what I'm thinking so far:

-What about specialist abilities?
-I like to use gunners as guys that run across the field with big heavy weapons that they plop down somewhere before firing. Is that legal, or do their weapons need to be deployed before they start the game?
-How about armor values? Besides the desire to actually have fun with my opponents, what stops me from giving every 5+" vehicle 5d10 armor?
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Re: New CP idea

Postby stubby » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:28 am

IVhorseman wrote:-What about specialist abilities?
-I like to use gunners as guys that run across the field with big heavy weapons that they plop down somewhere before firing. Is that legal, or do their weapons need to be deployed before they start the game?
-How about armor values? Besides the desire to actually have fun with my opponents, what stops me from giving every 5+" vehicle 5d10 armor?

My worry with Specialist abilities is that players will assign specialties to soldiers for no reason, just because they can. If you want to field an army of 100 Mediks, go ahead, but every single one of them has to have a hand used up with a medkit.

That's an acceptable use of gunners. I like to think of the Imperial E-Web dudes in Star Wars. So I'll say Gunners have to start at gunnery controls or carrying a Size 2 or larger ranged weapon that has to be deployed before it can be used.

Armor value is kind of like Move rating in that it's hard to keep players from awarding themselves ridiculous values. My instinct is to say everything's free up to 3d10, there's some kind of premium to pay for 4d10, and 5d10 can't be purchased normally, only available for unique scenario-specific creations. I might get rid of everything above 3d10 entirely.

One thing that's occurred to me is that a horse (size 2", armor 1d6) will cost the same as a robot horse (size 2", armor 2d10). I'm not sure how to balance that other than to shrug my shoulders and accept it.
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Re: New CP idea

Postby Maverick » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:52 am

Cp is good. I think you should (if you implement this in a new rulebook) you should make two different versions. Version A being cp. Version B being ip (Inch points).
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Re: New CP idea

Postby Quantumsurfer » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:59 am

So I like CP. But if I'm honest with myself, I've played this game enough times to see how arbitrary it can be. Hell, I've modified it enough times to account for special scenarios or alternate game types. And the designer in me has broken specialist abilities down in comparison before to derive approximate CP values for new specialist abilities of my own devising. While I like the system, I have to admit that I like it because "it works well enough" and because "construction points is a phrase that is themed toward building toys."

I'm interested in the Inches idea. And I find myself growing ever more a fan of the self limiting subsystems like the Heroic Ego or the But Also effect of Kanon.

I'm not too sure about locking down specific defaults or otherwise generally scrapping the ability to customize. My thinking here is that some small customization is inherent to the theme of the game. What are your thoughts on that?
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Re: New CP idea

Postby The Shadowscythe » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:03 am

Now this makes my life so much easier - trying to work how the Scythian armed forces would play in my head to how it works on the table is an utter fucking nightmare.

When it comes to troops? Between weapons ranges, skill and armour - each god-damn marine is 17 Cp each, which despite my large range of models - would leave me with very little on the table if I wanted to play evenly with my opponent.

Now for my really say admission - I have never been able to cost my vehicles appropriately due to my head not being able to into maths for long enough to be interested? Like this though? All I need is a ruler and an excuse to break shit. Lets go for it.
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Re: New CP idea

Postby DeltaV » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:53 am

I myself would still prefer using CP as an indicative to the overall power of an army, but that's because my own army contains a lot of gimmick units with weird weaponry and/or abilities, which would be difficult to balance otherwise.
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Re: New CP idea

Postby Battlegrinder » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:54 am

I'm kinda attached to the old CP system, but that might just be the part of me that hates change talking. I can certainly see some advantages from this new system, like the fact that whenever I finish building my army I'll be able to field more of it, and it does simplify the effort you have to go through to stat something. I'm not sure it will be as well balanced as CP, though.
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Re: New CP idea

Postby stubby » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:11 pm

It'll be differently balanced. CP is balanced to encourage some kinds of play and discourage others. Inches encourage you to dakka up. If a naked soldier with a knife costs as much as a fully-armored soldier with three battleaxes and a bazooka, then why not load up? But in the end they're not too dissimilar: the one with more weapons than he can carry has more flexibility about which one he can decide to use in any given turn, but ultimately each of them are roughly equivalent in terms of the amount of things they can do in any single turn.

What I could also do is break it up between Construction Inches and Customization. Construction inches buy you standard troops and vehicles and buildings, and make for quick comparison: knowing that I'm packing nine inches of units compared to my opponent's three is a lot easier to figure out than I've got an 87-point army versus his 34. And once you can do that, then it's a lot easier to make up stuff like "If player A has twice the inches of player B, then the Underdog Rule kicks in."

Customization would be for stuff that takes you away from standard units, and can be limited separately. Like you can bring 30 inches of units to the game, but you're limited to 10 customization points, to keep things from getting too complicated.
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Re: New CP idea

Postby Brikguy0410 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:16 pm

stubby wrote:It'll be differently balanced. CP is balanced to encourage some kinds of play and discourage others. Inches encourage you to dakka up. If a naked soldier with a knife costs as much as a fully-armored soldier with three battleaxes and a bazooka, then why not load up? But in the end they're not too dissimilar: the one with more weapons than he can carry has more flexibility about which one he can decide to use in any given turn, but ultimately each of them are roughly equivalent in terms of the amount of things they can do in any single turn.

What I could also do is break it up between Construction Inches and Customization. Construction inches buy you standard troops and vehicles and buildings, and make for quick comparison: knowing that I'm packing nine inches of units compared to my opponent's three is a lot easier to figure out than I've got an 87-point army versus his 34. And once you can do that, then it's a lot easier to make up stuff like "If player A has twice the inches of player B, then the Underdog Rule kicks in."

Customization would be for stuff that takes you away from standard units, and can be limited separately. Like you can bring 30 inches of units to the game, but you're limited to 10 customization points, to keep things from getting too complicated.
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Re: New CP idea

Postby Quantumsurfer » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:18 pm

So, like, you would pick out units from a codex who all come with specific default stats. I have 10 CI. I'll spend 5 inches on 5 minifigs, 1 inch on a Hero, and four inches on a size 4 tank.

Then, you would take your CP and modify the default stats of the unit you picked out. I have 3CP. I'll spend 1 CP to make one of the minifigs a grizzled old veteran and bump his skill by a d4. I'll spend 1 CP to bump the structure level of my tank by 1. And I'll spend the last CP to increase the tank's movement by an inch.

Is that what you mean?
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Re: New CP idea

Postby Quantumsurfer » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:21 pm

If Kanon gets fleshed out some more, what about using Customization Points to purchase Story Tags?
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Re: New CP idea

Postby IVhorseman » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:47 pm

We can call it the Inch Point Addendum - IPA for short!
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stubby wrote:My worry with Specialist abilities is that players will assign specialties to soldiers for no reason, just because they can. If you want to field an army of 100 Mediks, go ahead, but every single one of them has to have a hand used up with a medkit.


What about multitasking/custom specialist abilities that don't have associated equipment? I think that the starting tools/equipment being an indicator of a fig's abilities is a good way to keep track of this for the most part, but some of them are a bit more abstract. How do I denote/balance a minifig with extra skill, or a Commando or something from any other fig?

The customization points thing could work, but I'm wary to include a second economy - especially since I didn't like when there was ONE economy in the first place. One way to handle it, like Quantumsurfer mentioned, could be just one "point" would be any one ability. So bumping up armor a level, or adding a supernatural die would take up a point each, since they're single custom abilities.

The team with lower inches could be entitled to spend customization points on their army up until they reach the other team in inches, but i have a hunch that that way madness lies. People will just add armor to their vehicles just because. Speaking of...

stubby wrote:Armor value is kind of like Move rating in that it's hard to keep players from awarding themselves ridiculous values. My instinct is to say everything's free up to 3d10, there's some kind of premium to pay for 4d10, and 5d10 can't be purchased normally, only available for unique scenario-specific creations. I might get rid of everything above 3d10 entirely.


4d10 and 5d10 have their roles, and I suggest against getting rid of them entirely. I think they both get used too often, and I think limiting 5d10 to specific scenarios is a good call, but even the toughest of armor will crack under combined fire.

stubby wrote:One thing that's occurred to me is that a horse (size 2", armor 1d6) will cost the same as a robot horse (size 2", armor 2d10). I'm not sure how to balance that other than to shrug my shoulders and accept it.


What if each d10 of armor past the first costed another inch? Steel horses and Regular horses are balanced out enough by the differences in mind vs. armor, so a robot horse with even higher armor would cost one more inch. Thoughts?



Ultimately, I want to see Colette get in here and lose their shit over why this is totally broken and unbalanced because he's decided he doesn't like the sound of it. Natalya might have a similar, if more rational, response. Scythe, that's the precise reason I never dicked with CP in the first place.
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Re: New CP idea

Postby IVhorseman » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:50 pm

More on specialist abilities: what if there were corresponding penalty traits that minifigs could take to cancel them out?

So like a minifig with Gun Kata (can use ranged weapons as if they were CC weapons including angry inches and counter-attacks) would have one specialist ability, then would choose from a list to take some kind of penalty, like "can't sprint" or "addicted to moms." The downside is there'd be more shit to keep track of (plus: munchkin powering), but the upshot could be increased hilarity.
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Re: New CP idea

Postby stubby » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:59 pm

Quantumsurfer wrote:So, like, you would pick out units from a codex who all come with specific default stats. I have 10 CI. I'll spend 5 inches on 5 minifigs, 1 inch on a Hero, and four inches on a size 4 tank.

Then, you would take your CP and modify the default stats of the unit you picked out. I have 3CP. I'll spend 1 CP to make one of the minifigs a grizzled old veteran and bump his skill by a d4. I'll spend 1 CP to bump the structure level of my tank by 1. And I'll spend the last CP to increase the tank's movement by an inch.

Is that what you mean?

Pretty much. The majority of the customization would be in the loadout of weapons, armor, and devices, which would all be free.

Quantumsurfer wrote:If Kanon gets fleshed out some more, what about using Customization Points to purchase Story Tags?

Not sure what you mean by Story Tags, but I like the sound of them. Can you give some examples of how these would work?


IVhorseman wrote:What about multitasking/custom specialist abilities that don't have associated equipment? I think that the starting tools/equipment being an indicator of a fig's abilities is a good way to keep track of this for the most part, but some of them are a bit more abstract. How do I denote/balance a minifig with extra skill, or a Commando or something from any other fig?

That's the real question, isn't it?

IVhorseman wrote:The customization points thing could work, but I'm wary to include a second economy - especially since I didn't like when there was ONE economy in the first place. One way to handle it, like Quantumsurfer mentioned, could be just one "point" would be any one ability. So bumping up armor a level, or adding a supernatural die would take up a point each, since they're single custom abilities.

I'm sure you won't have any tougher time ignoring two economies than you did with one. But yeah, I'm thinking that if I go this route then the CP costs would be simplified drastically. A whole lot of +1 per change or +1 per level of change.

IVhorseman wrote:The team with lower inches could be entitled to spend customization points on their army up until they reach the other team in inches, but i have a hunch that that way madness lies.

Yeah, I don't like the idea of making any equivalency between the two.

IVhorseman wrote:4d10 and 5d10 have their roles, and I suggest against getting rid of them entirely. I think they both get used too often, and I think limiting 5d10 to specific scenarios is a good call, but even the toughest of armor will crack under combined fire.

I'm thinking of defaults something like this, modifiable with Heavy Armor and Customization Points for armor boosts:

    Creatures (any Creation with a Mind): 1d6 Armor.

    Vehicles: Move = 10" - SL.

    Flying Vehicles: Move = 16" - 2xSL, with a tighter Weapon Size Limit as usual.

    Buildings: SL = 1/2 Size, up to SL:3.

Buildings need some kind of price break, since an inch of building is clearly not worth as much as an inch of vehicle or creature. I might even change the cost of buildings to 1" per SL, regardless of final size.

IVhorseman wrote:More on specialist abilities: what if there were corresponding penalty traits that minifigs could take to cancel them out?

So like a minifig with Gun Kata (can use ranged weapons as if they were CC weapons including angry inches and counter-attacks) would have one specialist ability, then would choose from a list to take some kind of penalty, like "can't sprint" or "addicted to moms." The downside is there'd be more shit to keep track of (plus: munchkin powering), but the upshot could be increased hilarity.

We talked about this for awhile when we were playing with an Advantages/Disadvantages system, but it just ended up with everyone picking Disadvantages that didn't apply. I'm happier pre-building in the specific balancing factor, like Heavy Armor gives you Shielded but makes you Slow.
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