[Request] Simultaneous turns

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Joined: October 24th, 2011, 3:22 pm

Re: [Request] Simultaneous turns

Post by viewofheaven »

In Wesnoth, as with all other turn-based games, there is too much "hanging back" at the front line. Say Player A and Player B have 1 unit each, 1 hex apart. Both units have speed 1, have an advantage in attack and not in defense. Both players will hang back and wait for the other to "come forward to get hit". This turns Wesnoth into a stand-off chess game where players count turns (you move, I move, then where will we be), except that Wesnoth allows "Pass my turn", so it isn't even terribly tactical like chess.

In short, turn-based games are not terribly tactical. Best that can be said of turn-based games like Wesnoth is that it is more about resource management. Tactics in Wesnoth is a little of a "who moves forward first to get pummeled".

The following will solve this problem, and make turn-based games like Civ 5 and Wesnoth perfectly tactical! The following involves 3 units: horse (speed 2), swordsmand (speed 1) and pikeman (speed 1). The horse belongs to Player A, and the swordsman and pikeman to Player B.

Overview of Idea

Each movement phase has number of turns equal to the unit with highest number of movement points. For the 3 units above, there would be 2 turns for every movement phase. And each turn (be it in Movement Phase or City Phase) has 2 parts: Instruction and Execution. A typical layout of movement phases and other phases.

Movement Phase 1, Turn 1:
Movement Phase 1, Turn 2:
City Phase 1: (only 1 turn for all cities)
Movement Phase 2, Turn 1:
Movement Phase 2, Turn 2:
City Phase 2:

Why does each turn have 2 parts: Instruction and Execution? That's required for simultaneous turn-based games. I'm pretty sure that's self-explanatory.

For each turn in a movement phase, units can expend only 1 movement point.

And then, thre's the Fight command. Instructing a unit to Fight will deplete all its movement points. The only way a unit can damage another unit is to spend a turn Fight(ing) it. That basically means it takes 2 turns for a "speed 1" unit to damage another unit. This is necessary as can be seen in the illustrations below.

The only exception to this is if 2 opposing units move into each other's hex. Then a fight breaks out in the middle.

When you think about real distances being covered, the above Fight command will make sense. Please read on for illustrations.

Avoiding Potential Ability for Slower Unit to Sidestep Faster Unit Forever

First, to address a debilitating problem with current implementations of simultaneous turn-based time-keeping (as seen in Conqueror at here). A swordsman with speed 1 can keep "dancing around" (sidestepping 1 hex in some haphazard pattern) to avoid a horse with speed 2. We can easily imagine a few scenarios here. Say the horse and swordsman are right next to each other. The horse tries to move to the swordsman's hex to attack it. The swordsman can just move towards the horse to avoid it. Odd? Yeah. It's like you try to hit me by charging towards me, and I simply move to your spot to avoid you. It's as if I can pass right through you! In current simultaneous turn-based games, this kills the game. Strangely, the game developers just don't get this yet.

To fix that, any 2 opposing units that move into each other's hex will clash in the middle. Both will get an attack bonus that is its enemy's ground (before move), and a defense bonus that is its own ground (before move).

Also, the problem rears its head once again if we allow/mandate the horse to move its 2 hexes (speed 2) all at once. In reality, a horse with a faster speed is able to react to a slower unit's movement. In current simultaneous turn-based time-keeping, a horse forced to move 2 hexes at once will likely overshoot and miss the slower swordsman.

To fix that, each unit that has a movement speed greater than 1 hex will "move again", to react to slower units. That is to say, the movement phase will be a max number of turns equal to the unit with the highest movement speed. In our case above, it's the horse. This fix is illustrated in the next section.

After the movement phase (when all units have expended all movement points), there will come a city phase with ONE turn, in which players make their cities do whatever cities can do.

How to translate the "movement phase" into logic? When all units have 0 movement points remaining, end the movement phase. At the start of each movement phase, replenish all movement points to their max.

Ability to Flee From Enemies!

In current turn-based time-keeping (not simultaneous turn-based), there is no chance to flee from fast enemies.

Yes, fast enemies should eventually catch up. But not immediately catch up, right? Not pounce on us from 2 hexes away.

So, the swordsman was in a forest hex, hidden from enemies. It comes out of hiding by moving into a plains hex. And voila, a horse is spotted just 2 hexes away. What is a swordsman to do? Nothing. The very next turn belongs to the enemy, and the horse will travel faster than the speed of light and pounce on the swordsman!

In my suggest simultaneous turn-based time-keeping, the swordsman has the opportunity to run.

Let's suppose hexes are laid out horizontally like this: Forest0 - Forest1 - Plains1 - Plains2 - Plains3 - Plains4 - Plains5

Swordsman in Forest1. Horse in Plains5.

Movement Phase 1, Turn 1: Swordsman move onto Plains1. Horse moves onto Plains4

Movement Phase 1, Turn 2: Horse has 1 more movement point. It moves onto Plains3.

Movement Phase 2, Turn 1: Swordsman is spotted on Plains1!! Swordsman retreats into Forest1. Horse moves onto Plains2.

Movement Phase 2, Turn 2: Swordsman is now hidden, but the horse gives chase nonetheless. Horse moves onto Plains1.

Movement Phase 3, Turn 1: Swordsman is now hidden, and quickly moves further into the forest, in some unpredictable direction. Say swordsman moves onto Forest0. Horse moves onto Forest1.

Movement Phase 3, Turn 2: Now, if the horse guesses right, it can move onto Forest0 and engage the swordsman there. Or it can guess wrong, and lose its quarry. Will the horse go further? Probaly not, since it has a handicap fighting in forests.

And there you have it. A perfectly legit simulation of the swordsman spotting its hunter, and responding by fleeing.

Now, as Wesnoth is currently designed, the end of the swordsman turn will be at say Movement Phase 2, Turn 1. The horse will then pounce 2 hexes faster than the speed of light, and engage the swordsman on the plains, slaughtering the poor foot soldiers in a display of X-men powers. Some of the horses were probably engineered with Night Crawler's teleportation powers?!?

Realistic Chasing of Slow Units with Fast Units

Let's suppose hexes laid out like this: Plains1 - Plains2 - Plains3 - Plains4 - Plains5

Swordsman on Plains3, horse on Plains5.

Movement Phase 1, Turn 1: Horse moves to Plains4, swordsman to Plains2.

Movement Phase 1, Turn 2: Horse moves to Plains3.

Movement Phase 2, Turn 1: Horse moves to Plains2, swordsman to Plains1.

Movement Phase 2, Turn 2: Horse moves to Plains1.

Sounds like the horse is slower than in traditional turn-based time-keeping? That's because traditional turn-based time-keeping had to limit the speed of the horse to 2, due to the time-keeping limitations. In reality, the horse should be 5! 60km/h is 5 times greater than 12km/h.

And there you have it. A terribly realistic simulation of movement speed in war games!

Ability to Withdraw From Fight (Live to Fight Again)

In Civ 5, I've always had trouble with using horses for "harass and retreat". Horses need to gain experience and promotions for quite a while before they gain the trait of "move after attack". Only then can my horses safely harass the enemy and retreat safely. In Wesnoth, if there are horses (I played long ago, forgot), I would definitely hit the same problem.

Say, now the horse has caught up with the swordsman, and is just 1 hex away from the swordsman.

Hexes: Plains1 - Plains2 - Plains3 - Plains4

Swordsman in Plains3. Horse in Plains4. Pikeman in Plains1.

Movement Phase 1, Turn 1: Horse moves to Plains3. Swordsman moves to Plains2.

Movement Phase 1, Turn 2: Horse moves to Plains2.

Movement Phase 2, Turn 1: Horse stays put to fight (Fight command). Swordsman moves to Plains1, taking damage.

And the swordsman lives to fight again. Running away can mean less damage, though it also means zero damage to enemy.

Executing a True "Harass and Retreat" with Fast Units

Let's recap Movement Phase 1, Turn 1.

Movement Phase 2, Turn 1: Horse stays put to fight. Swordsman moves to Plains1, taking damage. Pikeman moves to Plains2.

Movement Phase 2, Turn 2: Horse moves to Plains3, taking ZERO damage. Pikeman unharmed too.

As can be seen, fast units execute true "harass and retreat" tactics. But there's another gem in the above example.

True combined arms tactics!!!

The horse is also able to retreat after harassing the swordsman. With its superior speed, it can run back away from the pikeman before the pikeman executes a Fight command.

Multiple Player's Units (say 3 sides) in One Hex?

Say all 3 units belong to 3 sides. Each unit's damage is divided equally among all enemies (2 in this case).

How can I Help on this Project?

I just wanna play this soon. If somebody steals this idea, I'd be delighted. If a group of folks wanna work with me on this to complete this simultaneous turn-based time-keeping within 2 weeks, I'd be delighted too.

Please. Somebody. Anybody. Help?

I had initially asked this here: http://www.vassalengine.org/forum/viewt ... 566#p26401

But that thread is disorganized, not like this one which Crendgrim instructed me to rewrite properly.
Posts: 15
Joined: March 22nd, 2009, 8:48 pm

Re: [Request] Simultaneous turns

Post by RedAdder »

See also my personal definition of the term "pseudo-realtime-strategy" in
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 67#p521767

It should be interesting for people who like two out of (wesnoth,xcom,freeciv).
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