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 Post subject: The Worst Combat System Ever...
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 6:58 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
TRoS prides itself on having a unique combat system that models melee combat very well. To the player it feels like an accurate representation of combat.

Which got me to thinking -- so if TRoS has the best combat mechanics, which game has the worst?

I don't want to limit this to RPGs -- computer games and online games should also be included. Which games clearly indicate that the designer had no intention (or capability?) of modeling combat with any degree of accuracy.

Up for nomination is a game called Evony. It is an online game, free to play though the game goes much better if you feed it with cash.

I'm nominating Evony because, superficially at least, it looks like a reasonable game. I decided I would play it for a week or so and ended up playing it for a little longer. In Evony you start out controlling a very basic town which you develop into a city with an army. There is a tech tree to develop which opens up new units and capabilities. You manage your resources. You can conquer opponents.

I'm nominating Evony due to three mechanics:

1) Scouting.

Before attacking someone you probably want information about them. To do that, you send in your Scouts. There is a technology called Informatics which you can develop. It makes your Scouts better at their job. In your city you can build a Beacon Tower, which helps you spot incoming enemy, such as Scouts. Sounds reasonable so far. Here's where it gets plain silly. The more Scouts you send, the more information you receive AND the less likely it is that your Scouts will be discovered. So a town might have a population of 4k. You send in 20k Scouts. You find out everything there is to know about them and they don't notice. And this works whether the city has its gates open or closed.

2) Conquest.

With your tech tree fully developed you have access to 10 combat units, from the humble worker to the mighty catapult. However, combat is 'set and forget' -- you simply point your army at a location and you receive back a combat report of how the fight went. This is outright lame but it goes further than that.

You can attack a fortified city -- complete with mighty walls, archer towers, trebuchet, traps (!) -- without siege equipment. You don't have to breach the walls in order to plunder the city.

Just as interestingly, if there is an army in the city but the gates are not open then it doesn't fight. The city is plundered once the wall defenses run out and the army cannot be attacked. Open the gates and the army fights alongside the wall defenses.

3) Mass Combat.

Worst though, for me, of all this is that it doesn't actually matter how you build your army. It looks like the combat mechanic simply involves totaling the combat value of each army where each unit has a certain combat value. So when 10k warriors (the most basic combat unit) fight 2k cataphracts (heavy cavalry) the warriors win. Even though the cataphracts cost vastly more to produce and are far higher up the tech tree. In short, the big army wins every time.

So I'll put Evony forward as the game with the worst combat system. No realism, no historical accuracy, no strategy -- in short, completely uninteresting to play.

Though in its defense I will say that the game isn't pitched at me. When I suggested to a long term player that the game lacked strategy the player responded that 'Evony is very strategically.' That's when I knew the game wasn't for me.

Regards,

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Ian Plumb
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 Post subject: Re: The Worst Combat System Ever...
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:06 am
Posts: 103
Location: Darwin Australia
Try Neverworld

http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=6486

Game blurb sounded great, thank god I was only back in Adelaide for alittle while with my old gaming group and I had just picked up the box set and was all excited.
What world of hurt did I land my self in.

Allan


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 Post subject: Re: The Worst Combat System Ever...
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:17 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
aprewett wrote:
Try Neverworld


So what aspect(s) of the Neverworld combat system lead you to conclude that it is truly awful?

Regards,

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Ian Plumb
Illustrations for Gamers
Lyonpaedia
Griffin Grove Gaming
Kraftworks for Kids School Holiday Program


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 Post subject: Re: The Worst Combat System Ever...
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:34 am 
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Sorry it was many years ago.
I still have the books in the shed.
I am fairly sure it was AD&D wrapped a different way.

Allan


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 Post subject: Re: The Worst Combat System Ever...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:56 pm 
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Posts: 67
SpaceMaster, the sci-fi version of Rolemaster. They just cut and pasted the melee combat rules from Rolemaster and applied it to a sci-fi setting, so that you used your skill with a laser or a blaster or whatever to shoot, and you could also apply some of it to defence and, as it were, parry shots aimed at you as well...


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