Notes on gameplay mechanics

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Rudankort
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Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Rudankort » Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:30 pm

Hello All!

In this post I will be explaining how Warhammer 40,000 Armageddon game mechanics works. Feel free to post your question below, and I'll do my best to answer them and also will be updating this post with new info.

First high-level principles

- Armageddon is a hex-based turn-based wargame.

- Each hex can hold just one unit (this is true for air units as well).

- Each unit has just one movement and one attack action per turn.

- You can use unit's actions in any order, and you can do one of the actions, then give orders to other units, and then return to the first unit and spend its remaining action.

Controls

- Most actions in the game are performed using the left mouse button. You select units with left button and you give them orders with left button too. In the future this will naturally translate to tablets.

- When you are done giving orders to your units, you pass the turn to your opponent with "End Turn" button. This is the button at the top-center of the screen with "Turn X/Y" inside it. This button has three different uses:
-- When you are done with your turn, pass the turn to the opponent
-- When you have deployed all of your units in the deployment phase (prior to the main battle), use it to start the battle
-- When you have won (or lost) a scenario, the map will be revealed and you can review it to see where enemy units were in fog of war etc. After you are done reviewing the battlefield, press "End turn" to finish this mission and proceed to the next (or to return to main menu).

Movement

- Each unit has a certain number of movement points, and a movement type. These together determine how far a unit can go each turn. For example, units with leg movement type (infantry) can enter buildings and other difficult terain while vehicles can not.

Spotting

- Each unit has a certain spotting radius, and reveals enemy unit in this radius.

Combat

Combat is the most important aspect of the game. There are many rules related to combat, and we are still changing and tweaking this aspect.

- Each unit can have from 1 to 3 different weapons. All weapons are shown in the UI together with their stats.

- Each weapon has its own minimum and maximum range, and can be used only against enemy units at a distance between these two numbers. Range is shown as Min-Max, if min range is 0 or 1 it is not shown.

- When you attack enemy unit, you fire at it with all weapons which can reach it. All other weapons do not shoot this turn.

- Note that, unlike Panzer Corps, in Armageddon most units can attack across one or several hexes.

- Every combat is resolved as simultaneous fire: if you attack an enemy unit, the enemy shoots back at you. The only exception is if the enemy has no weapons to reach the attacker.

- Terrain of the map is very important. Some terrain types provide cover for units inside, exact cover value is listed in the UI when you hover the hex. Cover basically reduces accuracy of enemy units attacking this unit.

- Also, some terrain types are so high, they can partially or full block line of sight (LOS) to enemy unit. Information about terrain effect on LOS is also shown in the UI. If there is high terrain between attacker and defender, it can significantly degrade firing accuracy, or (if LOS is blocked 100%) completely prevent the attack.

- Some weapons have "indirect fire" trait which allows them to shoot over obstacles. Game UI does not indicate these weapons yet (but it will!), but these are mostly artillery-like weapons, often with minimum range greater than one, so often it is intuitively clear which weapon has indirect fire trait. Such weapons can be very handy, because you can attack the enemy from behind an obstacle, and not get any return fire from him.

- Some units have an ability to provide fire support to adjacent friendly units. When friendly unit is attacked, such units will fire at the attacker first. These units are not specifically marked in the UI yet. Some examples are: Steel Legion Fire Support, Steel Legion Mortar Support, Wyvern, Shoota Boyz with Big Shoota.

- Some units are specially suited to close combat - assault units. After exchanging fire with enemy unit normally, they will enter enemy hex and attack him with their close (0-range) weapons. Assault only happens if you attack enemy unit on adjacent hex. Assault attack ignores cover, and so is very useful against units hiding in fortifications, buildings etc.

- Units gain experience in combat and gain levels from 1 to 10. Every level is indicated by a skull in the UI. Experience makes units more accurate and harder to hit.

- Also, every unit has morale which is indicated by the color of its strength plate. Morale can be good (bright white), normal (gray), low (yellow) and broken (red). Units with low morale lose combat effectiveness and are easier to destroy.

Other orders

There are some other orders you can give to you units.

- Undo Move - takes back the move if it did not reveal any enemy units.

- Sleep - the unit is excluded from prev/next unit sequence till the end of the turn

- Rest and refit - the unit gains one hit point and gains +10 morale. Supply command does the same action, and will be removed as redundant.

- Replacements - replace unit's casualties. Replacements cost points, and the unit will lose some experience, because replacements will not be as experienced as lost personel.

- Disband - should be self-explanatory.

- Mount/unmount to unit's attached transport. This order can be executed automatically if you give the unit an order to move further than its normal movement range would allow.

- Upgrade - upgrade (or downgrade) unit's equipment. Upgrading costs you points, while downgraiding gives you some points back. Usually upgrade is only available in the beginning of a mission when you deploy your troops.

Resources

- There are two resources in the game - Glory and Requisition Points.

- Requisition Points is your "material" resource. It is used to purchase new units, upgrade existing ones, and give units replacements during combat. They are indicated as "cog" in the UI.

- Glory is your "immaterial" resource - you cannot buy anything with it, this your fame, authority and influence with other characters. Glory is indicated with eagle in the UI. In the current beta glory is only used as a measure of how successful you are as a commander (it is essentially your campaign score).

- You earn glory in three ways:
-- by capturing flags and victory hexes (50 and 100 glory respectively)
-- by killing enemy units (the more high-level unit you kill, and the less your own losses are, the more glory you will earn)
-- every turn all VHs you own give you 20 glory. If you finish the mission with a few turns left, you get this "income" for the remaining turns as well.

vadersson
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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by vadersson » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:42 pm

Cool, this is very useful.
Can you tell us what the icons on the weapons mean? Some of them are not clear to me and I don't seem to get tool tips for weapon stats.

Thanks,
Duncan
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Rudankort
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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Rudankort » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:13 pm

vadersson wrote:Can you tell us what the icons on the weapons mean? Some of them are not clear to me and I don't seem to get tool tips for weapon stats.
Tooltips should be added to main view, we'll fix it. But tooltips must work for these icons in Purchase screen, so you should be able to find them there.

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Galdred » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:38 pm

How do rallying and suppression/morale work? Sometimes, using the rest option does nothing : The unit remains broken.
Is there a check? Or is suppression a value that is not shown ( for instance 0-50 : white, 51-100 : yellow, 101+ : red)? That could explain that resting does reduce suppression without allowing the unit to regain a complete color level.

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Rudankort » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:56 pm

Galdred wrote:How do rallying and suppression/morale work? Sometimes, using the rest option does nothing : The unit remains broken.
Is there a check? Or is suppression a value that is not shown ( for instance 0-50 : white, 51-100 : yellow, 101+ : red)? That could explain that resting does reduce suppression without allowing the unit to regain a complete color level.
The latter assumption is correct. Morale is a number from 0 to 100, and there are threshold values of 30, 60 and 90 between the four levels depicted on the strength plate. Rest command gives +10 morale, but I'm considering to increase this to +20. Real number of morale will be added to UI, though only different levels have different gameplay effects (good - bonus, normal - no effect, low and broken - penalties).

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Galdred » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:59 pm

Displaying the morale value would be good. Something like displaying the number in white, yellow, red could give both informations.
Do command units paissvely increase morale of units around(I guess they must do something to earn their premium price!)?

vadersson
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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by vadersson » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:53 pm

Rudankort wrote:- Replacements - replace unit's casualties. Replacements cost points, and the unit will lose some experience, because replacements will not be as experienced as lost personel.
I noticed that in the tutorial at least this does not seem to happen. Actually I am not sure it happens at all. I had a unit get smashed down to 2 strength I think and add replacements to get them back to 15 strength and I keep all three skulls of experience they had. May be a bug?
Thanks,
Duncan
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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Rudankort » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:32 pm

vadersson wrote: I noticed that in the tutorial at least this does not seem to happen. Actually I am not sure it happens at all. I had a unit get smashed down to 2 strength I think and add replacements to get them back to 15 strength and I keep all three skulls of experience they had. May be a bug?
This might be an issue similar to upgrades - experience is adjusted correctly but UI has not updated. Try to deselect the unit and select. In any case, this sounds like a bug. If you have a save for this issue, it would be useful to get it.

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by vadersson » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:02 am

I am confused on the red and yellow that the strength numbers become. Is that morale or suppression or something else? It really did not seem to effect my units much. I had orks that were all red still attacking and getting closer. Just curious. I also notice that there is a little bar under the numbers that turns red, yellow, and green. What do each of these show and how does it effect things?

Thanks,
Duncan
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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Rudankort » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:55 pm

vadersson wrote:I am confused on the red and yellow that the strength numbers become. Is that morale or suppression or something else? It really did not seem to effect my units much. I had orks that were all red still attacking and getting closer. Just curious. I also notice that there is a little bar under the numbers that turns red, yellow, and green. What do each of these show and how does it effect things?
Strength plate colors show unit morale. This has been discussed a few posts above in this thread.

Little bar shows health of the unit. This game uses stack concept similar to Heroes-like games. Soldier or tank can have more than one hit point (though most infantry have just one). If a unit has more than one hit point, like most vehicles, there is a small health bar in its strength plate, showing health of the top strength point in the stack.

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by vadersson » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:07 pm

OK, so re-reading above, the low moral only changes effectiveness, not if they run away. I was wondering as units with red moral would keep pushing up against my lines and I thought that broken units might not advance. Ok, now I know.
Thanks,
Duncan
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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Galdred » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:02 pm

How is damage calculated? Currently, it is hard to tell against what Strength 80 AP 0 (lascannon) would be better than Strength 60 AP 30 (plasma).
Is the shots value from the weapons data file used? If so, why is this value hidden from the weapon stats? It seems like an important characteristics.

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Rudankort » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:19 pm

Galdred wrote:How is damage calculated? Currently, it is hard to tell against what Strength 80 AP 0 (lascannon) would be better than Strength 60 AP 30 (plasma).
AP shows ignored percent of enemy's defense, so 30% AP reduces 100 defense to 70 for example.

After AP has been applied, the difference between attack strength and defense determines the outcome of each hit: it can be either deflected or inflict one point of damage. Equal attack and defense mean 50/50 deflect/damage; each point of difference in either direction gives 1% higher chance of respective result. With bigger differences between attack and defense multiple-hp hits start to slowly kick in.
Galdred wrote:Is the shots value from the weapons data file used? If so, why is this value hidden from the weapon stats? It seems like an important characteristics.
Yes, this value is used, it is quite important and will be added to UI.

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by thepuffin » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:01 am

Do weapons have split profiles to account for increased effectiveness versus infantry or tanks?

For example, heavy flamers should decimate infantry but do next to nothing against tanks, while melta guns should assassinate tanks at close range but would struggle to do more than one or two damage to infantry.

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Rudankort » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:08 am

thepuffin wrote:Do weapons have split profiles to account for increased effectiveness versus infantry or tanks?
Nope.
thepuffin wrote:For example, heavy flamers should decimate infantry but do next to nothing against tanks, while melta guns should assassinate tanks at close range but would struggle to do more than one or two damage to infantry.
This follows from stats more or less: you need a lot of shots against infantry, because it is so numerous, while for tanks you need attack strength and armour piercing in order to penetrate them. Some weapons might be in between these two extremes.

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Kerensky » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:17 pm

I think that example of Melta Guns work as intended in the way this game has been set up, but there are other factors at work. It has to do with relationships on both sides of that equation.

Let's analyze a specific unit. Devil Dog with its Melta Cannon primary weapon and heavy bolter secondary.

6 Devil dogs per unit, Melta Cannon with rate of fire 1, Heavy Bolter with rate of fire 2. Melta cannon has short range (1-2) strong power (70) and excellent penetration (50%). 6 of these shots will instantly kill even heavily armored infantry it connects with, but taking out 6 infantry is not that much considering Ork infantry unit sizes. 12 heavy bolter shots will do better against infantry swarms by sheer virtue of firing 12 additional shots, but this weapons is pretty much ineffective against heavy armor.

So when 6 devil dogs fire at a small unit count but well armored target, that melta cannon does a pretty good job against something like a GunTrukk or Gunwagon.
When those same 6 devil dogs fire at an infantry target, the power of the melta cannon is mostly wasted (excessive overkill on infantry doesn't spill over to kill other infantry) but the heavy bolter secondary weapon is what is doing work here against infantry targets.

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Kerensky » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:35 pm

thepuffin wrote:Do weapons have split profiles to account for increased effectiveness versus infantry or tanks?
I wouldn't say a flat 'no' is the right answer to this. More like... 'it depends'.

After all, you can fire the same weapon at the same range at an infantry target or a vehicle target and get a different chance to hit... if the infantry unit is in some kind of cover. In fact, if your infantry target is in sparse jungle, and your vehicle target is also in sparse jungle, it's still easier to land a shot on your vehicle target because they get less cover bonus than infantry from the same terrain. I believe the balance number is currently 50%. Cover given to vehicles is reduced by 50% of what infantry get in the same terrain.

The profile of weapons for increased effectiveness against infantry is built into the Rate of Fire stat. The profile of weapons for increased effectiveness against tanks is built into the cover stat. It's all very closely linked.

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by vadersson » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:08 pm

While scouring the weapons file, I see a couple more traits. Can you tell us what they do?
AA
Area
Bulky
Indirect (ok, this one is above)
Mine
Siege
Terror

(Seems like Support should be a trait too...)

Thanks,
Duncan
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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by Kerensky » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:43 pm

Note that some of these traits may not be functional and removed for 1.0 release.

Equipment/Unit traits:

Assault
Unit has access to the 'assault' button functionality for attacking with melee weaponry.
Fearless
Unit only takes 1/2 morale loss from combat
Flyer
Unit has increased evasion against all attack and is immune to being assaulted.
Heroic
All allied units within 2 hexes of a heroic unit have their morale boosted to maximum
Leadership
Unit has a morale boosting effect friendly units within 3 hexes
Recon
Unit can stagger movement like recon cars in Panzer Corps
Support
Unit provides support fire for adjacent friendly units.
?Amphibious?
Unit can cross minor river and minor toxic river as if they were clear.
Heavypull
Unit can only be given a transport that also has the Heavypull trait.

Yarrick
Purchasing a unit with this trait prohibits purchasing of any more units with this trait.
Unique
When unit available in default game modes (no AVAIL file attached to scenario) this unit can only be acquired once for the entire pre-set phase of the scenario and also during the course of the scenario itself.
Nopurchase
Unit cannot be purchased under any circumstance. Reserved for special campaign units such as Hive Turret.
Noreinforce
Unit cannot raise its maximum number or hit points.
Noupgrade
Unit cannot be changed another unit type in the upgrade unit interface.
Kamikaze
Unit is destroyed after it initiates an attack on an enemy unit
Nozoc
Unit does not project zone of control
Camo
Unit can evade attacks
Visible
Unit is not hidden by fog of war

Weapon file traits:
AA
Weapon ignores 'Flyer' evasion bonus
Area
Weapon affects more than one hex cannot be fired in retaliation combat
Bulky
Weapon does not fire in retaliation combat
Indirect
Weapon will ignore all LOS modifiers when attacking and if fired in this manner weapon does not provoke retaliation
Mine
Special mine functionality
Terror
Double normal moral penalty from attacks made by this weapon
Siege
Ignores 1/2 of evasion bonus provided by any terrain

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Re: Notes on gameplay mechanics

Post by zakblood » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:12 am

command and conquer type tactics of mostly all tanks attacks works well if you don't mind the losses, just to point out tbh


so far in act 2 if given the choice of units to buy, loads of the tanks and a odd artillery piece with 1 or 2 flag troops and a scout to spot beats all so far, no idea for act 3, so this may change :wink:

while it may not be the correct balance of troops, it does the job, with most infantry types not lasting more than a few hits, other units being too expensive per damage down or they can sustain etc, with air units so far seen being to easy to kill, there cost per use is low, so also don't use...

multiplayer may be totally different, i'm talking about the AI only approach....

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