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Battle Reports
One of the aspects that Cohorts shares with many other games is the infamous Battle Report.  The key bit of information that tells you that tells you what happened to the playing pieces that were involved in a battle.

As far as I can surmise, there are 4 different types of reports:

1. Very high level - which describes the sides that took part in the battle and which side one.  It may or may not include some basic details about important pieces that were involved and/or how much damage each side took.  This may or may not be described in the form of prose.

2. Detailed outcome - which describes in detail which pieces took part in the battle, what their starting and ending status was, and who won.  None of the details as to how the battle unfolded are provided.

3. Detailed description - which describes each piece that took place in the battle and describes on a round by round basis who inflicted damage and who took damage.  This too may or may not be in the form of prose.

4. Graphical replay of the battle - showing the pieces moving about the battlefield in a graphical manner - either as pieces on a board (like moving playing pieces about) or something far more elaborate with animated figures and animated action.

In my mind, option 1 is useful as a bit of summary information that you might want to look back on to see what battles you might have engaged in.  Or, it might be used as a more "global history report" that all players would get access to, showing them who'd been fighting who (assuming a multiplayer game).

Option 2 is likely my personally preferred option.  Give me the facts, tell me the outcome and let me plan my next turn.  What this lacks however are the details as to how the outcome came about.  Did either player make a mistake and not load the right spells, equip the right weapons, put their units in the correct battle slots?  With just a bare-bones summary, the player will never know.  If the game designer likes a bit of mystery as to how their engine runs, this is a good method.

Option 3 is good, but if the battle has a lot of pieces in it can become lengthy.  If the blow-by-blow descriptions are presented in prose, a single battle can easily turn into a 30 page document.  Quite frankly, I don't think anybody wants that.

Option 4 is fun.  No doubt about it - watching a battle unfold is entertaining.  But my guess is, it is entertaining the first few times you watch it - and then you'll opt to skip the animation and go back to wanting to see the output from Option 2.

From a game designer point of view, trying to find the balance between too little and too much information is a tough call.  One could opt for "give them all the choices and let the user decide" but there is a development cost to that.  With an unlimited budget and unlimited time, giving the ultimate solution is always best - but when we're dealing with a niche market like PBM games, we have to be frugal and get the most bang for the buck.

Does anybody have any opinions on this?

Messages In This Thread
Battle Reports - by Angerak - 02-13-2017, 06:41 PM
RE: Battle Reports - by Davin - 02-14-2017, 05:00 AM
RE: Battle Reports - by Angerak - 02-14-2017, 12:01 PM
RE: Battle Reports - by Davin - 02-16-2017, 04:16 PM
RE: Battle Reports - by GrimFinger - 02-14-2017, 12:21 PM
RE: Battle Reports - by Angerak - 02-14-2017, 01:48 PM
RE: Battle Reports - by Angerak - 02-16-2017, 08:35 PM
RE: Battle Reports - by Davin - 02-16-2017, 09:26 PM
RE: Battle Reports - by Angerak - 02-16-2017, 09:53 PM

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