Initiative Preview

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Initiative Preview

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:56 pm

Let's say you've got 5 frames, Forged has 4, and I've got 4 too, but one of them only has three systems.

Each of us has two objectives.

Each objective or frame is an asset. Before we start to play, we assume each asset is worth 5 initiative points.

Who has the most frames? You. -1 initiative.
Who has the least? Forged and I do. +1 initiative.
Who has the most systems? You. -1 initiative.
Who has the fewest systems? Me. +1 initiative.

You get 5-1-1=3 initiative for each asset, of which you have 7. 7*3=21 initiative.
Forged gets 5+1=6 initiative for each asset, of which he has 6. 6*6=36 initiative.
I get 5+1+1=7 initiative for each asset, of which I have 6. 7*6=42 initiative.

I have the highest initiative. I can either choose a frame to move or pass the option to Forged. He can opt to pass it to you. You don't have that option; you have the lowest initiative and have to take a turn.

When a player loses a frame or an objective, their initiative goes down by the amount you get for each asset. So let's say you guys take out a frame of mine. I lose 7 points, putting me at initiative of 35. That means Forged now has the initiative. Forged now gets the option to move a frame or pass the initiative to me. I can opt to pass it to you, just like before, and like before you have to go if I have.

When a player gains an objective, their initiative goes up by the amount they get for each asset. Let's say that frame of mine was guarding some peaches and you took them. You get 3 points, bringing you to 24. I lose 7 points, bringing me down to 28. We share a Forged-shaped problem. Let's go deal with that.

Now, this is the reason they're not quite victory points: while I have to hit or steal Forged's assets to win, you have to hit or steal stuff from both of us. That means that the initiative points say who's winning in the point race, but there's a point where you'll defect from your erstwhile ally (that's me) and start shooting me in the back when you have the opportunity. The points say, "Shoot at the winner!" but the circumstances say, "Defect! You can take them both!" ... and by that time in the game, I bet both of our companies are in pretty rough shape while you, as the "losingest" player, have taken relatively few hits. This is your moment to shine. If Forged and I have been moving back and forth a bunch, using our initiative immediately, that means you have a complete lay of the land by the time your turn comes around. You know which frames are in a weak position, which ones have poor defense numbers, and, most importantly, none of them can shoot back so you don't have to use white dice to defend yourself — you can use them for spotting, moving, and attacking.

And hey, if I pass initiative to you, and you shoot me in the back? Probably the best thing for me to do is shoot Forged. Shooting you doesn't gain me initiative, even if I succeed. Not to say I'm necessarily your best target, but circumstances might (and often do) dictate that that's the case.

When the doomsday clock reaches 0, the player who has the initiative wins! But think of that as the side-effect, and initiative as being the immediate effect. Its strategic value (having won the battle) comes from its tactical value (initiative).
Last edited by Joshua A.C. Newman on Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Mantisking » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:59 pm

Sorry, J. I had to split this off to prevent it derailing the other topic.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:02 pm

No sweat! I just came here to find this post and couldn't remember what the original topic was, so you were obviously right to do so.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Ramcat » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:19 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Now, this is the reason they're not quite victory points...

When the doomsday clock reaches 0, the player who has the initiative wins!


So we no longer track victory points? Inititive is the win or lose metric?
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby randolph » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:26 pm

I just want to see if I understand the rules.

Using the setup given above (edited a little to help me streamline):
A has 5 frames + 2 objectives for a total of 7 assets. 5 frames x 4 systems = 20 systems.
B has 4 frames + 2 objectives for a total of 6 assets. 4 frames x 4 systems = 16 systems.
C has 4 frames + 2 objectives for a total of 6 assets. 3 frames x 4 systems + 3 = 15 systems.

Each asset defaults to 5 initiative points, with modifiers determined by tied-for-most and tied-for-least:
Most frames? -1 initiative per asset to A
Fewest frames? +1 initiative per asset to B and C
Most systems? -1 initiative per asset to A
Fewest systems? +1 initiative per asset to C

A: 5-1-1 = 3 initiative per asset. 7 assets x 3 initiative per asset = 21 initiative
B: 5+1 = 6 initiative per asset. 6 assets x 6 initiative per asset = 36 initiative
C: 5+1+1 = 7 initiative per asset. 6 assets x 7 initiative per asset = 42 initiative


? As I understand it, you play the company you bring to the table, blind, so there's no Clan-style downbidding at the beginning to try to gain initiative.

Initiative order is now C (42) > B (36) > A (21). Joshua said:
I can either choose a frame to move or pass the option to Forged. He can opt to pass it to you. You don't have that option; you have the lowest initiative and have to take a turn.


? So... C passes to B and B passes to A, and A must take a turn. Now what? If no assets were lost (leaving initiative order the same), whose turn is it? Do you just check initiative order after every frame moves until every frame has had one turn, decrement doomsday clock (resetting the "taken a turn" status for each frame), then repeat initiative order?
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Initiative Preview

Postby Forged » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:24 pm

I am honered to be an example combatant, all though you called me Framed for a bit in the middle...
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby calculus » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:25 pm

Now if I just had function to compare the value of initiative vs company sizes I could calculate the Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibria....
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:14 pm

Forged wrote:I am honered to be an example combatant, all though you called me Framed for a bit in the middle...


Ha ha! It's a word I've been typing a lot lately.

Calculus, actually, the reason I love 3-player games so much (not just MFØ, but lots of games) is that you wind up with unstable, chaotic configurations. I don't think there are any Nash equilibria that will describe a whole game, though it should be calculable for a given turn, whatever that's worth.
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Initiative Preview

Postby Forged » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:32 am

I tend to be wary of 3 player matches because it tends to devolve into who is the more charismatic person rather than the better general.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Roger » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:33 am

Is a station worth the asset points of whomever happens to be holding it? So I might lose the station and 4 points but you gain it and get 7 points?
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby The Trilobite » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:51 am

I love systems that present asymmetries that can balance themselves in all kinds of different ways, in part through the passage of the game and in part through actions, luck, and decisions on the parts of the player. This looks like it's one of those, and will help keep games dynamic (and all parties interested) all the way through.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:58 am

Forged wrote:I tend to be wary of 3 player matches because it tends to devolve into who is the more charismatic person rather than the better general.


The initiative score tells you not to do that. If you, Soren, and I are in a game and Soren's charming as hutch and has the highest score, no amount of him telling you to shoot me instead is going to convince you more than the score will.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Ced23Ric » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:05 am

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Who has the most frames? You. -1 initiative.
Who has the least? Forged and I do. +1 initiative.
Who has the most systems? You. -1 initiative.
Who has the fewest systems? Me. +1 initiative.
Is this double-dipping intentional?

You and Forged don't have the least, you have the same. Why do you get a bonus, when there is nothing between you and me? Shouldn't you get no bonus, whereas someone showing up with 3 'Frames should deffo get the bonus? Because, otherwise, whoever is ahead in 'Frames/Systems is at a 4 point disadvantage. Which is huge at 5 points base. I go at 3, you go at 7 - so you can field just one 'Frame less, at full systems, and receive 6*7 = 42 initiative, where I have 7*3, so 21. I am at half of what you get, and you always go first, so from the opening act on, you can take me apart, decimate my initiative further and practically lock me out of the game. For what? One 'Frame. That's gruesome. Maybe I am not seeing something here, but this seems awfully harsh.

Also, someone with -1 'Frame can fiel full systems, and potentially still receive the System bonus, right? Because, each 'Frame potentially takes 4 systems of your roster, eh?
Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:The initiative score tells you not to do that. If you, Soren, and I are in a game and Soren's charming as hutch and has the highest score, no amount of him telling you to shoot me instead is going to convince you more than the score will.
Heh. Unless I aim to be second. Or the charisma of the winner is so strong, he convinces me that he is oing to help me to get rid of that other guy so we can duke it out like gentledudes. :D Stupidity and short-sightedness is abundant, and the simple concept of "Let's hit the strongestguy together and drag him down." breaks at the point where people are quick to form and keep alligiances. In casual gaming, Cut-throat gameplay is branded as harsh and uncalled for. Such behaviour is usually only wide-spread in tourney environments.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:29 pm

Ced23Ric wrote:
Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Who has the most frames? You. -1 initiative.
Who has the least? Forged and I do. +1 initiative.
Who has the most systems? You. -1 initiative.
Who has the fewest systems? Me. +1 initiative.
Is this double-dipping intentional?


It is. I've correctly guessed the situation. You might have also second-guessed me and knocked off one more system.

You and Forged don't have the least, you have the same.


Nope. We both have the least. Count ties.

Why do you get a bonus, when there is nothing between you and me?


Because, on the count of frames, we both have fewer than you.

Shouldn't you get no bonus, whereas someone showing up with 3 'Frames should deffo get the bonus?


If someone showed up with 3, they'd get the bonus and I wouldn't.

Because, otherwise, whoever is ahead in 'Frames/Systems is at a 4 point disadvantage. Which is huge at 5 points base. I go at 3, you go at 7 - so you can field just one 'Frame less, at full systems, and receive 6*7 = 42 initiative, where I have 7*3, so 21. I am at half of what you get, and you always go first, so from the opening act on, you can take me apart, decimate my initiative further and practically lock me out of the game. For what? One 'Frame. That's gruesome. Maybe I am not seeing something here, but this seems awfully harsh.


And yet, it works great. Don't forget, every time I lose something, I lose over twice as many initiative points as you. You're starting out in the losing position but with the materiel to take the lead by the end of the game.

Also, someone with -1 'Frame can fiel full systems, and potentially still receive the System bonus, right? Because, each 'Frame potentially takes 4 systems of your roster, eh?


Mos def. They've also got a disadvantage of two frames on the field, in this example. My recommendation to the leader/defender in round 1 here is run away. Come back to fight in a later turn. Let your opponents fight it out between each other.

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:The initiative score tells you not to do that. If you, Soren, and I are in a game and Soren's charming as hutch and has the highest score, no amount of him telling you to shoot me instead is going to convince you more than the score will.
Heh. Unless I aim to be second.


That's actually the reason we ditched the old rules: coming in second (or last) made sense too often. But still, we were going according to strategic score, not personal preference.

Or the charisma of the winner is so strong, he convinces me that he is oing to help me to get rid of that other guy so we can duke it out like gentledudes. :D Stupidity and short-sightedness is abundant, and the simple concept of "Let's hit the strongestguy together and drag him down." breaks at the point where people are quick to form and keep alligiances. In casual gaming, Cut-throat gameplay is branded as harsh and uncalled for. Such behaviour is usually only wide-spread in tourney environments.


If you're losing, no amount of shooting your co-loser is going to help you win. The winner will get to sit back and count their points while sitting on your back, smoking a big cigar.

What I'm saying is, it's transparently stupid. There are times to defect, but any turn that doesn't get you closer to winning is a wasted turn, and you don't have that many to burn. A frame can do at most six turns' worth of things in a game. There's not a lot of reason to turn it into five just because the winner tells you that they're enjoying their winning position very much.

Now, there gets to be a point where you're thinking ahead a round, and you're trailing points, but in a better and better position to take over, and I'm looking at Forged and I'm looking at you, and I'm thinking, "Huh. If Ced23Ric just doesn't have his yellow dice over on that side of the table, I might be able to take the win..." so I shoot at you, the putative loser. This is in the "Everything falls apart" phase of the game, not long before the end. Usually in the last two rounds. This is when the situation on the table has become more important than the abstraction of initiative.

But you know what?

the simple concept of "Let's hit the strongestguy together and drag him down." breaks at the point where people are quick to form and keep alligiances. In casual gaming, Cut-throat gameplay is branded as harsh and uncalled for. Such behaviour is usually only wide-spread in tourney environments.


... that's evidence of broken game rules. In Mobile Frame Zero, the "strong guy" is the one in the worst points position. They've gotta basically win for the whole game to be winning at the end. Beating up on that guy just cuz they're scary plays straight into the winner's hand.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Ced23Ric » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:38 pm

Thank you for your elaborate response, Josh. Good insight right there. And I hope, in return, our question help you, too. :)
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:56 pm

They definitely do! I've actually restructured a lot of the text thanks to these questions.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby c0d3monk33 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:45 pm

Sorry if I missed this while scanning the text, but is initiative Team or Frame based? If I have the initiative, do all my Frames move before the next player, or just my first Frame? Joshua made a comment about the 'lay of the land' that sort of implied that Team based may be the case.

I'm hoping initiative is Frame based because I much prefer this kind of skirmish style play as it feels tactically richer for each Player (in my humble opinion).
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Ced23Ric » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:35 am

Nah. It's a mixture of both.

It's first-off team-based. You, as player, have your dedicated Initiative number. When it's your turn, you can do two things: Act with a 'Frame or pass. When you do the former, you pick the 'Frame that goes. Afterwards, next player goes, according to the new initiative (excluding you), then the next one goes excluding (him and you), until everyone went. Then, with the new initiatives set, the cycle starts anew.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby Ramcat » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:12 pm

Ced23Ric wrote:Then, with the new initiatives set, the cycle starts anew.


Unless, of course, interupted by combat inititive. As I understand it, if player A, B, and C have initiative in that order, and A shoots B, B moves the frame that was shot. If B shoots an unmoved frame of A, A moves again (the unmoved, shot frame). "A" could shoot an unmoved frame of B, who would move that frame. This could go on until all of A and B's frames are moved allowing C to move frames in any order completeing the turn. This might be rare but possible.
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Re: Initiative Preview

Postby MittenNinja » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:13 pm

So in a round Say I have initiative and there are two other teams after me. I go, then team A goes and drops one of my frames bringing my initiative below Team A but above Team B. Going in initiative order I would be next again? Or does the turn order remain stagnant until the round is over?
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