Three Hundred :: Mechanic #148 Sites:     Webcomics   |   Three Hundred Mechanics   |   Three Hundred Prototypes
 Three Hundred
   - Index Page
   - About...
   - By Year

   - Comp-Grid
   - Procedural
   - Tactics
   - Tiny Crawl
   - Misc

PreviousMechanic #148Next

  Mechanic #148 - Nodal City Wars
Posted: 02/02/12

Now that you can build the world, use the nodes and edges to engage in bloody warfare.

  Nodal City Wars



Fig 148.1 - Red versus Blue - will they ever learn to get along?


From the previous entry, [#147 - Nodal City Builder], you can now build large, sprawling nodal cities. You can spawn new nodes using pie wedges, as well as place nodes upon an edge to build out from. Now, find out how to connect the city to another and engage in bloody warfare.




Fig 148.2 - Remember the pie wedge?


You already know how the city is built using pie wedges to anchor the edges between nodes. Each new node is connected to a wedge that can be inserted into an empty slot on the source node. Then drag the newly created node away to define it's distance. The difference here is that the distance has a maximum depending on what kind of node you are making. A farm will stay close to it's parent node, while an outpost may go much further into enemy territory.



Fig 148.3 - Farmers farming.


The resource gathering uses a similar system to games like Settlers or Cultures. Each resource is produced at a root node, and that resource is then carried to the nearest warehouse to be stored. When those resources are used, carriers will collect the needed resources from the available warehouses and take it to the new node being built. Settlers has a very complex infrastructure, requiring farmers to produce wheat, which is taken to a mill to be turned into flour, then to a bakery to be made into bread. This is not that complicated. Farmers produce food, miners ore, and lumberjacks wood. There's no intermediary product.



Fig 148.4 - Buildings and their residents.


Each building has one or more residents that are created when the building is built. Should one of the residents die, food will be carried to the building and a new resident will be built. Soldiers require 2 food while Farmers require only 1 food. Obviously, the farther away from a warehouse the building is, the longer it will take to create a new unit. Should the building be incapacitated in any way, such as being under siege, the building of a new unit will be put on hold until it is free again.

  Declaring War



Fig 148.5 - Anchors Aweigh.


The main way you attack your opponent is by using a pie wedge to fire an anchor at an opponent's building. Once connected, you can send you combat units to attack it. I think a similar method to Galcon (and it's many clones) should be sufficient. Just drag from one node to the next and half your garrisoned units will march off towards the destination. Do it again, and half the remaining units move. And so on, until you have one unit left and he will leave the building unoccupied.



Fig 148.6 - Combat occupies the units so they no longer block.


Combat is a little strange, so let me give the basic principle first, before getting into the weird part. When two opposing units meet, they will engage in combat. While engaged, they are effectively occupied and all further units will walk past the combat. So if you send two units and your opponent only one, the second unit will keep going.



Fig 148.7 - Units are not created equal.


The units themselves come in different sizes relative to their strength. Two small equals one medium, two medium equals one large, and by the communicative property of little blue soldiers, one large equals four small units. Think of it like the units in Risk: A large unit just represents multiple smaller units.

Every second (or however long a combat tick is), a unit from both sides is removed from play. This means that two small units would cancel each other out. A medium unit versus a small unit would yield a single small unit that would continue on to its destination. So, larger units defeat smaller ones, but end up smaller themselves for the effort. After a unit dies, his home fort will attempt to create another one after food has been delivered.



Fig 148.8 - Combat blocking only works when both sides are equal, or your side winning.


As mentioned above, combat occupies units such that additional units will walk passed, unmolested. However, that only happens when both sides are evenly matched, or the same color is winning. In figure 148.8, the two small units are evenly matched against the medium sized red unit, thus occupying the enemy's unit and allowing further units to sneak by.



Fig 148.9 - Units attach to combats in which their side is losing.


In this example, red is winning with an equivalent of 6 combat units versus 5 combat units for blue. Should another small blue unit arrive, it will attach itself to this combat (thus equalling the enemy). The next unit, blue or red, will walk past this combat untouched. However, if the newly joined blue unit was a medium, the combat would be weighted in favor of blue (7 blue to 6 red). The next blue unit would walk by, but the next red would join the combat.

  Taking Strongholds



Fig 148.10 - Conquering strongholds invalidates edges.


Taking over an enemy stronghold does not remove it from the board (which would cause orphaned nodes), nor does it become property of the opponent. Instead, a captured stronghold simply becomes grayed out. It can still be occupied by enemy units, but they do not gain the ability to build off it or spawn units from it. The end result is basically a dead stronghold that will no only become active again after the owning player recaptures it.

There is one important side effect, and that is the edges connecting to that stronghold become dead as well, and resource gatherers will no longer travel on those paths. In the above example, the warehouse and surrounding farms can no longer deliver food to the main tree of buildings. It has been orphaned. And while the resources can no be delivered (nor stolen - you can not capture an opponent's warehouse or resource nodes), they will still be gathered and put in the warehouse. Smart players will quickly take back the dead stronghold, or build new pathways to the orphaned resource nodes.



Copyright 2007-2014 Sean Howard. All rights reserved.