Ideas for combat scenarios in a tactical combat game?

Hi, everyone! Tohm development is slowly (but surely!) progressing. :slight_smile: Here’s the latest video:

The next major pre-alpha work will be adding lots more interesting creatures and groups of creatures to challenge players in battle. I think it would be great to include ideas from players in the alpha. Does anyone have any ideas around monster concepts, especially monster abilities and tactics? Here are some Tohm combat basics to inspire your creativity:

  1. Combat is turn-based, where everyone decides his/her next move simultaneously, then all moves are played out in order of initiative.

  2. Combat maneuvers (attacks, defenses, moving up the field, moving down the field) must take at least one full turn. For example, punching a monster takes a turn. Some “big” moves may take more than one turn, but combos are preferable (see #3).

  3. Combos are a big part of Tohm. Both monsters and players may string-together average maneuvers to create powerful results, like advance + kick = jump kick, or punch x 3 = uppercut. Taking significant damage or being stunned/knocked down interrupts a combo in progress. Even magic can be modeled using combos, for example: channel earth + channel fire + punch = fireball.

  4. Creatures can be scheduled to arrive late - for example, you might start with two zombies at round 1, then add two more at round 5, assuming the battle hasn’t already ended by then.

  5. It’s OK for a battle to be too difficult to reasonably win, but at least escape should be doable. Escaping a bad situation (like being surrounded by powerful foes) is a challenge in itself, and will be part of the Tohm experience. Players flee the battle by advancing or retreating to either end of the battlefield, and are unable to move away from an opponent which damaged them with a melee attack in the previous round (“melee engagement” concept).

It’s fine to borrow concepts from other games you’ve played and enjoyed - creepers from Minecraft, burrowers from Terraria, zombies from Left 4 Dead, hunter/pet combos from World of Warcraft, Zoras from Zelda? Absolutely all suggestions are appreciated! :slight_smile:

You can read more about Tohm combat here:

Is it possible to block or defend in any way? That seems difficult if you need to choose your actions before you know what your opponent is going to do.

Kerkerkruip combat works in a similar way doesn’t it? You can choose to defend or attack before each round.

In fact the OP should go play Kerkerkruip. It’s single-player but I think it has round-based simultaneous resolution, and a great combat system.

Some details for you. :slight_smile:

All combatants will have a chance to automatically block, dodge, or parry an attack.

Attacking in a round will reduce (but not eliminate) your chances of successfully defending yourself in that round, since you’re busy doing something else while defending yourself.

If you choose to specifically dodge, block, or parry instead of taking other combat action during a round, you massively increase your chances of success at that maneuver while reducing the likelihood that you will succeed in the others (choosing to dodge because you foresee an unblockable attack coming means you will be less able to parry).

Due to the combo system, it’s possible to predict what will happen in the next round with a degree of certainty, at least enough to inform risk management. The major maneuvers you would need to explicitly defend against will be combo-based, not basic maneuvers which can be executed in a single round.

Thanks George, I will! Any specific ideas for combat scenarios? Maybe your most memorable combat experience from Kerkerkruip would be inspiring?

Combos sounds interesting! I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re going to do with them.

In general, my advice for creating creatures would be to grab a part of your combat system (or some other system), and think of a way to have a creature slightly twist it. For instance, in Kerkerkruip, you can concentrate several times to get better attack and damage; but if you get hit while concentrated, you lose your concentration. So I made a monster – the swarm of daggers – that has bad defence, good offence, and that tends to attack often. Against this enemy, concentration becomes much more risky. I made another monster – the ravenous armadillo – that absorbs a lot of damage from each attack. This makes concentration (and thus higher damage) much more necessary.

Those are not the most subtle creations, but I think it’s generally good to start with broad ideas like that. In your case, you must do something with combo’s, of course! Perhaps an enemy that benefits when you’re channelling fire (making it much more risky to try and produce a fireball); or an enemy that removes your previous channelling when it hits you with an anti-magic attack. Stuff like that.

My most important advice is to make your monsters memorable and unique. I don’t know whether you’re going the Kerkerkruip way (having a low number of monsters of which you’ll meet only one each game) or a more traditional way (having multiple instances of monster types per game), but in either case: make sure each type of monster is really difference. Brogue is very good at that, for instance. The first few monsters are a bit boring (rat, kobold, goblin – all basically the same), but after that each monster is utterly unique, even though they often have only 1 or 2 special abilities. You’ll hate vampire bats, eels, dar blademasters, jellies, phantoms, centaurs, pixies; you’ll hate them all with a passion; and all for completely different reasons. Definitely a game to check out in that regard. (Also in every other regard, Brogue is awesome.)