Battle Concept A
One of my primary goals with Fiefdoms of Lordessia is to create a battle system that rewards careful managment and strategy, while allowing for enough luck for fantastic triumphs in the face of utter defeat. Fief and Lord always had a lame combat system that reminded me more of a TCG than anything else.
My current thinking on Fiefdoms is something that works a little as follows: You have a champion who sits on top of a stack of units. The champions have different abilities that reward you for using them for different kinds of fights. Here, I've provided a sample test champion called Troll Warlock (a). He has a name, two shields, one dice (b), and two empty dice. This means that he rolls one die to attack, and does that much damage to his opponent's shields (d). Shields don't remember damage across different turns, so you must do enough to destroy a unit all in one hit. If two champions were to face off, it would be a fairly quick fight.
Under the champion and to the left (d), are additional units in the Shielding Position. They might be soldiers, pikemen, or any number of fantasy themed brawlers. When placed to your champion's left, all you can see are their shields. They exist in this formation to absorb damage and prevent your hero from taking direct hits. Between swings, you may move other units into this position as you see fit.
To the champion's right, we find other units with attack dice (c). You may only have a number of dice equal to the blank dice located on your champion. When you swing, you would roll each of these dice and add them up. As you take damage, though, you can move these units onto the left to absorb more damage. This makes you less potent, but keeps you in the fight longer.
On top, you see Boosts (e). These are support units, like archers and catapults. They add to your dice rolls. Their boost is usually pretty small (I never see myself making anything with boost higher than +3), but it is reliable damage that doesn't depend on a dice roll. These units would ALSO have shields, so you could move them from the boosting position to the shielding position between swings.
You and your opponent would both "swing" at each other at the same time. You would both roll dice, add them up, add boosts, and give a number. Your opponent would then remove units with shields equaling exactly the damage you have dealt. Or, at least, they have to try. If it is impossible to remove exactly thirteen shields worth of units, extra damage is lost. But, if they are trying to be sneaky, you can feel free to point out a better way of arranging the damage that would allow them to take the full attack.
Slain units are removed, and you are then allowed to rearrange your battle stack so that you can maximize the damage you can do, while not losing your champion. Once the champion is lost, all other units in the stack are also destroyed.
I haven't tried this out, though. I'm not sure if units will have 2-5 shields (as my example would seem to indicate), or if 3-10 would be more realistic. Check in later for updates.