I’ve been working on Ardennes, a roguelike set during World War II’s “Battle of the Bulge”. In it, you take the role of a squad leader and try to shepherd your team of soldiers through the mission with a minimum of casualties and wounds. The game plays out on a procedurally-generated hex map representing the snow-laden forest of Ardennes (hence the name).
The core game mechanic involves managing the “focus” of your soldiers. Each soldier typically has three “focus cards” in play which indicate where the soldier is readily able to apply his efforts. For example, you can focus on sneaking around, doing reconnaissance, unloading your weapon on the enemy, being a leader, resting, etc. Most focus cards give the soldiers access to actions they can trigger on their turn, such as going to scout an adjacent hex.
This mechanic basically gives the effect of abstractly giving orders to your soldiers without having to micro-manage them. Want that Panzer tank taken out? Tell Pvt. Wiezberski to pull out his bazooka and shoot it at the tank. Want someone to scout ahead? Tell Pvt. Chavez to pull out his binoculars and recon an adjacent hex.
Enemies and other problems the soldiers have to overcome are handled by abstract “challenges” which appear on the map using a threat counting system. Challenges might represent enemies like Panzer tanks or Wehrmacht squads, but they also might represent environmental threats such as minefields or cold snaps. Soldiers address them by building up their focus related to the challenge and then taking action to reduce the strength of the threat until it is resolved.
…all of this is the plan, anyway.
After a slow start, things are starting to pick up.
The game currently has working the movement system, the challenge system, and a way to browse the environment to see what the current situation is at any time. You can currently move to a different hex, and use stealth to dispatch a Wehrmacht fire team. Proof of concept milestone!
However, only rudimentary actions and focus cards are implemented. The map is not currently procedurally generated. And the framework for the “bad guys” to spawn and attack is not implemented yet, so soldiers currently have an easy time of it. But most of the hard stuff is working, so hopefully, the rest will come much faster.