Just stumbling over the topic and didn't take time to read everything. I was just thinking, you might want to add a mechanic which makes it so, that the longer you stay in the same stance, the more powerful it becomes. This would give the winner an advantage, but on the other hand make his moves more and more predictable, and thus easier to counter. Let me take an example, sticking to the Rock-Paper-Scissors standard:
A plays Rock, B plays Scissors => A wins and gains 1 point. If A wins again using Rock, he will gain 2 points instead. So the obvious move for B is to play Paper. But, knowing that B will probably play Paper, A might want to give up his advantage at Rock and play Scissors instead.
Then again, it does not sound very exciting with a mere Rock-Paper-Scissors system because there are two few options. Now let us consider a 5-options Rock-Paper-Scissors (infamously known as Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock), of which rules I state below:
- Rock beats Scissors and Lizard
- Paper beats Rock and Spock
- Scissors beat Paper and Lizard
- Lizard beats Paper and Spock
- Spock beats Scissors and Rock
Just as the standard Rock-Paper-Scissors, it is a perfectly balanced game, in which each move beats 2 other ones and is beaten by 2 other ones. Let us try the ascending mechanic with it:
A plays Rock, B plays Scissors => A wins and gains 1 point. Since A has an advantage at using Rock again, B will consider using either Paper or Spock. Now for A, the obvious choice is to play Lizard instead of Rock, since it beats both Paper and Spock. Knowing that, B might want to take a chance at a move which beats Lizard, instead of Rock. Then again, if A DOES play Rock, they're in for some serious trouble. It all goes down to a game of guessing where each player knows what the other knows and have to take a decision based on how deep they think their opponent will read.
The idea is still rough as such, but more generally, seeing a fight as a whole process rather than as a sequence of unconnected actions might help the system grow more interesting.