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X3M

Playability of a board wargame

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1 simple question: Is it playable?

 

Well, most of you know that I am working on a board game. But I have my own way of playing. For me it is playable. I mean; I know where to look, how to place units, and the units themselves feel good enough for me, etc. But is it playable for others?

 

To answer this question. I would like to have the opinions of others. And it has become a serious matter. After all, the first demo should be as good as possible.

So, I got this Risk/Axis&Allies kind of board game. Where you actually play like if it is C&C or any other RTS. It is partially turn based, but by random. And the players play as much as possible at the same time.

 

The playability at first hand, matters on how the units look and feel on the board. Can you pick them up? Do they have enough room? (All Risk units in Australia). Can you add things to them like experience? Etc.

 

On before hand, I would like to say:

- Players are able to take over enemy units and use them as one of their own. A capture has to get an indication as well.

- The fields are big sized hexagons (sides 5 or 6). Even if the field has "no room". You still can place every unit anywhere on that field.

- There might be elevation in the future. But the angle of 1 field will never be higher then 15 degrees.

- More then 1 player can be in a field.

 

So I decided to split 2 kind of options, combined would mean 9 options:

 

For the units, there are several possible ways to indicate to who they belong too. But which way do you prefer?

Option 1 - Each unit has the owners colour before hand. Like in Risk or Axis&Allies. Units will always be forced to belong to 1 player. Separate cards needed for a capture.

Option 2 - Each unit type has a unit statistics card, that a player owns. Units will always be forced to belong to 1 player. Unit types can be switched from game to game to make it more dynamic. Separate cards needed for a capture.

Option 3 - Each unit or group of units has a colour card on top or under the pile of units that he/she owns. Unit statistics are placed in an extra manual. Units can belong to any player, so mirror fights are now possible. No separate cards needed for a capture.

 

I also would like to know, do you think this option works with?

A - A pile of cards? Where even the cheapest unit can be bought separately. The unit cost range is between €30 and €3600. But there will be groups of 10 units in 1 as extra support. Micro management is on a one unit basis. Experience effects can be great. Maximum players on 1 field, about 12?

B - Miniatures? Looks better. But. The cheapest will always be part of a squad. This means, the squad will act as 1 unit as a whole. The squad cost range is between €600 and €3600. Micro management is on a squad basis. Experience effects are mediocre. Squads however do increase durability of the smaller units. Maximum players on 1 field is 6.

C - Miniatures again. But this time, 1 unit/squad for each hexagon. Smaller hexagons though. About a sides are 2 scale. It starts to look like Runescape. Micro management is on a 1 unit/squad basis. But each field with an unit has now a blocking option. This way, taking cover is still an option. Maximum players on 1 field is 1.

 

I thank you for your time and opinion.

 

PS. There will be a silent era from me. But if you have questions, they will be answered.

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Well, no one really took their time to give me their opinion. A tl-dr perhaps?

 

At this moment, I have Option 3-A.

Works best, looks worst. But feels like if it is a gathering to me.

 

Another question has arisen today.

Money tracking? How to do it?

 


 

The options:

 

- Paper money?

Needs printing and time to cut them out.

Not original.

Plenty of handling during the game.

 

- Existing money?

Plenty of handling during the game.

Still not original.

 

- A counter like an abacus (made out of cardboard)?

Needs a lot of time to create.

Least handling during the game.

I have some,.. but do you?

 

- A counter like a disk (made out of cardboard)?

Needs a lot of time to create.

Some handling during game.

I hate creating round objects.

 

- Some coloured dices that count to 10 each?

Need to buy them. They don't exist, then it's twenties.

Some handling during the game.

Accidents happen.

Clear rules are needed.

 

- Some boxes that indicate an amount of money, then with chips in them?

Need boxes.

Cutting out chips is needed.

Some handling during the game.

 

- Some boxes that indicate an amount of money, then with dice in them?

Need boxes.

Accidents happen. Less with 6 sided dice.

Need to buy 20 sided dice.

But the 6 are plenty at this moment. And the factors between the boxes don't need to exceed the 6.

6 is once again a good number to work with.

Some handling during the game.

 


 

Well, for each their own way. I think, I choose the last one. While personally I do have those cardboard abacuses. These boxes do appeal to me. 10 sided dice don't really exist as valid dice, and 20 sided dice need lots more handling and searching. The 6 sided dice are great for the factors times 6.

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Well X3M, your determination in creating this game is inspiring to me. Keep it up. I know how it feels to try and get a game "out there" but get little in terms of feed-back.

This is a game I created in April: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/918904/line-of-actual-control/page/1

The biggest challenge in creating a game is NOT in having great ideas or doing up good looking graphics, no, the really hard part is in writing a short concise rule book for your game.

There are a small group of dedicated gamers in the world that would read and re-read the rules of a mamoth game, and not mind that playing the game takes 6 hours. Unfortunately the greater number of people want a quick fix game that can be played in an hour or less.

One last thing: don't worry about people stealling your game. As any proper boardgame designer will tell you: if an idea is good it WILL get stolen. And there really is nothing you can do about it, exept to focus on your game and to get it done and published online on a site like BGG. As far as making money is conserned, I'm afraid you'll do better writing novels, sorry. But if you can craft a good game you will actually also discover that you can write great stories, just use your game/games as a sandbox to help you create a few rough sketches of stories. And then take it further.

If you want to see games lead to novels look no further than http://www.blacklibrary.com/

Whichever way you decide to take it, I hope you have fun. That's really the key.

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Thanks for your feed back. Allow me to react to things you have said.

 


Well X3M, your determination in creating this game is inspiring to me. Keep it up. I know how it feels to try and get a game "out there" but get little in terms of feed-back.

Yes, little feed back indeed. Actually, now that I think about it. There really was only one person who completely understood the workings of my board game. But it took months to reach that. And I looked a lot of things up on the internet too for simplifying. Most testing was solely by myself.

 


This is a game I created in April: http://www.boardgame...-control/page/1

The biggest challenge in creating a game is NOT in having great ideas or doing up good looking graphics, no, the really hard part is in writing a short concise rule book for your game.

Well, about 20 pages for the main manual. There is stuff in there that might be scrapped for the first game. Some rules come with addition.

Graphics, I don't care about them ^^. But it would be a nice addition in the future.

 

Your game looks interesting. You have 1 unit for each region. How are the rules in this game? And how do your squads work? 1 squad acts like 1 unit?

 


There are a small group of dedicated gamers in the world that would read and re-read the rules of a mamoth game, and not mind that playing the game takes 6 hours. Unfortunately the greater number of people want a quick fix game that can be played in an hour or less.

In my mind, it goes quick. But there is a lot of handling with my game:

That's why it takes so long. You know what to do, but then you need to lay the cards down, explain to other players and rolling dice one by one, then lay down some more cards. And 1 action is played, 5 more to go. 6 actions for each player in 1 round. About 5 minutes for 1 action, so 1 hour for 2 players. And 2 armies that are going to bleed to death take about 12 rounds the least. Well, I am sure you understand how long it would take if it where 4 armies that can rebuild?

Funny thing to know about mission 1's duration:

Mission 1 takes about 24 rounds at medium luck and maximum tactics and strategy. But you only have 1 squad, and player 2 is only watching to make sure you play fair. So, 1 action a round, that means you need 2 hours for that mission.

So, what do you play with you wonder? Only 18 Rifle Infantry. That's half a squad. :D

 


One last thing: don't worry about people stealling your game. As any proper boardgame designer will tell you: if an idea is good it WILL get stolen. And there really is nothing you can do about it, exept to focus on your game and to get it done and published online on a site like BGG.

I don't worry any more about my game getting stolen. In fact, I have given away some manuals to several people. So they could take a look at it. No feed back until now.

 


As far as making money is conserned, I'm afraid you'll do better writing novels, sorry. But if you can craft a good game you will actually also discover that you can write great stories, just use your game/games as a sandbox to help you create a few rough sketches of stories. And then take it further.

Novels? No more than a back ground story :D. Even though, I once thought of writing a story that follows one of my games, giving the units names etc.

Money? Well, I am not really trying to get money with this. Chances are indeed near 0.

 


Whichever way you decide to take it, I hope you have fun. That's really the key.

I had fun. I still do when I try new things.

But I have stopped working on the board and pieces themselves.

I am really interested in getting games balanced, and use my board game as one of the testing grounds for such calculations. I used to have 2 ways to test things, now I have 3 things with the board game rules.

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