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Fighting game in board game form

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/21/2010

Hey everybody, this is my first post.

I was playing Smash Bros and was inspired to make a fighting game as a board game. I showed the idea to my friend, so we went and bought a whiteboard and some markers and made a prototype, each of us making new characters every match. We have a grid based field which your fighters move around on, and the game is turn based.
To vanquish your opponent, simply hit them until they have no health left.

Here are some of our design considerations:

What we didn't want, was for the two combatants to engage once and trade attacks until only one man remained. We wanted the battles to be tactically dynamic, and for the fighters to always be striving to hold the best possible position on the board.

A character who cannot deal damage quickly probably makes up for this by having great control of the space on the field. He threatens many spaces with movement based abilities, uses environmental abilities that linger on the field many turns later, or perhaps uses abilities that have a great area of effect.

Because a small grid with two fighters on it is strategically limited in scope, and unlike some wargames, has little inherent complexity, we felt it necessary to introduce a few subtleties into the rules to compensate.

The prototype ended up being pretty fun. If anyone here thinks this game idea sounds interesting, I will post the rules of the game.



Joined: 02/16/2010
Your project

Your project is one that is close to my heart, Ive actually done a great deal of work on a very similar concept. One of the key factors in my design was integrateing rules in such a way as to follow the appeal of the combat.

Here are a few of the methods i used to enhance the ever difficult concept of one-to-one miniature combat.

First off we needed to enhance the visual appeal of the battles, since these battles, even in a buetiful enviroment, are lackluster to say the least. What we wanted was to press the imagination of the user.
In order to create this effect we used combat cards.
**Combat cards with gory artwork create a sense of battle in the players mind. Although our combat cards are tuned to my personal method of play i feel thier still a good suggestion as they make the battle more tangible.

Another aspect you mentioned was movement. If you watch some pro level sword fighters such as Olympic fenceing you will become keenly aware of stance, the distance of the fighters from one another both before and after strikeing. This is the method we employed, this encourages movement as well aids card mechanics.
**The Open Hand (one space away, may play open hand cards)
**The Blade (directly adjacent to apponent, +1 att, May play....)
**The Shield (2 spaces away, +1 def, may play....)

In addition to this items on the board such as terrain, structures, and obsticals help to not only make the game more tactically challengeing but also serve to liven up the playspace.

other actions you may consider such as Pushing, Pulling an apponent, or objects that effect players based on thier range to them.
** IE, bob gets pushed by frank into a spike pit...ouch

Anyway feel free to make use of any of these concepts. I found this kind of project both challengeing and rewarding. Best of Luck.


Joined: 02/21/2010
More specific rules.

So you're saying that many of your attacks have specific ranges? That's definitely something we've got and it definitely encourages manoeuvering about the field.

As for level design, we're still just at a bare field, but I'm looking to implement structures and environmental hazards soon.

So far, we are going with a roster of characters, each with five abilities at their disposal. Each ability has its own cooldown time, and on your turn, you may use any number of abilities you wish, so long as they are fully charged. Some abilities may be used defensively, which is in essence at any time during your opponent's turn. For example, one of our fighters has the 'Dash' ability. You can normally only move one space on your turn (and before using abilities) but Dash also allows you to move one space. Dash may be used defensively, too. So you might use Dash to evade an attack, but you won't be able to use it to close in on your opponent. Likewise, you might use it to close the distance between you and your opponent to attack, but leave yourself vulnerable to things you might have evaded.

This particular circumstance led to a way in which we wanted to categorise attacks, into 'Target Position' and 'Target Player'. They do exactly as their names might suggest, so 'Fire Arrow', which is a 'Target Position' attack, can be easily evaded by a Dash manoeuvre, since the move targets the position that the target player will no longer occupy. A regular arrow attack might be less powerful, but if it is a 'Target Player' attack, then the only way the defender might avoid the attack is by actually moving outside the possible range of the attack, otherwise the attacker merely redirects his attack to where the target is now standing.

P.S. How do your 'combat cards' work?

Joined: 02/16/2010
fun fun

Sounds well thought out. Well, you should refer to werewolf the card game, i believe its called RAGE. Thats as close as your gonna get to my cards since the method of play and use is similar to thier system. By checking out these cards you should be able to get an excellent idea of mechanic without me ahveing to send you all my rules etc :)

In rage the concept is simple...actual attacks are resolved as an action. These actions are played in the same sequence for both players. Both cards are also resolved at the same time.
This results in some fun functions such as playing cards you cant pay for "bluff" or guessing a good time to play that dodge youve been hanging onto.

Anywho, i think your totally on the right track. Enjoy and good luck!! :)

Joined: 07/08/2009
Made me think of . . .

. . . Star Wars Epic Duels, as well.


hoywolf's picture
Joined: 01/27/2009

Rage has a good combat system, but you can also look at UFS, its combat game based on video game fighting characters.

there was an older card game i used to play, Mortal Kmobat, which did have a decent combat system, it did even have system for combos as well. (same with UFS)

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