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gxnpt
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Joined: 12/22/2015

I think it is almost ready for play testing now.

saluk
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Joined: 05/11/2010
25 planets, holy crap. I'm

25 planets, holy crap. I'm not sure I have the brain cells for that combat wheel. Clearly this is an advanced game and you've put some thought into it.

Could you give us a summation, tl;dr of what the game's about and what makes it interesting to you?

gxnpt
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Joined: 12/22/2015
summation

Area Control Wargame (but owning and holding onto 2/3 of them is good enough to win without going all the way to the bitter end) with planets controlled giving points used to repair, maintain, and build ships.

Combat is simplified miniature battles.

Odds are rolled as % to hit with percentage dice (divide the fraction, use first 2 decimal places)
Die roll reduction methods are from miniature battles.

Movement is adapted from naval miniatures (written orders then several segments of activity). No "zones of control" except the space a fleet occupies but intercepts can happen.

The wheel is a sop to those who object to anything electronic intruding on the cardboard (thus the sliderule old tech part). I use a calculator myself and last used a sliderule way back in high school.
I guess that makes me an old techie........

The wheel does make it easier to visualize the offset wraparound. Whoopie.

---------------------

Combat rules collapse into a simpler form in most cases.

For example, a 2 player combat between 3 scouts on one side and 2 cruisers on the other.

Weapons and shots begin as 3 for the scouts and 4 for the cruisers.
odds to hit are 3/7 for scouts attacking and 4/7 for cruisers attacking - since all shots are fired at the one opponent nobody bothers to write that down.

You do need to convert the fractions to percents to roll percentage dice to hit. 3/7 is not quite 43 so roll 42 and 4/7 is just over 57 so roll 57.
I did that math in my head since 1/7 (.142857) is just over 14+1/4 as a percent

Die roll reduction if wanted (instead of roll 3 times and roll 4 times)
3*42 = 126 = 1 hit + 26% chance of second hit
4*57 = 228 = 2 hits + 28% chance for third hit

If Weapon or Multifire get hit (or a System hit makes a ship go Dark) the odds and/or shots change for the next round. Going Dark replaces "retreat" as a thing that can happen as a combat result.

Since those cruisers have armor to absorb the first 2 hits on each of them, I suspect they will easily win this battle.

It uses the keep shooting them if you can still see them sort of combat resolution.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Great start

It's obvious that a lot of thought went into the sequence of play, but I'm having a hard time picturing how all of this comes together. For example, the rules suggest stacking all of the chit containers on top of one another using an empty to separate types... I don't get the advantage over just having a stack for each type.

I like the terraforming mechanic, but it presupposed some kind of colony spontaneously occupying any planet you own. The game is complex enough already, but it seems like there should be some kind of transport ship and population cubes. The tricky part is what to do with the incumbent population when a planet changes owners.

An alternative to the planet color system would be a planet attribute system that lets three terraforming attributes range from 0 to 2. For now I'll just call them red, green and blue attributes, but they would need some thematic names. Subject to balancing, but seems like a Terraforming ship ought to be able to shift one attribute by one point in a turn.

Red might be temperature, Blue water, and Green oxidizing-vs-reducing atmosphere. A world with R0,G0,B0 would be equivalent to a Gray planet worth 3 economic points.

Purple race
* +1 if at least one Red
* +1 if at least one Blue
* -1 for each Green

Red race
* +1 for each Red
* -1 if Blue is 2
* -1 if Green is 2

Yellow race
* +1 if at least one Red
* +1 if at least one Green
* -1 for each Blue

Green race
* +1 for each Green
* -1 if Red is 2
* -1 if Blue is 2

Cyan race
* +1 if at least one Green
* +1 if at least one Blue
* -1 for each Red

Blue race
* +1 for each Blue
* -1 if Red is 2
* -1 if Green is 2

Naming 27 planet types may be a bit much, but this system maintains the current oppositions while allowing a planet to be simultaneously productive for more than one race. It also allows a bit more flexibility in designing the inner planets.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Examples

Just for illustration, these certainly should not end up in the game...

Temperature Atmosphere Water Example Value to Purple
0-Cold 0-Oxidizing 1-Present Hoth 4
0-Cold 1-Neutral 0-Trace Mars 2
0-Cold 2-Reducing 0-Trace Titan 1
1-Temperate 0-Oxidizing 2-Abundant Earth 5
1-Temperate 0-Oxidizing 0-Trace Arrakis SPICE!!!!!
2-Hot 0-Oxidizing 1-Present Vulcan 5
2-Hot 1-Neutral 0-Trace Venus 3
gxnpt
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Joined: 12/22/2015
stacks, etc

Quote:
the rules suggest stacking all of the chit containers on top of one another using an empty to separate types... I don't get the advantage over just having a stack for each type.

Each stack of cups is a single board hex (also same altitude) stack of chits for that player, showing its ID in the top cup, all the undamaged hulls in next cup, and damaged hulls below that with each cup holding 1 hull plus its damages.

A cup stacks more tightly into an empty cup than into a cup with a chit in it, so empty cups can be used as tabs in a stack. Tabs are not required.

It is easier to pull wrecks out of a stack if they are on the bottom and it makes sense to put Dark ships below non-Dark damaged and above any wrecks.

Quote:
I like the terraforming mechanic, but it presupposed some kind of colony spontaneously occupying any planet you own. The game is complex enough already, but it seems like there should be some kind of transport ship and population cubes. The tricky part is what to do with the incumbent population when a planet changes owners.

Getting to places you are not already at uses ships to make a temporary gate from one end and jump through it before it collapses.

Planet to planet and planet to ship (for repairs) use stable gates established from both ends and tuned to each other. There are trains running from planet to planet through gates in the Spacer zones.

More planet side Spacers know railroading than starship operation. Most station side Spacers know vac suits and 0 gee but not interstellar ops. Starships are for getting to NEW places.

(It also helps that Fringers just want to be left alone, Ezoners get no say when they do happen to come out of VR, and AIs don't care.)

The planet color point system is keeping it as simple as possible (with explanation of slight variation in t2 time dimension). Simplicity is also why every repair is 1 point per unit (any unit) and maintenance is 1 point per ship (any ship).

The game is really naval miniature battles sneaking into being a boardgame with primary focus on maneuver and battle.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
The story is very original.

The story is very original. Yet raises questions.

Why do they want to leave the peaceful space?
Why does every group want to leave for their own universe and not choose the best, according to histories?

***

Explanation/rules

For the rest, I think I need to see the game in action. Before I understand what you meant in the rule book. The feeling that I get when reading the rules is that I need to see and feel for myself the regarded game components.

Although, you included all the pictures. Perhaps some are better if you use arrows. And explain step by step how it is used. Especially the ring for percentage. The new generation has never used this one.

When writing rules. You know your game the best. And some lines will automatically sound logical to you. Yet others might have a lot of trouble understanding. And often have to look back into the rules. (For example: Where is the part explained about combat? How does combat resolve? Players will have a lot of trouble finding this. "roll the dice, NOW")
The same goes for this 3D thing you have going.
Have to say, it is genius. But 'genius' can be replaced with 'confusing'. I have the same thing going on in my game. And it takes a lot of trouble for some to understand. That would be the main problem with genius designed game parts.

It is ok to have a step by step how a round goes. But you also need to explain every step properly. If this requires a page or 2 more. That is ok. Eventually, players understand, and only need the one page where things are summarized.

***

Folding the board. I don't know about this. Maybe it is waaaay cheaper to have 6 separate segments that can be clicked together. Instead of a board that is folded. Open a new topic for this, for advice. Because I only noticed the page after reading the whole rule book. No doubt, some on this forum know a lot of cheap, durable, game components.

gxnpt
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Joined: 12/22/2015
board (and chit layout sheets)

The board folding is not final. The smallest hexes that felt right made the board 36x30 inches. Actual fold or whatever would depend on costs. It can be made as small as 12x15 using 6 sections or 18x15 with 4 sections. "An after playtest concern it is" says the Yoda voice.

I also have current sheet layouts for chits and cards which are by no means final (left over from the reasonable production cost investigation). I am hoping playtests will reveal some trimming that can be done in the chit count (for instance, page 5 of the single sides is just economy chits and a bunch of filler - if those economy chits get to move to another page then page 5 can be dropped).

From responses so far it looks like a play example would be a good thing to add at the end of the current rules.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Play example

An example of play would be incredibly helpful. Photos of the board state at different points of that example would help understand what is going on.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011

You want the board to be 36 inches x 30 inches??? That's insane. I could AT MOST picture a board 24" x 24" ... Where 18" x 18" is the standard. You've got to realize that as a "physical" game board, there are reasons that board sizes don't go beyond a certain point. Not everyone will have a table to accommodate and be capable of playing the game.

You also need to consider COST... The larger the board, the HEAVIER the box will be to SHIP (which is freaken costly) even if it is only hexes. If it's a Quad-Fold board, it will be even MORE expensive.

Anyways that's all I wanted to bring up as a point.

There was one other concern. Your design reminds me much of the Singularity Trap (the online version of the game). I have not heard much in terms of how many players have played that game -- but my concern is deriving another SIMILAR game will yield similar results.

Usually as designers each design we work on, they are "drastically" different. To me (IMHO) it seems like all your designs are similar and based off of the Singularity Trap.

I'm just saying it might be better to walk away from that design and work in a NEW space with a complete new set of rules and result in a completely different looking game.

Just some thoughts...

Maybe you can explain some of the difference between the two (2) games... That might shed some light on HOW the games are different even though the board may be similar.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Other concerns...

Do you think it WISE to have a game with 25 planets??? The reason I ask this is because limiting the amount of planets to a manageable quantity could result in a more "playable" game.

Given your present "format", having twenty-five (25) planets seems like quite a bit. And if you compare it to say "Tau Ceti" where the board is created as player explore the galaxy, well in a four (4) player game you may only see like ten (10) planets -- and I believe ten is rather high in count.

So if a 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) uses for a four (4) player game and planet count of less than ten... Do you picture your idea of having 25 planets to be realistic???

Like I said, I'm just comparing what you hope to achieve to what is already "out-there" in the market. While ideas are all fun and cool... You need to get your game into a REALISTIC "format" and that means trimming down a lot and simplifying the game for the Table Top format.

Compare Civilization (the computer game vs. the board game) or XCOM (the computer game vs. the board game)... This might give you ideas on how to streamline a "video" production into a "tabletop" version...

Just some other ideas... that may help!

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
An example

Say you had a DECK of twenty (20) hex tiles with Planets on it... Assuming that the board is generated on the fly (eXplore) and a planet is chosen to appear in space (by playing one of the hex tiles with a Planet), it could be a viable planet to eXpand your territory to.

The idea here is that you have a POOL of Planets (say 20). And depending on how the game unravels, the number of planets will be revealed on a need-basis.

It also adds variability to your game - by having a larger pool of planets, the game will seem fresh each time you play, because the types of planets you get to eXpand your territory to are different.

Something along those lines...