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Zodiak: How to make the base for my miniatures

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Team Gambit
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This is the original design of Little Fox Alexander's stat card.

Hey everyone my name is Dan and I'm currently working on my first board game that has been sitting in the back of my mind for a few years now called "Zodiak". For those of you who haven't heard of Zodiak it's a table top game the combines the play style of chess with the mechanics of a card game. Each player starts off with a team of 7 Units of different classes (Units are the actual miniatures themselves) 1 Hero, 2 Guard, 2 Paladin, 2 Monk. Besides a Unit's class, each Unit has a Zodiac sign (Aries, Libra, Cancer, etc), A race/species, and stats which tell you how many spaces a Unit can move and attack in a turn.

Originally when I designed Zodiak each Unit's Stat card was very specific as to what the Unit was. It would tell you this Unit is an Undead Aries in the Monk class. Last night however when I was building the prototype out of a few different chess sets I ran into a snag when I was trying to make the base of the Unit reflect it's current HP. I thought maybe some kind of rotating wheel with a small window might work but found it to hard to build with what I had. Than I came up with this idea of stacking 3 checkers on top of each other and numbering each 0-9, showing the HP downward. This would allow the Unit to gain health past it's original HP, make it more visible for the opponent to see how much health a Unit has and allow for a larger variety of attack values and not just ones that are multiples of 10 (like I had originally designed). Then I thought why stop there? What if instead of just stacking the HP on top of each other you could attach more to the base. What if the Unit's class and Zodiac sign wasn't defined by that Unit's stat card but what was connected to the base.

By allowing the player to decide the Unit's Zodiac sign and class by what they attach to the Unit's base gives Zodiak a unique twist as to how you play it and what your overall play style is.

[For Example: You and I both have the Unit Little Fox Alexander. I have given Alexander a Hero plate and a Leo plate attached to his base. This means that not only can Alexander move and attack in any direction because he's a Hero but he can use Leo's Zodiac power to call more Leo Units to the field.

(BTW if you haven't read my Zodiak journal post it talks about how each Zodiac sign has different abilities. Some of which cannot be activated unless the Unit is of a certain class).

Your Alexander on the other hand has a Monk and Gemini plate attached to his base. Allowing your Unit to attack and move diagonally along with using Gemini's Zodiac power to increase it's stats as long as you had another Unit with the same class and Gemini sign.]

So even if you and I are using the same Unit they can be totally different thus changing their overall play style.

Well I'm sure I've rambled on long enough and you all get the point so what I'm asking in this thread is for help creating this new base for the Units.

What should the base be made out of?

How can I make it so these plates can attach and detach?

Do the additional plates need to rotate?

Should the HP be 3 plates with each being detachable or be a permanent part of the Unit's base (HP cannot be customized. Each Unit has a set HP displayed on their Stat card).

So far several ideas have been pitched saying to use magnets or Lego's to make these different plates. I would really appreciate it if some of you guys could not only give me advice on how to go about making these plates but your take on this new twist I have given Zodiak.

For more information on Zodiak you can check out my Journal post
http://www.bgdf.com/node/6058

If you'd like to keep updated on Zodiak you can like us on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Zodiaktcg

Thanks in advance to everyone who took the time to read and respond to this post.

Below I've attached a Unit Stat card I had originally designed before coming up with this new idea.

NomadArtisan
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Joined: 12/12/2011
Why not stick with the cards?

Since you are already using stat cards, I'd suggest you make record keeping part of the card.

War Machine and many other tabletop games do this. If you put your cards in sleeves and use a dry erase marker you can write straight on top of the card. So you can have HP boxes that you mark off on the units stat card as it takes damage.
This additionally works with your idea for allowing combination stacking of your base. Rather than complicating the base, just have that 'Gemini' card be put under the unit's stat card to represent that it is Gemini. I think this will be both easier to play and to produce.

Otherwise, if you aren't familiar with WizKids, They have a 'Clix' system where they have rotatable bases with a window showing the figures current stats which change as they take damage.

Team Gambit
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I know of Clix.

I would just lay the stat card on top of a Zodiac sign card but there would be no where to plays the cards. The map in zodiak is 26"x28" and every inch of it has been taken up for gameplay. Even though you start the game off with 7 Units you still have a bench of 13 other Units that can be called into the game at any time. This means if I was to make a certain area for these Stat cards to be placed I would need enough room for 20 of them, increasing the map's width by 40 inches on both sides.

As for the Clix system I am very familiar with it. That is where I got the idea to display the HP of the Unit on the base but for prototype reasons I cannot/don't know how I would make my own Clix's base. Which is the main question of this thread "How do I make the base?"

Allowing the player to decide a Unit's class and Zodiac sign makes the game very customizable and gives Zodiak a uniqueness that some games lack. Just because we have the same Unit of the same race doesn't mean we are playing the same way.

This gives the opportunity to get players more involved with their Units and gives them a sort of background story and makes it more personal for the player. Personally Little Fox Alexander is my favorite Unit I find him inspiring, I wish I could be him, maybe give him the same Zodiac sign as I have. Now I am this character or maybe the Hero on the show is more like me (assuming there was so sort of series backing the game).

So back to the question how do I make these attachable bases?

Unless of course you were saying to do away with Units all together and just use cards. If that's the case the answer is no. That would be Pokemon and I'm not inventing pokemon.

NomadArtisan
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Joined: 12/12/2011
I wasn't saying do away with

I wasn't saying do away with minis, I love miniature games.
Why do the cards need to be placed on the game board? Why not the table you're playing on?
If their location is arbitrary and the cards are simply used as stat and rules references, then you don't need to incorporate their placement into your game board as they can just sit to the side.

MondaysHero
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Joined: 07/08/2011
How about a slot? You fit in

How about a slot? You fit in a thick piece of cardboard in a slot that then shows a couple things through a couple of windows, and then has a bit of it sticking out of the back with icons for special abilities? That way you can include pucnhboard with each side showing a different "sign." That way you can also limit which choice they have. (Perhaps you decide that Leo and Cancer are enemies, and thus, have one side by Cancer, and one be Leo. A player has to choose between which one they want.)

Team Gambit
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Joined: 02/19/2012
I understand

but in this game I'm focused on making the individual units the important part not the cards. If I had cards that lay over my unit's making them different signs and classes than you could potentially do away with the units and play the game as a simple card game (which we found to be true in the early design as well) which may or may not be a bad thing but I'm focused on just making these plates and going from there.

Team Gambit
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Joined: 02/19/2012
not a bad idea.

Not a bad idea with the base having 2 different signs on it and being able to rotate so you wouldn't have opposing signs on the field but I feel as though that would over complicate this plate design that I'm trying to go with. Having a rotating plate with windows would be thicker and a bit bulkier than just a very simple magnetic/lego style plate that could just attach on. Also it may look out of place to have this rotating windowed base and than connecting another base that only shows a unit's class.

So for the sake of keeping things symmetrical and cheap to produce (at least while I'm still on prototyping/test playing phase) I think I'm going to stay away from that idea and not over complicate the bases. All I'd really like to know is how to go about making these simple plate designs?

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