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Entry 1. Jousting Board Game Journal - Ideas and Criticism welcome

To begin my journal on my jousting board game, I'm going to round up where I'm currently at and what areas of development need work. I'm still very much in the development/ideas phase, no prototype exists as of yet.

Current Overview
Board game based on jousting that focuses on giving players a variety of ways to approach their joust. Players will choose a knight and a squire from a randomised pool. The board will have two lanes for the knights to move along and players will roll dice to move their knights. The lanes will be split into sections and each new section reached will award the player an impact token. With a max of 4 sections to reach, players can get a maximum of 4 impact tokens per run. When knights become adjacent they will enter Impact.
Here the player plays one of the three impact cards he will have in his hand face down. There are 3 types of impact card that will interact in a rock, paper, scissors sort of format. Once both players have decided on a card, they are turned face up. The players card that has the advantage is resolved. Damage will be dependent on how many impact tokens the player collected and what type of impact card was played. Damage will work towards knocking the opponent off their horse to score points, though some impact cards will award points for splitting your own lance.
Squire cards allow the player to affect the enemy or boost themselves in some way. They will be able to be played once per round and work similar to an ‘Instant’ card from MTG.

Game Pieces
Impact Tokens
Impact Cards
Squire Cards
Knights

Mechanics

  • Movement – This has gone through a few iterations, but I think the current method is the best so far. Players roll a die and move forward that number of squares. The lane they travel along will be split into sections, and it will take an average of four rolls to pass through all the sections. Not much happens here apart from player movement, so I don’t want it to take too long. Players roll simultaneously. Upon reaching a new section, players draw an impact token. I think this mechanic works quite well in showing that the knight who has the most speed (enters the most sections) will have the bigger impact (gathers the most tokens).
  • Impact – There are three types of impact card, Aggressive, Neutral, and Defensive. This is the stance your knight takes when it comes to impact, so maybe I’ll call them stance cards. They will work as rock, paper, scissors do. So Agg beats Neu, Neu beats Def, and Def beats Agg. Whichever card is advantageous gets resolved. I do want certain cards to win every time regardless of what type they are just to add a bit of luck and surprise in there!
    Aggressive cards will do more damage, but mean you take damage too. Neutral cards will have an increased chance of gaining points through things like breaking your lance. And defensive cards will allow you to block some damage and maybe gain some stability back.
  • Damage/Stability – I’m thinking players have a sort of health bar/stability meter that is bidirectional (can increase and decrease). Impact tokens and impact cards are the things that will interact with this health bar. Impact tokens will add up to do a certain amount of damage, and impact cards will likely increase/decrease some of that damage.
    Between each run I think each knight should gain a bit of stability back as they compose themselves. So for example let’s say a knight has a max of 100 stability/health. They take 30 damage on the first run and recover 10 of that damage afterwards. So on this next run the knight can only take 80 damage (as they took 20 overall on the first run) before being knocked off, instead of the original 100. And I want to try and balance this so it takes a max of 4 runs to knock someone off their horse.
    Of course depending on what impact tokens you draw and what cards you use, you could get knocked off far earlier!
  • Squires – This is something I’ve come up with but not spent much development time on. The squire card will be the main player driven mechanic that involves no level of randomness. I want them to be fun and interactive, and really change how you approach each joust. I’m thinking players can use their squire once per round, and possibly swap squires at some point to keep things interesting.
    Some examples of what I want these cards to do, include:
    • Pushing a drunkard into the path of the opponent causing them to lose their impact tokens
    • Get the crowd cheering for your knight meaning they gain an impact token
    • Strapping a carrot (or something) to the front of your horse, doubling dice rolls
    • Putting off your opponent at the moment of impact so your impact card gets played regardless of advantage

    These are just random ideas I’ve come up with, I need to put some time into how squire cards are played and how they interact with the game.

Competition and Scoring
Players will score points for knocking the opposing knight off their horse or splitting their own lance. It can work as a sort of tournament, but I haven’t delved too much into this yet.

Possible Additions
Tournament/Betting/Round Conditions

This is where I'm at so far. I'm continuing to develop this game and am always coming up with new ideas. If you read the whole thing then thank you!
Any ideas/criticisms are welcome :)

Comments

My only concern is the

My only concern is the movement mechanic. If speed = grater impact and speed is random then impact damage is random.

How about trying this.

Still use the impact tokens as you are but let the players set their own speed. After all a heavily laden horse won't speed up and slow down quickly. Maybe choose how much the spur or rein in the horse each round.

A faster galloping horse is harder to ride, they only hang on with their legs, so make it a risk decision with the die roll being a roll to successfully stay on the horse at that speed. Also weapons could be a factor here. A lance is hard to hold compared to a sword.

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback!

Yes I think adding a player driven speed mechanic would be useful. Maybe choosing your pace before the run would be good and involve risk/reward.

I also had considered involving characters with stats, for example a knight with a faster horse could cover more ground but be easier to knock off..

Thank you, I'll think more on this!

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gamejournal | by Dr. Radut