So, after several years I've finally got my game into a version that I find acceptable enough to start showing off (to non-play testers).
But first things first:
Thanks to the open and honest discussions I have have the good fortune to witness (and on a few rare occasions to participate in) on this forum over the past year and a half, all of my fears of other designers have melted into a respect for the craft and the people who love it.
Like most newbie designers I have suffered from every possible malady that can strike the unprepared. Worrying about patent laws/copyright infringement, NDAs, Trademarks and bears OH MY!!
Not to mention the TOTAL reconfiguration of my game through countless of hours of play testing. Literally, play testing has turned my game from a sluggish TCG rip-off, to a fast-paced 2-player Action/Strategy blood bath.
Most of what I have learned has been from my own experiences in the real world but the BGDF has given me many of the tools/resources to make those experiences possible.
This is the first lesson I learned here on the BGDF:
Play test, Play test, Play test, and when you're sick of playing your own game, find new people to play test with and they will embew your creation with new life and enthusiasm.
Listen to your play testers. They aren't wrong (usually), they are your target audience and they will determine if your game is fun or not. And unless you are blessed with a gaming family, don't let your mom or wife tell you how good your game is. A supportive wife and a loving mom are nowhere near an unbiased audience (while they are still a wonderful asset to ANY designer).
Those are the most important lessons in a long list that will have to remain unfinished until I start a blog or some such rambling exposition.
So thanks to sedjtroll (Seth) and everybody else who makes this place happen. You guys rock!!
Onto the game itself.
What I have come up with is most accurately described as a mix of Deck building (LCG) with Stratego style play on a hexagonal board (with hexagonal pieces/movement).
Sounds confusing at first but it's a mish-mash of games that most everybody knows and is consequently familiar in play and style to most gamers.
I'm currently deciding on two decks for a print and play demo (pdf) so I can broaden my play testing horizons as I am hoping to have the first expansion ready at game launch. Of course I have no idea when that will be. Manufacturing is proving to be it's own minefield of decisions (and money... Kickstarter maybe? dunno yet.). I will post them with rules as soon as they are ready.
Object of the game?
Find and kill your opponent's NEX (king) piece by moving and attacking with your team of Gladiators. Replenish your tiny army by playing new Gladiators from your hand or augmenting/hindering the Gladiators already on the board. You can overrun your opponent by building a deck comprised of nothing but Gladiators or use Action/Modifier cards to eliminate your opponent's Gladiators with magic and weapons.
Each player starts by building their own deck out of one of the two colors of cards (there will be pre-set decks laid out in the manuel as well for beginners and people who just want to get started).
Each deck will have a max of 250points. Each color is identical so it doesn't matter which one you choose.
Players choose from 3 types of cards:
Each card has a value of either 5, 10 or 15 depending on how large the unit is or how great it's in-game affect.
Decks must contain:
There are a couple of other rules that I won't mention here but they're small and sort of intuitive once you get a session or two under your belt.
Once players have built their decks they than set aside 9 of their Gladiators plus their NEX piece. These will be the cards used for initial setup. Players place these 10 pieces on the board "Face Down" anywhere in their OWN Drop-Zones (it's called Face Down but they are really in card holders that allow players to see their own cards but not their opponent's).
The rest of their cards will be shuffled and used as their deck(s).
Players draw a hand of 4 cards which they will replenish at the END of their own turns but only if they play cards. Don't play cards from your hand, don't draw.
Players have 2 Actions (moves) per Turn.
An Action is:
(Players may also discard a card and immediately draw a new one but those rules are all gone over in the manuel)
Since Players cannot see what pieces their opponent is playing with (just their location, like Stratego), each player spends his/her actions moving his/her pieces to attack their opponent (blindly at first) in order to break through their Gladiators to find and kill their NEX. Once revealed from combat however, a Gladiator may not be turned face down, so as you attack your opponent each player learns more and more about their adversary. Eventually all is known and (usually) neither player has a deck left to draw from. A tactical battle emerges out of the chaos where each player tries not to leave the other an opening while still sending their own Gladiators across the board to achieve victory through the defeat of their opponent's NEX.
So that's the gist of it.
Build a deck, place your army and try and kill your opponent. Woo Hoo!
I have included a few pictures of the cards to show what it'll look like.
Any feedback is welcomed and greatly appreciated.
As I stated before I'm working on getting a PnP version out ASAP and will post instructions on how to make your own demo copies as soon as they're ready.
Thanks for reading,