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RTS board game

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Tbone
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What do you think about a game similar to starcraft on a board? Turn base? Dice? Cards? Grid? Timers? Discuss!

GrimFinger
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Tbone wrote:What do you think

Tbone wrote:
What do you think about a game similar to starcraft on a board? Turn base? Dice? Cards? Grid? Timers? Discuss!

I haven't played the actual Starcraft board game, but I liked the original computer game, and its Brood Wars expansion.

A similar game would be fine, depending on how it is done, and on how it feels during actual play.

Sperber
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I don't know what to

I don't know what to say...?

Turn based? I guess so. What else could it be?

Dice? Sure. I can't imagine Starcraft: The Boardgame as an eurogame. So lots of dice for an american style is a necessity.

Cards? Must have. Otherwise it's going to be really difficult to manage all those units and upgrades.

Grid? Maybe.

Timers? I don't follow.

Tbone
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Well

Well the thing about RTS games is that the players are not really dependent on each other, they work separately until they interact with the other players. I was thinking maybe there could be a way to separate the players so that they can build their empire, base, etc. at their own pace and not worry about taking turns. And once they enter in conflict with an enemy they start taking turns.

Messeya
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I'd love to see one, but

I would think in order to make a real time strategy board game you would probably need 4-6 sand timers per player of various lengths of time to build units and buildings, i.e. think worker placement but with sand timers. And combat would have to be super simple and fast. Die rolling would be too slow. Something along the lines of high card wins or some kind of rock, paper, scissors system...

Just read your post a bit more closely and realized you meant real-time building phase followed by turn based combat phase. That would allow for more complicated combat if desired. It'd really be up to you. It'd be really cool if you somehow alternated real-time build phases with turn-based combat phases, repair/build units and buildings in real time and then do combat. Rinse repeat until there's only one man standing or some other objective is completed.

SinJinQLB
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Would it be possible to

Would it be possible to somehow have it be a real-time game, whereby each player is working on his or her own individual area while at the same time expanding out, until they make contact with another player and can begin interacting in battles and what not... but not have timers involved? The way I'm thinking about this is if there was somehow enough choices for the player to make on their own, that the mere time it takes to make those choices substitutes for a timer. I can't really think of an accurate example because I don't even know how possible this is - the best I can think of is a very abstract example, where it's something like you have to rearrange cards, or pick up a card and figure out the best place to put it, or move these guys over here to make room for these other guys to move over there... All of this would be done in real time, mind you, however it would just depend on the quality of choices you make that determines how quickly you advance/expand. Does that make any sense? Like I said, I don't know if there's a game out there like that already.

Tbone
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Yeah! I like the ideas

My only concern (although there are many more) the board size could get really big. Also, it would be cool to allow the player to make their own units or maps. Of course this would be something farther down the line of creation but still it's a thought. Timers would be cool and dice to mean would be better in my opinion. I guess I would go along the lines of having a dice for unit movement, economy, and maybe like a time dice. Unit it movement would involve rolling the die and whatever you get that turn you would only be allowed to move different units that amount. Economy dice would allow you to role for money cards and such. Building and industry, lets say, would allow you to multiple that die for specific increments. The time dice then would account for any buildings under construction, upgrades, unit production. What I mean is that every building, unit upgrade etc. would have a specific time number and you would role the dice to get to or passed that number in order for it to be complete and able to be used.

abdantas
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I was working on something

I was working on something similar in theory to this on my prohibition-era mob game. I settled on a blank grid with upside down tiles on it containing resources. You can use your turn to explore(flipping up tiles) whenever you discover a resource you can place workers there that let you at the end of each round to gather. Like an eurogame(each player can only gather a set amount, lets say from 3 tiles. If he has 3 workers in one tile he can gather 3 in a turn. Someone else might have 2 pawns there but if the player with more pawns gathers then the player with less pawns cannot.) players can use the resources to buy blue prints. blueprints + resources lets the player build things, like bars and casinos, gyms. each giving the player a specific bonus. Like a motorcycle riding club will let you explore more tiles with a single action, where a gym will let you use a pawn as a "thug" to harass other players. at the end of each round the police shows up demanding their bribe and the workers you place running your bars and casinos need to get paid. But, for every location fully manned you earn income.

But like i said, there will be different buildings that will turn your basic pawns into specialized pawns that can do a certain action.

it's still in the design phase but i think its an interesting idea.

Tbone
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Very interesting

I like the idea! Let me know how it goes. Im going to be brainstorming and putting more ideas on paper.

Ryha2000
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My attempt

I have a real time strategy game with worker placement, PvE and PvP mechanics in development. I think it works well :)

It's called Fall of the Last City.

Here is the site: www.fallofthelastcity.com

There is a trailer for the game on the site as well as the rules and photos and a TON of development documentation :)

x4Rs0L
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The game "Purge: Sins of

The game "Purge: Sins of Science" attempted to create a real-time strategy card game. It boasted having 3 factions, each with 2 kinds of generals to play that had differing play styles. I will admit, it was a valiant attempt but wildly confusing and all the units were incredibly unbalanced. Worst yet, there was a lot of micromanaging involved, so keeping track of stats was a pain. In regards to balance, one general allowed you to follow a turtle strategy that ended with you creating a super weapon that negated anything your opponent did, effectively neutering them and ending the game. Cool concept but really unfun to play.

Cryptozoic had a game from the franchise "Hawken". It was marketed as a real time card game that was essentially akin to the game War. At its core, its a risk-and-reward kind of game, forcing players to question whether committing to large attacks was better than continuously engaging your opponent with smaller attacks. The game was over when a player had to reshuffle their deck 3 times.

The reason why I point these 2 games out is because both tried to do something that board games are not known for: real time interactions. Taking a game like Starcraft (or any RTS in this case) would follow one of two directions: turn based gameplay with worker placement mechanics and phase completion or real time interactions. The former is relatively easy to do but would unfortunately feel flat, as many games do this. The core of an RTS is to essentially outwit and outplay your opponent during battle. To bring that same feeling of pressure, skill, and joy is an incredibly hard thing to do.

But i think it can be done.

Personally, I would focus on a card matching game with work placement for unit generation. I'd break the game into 3 phases: Scout/Gather, Build/Command, and Engage.

Each phase has infinite time but ends when a player grabs the so-called "End" token.

In the Scout/Gather Phase, you gain X amount of resources from resource nodes you control. In order to gain more resources, you must move (search) your resource deck by sacrificing units to uncover nodes and other things. Every player has a random shuffled deck, so no one can time when or where they'll find their resources.
In the Build/Command, you can pay cards to make buildings and units. Command means you can play special events you gather from your resource deck.
In engagement, players can fight one another. Whoever is successful in defeating the other person steal resource nodes, attack their base, etc. etc.

I guess the key to winning is knowing when to search, when to build, when to engage, and when to grab the End button. Grab it too early, you'll lose out on the chance for searching for more resources. Grab it to late and you'll end up giving your opponent an advantage. That said, I think this would only really be manageable with 2 players, maybe 3.

So ya. That's my take on it. Also, combat can be resolved with dice and modifiers. The more units you have, the more modifiers you get, the better chance of you winning. Of course, all units can have a special ability that will give you an edge, but hell, who knows.

X3M
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An old topic been digged up

An old topic been digged up for commercial intention. Then a decent answer to the first post. Don't mind if I post something too?

In RTS we have Real Time and Strategy.
No doubt that strategy is easy to implement. It is this real time aspect that is hard to implement in board games.

I don't like timers. So I tried to find a way around it. The game is turn based, player A plays. Other players are free to respond to any action that player A commits. And other players are free to respond to responding players. They have to say so during player A's turn or are to late.

I allow players to play Event cards any time as well. This produces funny situations.

ElKobold
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X3M wrote:The game is turn

X3M wrote:
The game is turn based, player A plays. Other players are free to respond to any action that player A commits. And other players are free to respond to responding players. They have to say so during player A's turn or are to late.

This sounds as a rather interesting take on "real-time".
How did it work in playtesting?

X3M
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Play testing shows it works

It works rather well, once the players have experience with it.
I noticed that players need to be very clear on the rules of how and when they are allowed to strike. When something is allowed is in an overlapping timeline, that is the key. Not just moments.

Only experienced players can do this.
For new players, I recommend that they use 1 minute timers. They need to think ahead. But their time is linked to the timer. Not to the speed of other players.

The risk of taking actions is that you might waste precious action points during that round.
There is also the risk of losing precious Event Cards. Which might have been of use if played just a second later.

The main rule is:
The first player decides on his action. Only then may he grab the required dice. And once he rolls. Another player must have done his job in naming the choice of reaction.

Some Event Cards are best played when the action is named.
Some when the required dice are grabbed.
And some when the dice are rolled.
Of course, the first player also can hand out Event Cards if someone reacts.

During all this, you consume Action Points and Event Cards. And they might be a waste of resources or a waste of not using. Only for the players to find out later if they acted to fast or to slow.

There are also moments of breathing!!! This is when the new round starts. New units are placed. Resources are gathered etc. That is linked to the turn based. And I can't see any other way to make it RTS. So in short, only the battle is real time.

Gabe
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The only RTS like game I've

The only RTS like game I've ever seen work is the Ares Project that came out a few years ago.

Overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD7vrW-L-H8

4 very asymmetrical factions. Lots of choices. Multi use cards. Lots of different player abilities.

Big learning curve, but well done.

X3M
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That one always looked

That one always looked interesting enough. However, they are restricted in delivery. So I never could get my hands on a game.

Can you describe, how much and where in the game, the Real Time aspect is?

I can't get a good impression from all the youtube video's, about the real time aspect.
Because, somehow, I get the impression. That players need to place down cards and tokens. But there is a certain order to do so? Why can't they simply say, I play all cards? Do they have to arrange them for a certain strategy? And then attack while their opponent is busy developing their strategy?

questccg
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I totally disagree

Messeya wrote:
I would think in order to make a real time strategy board game you would probably need 4-6 sand timers per player of various lengths of time to build units and buildings, i.e. think worker placement but with sand timers. And combat would have to be super simple and fast. Die rolling would be too slow. Something along the lines of high card wins or some kind of rock, paper, scissors system...

Having a REAL-TIME board game does NOT need "Sand Timers".

The simplest version is ROLL 1d6 = and if you roll a 6 the Unit is READY...

Of course units can have different "Completion Values" and can employ more than one (1) die. Using a Bell Curve, you can determine the probabilities for each unit ... and players are rolling d6s in REAL-TIME.

I would tend to be that this averages out - depending on the Units being built.

So to build a "Zergling" it's a "6" on one d6.
To build a "Hydralisk" it's a "10" or above using 2d6s.
To build a "Guardian" it's a "6" follow by "5" followed by "4" using 1d6.

You could build more such rules ... and figure out the ODDS that could lead to define a Average Number of Rolls (ANR) which could then determine the time taken, on Average, to roll such a sequence or number.

Something like this would create the ILLUSION of REAL-TIME since it is all tied to dice rolling and calculated ODDS.

I'm not approaching the WAR/COMBAT engine - just the BUILD aspect... Same could go with buildings too... All building could be handled using this simple dice rolling technique and would provide a seamless REAL-TIME build of your base/units...

That's my take on it!

Gabe
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questccg wrote:Messeya

questccg wrote:
Messeya wrote:
I would think in order to make a real time strategy board game you would probably need 4-6 sand timers per player of various lengths of time to build units and buildings, i.e. think worker placement but with sand timers. And combat would have to be super simple and fast. Die rolling would be too slow. Something along the lines of high card wins or some kind of rock, paper, scissors system...

Having a REAL-TIME board game does NOT need "Sand Timers".

The simplest version is ROLL 1d6 = and if you roll a 6 the Unit is READY...

Of course units can have different "Completion Values" and can employ more than one (1) die. Using a Bell Curve, you can determine the probabilities for each unit ... and players are rolling d6s in REAL-TIME.

I would tend to be that this averages out - depending on the Units being built.

So to build a "Zergling" it's a "6" on one d6.
To build a "Hydralisk" it's a "10" or above using 2d6s.
To build a "Guardian" it's a "6" follow by "5" followed by "4" using 1d6.

You could build more such rules ... and figure out the ODDS that could lead to define a Average Number of Rolls (ANR) which could then determine the time taken, on Average, to roll such a sequence or number.

Something like this would create the ILLUSION of REAL-TIME since it is all tied to dice rolling and calculated ODDS.

I'm not approaching the WAR/COMBAT engine - just the BUILD aspect... Same could go with buildings too... All building could be handled using this simple dice rolling technique and would provide a seamless REAL-TIME build of your base/units...

That's my take on it!

That's a really good idea. It simulates the nature of RTS without the stress of having to actually be under the timed pressure.

Gabe
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X3M wrote:That one always

X3M wrote:
That one always looked interesting enough. However, they are restricted in delivery. So I never could get my hands on a game.

Can you describe, how much and where in the game, the Real Time aspect is?

I can't get a good impression from all the youtube video's, about the real time aspect.
Because, somehow, I get the impression. That players need to place down cards and tokens. But there is a certain order to do so? Why can't they simply say, I play all cards? Do they have to arrange them for a certain strategy? And then attack while their opponent is busy developing their strategy?

After going back and re-reading the rules, the RTS element is simulated by restrictions.

You can only play one card on your turn. Play it face up to make it a building. Play it face down to make it a resource that will turn into a unit.

This simulates RTS in that you can play resources on a building that creates cheap units that can be deployed quickly or on a building that requires more resources to get one, more powerful unit.

You're choosing attack strategies similar to Starcraft. Do I zerg rush or do I go for a longer game with heavier units...

X3M
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Gabe wrote: That's a really

Gabe wrote:

That's a really good idea. It simulates the nature of RTS without the stress of having to actually be under the timed pressure.

There is one flaw in both suggestions. And that is, you have to trust your opponents in playing fair.
That is why the only RTS elements that I allow, are able to be registered by all players. It has to be an interaction right away between players in my oppinion. And there is limited time for a reaction, which would simulate RT-S games.

Or you need a game master that overviews everything in the meantime. Which I truly hated, doing.

I have seen the following concept somewhere:
What if you place a timer on something you construct? And when the time is finished, the construction is finished?
Each player would be limited to a few timers to use. And it is easier for them to keep an eye on each other timer.

That is what timers can offer in contrary to other mechanics.

Gabe wrote:

After going back and re-reading the rules, the RTS element is simulated by restrictions.

You can only play one card on your turn.


But isn't that just turn based??

Gabe wrote:

Play it face up to make it a building. Play it face down to make it a resource that will turn into a unit.

This simulates RTS in that you can play resources on a building that creates cheap units that can be deployed quickly or on a building that requires more resources to get one, more powerful unit.

You're choosing attack strategies similar to Starcraft. Do I zerg rush or do I go for a longer game with heavier units...


At least they got the strategy done well. And they allow fog of war. That is the best thing so far. Despite playing 1 card at a time. You don't know what your opponent is doing. And that is a very cool concept.

If I where to give a number on a scale of 0 to 10 for the "Real Time" aspect. I would give my own game a measily 3-4.
Even MtG has aspects that can be used in Real Time. (Those cards that can be played any time during anyones turn.) Gaining it a 1-2.
But the game that you mentioned is still at 0.

Gabe
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X3M wrote: I have seen the

X3M wrote:

I have seen the following concept somewhere:
What if you place a timer on something you construct? And when the time is finished, the construction is finished?
Each player would be limited to a few timers to use. And it is easier for them to keep an eye on each other timer.

That is what timers can offer in contrary to other mechanics.

That's a good idea. I've seen sand timers work in a trading game called Time N Space.

https://boardgamegeek.com/video/31701/time-n-space/dice-tower-reviews-ti...

Everything you do requires a certain amount of time. Movement, generating resources, taking actions, research, etc...

To do an action, you place a 30 second sand timer on it, and when the sand runs out, you can take the action.

The thing is, you only have 2 sand timers, so you have to be efficient in the actions you take and when you take them.

For a RTS combat game, a player could play a card face down and put a timer on it. When the time is up, that building would be completed.

And a player could put a sand timer on a building, and when the time runs out, a unit is finished.

To keep things a little more fair, players could be required to play the face down card and timer where everyone could see, but when the time is up, the player could place the building face up behind a shield.

And when building a unit, a player could be required to have the timer in plain view, and when the time runs out, the unit card/token is placed behind the player's shield.

This would keep the fog of war in place.

Thoughts?

questccg
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Hmm...

What about a REAL-TIME "Drafting" Mechanic? Using dice rolls to control the outcome.

Let's say there are three (3) players... You draw and turn over four (4) cards which are all UNITS. Each card has a combination (as I have presented using a series of dice).

Everyone ROLLS AT THE SAME TIME (Real-Time). As soon as one player matches the card he wants - He yells out: "STOP"!

And then everyone stops rolling and he can collect that card. Now play continues with the two (2) remaining players as they roll for one of the three remaining cards.

Last player to win (by matching a card), gets to pick one of two remaining cards...

And then you rinse and repeat, for a specified amount of units.

So it's REAL-TIME "Building" of units and afterwards each player has a DECK of five (5) units and that is the army they bring to the big POW-WOW.

Note: I'm not discussing the battle aspect - just the building one...

X3M
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That is a good addition to

@Gabe

That is a good addition to the fog of war indeed. I like it.

The problem that we are left with, is that some units or structures are more expensive. In that case I recommend having parts to be build. A tank could cost 3 parts. And thus 3 timers. Since it is faced down. Other players don't know if you are building 3 smaller units or the big one.

If a battle suddenly commences. Than a partly build unit doesn't take part in the combat. It could however be prematurely destroyed.

Figured, the squads in c&c3 could fit that game concept as well. But then you build several units with just one timer.

X3M
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That draft mechanic sounds to

That draft mechanic sounds to me as something original. It works different then bidding for cards. I see some games working with that.

questccg
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Using ROUNDS to control the Real-Time component

X3M wrote:
That draft mechanic sounds to me as something original. It works different then bidding for cards. I see some games working with that.

You can maybe have ROUNDS:

  1. Build X buildings
  2. Build Y units
  3. Combat ... and so on

The idea is this: in the FIRST round you build a certain amount of building. Now for the purpose of this post, I will refer to Star Craft I. You start with a Command Center. And NO UNITS, so you need to build 1 Supply Depot before you can produce units. The Supply Depot has a capacity of 4 slots. Slots are defined for each unit. Some take 2 slots, some take 1 slot like SCV. So you could BUILD up to 4 SCVs to start mining Minerals.

But IF you wanted to build a Marine, you would need to build a Barrack which allows you to recruit Marines. Marines take 2 slots from the Supply Depot.

Something like this could lead to an RTS being developed...

So there could be various defined ROUNDS at which the Dice Rolling in Real-Time is for a specific purpose. And everyone is normally rolling for the SAME building and trying to get the units built, etc.

Obviously these are just *rough* ideas - but you get the general idea...

Update: You can get RID of the rounds and create TWO (2) sets of cards being "drafted" = 1. 4 Building 2. 4 Units. SO you can choose what you will build... by rolling the dice (either a building or a unit). This makes it a little more complex - but at the same time more natural flow...

Just another IDEA I had... 2 "Drafting" sets instead of one.

X3M
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You do realize that all

You do realize that all players have the same race with that, right?

Further, your build up would be based on luck. Not skill. If you are lucky in the first few rounds. Than the game is already decided.

***

Each player draws 3 cards. Picks 1 to use. Picks one that stays for the next drawing. Players will do this simultaneously; RT aspect.
Still a lot of luck. But... well, the player can keep his hands on a card that he wants to use as soon as possible. And if they draw 3 cards every round, the pile with choices will grow.

***

If you want players to stop each other, and show even more RT, the following could be used.

Each player (2) draws 3 cards (# players +1) from the top of their deck.
Then they can see what everyone has.
The first player to pick a card from his 3 cards. May immediately discard a card from the other player. AND may pick a card that will stay for the next drawing.

The other player has only 2 choices left since he was to slow. And may not pick a card to stick around.

With 3 players, each player draws 4 cards.
The first player may discard 1 card of each other player. And pick 2 cards that stick around.
The second player may discard 1 card of the last player. And pick 1 card that sticks around.
The last player, is once again stuck with 2 choices. And no cards to stick around.

Now, the cards that stick around are added to the next 4 cards. Meaning that the fastest player will start with choices out of 6. The next out of 5. And the last out of 4. Making it more difficult for the fastest now to pick the best card. Unless he has a strategy.

Willem Verheij
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My take on it.

I'll probably repeat some things others might have said, but here is my take on how a base building strategy game with troops could be done in a board game..

First off, the board.
It could be reasonably big, but nothing too big. But there would be multible boards with the game, so that there are multible maps to play on. They could also be linked together to make a larger map, maybe up to 3 maps could work.

Because there is a lot going on, resources could best be kept basic. Food and gold seems enough, no need to overcomplicate it. Gold would mainly be used for building and researching, and food would mainly be used for upkeep of all your units. The cost of purchasing units could be either food or gold, or both.

Food would be something you'd try to gain a steady supply of. Initially there could be temporary food sources spread across the map that run out. It could be animals to hunt or berry bushes. Either could be represented by tokens to collect with villagers.
Building farms would be the main source of food later on, providing a steady income. The more units you have in play, the more farms you need. Farms could be presented by square farm cards that would be put on the board when bought. Placing a villager on it would allow food to be collected at the end of the turn. This means someone else can steal your farms too by putting their own villager on it.
How much food each farm gives would depend on what kind of number of troops is played with and if some cost more than 1 food upkeep.

Gold would be a riskier resource to get. Farms could be build anywhere and plenty of them too, but gold would come from gold mines placed on set locations on the board. Each goldmine could have a stack of 10 shuffled stone chits on it, the starting goldmine next to the player could have 5 stone chits. For each worker placed in the mine, you get to collect a chit each turn. The bottom of the chit shows differing values, some will be worth more gold than others.
The starting goldmine disappears once depleted, but the others are tokens to be flipped over once depleted, revealing a neutral trade village.
By having an unbroken chain of villagers in each territory between the village and your city, you will gain a gold coin for each link in this chain at the end of your turn.

Speaking of territories, the entire map would be divided in territories.
Starting location territories would be shown in the manual since they would differ with the amount of players, which map is used and also combinations of maps used. The amount of gold mines placed would also be displayed along with this.

Players would only have one city available, which would be a carton underground with several designated locations for buildings. There would be both large and small designated locations. The large locations would only be available in the city, they can be split up to place two small buildings there instead.

Each player would also have two villages available. They are a small version of the city, but only have three available locations for small buildings. The player can establish these villages in a territory of their choice, but it cant be adjacent to tiles with an enemy presence. (including their villages and cities)

Buildings would each have their own distinct miniature, what could be available:

-Barracks. (small building)
Recruits basic millitairy units.

-Elite barracks. (large building)
Recruits elite millitairy units.

-Town hall. (small building)
Recruits villagers.

-Tower. (small building)
Provides stationary ranged support equal to five archers, but costs no food.

-Market. (large building)
Allows trade caravans to be made to neutral trade villages, enables farms to be build and allows resources to be traded with other players that have a market.

-Blacksmith. (small building.)
Allows upgrades to be bought for millitairy units excluding siege weapons.
The upgrades are bought seperately for each unit type, but the improvement will apply to all units of that type.
On the large player dashboard, a token is moved to the next level of the affected unit, and the modifier for their stats is applied. This would be attack, defense, or in rare cases both.
The amount of upgrades available and what it upgrades differs for each unit and allows for different factions to have their own advantages.
A rush faction could have strong units that hardly get upgrades, while another could have initially weak units that get strong when upgraded.

-Workshop. (large building)
Allows the siege weapon to be build, and the construction of walls.

-House. (small building)
Increases the population limit.

-Faction unique building. (small building)
Each faction gets a unique building that offers a special effect.
For one it could be a food production building that gives an alternative to the farm that does not require a worker, it could cost more but also produce a little more than a farm. And would be safer in the town or city.
Another faction might have a gambling den. This allows them to gamble some gold to either obtain more gold but it might backfire and they could lose some gold.

-Wall.
Walls would serve to block units from entering a territory from one direction, allowing them to move into another territory first. Some wider territories could require two walls to close it off from that direction.
They can be build in territories adjacent to your cities and villages.
Siege weapons would be required to destroy walls, but some factions may have another unit capable of destroying them.

-Farm.
Can be build anywhere as long as no enemy units are adjacent to the territory. Up to four farms can be build in a territory.

Construction of standard buildings located in villages and cities are done by purchasing them, farms require a villager in the territory to build it, same for walls.
Villages require your leader to be placed on the map. Since the leader has other importance too, there is a risk involved when you go out to create a village.

Now onto the units.

-Villager.
They build farms and walls, can form trade chains and gather resources. They typically can fight, but maybe a faction could have villagers with a weak attack. But usually all villagers function the same for all factions.

-Leader.
Appearance would be different for each faction. You start with the leader, and you lose if the leader dies. Protecting them is important. How good they are in combat, if they can boost the stats of other troops or of income would depend on the faction. Some are strong in battle but this means also best used in battle and at risk, while others work better somewhere safe, giving a passive benefit in their location but also easier to kill.

-Basic infantry.
Every faction has their main infantry unit, the mainstray of their armies. Cheap and without special abilities. They can move one territory in their turn and attack, or move through two territories in forced march but can't attack then. They can only attack units in the territory they stand in.
Some factions might have basic infantry with more upgrades thats initially weaker and others might be stronger with less upgrades. Some might also not be capable of forced march but may have better defence as a trade off.

-Archer.
Every faction has a ranged unit, typically a foot archer but some might have a cavalry archer instead. They can attack enemies in a territory next to the one they stand in. Foot archers move the same as infantry. They have a weak melee attack thats used when fighting enemies in the same territory as them and tend to have low defense. But melee units can protect archers, forcing the enemy to attack them first if they are in the same territory.

-Cavalry.
Melee cavalry is considered an elite unit. They can move two spaces and attack instead of one, or can move three or four spaces without attacking.
In a typical army they are stronger and less abundant than infantry.

-Artillery.
What it is depends on the faction, but they all can destroy walls. Being slow they can not move and attack. They need to wait untill the next turn to attack.

-Unique unit.
The final unit, and also an elite unit, is unique to each faction. It could be a stronger infantry unit, an archer, cavalry, or something special like a priest, assasin, etc. But always does the unique unit get a special ability.

The game itself could come with four different factions that are somewhat similar, sharing some molds but in different colors.
And after that expansion packs could add new factions with their own building set, cards and everything.

The amount of, archers, infantry, cavalry, artillery and unique units would differ for each faction however.
It could always be the same number in total, but divided differently to show their focus. Should be a good amount of units available to field though.

As for combat.. I have no idea. That part is always tricky and I have not yet played games with large numbers of units.

saluk
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Joined: 05/11/2010
I think that trying to

I think that trying to simulate the real time aspect of an RTS in any kind of direct way is probably the wrong approach. I am OK with real time board games occasionally, but they tend to work best with shorter, simpler games, or with things like Captain Sonar where each player is doing a relatively compartmentalized, simple task. What you want to do is capture the feeling of the RTS, and of course the approach will depend on which aspects of that feeling you focus on capturing.

I think a primary aspect of rts games, and what the real time aspect brings you, is a pressure on your awareness. You can only keep track of one part of the screen at once, so you cannot see what your opponent is doing, or what is happening with your units at various parts of the screen. Very good players become experts at keeping track of all of the various timers of unit actions, and where the important areas are to track, and continuously change their focus often to keep track of everything that is going on.

This is pretty hard to replicate in a board game I would say.

OK, I have one kind of crazy idea. Has anyone played bananagrams, where you take tiles from the center and build your own little area out of those tiles? This method could be used in an interesting way for all aspects of an RTS game.

For building units, you have to find a tile that matches the symbol of your production building. You place that tile on top of the production building, but flip it - the backside has a new symbol that must be matched to produce the next unit.

For moving units, you have to place a tile on your unit matching a symbol of the space they move into. Different terrain have a different distribution of symbols (there is one symbol that allows movement along grass, but 3 or 4 different symbols for mountains, so each tile of movement you will have to change what you are looking for).

Combat... more pattern matching! Symbols damage units (different unit types may be different symbols or require more or less tiles to be placed on them). You can place the symbols when you have a unit adjacent to an enemy. To account for different kinds of firepower, perhaps there is some color matching as well. You can only place one tile for each adjacent unit, and only of the colors that are adjacent. If a unit takes one green triangle and two red squares, you can kill him only if you have at least one red and two green units adjacent. And then only if you pile up enough tiles.

To ease up on the chaos, the game could be played in phases. A collection phase where tiles are collected from a central pile into individual resource areas, perhaps you can only grab a certain amount according to how many of your buildings generate resources. Then the build/move/combat phase where you place the tiles from your resource area onto the map until all players run out of tiles. You can also pass if you would rather save the tiles for the next phase.

It's just a basic idea, but it avoids timers, and focuses on replicating the fact that the main skill being tested is that of players being aware of everything that is going on. If there is combat happening, you have to balance between placing attack tiles or movement tiles on the involved units to win that battle, while also using tiles to build or move in other zones of battle. I like that you are essentially only doing one type of action in all cases: looking for a place on the map where you are allowed to place one of your tiles.

Cheating will still be possible, though it's hard to avoid that in realtime games. In bananagrams, you can check if they cheated in scoring. For RTSgrams, these check phases could be implemented, perhaps when any combat results in a casualty or when a building produces a new unit.

Ryha2000
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Joined: 11/14/2016
X3M, not for commercial

X3M, not for commercial purposes... though at some point I may do a kickstarter. I didn't want to write a long post on a long dead thread, but since people seem to have been responding to it lately check out the development articles I wrote. I've spent a ton of time developing and playtesting Fall of the Last City and run more than 40 playtests now. It's a RTS with no timers, no dice rolling to simulate build times... to be fair play is divided into turns, but everyone moves at once during the turn. The rules account for race conditions and the game plays smoothly :)

If you are interested in the development details the articles are here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/paper-prototyping-iterative-design-christ...

If you are interested in what the gameplay looks like the trailer I made for a design competition is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fjRohaVDyw

I'm not selling anything! (Though one day maybe... ;) ) Just trying to contribute to the discussion with something I have put a lot of thought into!

saluk
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Joined: 05/11/2010
The blog actually looks

The blog actually looks pretty interesting, thanks for posting Ryha2000.

I've actually put some time into prototyping my tile laying rts game. It's pretty interesting, so thanks to this thread for providing some of the inspiration :) I don't know how much more I'll put into it but it's been fun.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
Ryha2000. I checked your

Ryha2000. I checked your blog. That looks very interesting. Do you have the rules somewhere written?

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