Skip to Content

The Magitech Wars (was: Crystal Archons)

25 replies [Last post]
Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
Crystal Archons - Sample Templates

Hello all,
While working together with Larienna on a game concept and templates (TBA), I was struck by what I think is a nice, little idea. Now i just wonder - what do you think, is the market already over-saturated? Is the idea unique, or does it sound like a copycat?

What happens when you put the old computer game Archon, the discontinued WOTC game Dreamblade and a bit of Summoner Wars and Mage Wars into a blender?

THE MAGITECH WARS - concept

* Components: Rules, Board, Cards, Tokens and a few d6
* The game symbolizes the fight between light and darkness (with elements like fire, earth etc. mixed in)
* uses only card components and mostly "creature cards", represented by typical fantasy beings
* Uses a 37 hex tile board, each tile is big enough to place a card on it
* players build spell books (exactly 18 cards) from the available cards before the game
* there is no deck, you start the game with all cards in your hand
* during your turn, you summon creatures onto your side of the board (your starting row or portal row)
* in the middle are 7 hexes that grant victory points when creatures occupy them
* the center of conflict is control the 7 special hexes (called "power points")
* controlling hexes or destroying enemy cards grants you victory points in order to win the game
* creatures cost mana to summon, you have an increasing amount of mana available each turn
* each creature features at least one special ability, up to three at max. one ability is always a magic spell that can be cast and allows you to use your creature in a different way than just attacking/moving. so each creature is basically a creature-card and a spell-card in one.
* each creature can perform 2 actions per turn: move once and/or attack once and/or cast its spell
* combat uses dice: each player rolls 2d6 and adds his creatures power. the player with the higher total wins and deals one damage to the opponents creature.
* some abilities trigger only if you roll a 6 when attacking or defending (similar to the blade ability found in dream blade)
* the game is NOT centered around your wizard, it is also NOT centered around a tribe or faction - in fact, you can build your spell book any way you like (combine zombies with dragons with knights with trolls with phoenix with sorceress with shapeshifter and so on...)
* the game would be easy, fast, cheap, non-collectible but expandable and probably available for print-n-play. the art would be cool, but non violent and therefore also suitable for kids.
* Finally, see the attached sample templates.

thats it, in a nutshell... any thoughts on this? thanks!

UPDATE

My artist and I started realizing this project, you can follow us here:

http://facebook.magitechwars.com
http://twitter.magitechwars.com
http://www.magitechwars.com

-Fhizban (1manstudio games)

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
I like the idea, but so far,

I like the idea, but so far, I have not found a way to make summoning creature on the map interesting to play. I hate summoner's war, and I tried exploring a game with hexes and DM cards like on the picture below and it failed.

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/uploads/Mainsite/Main/ProtypePicture/Pict...

So their is probably a key rule I was missing to make the game interesting. In LOTR confrontation, I think what makes it work is that all units stars on the board and you have hidden information. I do not necessarily prefer it this way.

I even had an idea to have a chess like game with various creature configuration, but again, all units started on the board. Even in archon, all units start on the board.

There is mage wars that looks interesting:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/101721/mage-wars

But I think why it works is because there is not that many playing space on the battlefield.

Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
well, that is in fact a

well, that is in fact a problem with lots of "build your forces" type of games. Dreamblade was also very slow during the first turns, and I know several RTS games on the PC that suffer from the same problem too.

But, i have tested this concept already (its based on a very old concept of mine) and came to the conclusion that it works. It was planned not to start with the full force in play. Why does it work?

* limited spaces on the board
* creatures can act the turn they come into play
* the winning condition is not destruction, but territory control (this makes you move forward)

Im a bit concerned about the combat system (2d6+strength VS 2d6+strength).

maybe split up attack and defense. maybe reduce to 1d6. im not sure yet.

the main reason for 2d6 is that it allows me to have "blade abilities" like in Dreamblade. This means, for every 6 you roll you can trigger a special ability written on the card (instead of using the value 6). if you have no special ability, you just use the value 6. some abilities require 1x6, but others require 2x6 to be activated (hence 2 dice are thrown).

thanks!
-Tobias (alias Fhizban)

Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
no one else with any thoughts

no one else with any thoughts on this?

EDIT: added three more sample images (links, as i dont know how to post images directly in the post) (note that this is not a completed game, just design concepts).

http://www.1manstudio.de/external/sample-rulebook-pages.jpg
http://www.1manstudio.de/external/sample-template.jpg
http://www.1manstudio.de/external/sample-gameboard.jpg

abdantas
Offline
Joined: 11/13/2012
I think a rock/paper/scissors

I think a rock/paper/scissors mechanic was always underplayed with table top games. Although I do know that a rock paper scissors mechanic can be a little simplistic, maybe you can go with the rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock. Personally, I feel like too much dice rolling can really hinder the pacing of a game. If i want randomness in my games i try to add it via card draw instead of dice roll. Sure the probability of you getting what you want is lower, but it lets you at least have a coherent strategy as the game goes.

I was going to incorporate something like that RPSLS in my own war game, as in each thing beats 2 ties 1 and looses to two. maybe it's something worth considering so the game keeps moving.

Also, I think for a proper tabletop RTS to really work, it needs to start with some sort of unit configuration on the board. Maybe you can give players enough starting resources to have a few units aside from the standard starting units in there.

Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
@ abdantas thank you! as

@ abdantas thank you!

as stated in my second post, im also worried about the dice rolls.

in fact, there was a earlier version of my concept that used no luck element at all.

but previous test plays as well as advice from people on the internet showed me, that most players like to see dice in a table top. otherwise it plays a bit too much like chess.

any more thoughts are welcome!

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
You could use something like

You could use something like my lord of the ring confrontation variant.

Roll 1 die for each point of strength the creature have. Keep all dice greater or equal the target number. The player that kept the most dice wins. In case of ties, both creature dies.

Now the trick, is that the target number can be adjusted to the player's taste:

2+: High strategy
3+: Balanced
4+ High Randomness (play with kids for example)

Simple system that could work pretty well for your game.

silasmolino
Offline
Joined: 02/01/2013
tuff to say

I see a problem with the occupation of the center hex row. Perhaps if you score points at the end of every turn this may work; the player to occupy a hex at the end of turn gains its victory points.

The other problem is that each player is only concerned with occupation of that center row, which is AKA king of the hill. There is no incentive to move into "enemy territory" to do battle. Perhaps you could scrap the board and just have duels against monsters for control over a row (the floor so to speak).

Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
@larienna thanks, you are

@larienna thanks, you are always very helpful!

right now it is: 2d6+strength. I have not chosen a target number system because summoner wars does it that way. but your point is good, will have to think about it.

@silasmolino thanks, good point. the game is actually planned to be "king of the hill" style. but it has to be fair and balanced. right now it works like this:

1. check victory points at end of turn. 6 points win the game.
2. players have to calculate the "balance of power" at the end of the turn. the balance of power is summarized for every player by adding two factors:
A. +1 for each creature destroyed this turn.
B. +1 for each point of power you occupy.
3. the player with the higher total, gains 1 victory point.

Hmm...?

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
A question

In the link with *template* it says that "Health" is under *Power* (On the top left-hand side). But in the sample cards, there is no "Health"!? But yet on two (2) of the cards (White Mage and Manticore) in the *Abilities* section, they talk about "being able to sustain additional hits".

Can you explain all of this... because it seems very inconsistent. I think the concepts are interesting - but there seems to be some things which are confusing.

(P.S.: I am old and get confused easily...)

BTW is the character artwork your own (White Mage, Manticore, Black Knight)???

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
I can partially reply to

I can partially reply to this. He has an artwork bank that is somewhat Public Domain that has been made by somebody he knows. We are going to use the same artwork for our game, or maybe temporarily, because our game has a CCG feel, and with no artwork, it will be hard to differentiate the cards.

(Try playing magic TG without pictures, almost impossible.)

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Size matters

larienna wrote:
I like the idea, but so far, I have not found a way to make summoning creature on the map interesting to play. I hate summoner's war, and I tried exploring a game with hexes and DM cards like on the picture below and it failed.

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/uploads/Mainsite/Main/ProtypePicture/Picture_PrototypeUnknown.jpg

Well one thing that I do know is that The Game Crafter has *Mini cards* which are 1.75"x2.5" and even smaller are *Micro cards* which are 1.25"x1.75".

You can have two options: have 2 decks, one with the smaller cards which simply refer to the card and then the normal poker sized cards. One COOL thing about this idea is that it keeps HIDDEN the abilities of the creature from the opponent. Obviously experienced players may know the special abilities of creatures because they play often, but still I think this is a *sort of Hidden Information*.

And since each player can customize the creatures they play with, they may not always have the card on hand to check what the opponents creature abilities are.

From their site you can even see the card being *supported* by a small stand:

https://community.thegamecrafter.com/publish/templates/cards/micro-cards

You might want to use those type of stands in your game.

It depends if you want to make your game more like a CCG or a board game. If it's a board game with a bunch on creature cards, well then you could use the smaller cards (as placeholders) and have players with a hand with their respective creatures...

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
More confusion

larienna wrote:
I can partially reply to this. He has an artwork bank that is somewhat Public Domain that has been made by somebody he knows. We are going to use the same artwork for our game, or maybe temporarily, because our game has a CCG feel, and with no artwork, it will be hard to differentiate the cards.

Okay so I understand artwork is someone's Public Domain...

But what I don't understand is "We are going to use the same artwork for our game". Who is WE? And what game are you talking about that has a "CCG feel"?

(Sorry I'm old and get confused easily...)

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
More questions (I am curious - I liked Archon)

Where does the name "Crystal Archon" come from?

I think the logo on the cards looks nice - but I wonder about the name.

I don't get why *Crystal* is used in conjunction with *Archon*. I see there are crystals in the artwork (cards) and concepts like "Crystal Mining" (?).

Maybe you could explain this...

What I like is the idea of customizing your game from a pool of creatures. This is nice - adds a lot of replayability. It also opens up the possibility of expansions to the game (which is always good).

I would not make it *Light vs. Dark*. This is what the OLD game was about. I would find something other twist. You could use a RPS-5 I have developed: Green (Terra) - Blue (Aqua) - Red (Ignis) - White (Solis) - Black (Lunae). Green are Earth creatures, Blue are Water creatures, Red are Fire creatures, White are Life (Sun) creatures and Black are Death (Moon) creatures. I have the RPS - but no reason to apply it to any game in particular.

Life creatures can be Unicorns, Pegasis, Humans. Death creatures can be Basilisk (Petrification), Werewolf, Vampire, Undead. Fire creatures can be hellish like Demons, hellhounds, Dwarves (Fire/mountains). Earth can be Druids, Driads, Elves. Water can be Sirens, Sprites, Merfolk (Mermaid, Merman).

Could be something like Archon: Circlet of the Heavens.

A circlet is a circular band made up of precious materials and it is worn on the head. It could be the PRIZE the winner is trying to WIN.

Each *color/element* could be used to control a HEX. BASICALLY you need 1 creature of each color to be on a "win HEX". The circlet (of the Heavens) can be made with 5 jewels encrusted: one for each color/element. The goal is to control all 5 colors (winks) and you would win (a little bit of a variant on what you were suggesting). You could make the "O" of "archOn" the circlet...

Jewels can be: Emerald (Green), Sapphire (Blue), Ruby (Red), Diamond (White), Onyx (Black).

Again just ideas that I am coming up with thinking what I think would be cool in the game. They are just ideas (to think about).

Not sure about the *Mana* part: how do you EARN it?

Maybe you should EITHER Move or Attack. Why? It allows for defensive play. You can retreat if a more powerful creature is trying to *kill* a weaker one. Worth thinking about. Makes it a little more like chess (or the original Archon).

I don't know - because I did not read about this - but you should consider the concept of RANGE. Each creature has a range of attack - like 1 hex, 2 hex or 3 hexes. Maybe for spells or abilities. More to think about. The RANGE of a creature should be indicated on the *Micro* card (Placeholder) so that the opponent can figure out how he is being threatened. Lower range = higher defense or health.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
RPS-5

The nice thing about the RPS-5 is that creatures are vulnerable to another category of creatures. So to defend a particular *win hex* (you call them "special hexes") you need to plan accordingly. I think this would add DEEP strategy... And HERE IS THE KICKER: you could borrow the *Hidden Information* of the game "Stratego".

The placeholders (Micro cards) could identify the "move" and "range" of a unit... BUT NOT the type of unit UNTIL it is attacked... This is COOL. You would cluster your forces and encounter the enemy units and then need to widthdraw or reinforce a cluster...

(Note: The opposite of RANGE would be the possibility to "move" MORE than 1 hex.)

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Summoning vs. static units

I think you said that units would need to be "Summoned" which is DIFFERENT from the OLD Archon which had static units...

Your concept has "*during your turn, you summon creatures onto your side of the board (your starting row or portal row)"

You could consider having a SPECIAL Pawn which is YOUR Archon.

You could summon a creature NEXT to your Archon Pawn. Archons could have different capabilities which make it that they can move MORE hexes than creatures... Archon Pawns cannot be attacked or defeated.

This makes it easier to manage 5 win hexes (you have 7 special hexes). 18 / 5 = 3.6 (so between 3 to 4 creatures per hex). Enough to make it that you don't have ALL 5 colors at a location (win hex).

5 hexes is also easy to implement: a cross. 3 horizontally and 3 vertically (1 share = 5). So the win hexes could be spread apart. With the Archon, it could take maybe 2 or 3 turns to reach a hex. I could picture a hex battle as a skirmish of creatures (maybe like 4-6)...

Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
woah - i have been asleep and

woah - i have been asleep and so many replies. Will try to go through them before work:

1. ART. Art is public domain, its from a friend (nickname Thalzon) who painted it for a computer game. its large enough to be used in PnP games as well. He allows uncommercial and commercial use of it. Still got no reply from him if im allowed to share the art.

2. HEALTH. The sample cards are older versions (this is an old concept). The newer version uses "dots" to represent health. the red template is the most recent one.

3. CARD SIZE. Ill stick to poker size, the gameboard is big enough. did a few tests on other games and found out that any other card size is bad (players not used to it, bad shuffling and most important: unable to use sleeves). especially for PnP you need cards that can easily fit into sleeves. also: when testing other games, I used hex tiles or big, round tokens in the past. they had a picture on the A side and the rules on the B side. the result? players complained all the time that they had to flip the tokens in order to read the rules. well..learned my lession!

4. WE/OUR GAME. well, thats still top secret (not related to this project).

5. CRYSTAL. well im not completely aiming for an archon remake here (copyright etc.). Its just what inspired me. I came up with crystals when designing templates for OUR (there it is again!) other game. In short:

* game uses hex-board - hexes look a bit like crystals
* dont want mana - want another term - crystals
* wanted elements in addition to good/evil - colored crystals
* wanted to use "archon" in the name but add something to it, to make it different - crystals
* players fight over big crystals called places of power - crystals

6. YOUR IDEAS. good stuff in there, have to think about it.

7. MANA. Ill explain later, it uses the same system as the Duelmasters CCG.

8. RANGE. its in, as a special ability.

9. STRATEGO. haha - another concept of mine was to blend Archon with stratego actually!

10. SUMMON. no static units - you summon them to the board instead. like in Dreamblade. I have tested this and it works like a charm. starting with all units in play - did NOT work (well it works, sort of - but i have to change the whole rules again).

11. ARCHON. no, YOU are the archon (the player). i dont want to focus on a central character (this is how mage wars does it). but there is a wizard character for each element, that is quite powerful and features a cool special ability that incorporates spells into the game.

12. WIN HEXES. you dont have to occupy all winning hexes. just some of them is enough, you gain victory points by controling these hexes.

13. FINAL TOUGHT. you start with lots of cards in your hand, thats your selection of units. but you will only be able to summon a subsection of these units onto the board to do battle. this is like playing a CCG with your whole deck in your hand (it will be smaller though). cards are not drawn etc. - just used as position markers and for reference.

thank you questccg for your detailed feedback, there is lots of wisdom in there!

cheers
-Fhizban (Tobias)

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
"But what I don't understand

"But what I don't understand is "We are going to use the same artwork for our game". Who is WE? And what game are you talking about that has a "CCG feel"?"

Yes, I am co-designing with Fhizban. We are not ready yet to make any announcement. The only clue I could say is that all the clues to find the answer are in this thread. But please do not PM me to know if you have the answer, I won't tell.

Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
hey guys,I actually started

hey guys,
I actually started working on this project for real. The name changed, as well as the theme and various gameplay mechanics. Rules and more information will be released soon (the fastest way to stay up to date is facebook). Feel free to read the introductory text below and follow the links to facebook, twitter and the project homepage (mind you Im not native english speaking, thank you for any errors pointed out):

THE MAGITECH WARS

http://facebook.magitechwars.com
http://twitter.magitechwars.com
http://www.magitechwars.com

ULTRA SHORT SYNOPSIS

"Take the old computer game archon, translate it into a boardgame. Add elements and warp the setting into a "phantasy star online" like far future. Then put everything on steroids and stir continually."

SYNOPSIS

" Since the Ascension, the universe is the hard-fought place of Technomagi. Besides their schemes and secret agendas, they fight a power struggle for the most valuable resource that is known to sentiment beings: Crystallium. This substance fuels all Magitech, an invention that grants godlike powers by fusing magic and technology. Mighty legions and armadas of spaceships became obsolete within the blink of an eye, as the Technomagi tapped into the possibilities of Magitech. In the far away future, battles are fought and decided by a selected few instead. Accompanied by their Minions, Technomagi strive for nothing less than ultimate rulership over the universe. And Crystallium is the key to victory… "

SUMMARY OF PLAY

In "The Magitech Wars" - players take the roles of mighty Technomagi - competing to claim Crystallium Sources on the plane, through skirmish battles. Using customized Vaults of cards, a hex-tile gameboard, six sided dice and tokens, they let their minions fight to become the emperor of a fictitious multiverse. From turn to turn the players summon Minions and move them around the board to let them battle. Players gain crystals by putting some of their Minions into the resource zone, and win the game through gathering six victory points. Those points are scored by controlling the most Places of Power on the gameboard, or by banishing enemy cards.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
I like phantasy star. That

I like phantasy star. That could be a cool theme.

Quick idea: Instead of accumulating victory points why not use a system like 1812.

Each crystal controlled gives you 1 VP non cumulative. The players need to trigger a certain event for the game to end. When the game ends, the player who currently control the most VP area wins.

The concept of 1812 is that city captures goes back and forth between Canada and US. It's very hard to defend everything, so you are always vulnerable somewhere. But if you have a strong difference with your opponent score, you could try to pass the truce and once it passes, the player with the most points/cities win. The worst case scenario I have seen is canada having a 5 point advantage (which is a lot), so canada passed the truce but they lost at the end of the turn because US captured 6 points in 1 turn.

Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
thanks for the heads up

thanks for the heads up larienna!

right now the sytem is balanced, its based on an old game concept of mine. tested and refined it very much, back in the days.

in fact it goes like:
A. gain 1 VP per crystal under your control
B. gain 1 VP per enemy creature destroyed this turn
C. gain 2 VP for the center crystal.

you keep track by putting creatures face up in your graveyard and then turn them face down at the end of your turn (after VP calculation).

but your idea sounds good. now i just wonder how this event triggering is supposed to work. can you post 1-2 examples?

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
in 1812, one of the movement

in 1812, one of the movement card is a truce. So eventually, the truce is going to happen because the card will have to get played. Because in that game, you place a mobilize card each turn ( which has various effects).

Another idea could be to have some sort of clock like and event deck where players can manipulate the depletion speed or the content of the card.

For example, in Starcraft, there is 3 end game cards, and when 2 of them are drawn the game is over. You could allow players to cycle the deck faster, or allow them to stall the deck, or even return an end game cards.

Again in starcraft, "Stalling Tactics" reshuffle the card in the deck. While another accelerate the process by making you draw and extra card.

Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
cool stuff, only one problem:

cool stuff, only one problem: there is no deck in this game.

instead you start with all cards in your hand (thats 24 per player).

its strange, i know - but it works like a charm.

EDIT: you can also check the first fully finished card here:

http://www.bgdf.com/node/8118

Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
sorry double post. So, the

sorry double post. So, the game concept is making rapid progress:

Just a quick announcement that the free PDF Rulebook for “The Magitech Wars” has been released. Head straight to the download section and grab your copy. Be sure to read the rules thoroughly before the Nexus Core Set is released (wich will be soon)!

http://www.magitechwars.com/downloads

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
I never tried yet a game

I never tried yet a game where you have access to all your spell in your hand. The problem I was expecting is to have a dominant strategy where you always play the same combo or your stronger cards first.

Fhizban
Fhizban's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2009
I think it works, the

I think it works, the original concept started this way because it was intended to use miniatures instead of cards. A system like also worked in WOTCs discounted game Dreamblade.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/22897/dreamblade

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut