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Tradewars - Homeworld: Rulebook

Sample Tactic card

Well our rulebook is starting to be 100% complete as the game reaches the crux of solidity. I will be updating the rulebook this weekend with three (3) outstanding issues:

  1. Trade starships can defend a Homeworld.
  2. The use of Tactic cards instead of Starship Abilities.
  3. Allowing players to discard cards from their hand.

As we go through the list of issues, we currently only have ONE (1) issue left to think about:

  • Allowing players to discard starships.

This rule is controversial because it may only apply to Fighter starships. I'm still not sure if players should be allowed to PAY to have a starship discarded from the Space Lane. More thought on this one will be required...

Other than that, the game has been playtested and there are no other issues that my two (2) playtesting groups have found. This is great news as we move towards the FINAL version of the game! :D

Note: When I say *final*, I mean the most solid version that the Publisher will get prior to any revisions or suggestions they may have with regards to rule changes! The Publisher's playtest sessions may reveal other issues that may need to be address or clarified.

Specifically I'm thinking about clarity of the rulebook in terms of playing the game.


Tactics revision

I also plan to revise the Tactic cards themselves for two (2) distinct reasons:

  1. I want visual cues for Firepower and Resistance modifiers.
  2. I want to make sure the Tactics themselves are balanced.

The first point is all about clearly understanding the cards when they are played. If you have +1 Firepower, I would want a circular button in the Top-Right corner with a +1 value.

The second point has to do with the gameplay during a four (4) person VERSUS game. I currently have some Tactic which last until the end of players turn but I may want to revise this so that SOME Tactics last until the end of a round (until your NEXT turn).

So I will be working on those tomorrow! :)

Last outstanding issue

In the OP, I had stated that there was ONE (1) issue left to consider:

  • Allowing players to discard starships.

I believe that for now, we will NOT apply this rule. The reasoning behind this is, if the starship is weak (low Resistance), the opponent can easily destroy the starship with a more powerful one. That's quick and easy.

If on the other hand the starship is very Resistant but has little Firepower, well this is a good starship to defend with (And so it has a purpose).

So I think the conclusion is that weak starships will get destroyed and you can deploy NEW starships as the old ones get destroyed. I don't feel adding a rule to discard starships is really necessary...

Steady as she goes

I'm wrapping up the modifications to the rulebook. It took me a couple of hours. However I want to make an additional revision to ensure that the rulebook's index is 100% accurate. I have noticed that some terms are not indexed on all the appropriate pages.

I will also be looking into revising the Tactic cards. What I am doing is adding visual cues for changes in Resistance or Firepower. Things like additional buttons in the top-right corner to make the impact of Tactic cards MORE obvious.

I hope I can get through all 15 cards tonight and maybe upload them to The Game Crafter (TGC) and place the order later tonight. It would be another order for 60 cards (15 x 4 decks).

So things are progressing nicely that I can maybe have my weekend to work on Software corrections (or additions)...

Update: The number of cards that needed visual cues (or edits) is equal to 9 (instead of 15). So that means my order will be for 36 cards only... Might as well get the best looking cards as the final version (prior to releasing it to the Publisher)!

I also uploaded the changes to TGC... but there are 1,100+ orders in the queue! WOW!!! It says my order will be shipped around April 15! Plus 10 business days for delivery, I should have these updates by May! :(

Oh well... that's how long I have to wait!

All done

Well it took me the day to review and edit the rulebook with all of the missing rules.

I wanted to take this moment to reflect upon the words of another game designer. When I started to design "Tradewars - Homeworld", about 10 months ago, I was talking about the weapons that should be used in the game. One designer said traditional Sci-Fi weapons like "Lasers" or "Blasters" were, quote, "Boring!"

Instead he said it would be much cooler if the game used other weapons such things like "Computer Viruses" and other such high tech assets.

Well that's what the Tactics deck is ALL ABOUT: it uses high tech Tactics to try to help players defeat their opponent's starships.

So in that pile you will find things like "Computer Virus", "Polymorphic Source" or "Doomsday Device", etc. That deck of cards is really exciting because they act like Magic Instant cards: you can literally play them ANY TIME.

I think players will be very satisfied with the addition of this deck of Upgrade cards that may be bought for a player's deck. Much like in the spirit of the original game, the Tactic deck offers players some controversial cards that are sure to create some memorable game stories! Or so we hope! ;)

Update: I updated the OP to include a SAMPLE Tactic card for those who are interested. The colour of the Tactic cards is PINK... It was that or Brown and I found that Brown was shitty looking (Joke) and it was too similar to Orange... So I used Pink! ;)


This is a little bit off topic - but it shows if you make efforts to share the project(s) you are working on... it leads to good results.

Specifically I am talking about showing the "Cloaking Device" Tactic card. I posted it up because I felt people who were following the development of "Tradewars - Homeworld" may like to see how the game is progressing and what the latest changes were.

Well when I uploaded that Sample Tactic card, I noticed the artwork was not 100%. This led me to check the Photoshop file and realize that one (1) layer was missing a clipping mask!

Basically all my cards were a little bit off - because of the missing clipping mask...

So by oddly sharing the image, I found out that the cards were off because of a single layer that was incorrect. How about that for Karma! :D

Order shipped

Well I have to first thank The Game Crafter Gods because my order was processed and shipped! This is GREAT news because it means that most likely the Publisher will receive this latest batch of corrections...!

The edits were minor, just some visual cues and wording on the Tactic cards themselves. However I'm certain the Publisher will appreciate having the most *up-to-date* version of the game.

Obviously playtesting could have been done with the existing version, however the 9 corrected cards do a little bit to make the Tactics seem more clear.

I should have these changes perhaps as early as the end of next week! FANTASTIC!!!

Got the Go-Ahead

Since my order is in the mail, I should receive it probably by the end of next week... Which is GOOD (more like FANTASTIC) because the Publisher has responded to my last e-mail and I have been provided with mailing information for the prototypes.

So I will wait until I can include the latest changes in the two (2) game sets that I will be mailing.

It will only be a *minor* delay (one week). Much better than the projected 1 Month delay (again Thank You TGC)!!!

Note: I wanted to CONFIRM that the order was actually shipped and given the tracking information, I know the order is on it's way to Canada! So it shouldn't be too long before those changes arrive. :)

Snail-Mail (why)???

Well it looks as if the latest changes are taking MORE time in transit... That really bugs me, because I wanted these changes quicker for two (2) reasons:

  1. I wanted to playtest the Tactic cards using the revised versions which offer more clarity than the older ones.
  2. I want to mail my prototypes to the publisher who is interested in playtesting the game.

Obviously both reasons make a lot of sense. Reason #2 is probably more of a priority than Reason #1 but maybe getting in one last playtest before submitting the prototypes to the publisher might make some good sense also!

Guess I just have to wait patiently and hope they come some time early next week! Ughh...

Update: It looks as if my parcel kind of "lost its way" in the mail... But it's back on track and making it's way to my home now. I checked on USPS and it seems like for some reason my parcel travelled further than needed and then was sent back to the proper processing hub (Chicago).

Finally in

So the last changes to the Tactic cards have finally come. It's great to see the improved cards... Much more obvious in some circumstances.

On another note, my playtest using the new cards was supposed to be tomorrow but it has to be rescheduled. I will be playtesting the game next Thursday if all things go well (and there are no other delays).

I also plan to ship out the latest corrections (perhaps even this week). The parcel is already ready with the Prototypes, all that remains is wrapping it up, printing up the address stickers and mailing it at the local Post Office.

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blog | by Dr. Radut