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couple o' ideas for my card game

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/13/2010

Okay so for starters my game design is a political/war card game.
It is intended for about 3 players (two is fine, but for max fun 3 or more are expected)
It uses a board where cards may be moved around.

Each player must keep track of their political standing, their money and their materials.
I was thinking of two other things.
since my game uses actual historical characters (Adolf Hitler of Germany, General Grant of America, Hidiyoshi Toyotomi of Japan, etc. etc.) along with units from history and now, such as paratroopers, knights, etc. I was thinking of incorperating a "tech level" Since there are cards classified as history and science cards (science is a type of card, so it may be applied to troop cards, law cards, etc. while History is a permanant card that is played for benifits to your side only, and only one card of its name is played at once per game, no matter the team) I was thinking each card would also require a "tech level" to be allowed to be played, and each history and science card may increase the tech level of the player.
would that be too much to keep track of?

players must also keep track of how many buildings are within their town (just one town per player, it is the main source of income and a "safe haven" of sorts (unless the enemy is devious and has cards that can enter/attack player towns)
amongst other things (such as law cards in play, which effect all players, negotiation bindings (out of card negotiotions that take place in negotiation phase which allow players to essentially "bend" rules to get the upper hand, such as forming alliences, giving tribute for safety, allowing another player to break your law, or whatever the players decide)

also, what about using a population? troops require so much population, houses provide x amount of population, stuff like that.?

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008
Sounds great!

This game sounds like a blast!

How far along are the rules? It sounds like you're still mulling over systems and their interactions. If you're still in the formative stages, you'll want different kinds of replies than if you've already hammered out most of your systems.

Can you be more specific about where you are at in the design process and what kind of feedback you want?

Assuming you're still at or just past the "brainstorming" phase, I'd say that the game sounds great but could have too many interdependencies to easily track, unless you streamline interactions.

For example, imagine all players lay "tech" cards into a single "time line" in the center of the table. Furthermore, every player has a colored counter which shows where his society falls on the timeline. Your position on the timeline determines the tech level of other cards you are allowed to play. You can advance your society along the "tech" track by expending some kind of resource.

This reflects the fact that technology, once discovered, quickly becomes "public domain," and anyone with sufficient resources can use the knowledge.

There might be a similar "law line" -- I keep envisioning a row of cards similar to the "Rules" in Fluxx. I love the idea of "laws" that govern the game, by the way. Been thinking of a political game based on this mechanic myself. Hope you can find a way to make it work.

Running with the motif of "lines" of cards, each player might maintain his own "history" line, which grants special bonuses and penalties, effectively making play asymmetric and reflecting cultural differences (hmm...maybe it's a "cultural" line instead of being purely "history" to allow for a wider number of cards?).

The scope of this game feels grand, and the notion of a single city seems too small. If you have a special setting that explains that scope, ignore this comment, but it feels more like you'd want a "country" than a city, based on the information you've provided. Either way, it feels like the number of cards in this "line" would abstractly represent your population, so you probably don't need to track that separately. Instead, you could express troop strengths as follows:

Infantry I (requires tech level 1): strength 1 + number of "red" buildings (assumes you have some sort of classification of buildings)

Navy I (requires tech level 2): strength 3 + number of "blue" buildings

Air I (requires tech level 5): strength 3 + lesser of "red" and "blue" buildings (immune to Infantry units)

and so on.

Not sure what your game is or how you envision interaction of the systems, so all this could be useless. If you give us more specific questions, we can provide better help.

Cool ideas, though. I'm interested to see where you're going with them.


Joined: 06/13/2010
First off I would like to

First off I would like to say, THANK YOU! this is far more an elaborate response than I was expecting.

sorry if I do things in a confusing way, but I wanted to answer the questions in order or interest...aka backwords XD

also sorry for the late late reply, I hope you still get the chance to read this, I had not checked back till last tuesday and could not get on the internet till today.
Okay so each player can play buildings within their city, but only to a limited amount of buildings (right now I was thinking about 5 squares, each containing 4 structures), but everything else is "free land" meaning within the game board. The only way another player can affect your city is by special cards (they have to specifically be able to move into, affect, or attack the main city) however the rest of the board players will be able to move across each others cards. I was thinking of calling the main city the capitol, that way piles of structure cards become refered to as cities.

I actually had the idea of each player being dependant on his own tech, but I like your way of putting it together better, that may make things flow alot smoother and give less to track.

In this game there is only one turn, my game uses a speed system: Each player roles a di that has 3 colors on it, this color determines tha players speed rating this turn(month), each card has the three colors on the left side, each one having a different number. Lowest numbers always win. Cards with the same speed take effect at the same time. Laws and tactics are played in the same phase, laws are permenants (that can be destroyed) that affect all players, tactics are limited to affecting a single player or troop for a specified amount of time (ill troop death, certain amount of months etc.), (I dont have my rules with me, I am at my college campus right now so bare with me) the first change you play laws they simply take effect, only the playing player my ignore the rules (losing standing each time they do) unless through some sort of alliance another player allows you to ignore his law (you lose standing as if ignoring your own law), the second time you can play (at the end of the month), all players who wish to play a law card put them down, players then vote on each law in turn, with majority votes a law can come into play, anything not accepted is removed from play (in the first phase of being able to play a law, you can only pass a single law, this allows you to pass as many laws as you want assuming the other players believe they will benifit them and you have the money for it).
I will check out fluxx, but basically laws can completely change how play runs in the game, any one law card can totally warp the flow of the game, change how turns or actions play out, change costs, max troops or basically anything, laws are the true rules of the game. I have some really cool ones already thought up, but I cant remember what they say cause I would like to use them as an example, like I said at school so I don't have all my stuff with me, and don't have a laptop lol (I'd be working on this game in my sociology class

for the history:
I actually had not thought of that, culture cards. There are many cards in the game with "cultural" ties, so that might not be bad. If I (or anyone that ends up helping me) come up with any culture specific cards that don't fit into a "history" aspect, I may change the name

If you want when I get home I can put up what I have for rules, that way you can get a better picture of how my game works and runs. would it be alright if I post it in word 2010 format?
since most units share the same abilities :IE all seafaring vehicles have the seafaring ability denying none seafaring and none aerial units attacking them, all buildings with the "wall" ability deny all but aerial units to pass through them, and so on and so forth, than all the standard abilities are also in the rules.

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008
My dog ate my homework...

Hey MW,

My apologies for the late reply. I actually wrote a return post last week, but either didn't send it or sent it into the ether.

Thanks for expanding your explanation. The game sounds neat! I still haven't gotten my head around it all the way, so if you do decide to post your notes and rules, that should help. Unfortunately, I don't have Word, so Word format doesn't work for me. PDF or RTF are best.

The Law system you describe sounds interesting. I'd like to see it in play. On one hand, the interactions look deep and the speed rules make things exciting. On the other, it seems complex and the voting could be trouble in a game with an even number of players. That said, I can see why you want the voting mechanic as a balancing factor. If you haven't already done so, I'm assuming a playtest or two will reveal if it needs tweaking.

I know what you mean about wanting individuals to have their own tech trees. You could achieve some of that by having history/culture cards that modify certain tech advances. For example:

Mounted Archer (this is a Persian Culture card)
When player attains both Calvary and Archery tech, all Calvary units can attack at a range of 2 at -2 strength.

Superior Engineering (this is a Germanic Culture card)
All mechanized units receive a defense bonus of +1.

And so on. You get the idea.

OK. I'm sending this immediately to prevent another screw-up. Hope to hear more about your game.


Joined: 06/13/2010
Actually I got to

Actually I got to thinking,the game journals on here would be good for posting the rules.

I will post it there once I get it all recompiled...because I work in so many other locations than home I dont keep everything together. and this coming sunday I was planning on compiling all my work before the first playtest (which is undecided when it will take place)
because I only have sundays off of work and school.

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