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"Simple" War-Game idea, need help!

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/17/2009

I want to make a deep, yet simple, war-game that is fun to play and easy.

What I got so far;

Players move over different terrain and try to conquer 1/3th of the board.
There is one standard unit type with wich you can fight against you opponent, these are blocks in 3 different colours wich represent the amount of units they are.
Each block is hide in a shell so that the opponent cannot see your units strenght.
The units in the shell take time to move i.e. a shell with 1 unit moves faster then a shell with 3 units, and there are different movement penalties for the different kind of terrains.
There are also certain rules wich apply to battle to resolve the battles, i.e. if you attack from 2 sides you get a bonus to offevense, or if you attack with mroe units you get a bonus etc.
After all points are calculated the battle will resolve with the simple math X-Y=?

The idea behind this is that you manouvre your opponent in such a position that you can fight him under the best circumstances for you, however because unit strenghts are hidden you'll have to guess what exactly is your opponents plan.

To spice this all up, I thought of 8 different special "Generals" or units troops, that add a certain bonus to the units they're attached too, i.e. move faster, more powerfull, les damage when fleeing etc.
At the beginning of the game you can secretly choose 3 of these 8 special units and use there bonuses in the coming battles.

What I would like to know;

How can I create fun battles without randomness, but wich are simple to resolve.
However, because battles and manouvring is what this game is about, there should be some depth in them.

How can I make it easy to remember and use the various rules you use in battle or for moving.

How can I create a fun map that is random and different per game whil not being hex-based or pre-printed?!

Do you have any advice for me, or suggestions what you would add or remove?

Thank you!

Arvin's picture
Joined: 05/29/2009
Can you tell me more?

Can you tell me more about your game? it's hard to say something when It's not clear what you are talking about...

More details like:
What's the theme?
How are battles Resolved?
What is the Setting?

I tried to create a game like that to... please tell me more... maybe we can share some Ideas..

Joined: 07/08/2009
Quick thoughts:

You might need more variable victory conditions than '1/3 of the board,' due to differing numbers of players.

I'd say that even deep and simple games can probably handle more than one type of unit. I'm not sure I can think of a time period where I would want that much theme sacrificed in the name of simplicity.

Your idea of covering units up with 'shells' (check out 'Stealth: The Game,' for a game that uses shells!) would probably be referred to as 'fog of war.' This has been accomplished in the past with things like blocks, printed on one side. These have the advantage of not having to ask your opponent(s) to look away for a second every time you forget where your different armies are! There's the downside that this wouldn't work as well with more than two players. I don't think the shell idea scales well either, though, seeing as there would be more people to accidentally get a peek whenever someone needs to check/ move/ place/ whatever a unit. Honestly, I haven't played or read about a board game with multiplayer fog of war like this. Has anyone?

Have you played 'Napoleon's Triumph?' It seems like there are things--hidden units, out-maneuvering, simplicity, lack of randomness-- that that game also set out to accomplish. I've read that the designer has really great notes/ diary-type-stuff about designing those games too, so maybe that's worth checking out!

Do you dislike hexagons for any particular reason? They are my favorite sort of random map creator. they seem like the simplest shape to use if you're going for geometric shapes. Um, I have never seen anything like this, but maybe if you had some free-form territory shapes, like little mini-boards, each one with a different number of 'connection points.' And then players took turns setting them up so at least two connection points connect to two more on other boards. They'd probably be kinda rounded, so the board fit together like a puzzle, with spaces in between (could be lakes, mountains, desserts . . . anything impassable in whatever world your game is set in) and once it was set up, anything that touched could be moved between.


Joined: 10/17/2009
Thanks! What I mean with


What I mean with shells is that it's open on one side facing the player who controls that piece, I thought of this so that units can switch shells and special units can be add to them.

The idea of th victory condition is that players (max. 2) get into conflict with each other.
Trying to figre out how strong your opponent is in a certain area and what kind of special bonuses he gets in a fight is key of the game.

A battle will be resolved by adding the various bonuses to both sides and then compare these 2 to see who has won.

I think this game is a combination between, chess, go, risk, and stratego.

Nix_'s picture
Joined: 09/23/2009
You could use terrain tiles

You could use terrain tiles to randomize a board, mix um up face down then lay them out.

Are the number of units in the shell the life of the shell?

You could give each shell a single attack power of 1 damage, to destroy 1 unit. Having multiple shells arounf an enemy shell will boost the attack, ie 2 shells 2 damage. Do you have generals for boositng attack and defense?

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