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AxD (Architecture by Design) - Architecture Theme LCG WIP

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/14/2016


So I modified my game recently and it has come to this.

Brief of Gameplay:

Players compete using real architects, cities and buildings in their quest to become the greatest architect. Use events, plans and experience to increase your status, or devastate your opponent. The first play to achieve a Status of 9 or higher on their turn wins the game.

2-3 players (possibly 4 with teams)
20-35 minutes


Joined: 01/17/2011
Interesting theme

I was attracted to the theme of this game, since it is not a common theme (and I like architecture). I like the use of real-world architects and architecture. It appears to be an engine-building game with only a small amount of player interaction, which suits the theme.

I do wonder, though, whether it boils down to random chance on the draw with fairly minimal meaningful decisions. Are the dice really necessary to randomize the draw? If the player could choose any 2 cards to draw each turn, would that break the game or would it enhance it?

The rules document is reasonably easy to read, though I struggled to figure out how to play from a single read through. After seeing the sample game layout at the end, and then re-reading all the rules, I think I figured it out. Maybe a few changes to the rules layout/ordering would make it easier for new players to pick up.

The rest of the comments below relate mostly to incidental things (rules clarity, card layout, etc), as opposed to the important thing (gameplay). I think that feedback on gameplay is more useful, but given that I struggled to figure out the gameplay I will suffice to provide the feedback below.

Stating the winning condition in the intro section is good. What would also help is to explain Status, since currently it is buried in the description of the Design cards. E.g.: "You have Status equal to the sum the levels of your Design cards in play. The first player to reach a Status of 9 or higher on their turn wins the game."

For the cards, I like the layout and the use of icons for the experience in the top right. The color-coding is also good, but to make the game more accessible to color-blind people consider using an icon or text to differentiate the card types in addition to color.

Consider using icons or symbols on the cards to represent commonly used concepts/card types. For example, on the city cards use a symbol or icon next to the number to make it obvious that this is the number of plans required to activate the ability. For example, if you used # for blueprint, & for experience, and @ for cities, then the card would read: "2# Draw experience & equal to the number of your cities @ in play" These same symbols would be on the card types (see paragraph above about color-blindness).

Consider ways to make the cards more self-explanatory, so new players don't have to keep asking how they work. For example, the special ability on Chicago could be prefixed with: "Pay III: If an opponent has a Skyscraper ..."

It is unclear how the double-ended Event cards are used. Do both abilities activiate? Do you choose one? Does the experience cost apply onto to one or both of the abilities? Again, try to make the card self-explanatory, so that players don't have to read the rules to figure out how to play the card.

It is unclear where the Plan cards come from. Are they part of one of the other decks, or do you get to place 1 Plan every turn for free?

The Competition seems like it would be a rare event. E.g. in a 3-player game you would expect on average 1 Competition every 12 rounds. Does this event add enough to the gameplay to warrant being included in the rules? What is the purpose of the Competition, from a gameplay perspective? It appears to have a small catch-up mechanic (since a player with lots of Experiene has to discard them all), but then the resulting benefit is completely random. In its current form the whole rule seems unnecessary and arbitrary. Consider whether you could remove it (to streamline the rules) or changing it (to enhance the gamplay effect).

Similarly the Partnership. These rules add complexity but it is unclear whether they enhance gameplay.

All the best with your game.
As with every game: Playtest, playtest, playtest.


Joined: 03/02/2014
I'm with kos, that I like the

I'm with kos, that I like the theme and your use of real people and architecture. Please understand that the criticism is meant constructively, and I wouldn't even bother if I didn't think you have an interesting start.

(I think I said this on your other thread) I also dislike the use of dice (which, by they way, is the correct plural: one die, two dice). If you have a particular ratio by which you want people to be drawing the cards, then just make a single deck with that ratio and they shuffle it all up and draw from it.

I realize that this makes some of your powers trickier, like "draw 3 experience cards" but you could change it to "draw 6 cards, keep only the experience cards and discard the rest." This has an added advantage (I think it's an advantage for this game), that you chew through the deck faster and get more reshuffles. If someone sees a card go by that he really wanted, he knows it will have another chance to come up in not too long.

Or you could make just the experience cards a separate deck (or even tokens), and you never draw them into your hand. You start with some number, and every turn you get one for free, plus the ones you get from powers.

Joined: 01/14/2016
Thanks for commenting!

I've updated the rules to fix some confusion.

Rules v2:

In response to some of your comments:

- Players now can draw two cards from a Deck to start their turn

- I removed the colored icons on the Event cards, as they now can be equipped to any card on the field (except Architects)

- Plan cards are essentially tokens that are needed to activate Architect effects and can reduce the number of cards needed to build a City.

- While the dice are no more, some City effects can engage a Competition. It is a stretegy to decrease an opponent's Experience cards. However it is a risk to undertake, which is part of the strategy.

- Partnership allows players to use each other's City effects, as normally each player can only use their own. Again some City effects can engage in a Partnership.

Joined: 01/14/2016

After some playtesting I realized that the Plan cards were to similar to Experience cards, so they have been eliminated.

I also changed some of the icons to make them easier to read.

Updated Rules:

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