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Feed back requested for a simple abstract wargame

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/21/2008

I've been noodling with a simple game that will be made using 'rustic' counters, needs to play pretty quickly but have some tactical play. Hopefully by having to pick your next piece to play without knowing what your opponent will do will give the tactical part, I've been thinking on a way to have to choose next two pieces whilst keeping it simple as one in the hand


Draft your army
Fill a 5x5 grid with 'tetris' style blocks totalling no more than 4 and no more than 3 in any dimension (e.g. 2x2, T shape, L shape, 1x1, 1x3).

On the 6x6 battle board place three pieces down so they do not overlap or go past the second row. Pick the first piece you will play next and hold it in a closed hand or under a cup or some such

Following turns:
show piece to opponent and you can either
lay it so it touches one of your pieces already in play as long as it does not overlap any other piece (yours or opponents)
Put it behind your first row and move it and all the pieces it touches forward one row, this will push any opponent pieces back one row as well. If a piece has more than one depth the remainder is left off the back of the board.
Odd shaped pieces could make use of gaps and still push pieces forward (L and T shapes mainly here).
Once you have a column from your base line to the opponents baseline then the opponent can no longer lay pieces in that column
Pick your piece for your next round.

Victory conditions:
Control of any two touching columns, one must be from central pair
Control of any two columns but these must be on both left and right flanks and neither of the central columns.
If both sides run out of pieces count up the area of pieces removed and add 5 for control of a column. 

Joined: 12/27/2013
I love the idea! Like

I love the idea! Like physical Battle Tetris on the same board.

I guess you're limiting the length of the play by having each player only have 10-ish pieces at their disposal. I thought it would be cool to have more push and pull in such game, and seeing/figuring out how the pieces would align and shape the battlefield as they go.

Joined: 03/30/2015
Thumbs up for a cool idea!

I'm really liking the sound of the gameplay. It seems simple, but refreshing at the same time. It makes me wonder what kind of theme would suit this. If you wanted to choose a war theme, Roman Cavalries could work (thinking of the different pieces as formations).

Now, this might be me (inexperienced and all), but I wonder if this is the kind of game that might benefit from character powers?

Joined: 09/21/2008
thanks for comments

To be honest it is going to be an abstract game like fox and geese or chess lite. It will be played in a live roleplay environment as a quick light game to play whilst having covert chats so will be made out of clay / wood so not looking to have character units or have a strong historical hook / theme.

If it plays well then it is something I will include as a battle resolution system in a bigger game

Joined: 03/02/2014
It definitely has potential.

It definitely has potential.

I don't see the reason for the first step of drafting your army. If you were manufacturing this game, that step would require you to add at least one extra 5x5 board. And by the third or fourth time playing, people would have a standard drafting set that they like. I think you'd be better off just defining the starting sets, or possibly including all the pieces but players have to pick 2 or 3 that they won't have available.

Stajin Imaizumi
Joined: 01/30/2015
I love this idea too.

I got super excited to play this game while reading your rules.

I guess your first question is 'what mechanic could you use to select a piece without your opponent knowing what you've selected from your 5x5 preparation grid?'

A simple blind is always one way to hide. Do the 5x5 preparation grids need to be exposed during play? A kind of 'touch-pad-computer-like' cover over the grid allows players to select a piece secretly. Just lift it up and pick up the piece in your hand.

As a player, I often use personalized methods for game play and overall management of game pieces. You could just set down the rule and let the players figure out which method to use in order to abide by the rule.

I've got a question about your 'preparation 5x5 grid'. I'm not getting why it's used. But, let me throw out a thought I had. Once someone much smarter than myself figures out the optimal formation of placing pieces inside this grid, from then on players will use the optimal formation with every play. This may detract from the game and reduce replay value.

Looking forward to playing this.

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