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Finally decided: AirMech CCG

11 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/16/2014

Well, after a lot of thought, I've decided I'm going to focus on making a AirMech card game. I hope I've got some fun ideas, and I would love to see you're guy's input.

I previously was determining whether to do a card game that was played in real time, or to do this. I think this would work better, so I'm going to start fleshing out my ideas. It won't be played in real time, but I hope it'll at least invoke that feeling of an rts!

Joined: 04/30/2013
just saying, might be better

just saying, might be better to announce such things as a blog post than a forum post.

DifferentName's picture
Joined: 09/08/2013
Please don't delete topics

Please don't delete your forum topics. People take their time to write out responses, and you are deleting all of their posts.

Joined: 02/16/2014


X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
So that is what happened to

So that is what happened to that post?

I was writing out my idea to get a simultaneous game. Suddenly a delete.

I thought of where all players play at the same time to get a real time feeling. Just with cards, no dice, no board. But in a same way where even range and speed had a function.

Even though it was not completed yet and needed to be reviewed here. It was also a new mechanic, so I forgot most of it after my 2 days of alcohol.

I could rewrite if you like. But I am not certain what you want to put in your sci-fi space combat theme. Does it contain stuff like infantry and tanks too? Or is it just space ships?

The mechanic contains rules for:
- Armor
- Damage
- Damage multiplier
- Range (who shoots first, out range as well)
- Speed (maximum size of protection)

I had thought of how walls could have a function.
How defence structures could have a function.
And it can be played as if it is MtG vanilla.
The main strategy would be making the right combinations.

The turn based part would be where one player can decide to attack or not. The defender always can defend. The defender has a bit more options and a bit more units in a fight. Thus the scale is favoured to the defender.
The attacker however does have options to break through certain defences.

And an empty deck will result to a last man standing game.

That is all I remember for now.

Joined: 02/16/2014
I really did like the idea of

I really did like the idea of a competitive RTS card game, but I just don't think it would work. Mechanically it might, but it just feels so... gimmicky? Plus, my biggest problem with a pure RTS card game is that it feels like the games would play out very similarly each time.

That's why I decided to go with the AirMech card game... well, technically you could call it a board game. It has cards, dice, and a map.

I don't think my idea will ever go away though: it'll keep nagging me :P
It's just that, well, StarCraft as a card game would be awesome. Heck, I could use a map to make games more... different. It's just that the real time aspect would be so hard to incorporate into a game, whether board, card, etc. How would you keep it simple enough, fair, and intriguing?
I think my idea of using sand timers with groups of cards would "technically" work, but how would you feel about it?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
With real time, you need to

With real time, you need to keep players forced into playing.
But if you have a board game or card game, perhaps it is better to have a simultaneously game. Thus everyone makes a decision, place that on the table, still hidden, then play it out when everyone is ready.

With having very expensive or cheap units. You still could implement a resource pool. Which buys 1 expensive or several cheap units at a time.

When time passes, players should be able to reduce or expand the resource pool. One way or another.

The resource pool itself could be, harvesters/scv/drone/probe's. Refineries, but also production facilities.

just some idea's.

Joined: 08/13/2012
May I ask why?

I have seen some of your posts on these forums and I would encourage anybody to try and make board games and card games. I have noticed that all your ideas seem to be basically a board game/card game version of an existing video game. What is your goal with trying to replicate existing video games as board games/card games?

Personally I find replicating a game on a different medium does not turn out very interesting. Have you ever thought of the possibility of designing your own game? sure, by all means, use other board games/card games/video games as an inspiration.

Just suggesting that you try creating a game from scratch, maybe using inspiration from other games. You might find it as an interesting experience...

Joined: 02/16/2014
It's not so much as trying to

It's not so much as trying to recreate an existing IP, as more of trying to recreate a mechanic! I was thinking of my own ideas, it's the Real Time Strategy aspect that I'm thinking about.

The simultaneous action system might work.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Well. It depends on the other

Well. It depends on the other mechanics what is possible. Also if it is a card game or board game, that difference is important. I got lucky with my action point system. But even that isn't a perfect simoultain game. I believe that with cards it is possible to get closer to this. And it contains a sort of fog of war.

If one card hids a number and another an unit to buy. Then production of aditional units is in a fog of war.

If one card contains a squad of 1 tank. Or 2 vehicles. Or a group of infantry. All worth the same. We even can keep the fog of war.

You can even protect one squads identity if you want by throwing in a protector. For this I need to give some worked out examples to understand. But it would be an card game only. Stratego style of some sort.

Onle question remans. Do you want to keep track of units health? And how are we going to do that while keeping the fog of war? Putting counters under the card? One thing is sure. For this we need the health to be low. Stuff like tracking 108 health is not an option for a game like this.

Joined: 02/16/2014
Yes, health values are going

Yes, health values are going to be lower. I'm not sure if I'm going to use fog of war in it, but I'm still deciding on either real time/simultaneous, or purely turn based. Both still have that RTS feeling, though.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Warning TLDR post, mainly how I see a card version of RTS

(And it needs more work too)

When I have the time, I will put a bit together. Just to see if health truly can be discarded with the idea that I have in mind.

In that way you can have the RPS like in all those RTS. While maintaining the MtG way of fighting. Just with cards.
And the predictability should remain low. It is all in how the players gain their forces.

Of course there are weapons that are less effective. However, using sufficient of those squads could still lead to a destruction. Just like how several elves can take down a worm in MtG. Thus a situation that is unlikely will still be common.

However, I wonder if a battle should continue until one of the 2 groups is annihilate completely. Or a one time shot and survivors on both sides can retreat.
Either way has it's imbalance properties.
With complete annihilation, the game ends very fast.
With retreat, the durable units will remain the longest.
I normally go for the second though. There is enough destruction.

First strike will become very important in the form of range weaponry. Why? Because if health is not existent, then each range is a +100% on weaponry.
The same goes for speed.

Some example cards:
Rifle Infantry Squad
20 Units
1 Armor (20 total Health)
1 Damage
2 Speed
2 Range

Grenadier Squad
12 Units
1 Armor (12 total Health)
9 Damage
3 Speed
1 Range

Rocket Soldier Squad
4 Units
1 Armor (4 total Health)
49 Damage
1 Speed
3 Range

Battle Tank Platoon
4 Units
25 Armor (100 total Health)
25 Damage
2 Speed
2 Range


Units indicates how many there are in one card.

Speed indicates how many cards there can be in one group. A card with speed 0 will be alone and cannot protect others. Others however with speed 1 or higher can protect the unit with speed 0, or simply hide behind it.
A group with Speed 0, 1 and 2 can be just as big as Speed 2, 2 and 2.

When Damage > Armor, it is a kill. Remaining damage is lost. But you need to be able to kill all units at once for defeating the card.

When Damage < Armor, it is partially damage and you need to add up until a unit is defeated.

Highest Range shoots first, cards may already die.
However, if the Range is lower then the amount of cards in 1 group. This card cannot fire. Not even after cards have already died. (not sure about that last rule, need to play test)


With these 4 as examples. Not only do the Rocket Soldiers overkill. Since they have 1 more range, they have the first strike. A Battle Tank Platoon stands no chance. But if there are 2 Battle Tank Platoons, just 1 Rocket Soldier Squad will die. But a 2v2, the Rocket Soldiers will win again.

Now, there are limitations. You can only use 2 Rocket Soldier Squads as a maximum at the same time due to the Speed. While the tanks can have 3 cards. In that case. 2 Platoons die, and 1 Rocket Soldier Squad dies.

However, if the player with the Rocket Soldiers also has a Platoon him/her self. He/she can place this in front. The Speed(2) indicates that the group of cards can contain 3. With the Platoon in front. The Range however, needs to be 2 at least as well to be able to fire across.
There are situations where you only use grenadiers and tanks. But due to situations, the tanks are in front of the grenadiers. The Grenadiers in the back cannot fire.

There is of course also out ranging against towers. But with these rules, there are plenty of units protecting the towers.

And with groups, the front line dies first.
You could add cards to revert things etc. Like attacking the flank or the back. These could be added to a group of cards for one round.


With the above, we need to design more cards.
But also see where the game seems to be repeating itself. The more diversity, the exponential the path's become.

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