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Luc Byard
Luc Byard's picture
Joined: 07/03/2015

Quadratium is a card game of 'square control'. It is essentially an area control game played with cards on a 5x5 board. I have built a prototype deck and put together my first draft of the rules (only 4 sides of A5) but I've never had anyone interested in looking at it so all of my progress so far is based on my own experience playing against myself.

I've attached the draft of the rules and would appreciate any feedback - I've tried to be as clear as possible.

If you don't want to download the rules, the short, short version goes like this:

Two players (Red and Blue) create a 15 card deck by selecting three of the six 5-card modules available. Each module is of equal value but set-up differently.

Players play the cards onto the grid facing any orthogonal direction: each card exerts control over the 4 adjacent squares and has 'control values' on it showing how much control it exerts. Control is cumulative and empty squares are controlled by the player whose cards exert the most control over it. You automatically control a square if you have a card in it.

You cannot play a card into a square that your opponent controls.

Some cards have abilities that you can use at certain times, like allowing you to rotate cards on the board to face a different direction or allowing you to increase the strength of an attack.

A card can attack another to remove it from the game and, at the player's discretion, move into the square vacated by the lost card.

When a player cannot deploy a card, the game ends and the winner is the player who controls the most squares.

Thanks for reading.


Tbone's picture
Joined: 02/18/2013
Looks Cool!

I'm pretty picky about games to be quite honest but I love this. The only thing is I feel the elements are so generic... something new and fresh for those would make me even more interested.

I read over your rules briefly and I loke it so far. It seems rather simple but since you can orient the cards in any way it increases the replay value.

I feel that the special abilities could be expanded as well! And maybe even have cards have a weakness towards a element type and a strength (water gets +1 attack vs. Earth and fire but -1 defence against light and air).

If you'd like to collaborate further, definitely PM. I have a game with similar positioning/tactics and we might be able to bounce ideas off of each other.

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread!

Joined: 03/02/2014
Interesting. I'd definitely

Interesting. I'd definitely be glad to try it some time.

Some suggestions, which you should try or ignore as you like (of course).

Right in the intro, you should say how long it takes to play. I get the feeling that it is 15 minutes or so, but I really don't have any idea.

I'd like to see more abilities, I think. I'm not sure, because maybe the variation in the cards is significant enough to be interesting. Certainly play-test it with just those abilities, but then see if people are looking for more variety. Immune to flanking and immune to combos are two abilities that immediately spring to mind.

I'd rather the special abilities be denoted on the cards through some means other than just two letters. Write out the words, and / or have icons that make it more clear. Your way, I need two leaps of memory -- one for what words those two letters translate to, and then another for what that means. Try not to require more than one leap of memory, ever.

So the game comes with 2 copies of each card set? Looking back, I see that it does. It might be more interesting just to have one of each set, so players are forced to have different sets from each other. They could be selected at random, or you could have a drafting technique. Then, of course, you'd have to have an easy way to remember that "I'm fire, light, and dark, and he's air, earth, and water, so you'd want them to be distinctively different and you'd want selection cards that you put on your side of the board to help remember. (I think that this approach is at least worth a play test.)

I suggest that you make the cards square, with attack and defense values in the middle of each side. Instead of arrows for direction, you could have one value in a shield and one value with crossed swords behind it, for defense and attack.

I think that this text is clearer. (Or maybe I was just easily confused and needed a second read. :D )

CM (Combo): When you make an attack with this card, add 1 to the attack value for any other of your cards that are adjacent to the target card.
FL (Flank): When you attack with any other card and this card is adjacent to the target, add 1 to the attack value.
Note: Combo and Flank abilities stack, so When a Combo card attacks with a Flank card adjacent to the target, 2 will be added for the Flank card.

Luc Byard
Luc Byard's picture
Joined: 07/03/2015
Thanks for reading.

Thanks for your comments Tbone. I'd discounted the idea of a 'paper, rock, scissors' mechanic but that was across the whole game. The idea of only giving it to some cards is much better and opens up a whole 'branch' of extra abilities so I'll do some work on this for a future revision.

The elemental feel is here to stay though I'm afraid, I don't want to go down the route of any specific theme on this one but future expansion modules could branch out a little: Digital, Industrial etc.

Thanks again.


Luc Byard
Luc Byard's picture
Joined: 07/03/2015

Thank you Zag for giving the rules so much consideration.

You're right about the time estimate; people like to know. Having only play-tested the game by myself though, I can only guess for a proper two-player; maybe nearer 20-25 mins.

Immunity is a great idea to expand the abilities. I'll add it to Tbone's to be looked at.

I think you're right about the abilities being shown better on the cards. It's a simple game but the current notation could provide learners with an unnecessary hurdle, I'll work on this.

A lot of my test games used all 6 modules, mostly because I was learning how they played but I'm not sure it added enough, if anything to make it mandatory. I think I prefer giving the players choice and the blue/red borders will make it easier to read the board as the territory develops.

Square cards: For a dedicated print, I'd definitely consider this as it might help the game stand out. I've never had any trouble reading the side values as they are, maybe because the cards are portrait but if they went square, I think 'all sides' would be the way to go.

Thanks for all your feedback; this game's just sat there for the last few years and it's great to have joined a community that can really help me get some ideas going for where to take it next.

Joined: 01/17/2011
Multi-use components

If you were interested in cutting the number of components (and hence production cost), you could make both the cards and counters double-sided. This would halve the number of components.

Cards would be double-sided Red/Blue, with the same values on both sides.

Counters would be double-sided Good/Bad. Good counters denote the special abilities. Bad counters denote immobilization.

The only impact on the rules would be:
- Players cannot choose the same stack.
- Place 2 Bad counters when immobilized (instead of flipping).

For playtesting of course the components makes no difference, but for production I'd definitely go with square tiles instead of cards. Chipboard tiles would be cheap, but even cooler would be engraved wooden tiles.

Still, that's getting a bit ahead of things. The game looks interesting on the surface. The bland theme may be a slight negative, but I'd count the low randomness as a strong positive. Playtesting, and lots of it, is the order of the day to find out if there is enough strategy to keep players coming back for more.

I suspect that there would be a strong bias towards the first player. You could overcome that by giving a bonus to the second player (e.g. 2nd player gets +1 point or wins ties), or by mandating that an even number of games is played. Perhaps even take a leaf out of the competitive Bridge rules: "After you play a game, swap sets and play again. Total the scores of the two games to determine the winner."


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