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Space empire card game

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Joined: 07/15/2009

I have a noncollectable card game idea that is a planetary control game. Players would assume the role of a space civilization and attempt to control a set number of planet cards using fleets made up of ship/tactics cards. They would have access to tech advances, political options and ship production.

The game would be very simple to learn and entirely card driven. The only thing other than cards will be some form of counters such as chits beads or dice.

I have a lot of other thoughts on twists and mechanic holes with fixes but as an idea thoughts and opinions are appreciated.

Joined: 07/08/2009
I am working on . . .

. . . something sort of like that. Mine is more of a sailing/ocean/ pirate-y theme. Right now I have islands that generate little wooden cubes to play ships/ characters/ technology/ actions/ etc. Um, it's pretty early in development, and sort of stemming from ideas for a board game that would be impossible to self publish and a ton of work for a first design should I ever try to sell it.

Anyway, problems that I'm running into that might be something you encounter as well:

Game space is getting a little sprawling. even with four players having five or six islands each, and everyone being able to move cards around to them, there is quite a lot of stuff to keep track of, and it requires quite a bit of room for everyone to have space to put everything. This wasn't a problem for me with the old star wars ccg, but that was only two players (and I imagine it was a problem for tournament organizers).

Movement for me is sort of a problem (though I bet in space it's easier to manage) I'm trying to figure out where and how far ships can move. If they can't move far enough, there won't be as much interaction with players far away, and if they can move to far, trying to defend anything seems futile.

Combat is another problem for me. In a 1v1 game, blowing up opponents ships is good, losing your ships is bad. In a multiplayer game . . . well I don't want the person who sits back and does nothing to win simply because they didn't waste resources. So, I am needing to find a way to reward combat, and reward efficient resource management. I'll probably go with a revised TI3 method of points rewarded for objectives centered around both: You wont always know which ones you may have to do in the future, so players who prepare the best for all options will be rewarded, while players who chose to focus on one or the other may also be able to muscle a win.

Also, controlling islands is an issue for me. I think I will just have islands owned by players, and if enemy ships control them, then they can pirate resources/ blockade/ something that makes it an incentive to go occupy your opponents. I don't want the island themselves being fought over with, say, ground troops and armies and such. that seems to bog down the idea. So, you never really steal islands, but you can go there and get benefits (some trade ships would perhaps benefit both players?) I have read about race for the galaxy, and my copy should be in at the game store when I go down this Sunday. It seems in that game, planets never really get taken, I think? I've read quite a bit about it.

That brings up another question. Have you played race for the galaxy? It sounds a little similar maybe . . . certainly in theme. Like I said, I haven't played it yet, but will soon, but I'm sure it would be a good comparison to look at, if you have not already.

Sigh. I have to go to work, but definitely am very interested in this thread. I'm sure it will be relevant to the ideas I've been obsessing over for a while, and if you can make it into a working, functional game, it sounds like one I'd be buying!


Joined: 07/15/2009
Happy to share

Thanks for the input gave me something to think on. I have looked at race for the galaxy and it seems to be very much heavier than my concept. When you get yours I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Some of your talking points i have thought of and others I haven't. Maybe some of mine can help you with yours.

Game Space - Players will only be allowed a set number of planet types, 2Green 4 yellow(tentatively) all red planets essentially being wide open to all red and yellow planets. I also see a limit to the red planets at 9. Makes a + (I envision 4 players max here) essentially. Layout should allow play on a standard card table.

Movement - I am looking at using "command points" Allowing you to move 1 group of cards 1 planet within its tier or an adjacent tier per point rather than sweating each fleet or ships movement. May not work for you.

Combat/Island control - I think the key is to make sitting back unappealing. I am going to use planet control as a mechanism to increase production so a player who sits back will have far more limited resources as the red planets will be far better than green and yellow. Also the number of fleet cards you draw will increase based on planets controlled. Making turtle play self defeating. I hope.

Planet taking - I am going to simulate it all with a simple control point method. Planet has X control points to start and various cards add to or subtract from this total. Be those cards political (sponsor civil unrest) or military (deploy powered armor battalion). Essentially the points represent your "grip" on control through all means available or lack of it.

I don't know if any of that helps you or if it will truly work as I hope. Time will tell going to get my crads done this weekend and try it out.

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