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Dark Wall Destiny

Alien card
Anomaly card
Cryoship card
Dark Wall Destiny
Ship card
System layout

Spiraling through space, the 'Dark Wall' is a massive heap of connected vessels, outposts and space debris. Larger than a planet and composed of thousands of ships and millions of people, the 'Dark Wall' holds cryostasis colonies which can be planted on viable worlds to begin new civilizations.

But the 'Dark Wall' has just entered a new star system and begun to break apart. Hundreds of sections have started hurtling towards a nearby star and will soon burn up. Valiant leaders are needed to gather ships and crew in order to seed colonies on habitable planets if humanity is to be saved.

Dark Wall Destiny is a cooperative deck building game in which players must work together to save humanity by establishing colonies on planets before any colony in space is destroyed.

Players each control a 'Faction Sector' and must acquire Ships, Crew, Planets and Cryoships to help the overall goal of planting new colonies. Players must also defeat powerful aliens to protect the colonies.


The main cards (Ships, Crew, Aliens, Anomalies, and Planets) are separated into three piles based on their region; Alpha, Beta and Gamma. Once the the Alpha Beta and Gamma decks are formed, they are each shuffled separately and placed face down on their respective 'Space Deck' position on the mat. (Alpha deck is place in the Main Space Deck slot.)

The 5 Cryoship cards are stacked face down, in order (from most expensive on the bottom to least expensive on the top) on the 'Cryoship' position on the mat.

The 9 Drone ships are placed face up in the Drone Ships space on the board. These do not need to be shuffled since players will be able to purchase any card they wish from this stack.

The energy tokens are placed in a small pile on the Energy Pool space.

The top 12 cards of the Space deck are drawn and placed in the 'system' card positions on the mat starting with the last position (nearest the 'Burned Pile').

Each player chooses a Faction by placing that faction's Sector Card in front of them and taking the chosen 'Home Faction Tactics' card. The Faction tactics card is shuffled together with the 9 common starting Command cards to form a player's draw deck. The draw deck is place face down next to the player's Sector card.

Finally, each player draws 5 cards as their starting hand.

The player who most recently watched a movie or TV show episode involving an epic space battle, goes first.


Each round is composed of a turn for each player in order, followed by a 'System Spin'.

Player Turn:
Each player turn is divided into three phases: Action, Acquire, Reset.

- Action - Player may play any number of cards from hand to his/her sector. This is also the only time cards may be 'seeded.'
- Acquire - Energy and Attack are counted up on all cards in the player's sector. These values may then be used to acquire cards from the System. NOTE: Aliens may ONLY be acquired with Combat. Any acquired card is placed in the player's discard pile.
- Reset - All played cards are placed in the player's discard pile. (Ships and Planets in the player's sector are NOT discard nor are any cards seeded on those cards.) Player discards all remaining cards from hand and then ends his/her turn by drawing a new hand of 5 cards.

Seeding Cards:
Players may 'seed' cards under any Ship or Planet cards in their sector. To seed a card, take the card from hand and place underneath the Ship or Planet card during the Action phase. A card may not be used for it's effect AND seeded in the same turn. Seeding a card must be done from hand DURING the Action phase.

- Crew cards may be seeded on Ships. Crew cards provide their values and abilities while seeded on Ships.
- Any card may be seeded on Planets. All cards seeded on Planets LOSE their values and abilities once seeded. These card should be considered 'out of play.'

System Spin:
After all players have taken a turn, the System 'spins' cards around the star. This represents the powerful gravitational pull of the star. The last card is removed from the System and placed in the center 'burned pile.' All cards move forward (filling in any gaps left by players taking cards) and new cards are drawn from the Space Deck to fill in any empty spaces closest to the Space Deck.

If a card is sent to the burned pile for any reason with an 'Expire' effect listed, that effect triggers and resolves BEFORE the card is placed in the burned pile.

If any card lands in an 'Attack Vector' space, any 'Attack' effect listed on the card is triggered and resolved immediately BEFORE the System continues to spin. See "Attack Vectors" below.

Once all cards have been spun, if NO Cryoship card is in the System, take the top most card from the Cryoship deck and place it face up in the first position of the System INSTEAD of the top card from the Space Deck.

If a System Spin results in the main Space Deck running out of cards, the next Space Deck is replaced and cards are drawn as normal. (The only other time a new Space Deck is swapped in is when specific Cryoship cards are gained from the System.)


Combat is provided by cards with the red icon at the bottom. Combat is used to defeat and acquire Alien cards.
Energy is provided by cards with the gold icon at the bottom. Energy is used to acquire all non-Alien cards.
Defense is provided by cards with the blue icon. Defense is used to prevent damage from Alien attacks.

Attack Vectors:
When an Alien or Anomaly lands in an 'Attack Vector' space during a System Spin, any 'Attack' effects on that card are immediately triggered. The effect is resolved for all players (unless otherwise stated).
Most of the time, an Alien attack vector will state a damage value. This is the amount of damage the Alien attack deals to each player.

Damage vs Defense:
When a player is dealt damage, that player must discard one card from hand for each point of damage. If that player is unable to discard, then the top car of their draw deck is burned and sent to the 'Burned' pile. IMPORTANT - if any Cryoship is burned in this manner, the players lose the game.

If a player has any Defense in their Sector, that player may ignore one point of damage for every point of defense in their sector. This is PER SPIN... not per Attack. (Therefore, if a player's defense is completely used during an Attack, any other Attacks during the same system spin cannot be avoided.)

Alternately, if a player has any card in hand that provides Defense, that player may discard that card immediately to counter the amount of damage equal to the amount of Defense on the card.


Players must save all Colonies (Cryoships) from the System. This is done by seeding a Cryoship from hand to a Planet already in play in that players sector. The only Cryoship that does not need to be seeded is the last one; Colony Omega. Once Colony Omega is gained, it is considered 'saved.'

If any Cryoship is burned, for any reason, the players lose. If the System runs out of cards even after a spin, the players lose.

All Cryoships are saved from the System.

1) ANY Cryoship is burned.
2) System runs out of cards.


Once the game is over (regardless of if players won or lost), all players tally up their scores. Victory points are counted on all cards in the player's Sector, Draw Deck and Discard Pile. Additionally, extra Victory points are awarded for the following:

- Each seeded Cryoship card = + 5 points
- Each Planet with seeded cards = + 3 points
- Most Energy in Sector among players = + 4 points
- Most Cards seeded on a single Planet = + 4 points
- Most Crew in Sector among players = +4 points


Awakening - As Cryoships are seeded, more Ships and Crew are allowed to be pulled from the System. New tactic cards enhance Ships by providing quick yet powerful abilities.

Homefront - Aliens can deal damage directly to Cryoships. Players must form stronger fleets to protect their colonies.
New card type: Orbital Stations - Expensive yet powerful cards that acts as Planets but allow all seeded cards to provide their effects.

Hostile Stars - Additional Aliens and Anomalies that enhance Aliens or replace them when they expire.
New card type: Strategy - Plays to a sector and remains in play until burned. Provides additional benefits such as increased hand size, burn a card to prevent spin, and discard to increase defense. Only one strategy per Sector.

Aggression - All new space decks and starter cards that focus on player competition.

---------------- FOR ARTISTS ONLY --------------------------
Concepts for characters, races and factions

-------------- R A C E S -----------------------
Landbred Human -
Average humans. Most humans have thin armor that can easily reconfigure to low-oxygen environments. But leaders and officials will be more often seen in fancy dress than environmental attire.

Spacebred Human -
Weaker in body, thinner, taller and more adept in intellect and will. Artists should consider spacebred as the classic tolken elves of the setting. They appear human in all aspects, but are obviously raised in an environment with a focus on learning rather than labor.

Darkbred Human -
Strong body, shorter in height, overdeveloped muscles but average mind. Darkbred are also the only humans who have been able to incorporate cybernetics over an individuals entire lifetime. Some darkbred receive implants at a very young age and the implant adapts and grows as the human body grows. Some darkbred also prefer tatoos and other decorative skin enhancements.

Boran -
Werewolf-like humanoids, average size, poor language skills but keen mental powers. All but a few boran are gifted with telepathy that allows them to maintain constant communication with each other, making them fierce pack-hunters. Although they are aggressive and warlike, their beastly features are not over-exaggerated. Artists should consider a man turning into a werewolf, stuck in mid-transform, and completely at peace with his appearance and body.

Telvani -
Pale and wet-looking skin, slender eyes, with a superior knack for mechanics and science. Telvani are the age-old template for alien life. The typical grey-skinned extraterrestrials that TV and movies have fed into. While they do wear clothes and gear, they are most comfortable naked. But since they have no reproductive organs, this has never posed an issue with other races. Telvani are about as tall as an average human preteen. Facial features are more like humans, with eyes, brows and mouths capable of expressing emotion.

rTurrl -
Highly intelligent robots, humanoid, but each rTurrl is a little different, built for service but evolved into a civilization. rTurrl (pronounced 'Turl', both singular and plural) are as tall as average humans and build to mimic humanoids; two arms, two legs, etc. Most rTurrl are unconcerned with armor or protection as self-repair is a natural function of all rTurrl. In face, some rTurrl redesign their forms to show off their wires and components as a sign of confidence and self-assurance.

------------------ F A C T I O N S ---------------------------

Norlandar --
Large colony of peaceful and intelligent humans. Norlandar hsa the largest and most powerful fleet in all of Dark Wall. While their military is matched only by the Khath, Norlandar remains benevolent and helpful to all factions.
Norlandar military is composed of three different arms: 'Norlandar Security Force' which is the war fleets and fighter pilots, 'Application and Territory Enforcement League' which specializes in research, science and exploration, and the 'Unit Command Force' which is the mechanized land based troops.
Ship style: Large, bulky, boxy. Guns are not obvious, but armor and strength is apparent.

Khath --
Hostile and aggressive borans and humans with a strong caste system based on combat styles.
Ship style: Sleek, streamlined, straight wings, guns resembling claws. Come in all sizes, but always clearly display their weapons.

Bara-Volam --
Masters of ship design and construction. rTurrl and spacebred humans.
Ship style: Rotund, oblong, asymetrical, modular. The Volam do not build warships, but any Volam ship is structurally versatile enough to adapt to combat. Large bays for construction crews, shuttles or annexed fighters.

Bara-Makal --
Merchants and traders who excel at negotiation and logistics. Boran and spacebred humans.
Ship style: Grand, elegant, elaborate, massive. Like drifting castles, the Makal design each ship to serve as host to visiting dignitaries and politicians.

Ma'l Kaaje --
Reclusive scholars with advanced sciences. Telvani and rTurrl.
Ship style: Elongated, tall, thin and somewhat frail looking. The Kaaje craft ships strictly for exploration, research and discovery.

Telvani and humans who have crafted a paradise like colony and rarely tolerate outsiders.
The Komaguie do not build ships, they commission them from other factions... most often, the Makal.

------------------------- K E Y F I G U R E S ---------------

Captain Rishad - Norlandar Security Force
Captian Rishad of the NSF starship Phantoms Rule has been disgraced for his refusal to obey orders. After expelled from the Norlandar Security Force, Rishad purchased a private ship and obtained a small crew for the purposes of exploring Dark Wall is search of a signal source that could not be detected. Through bizarre messages in his dreams, he lead his ship and crew to a distant part of Dark Wall that held vast treasures. He was able to determine that the signal was a warning that Dark Wall would soon be destroyed. This event triggered the discovery of Destiny and the race to save all life on Dark Wall. Since then, he has been reinstated as a commissioned captain and given his choice of ships. He continues to lead Phantoms Rule and he crew wherever the NSF requires.

Kelly Frost - Norlandar Security Force
Kelly Frost was once a mercenary for hire until he fell in love with an science officer aboard the NSF starship Eternal Sun. After briefly joining up to help the crew accomplish a dangerous mission, his love disappeared during a chaotic gun fight. He believes she was captured, but most of the crew believes she was accidentally spaced. He decided to join up until he can determine her fate and has since proved to be a loyal, if reckless, warrior in the service.

Mally Mae - Norlandar Security Force
Mally Mae is the chief engineer aboard the NSF starship Phantoms Rule. She has a knack for invention and ingenuity and has been known as a fierce warrior in space battles. Her reputation grew when she transferred the crew of an ally starship aboard an enemy starship and blew up the empty ally ship. The tactic successfully distracted the crew of the enemy ship and hurled them into range of her ship which was able to subdue the enemy with the help of the displaced ally crew.

Guy Danvers - Norlandar Security Force
A rebel, a maverick and a swashbuckler, Guy Danvers keeps his commission ONLY because his insane plans always seem to work despite logic and physics. As a handsome and charming gentleman, he is also well known as a ladies man / womanizer. Danvers is the only enlisted member of NSF to

Cmdr. Sola Norba - ATEL (Application and Territory Enforcement League)
Commander Norba is, at heart, an explorer. Her career has been spent leading expeditions across Dark Wall and, most recently, on newly discovered planets. After Destiny was discovered, ATEL sent her and her team deep into Dark Wall to locate long lost data regarding the Dark Wall's flight path. After several deadly encounters with strange aliens, she managed to bring back valuable star charts revealing several dozen habitable worlds. However, over half her team never made it back alive.

Lt. Tom Hallima - ATEL
Lieutenant Hallima is a cautious and reserved member of the ATEL starship Brandemoth. While not very talkative, he has a reputation for military tactics mastery based on his near-perfect memory and his fascination of wartime strategy.

Ell Ando Monn - High Diviser, White Hand
Ell Ando Monn has been High Diviser of the White Hand of Komaguie for over 200 years. As Telvani, he has helped establish the White Hand as a scientific haven composed of only the best minds of the Komaguie. While his focus on learning and understanding are unmatched, his refusal to accept foreign factions and cultures has put him in a shady light with even the most zenophobic members. He spearheaded the plan to built a mass-population displacement procedure to rapidly move the thousands of Komaguie from Dark Wall to any planet. However, when Destiny was determined to be approaching faster than anticipated, he and several aides led a strike into the Dark Wall inner chamber and activated the ancient 'launch' protocol.
Since then, he has been stripped of his title and has mentally broken down into a type of Alzheimers disease common to his race.


Large Group Playtest Results

I was able to playtest with six players this weekend and the session was VERY informative. A few bugs were revealed when playing with five or six players. These will need to be resolved before I move forward with the Kickstarter:

1. Cards disappear a lot quicker. (part of the gameplay mechanic is that cards do not refresh until after all players have taken a turn. it fits the theme and setting of the game.) So trying to determine how to allow large groups an equal chance at cards. I think I may need to increase number of cards on table for five or six players.

2. Game time is increased exponentially. While each play has the same options, it SEEMS that when more players are involved, there is a lot more strategic discussion over each player's turn. This tends to make the game last MUCH longer than anticipated. Still not sure best way to address this without altering the core mechanics.

Project Update - Aug. 2016

I am currently in the process of two major efforts in the Dark Wall project:

1. I am nearing completion of a Kickstarter page. I still have to finish the video and make some nice graphics for the page, then I will share the link out hopefully by the end of the month.

2. I have made first contacts with a few artists who are interested in supplying some artwork (one is even doing some work for free) and I hope to be able to secure enough art to include in the Kickstarter.

I will continued to post updates.

Artwork is NOT licensed

Before anyone points it out; no the artwork is neither licensed nor official. This is sample placeholder art taken from web searches. If there is interest in a Kickstarter for this game, all art will be removed before seeking funding. For now, it's just a fun game for my family and friends.

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gamejournal | by Dr. Radut