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An introduction to my game

The game that I am designing is about Anglo-saxons turning a village into a Fortified town...probably in Mercia at about 900 AD

The game starts with a royal decree that a Fortified Town be constructed at this place and that one man in five be supplied to garrison the walls and be responsible for the building of the defenses.(this was historically true and the building of these"BURHS" had already been started under Alfred the great who had died a few years earlier).
The Burh was to be built as part of the design to defend against the Vikings(Danes). Also so that taxes could easily be collected from the land.(partly for Danegeld)

My general thoughts around the design of the game.

I would like to keep the game thematic and hopefully it will be losely historical.
I would also like the games mechanics to make lots of common sense.
The game will be asymetrical with each player given different responsibilities which each in turn have their own tension applied.
The players have to work together to overcome all the different tensions as well as the overarching tension.....VIKINGS ARE COMING!

I have spent many months contemplating what sort of board to have.

My latest thought about this is that it will be built by the players out of different hex tiles. this is a creative I believe enjoyable.
Different hexes...some with road, some with river,one with a bridge,
woodland,fields,marsh,hillside grazing.
There will be a source of stone and iron ore.
there will also be packs of cards for people and buildings.
there will be various different resources(lots)

So Euro...yes
worker placement
worker training
engine building
dice...probably only in combat...Think shieldwall combat(mostly)
feeding people
housing people
training soldiers
blacksmith making weapons and armour etc
other craftsmen
a market.
miniatures in the prototype including soldiers animals,castle walls,towers and gatehouse.



Join in?

Please feel free to comment, ask questions, critique etc

Separation of Theme and Game Mechanics

Just a word of advice, in the event that you MAY be too overly focused on the "Theme" of the game and lose a bit sight of what it MOST important in any game: the game's mechanics.

The reason I say this is, because you have TWO (2) Real-World choices:

A> It's more of a WARGAME and then largely focused on the simulation and very much the reality of the game and epoch to feel through-out the game.

B> Or it's more of a BOARD GAME and then is mostly angled towards having interesting "gameplay". And therefore a GAME with interesting mechanics that mostly work together.

I'm not sure which direction YOU want to go. I get the impression you WANT to focus on realism ... And that to me sounds more like a SIMULATION or "Wargame". However since this is a website/forum about "Board Game Design" ... Perhaps our members would be more able to help out ... If you were to go with option "B".

Again this is just to figure out your head-space and knowing what it is that YOU want to produce.



Euros are known to be traditionally NON-CONFRONTATIONAL. The fact of combining a combination of both ... Is a bit "not normal". WHY? Well because EUROS are widely held to be of a specific "nature"... In that the ONLY type of conflict is "battling over 'resources'" or areas on a board, etc. So Euros have a specific way of play which naturally focuses on the resources of the game.

Secondly, is this a CO-OP game??? One fortified town and they must DEFEND from the VIKINGS. This also makes a lot of sense ... But you mention asymmetric powers as if each player has a different advantage or ability. You MAY want to consider a CO-OP game ALL "against the Vikings" because that too can be a LOT OF FUN. Especially IF you focus on the Viking Raids that occur at some point in time. And survival being the key point of the game.

Like: "Did we build enough defense towers, archers, traps, walls, etc. To hold off the ENEMY's ATTACK. In this scenario (CO-OP), you would need to make the game HARD TO WIN. Much like Pandemic. It's very rare that you DO WIN and if you DO WIN, it was very much a difficult struggle!

Remember: Pandemic has Asymmetric Powers TOO! It's as if EACH PLAYER has his or her OWN "special" way of playing in addition to normal play.

There are more "theme"-oriented games by Dr. Lewis Pulsipher, think Britannia ( And I believe Dr. Lew (Username: lewpuls) had something about "Hastings" too (but I was unable to find the reference to it). He largely designs more complex games that focus much more on "simulation" than "board game".

In any event, I've given you some of my "thoughts" and you can share with us more of your direction for what you want to build/design.


Also some more ideas to look at...

(Username: Ben Mora) has a game called "Wages of War":

Haven't seen Ben on in a while... But I'm sure he's still around.

Here is the Kickstarter, which unfortunately did NOT fund:

This could give you some more ideas too...! Cheers.

Note #1: Your game would be the OPPOSITE of Ben's game. You would have the Vikings doing all the ATTACKING and your fortified village doing all the DEFENDING. It's just to give you some IDEAS of games that are "similar" but different from what you want to build. It helps to have an idea about games that have tried to do something similar to this before.

Another SIEGE type of game is...

Dragon Valley (by "CW Karstens"):

This is another sort of SIEGE game that looks real cool too.

A successful Kickstarter too:

A Tom Vasal review of the game (which sounds cool too):

They call it a TOWER DEFENSE game. Again to give you some more ideas... I usually like to see what games might offer in terms of "cool concepts" and then figure out how I want "MY" game to play. Again just some ideas.

I'm sure some other of the Designers have other games to take a look at too.


It’s a cooperative game

Thanks for the wonderful input.

Sorry that I hadn’t made that fully clear.

So the overarching tension in the game is
That the vikings might arrive at any moment so the sooner we are ready the more chance we can survive. So we need to get as many people in from the countryside so that we can train them up to fight and build the player

But if we get too many people arriving too quickly how can I build enough houses as well as other buildings that are needed... people will become sick and die....another player

How can I grow enough food for everyone. Too many people will be hungry and fall ill... another player.

I will need people to collect iron ore and charcoal to smelt iron so I can make weapons and armour... another
Other things possibly getting made and bought and sold at a market... possibly to pay off vikings

So mostly it’s a Euro economy builder with lots of hardship and a little pushing your luck to be strong enough to defend yourselves

However to also keep some balance the strength of the vikings when they come also grows. So early on a raiding party might annoy you. Later on a larger force.

My thoughts are that people cards would be placed under players worker boards which would have the flow chart engines on them. So collected resources in at the top and built things out the bottom of the boards.. hope that makes sense.
Turns would be in seasons. So ploughing, lambs piglets etc in spring etc
More work can be done in summer than winter etc etc

I hope that fills the idea in a bit for you

I shall look into those games etc

Regards John


Basically option B...

I do want the players options to make sense and so I am trying to design or choose mechanics that simulate closely how life might have been.
I am also trying to use mechanics that are using lots of cards to build your engine to ramp up your results but with a bit of realism.

One mechanic that runs throughout the game is training.
there are 3 levels of worker:
1. basic level(output1)
2. experienced(output2)
3. Master (output3)
workers can be trained by a at a time.
when a master is spending time training his output level reduces to 2.
In a workers first season of training the worker works at level1.
the worker is then experienced.
in a workers second season of training he works at level 2
The worker then becomes a master who can work at level 3output or can train another worker whilst working at level 2.
This is one way of building your engine and output but (to me)keeps it realistic.

I am not sure yet whether to have 2 seasons a year or four seasons. I am leaning towards four.

So where do the vikings come in and how does that work?(I hear you probably thinking)

there are probably many different ways that this could be done.
1.event cards
2.a dice roll possibly ramping up the probability over the seasons. ie a d20 needing a 20 in season one 19 or twenty in season2 etc
3 as above but with a d20 first season a d12 second season a d10 third season d8 fourth season d6 5th season and d4 thereafter. player could be chosen as the ealdorman who as well as representing the king and running the market/finance and running an engine if needed also is the gamesmaster who also plays the vikings and can perhaps perform raiding parties etc probably with a hint of roleplay demanding danegeld and threatening violence etc(theme building). this person is not trying to beat the other players but is there to build suspense and theme and generally an enjoyable experience.

So perhaps it's a Boardgame that represents a roleplaying economy engine builder that ends up with a final battle(wargame).

So far I'm guessing you are also thinking that this would be a long and heavy game.
I'd rather start at the kitchen sink end and cut things out than make a game that feels restricted and then stuffs bits onto the game that is already wearing a straightjacket.

Enough for now...

Regards John

From a mechanics point of

From a mechanics point of view, an engine building feel can be accomplished via almost any components that can keep track of increasing resources or actions. Your game sounds very people oriented. I am getting a vibe of a community full of individuals some of which are better than others at certain tasks.

It may be an interesting resource management mechanic to have your workers be your main thing. Two sided components could give them a base state and a trained state. Ex: you need to have more points in food production than individuals inside the Burg, and a trained farmer counts as 3 food production, but a miner only counts as 1 or 2.

One thing I worry about with how you laid out different player roles is scaling the game to different numbers of players. If there are 4 roles that all must be present and you want to lock it into a 4 player game, that's fine. Otherwise it may be a good thing to have roles mostly be symmetrical with each having an advantage in a certain area, but not exclusive control. Both are valid design choices.

Asymetrical roles

It may well be that each player has a Theign who is a trained army soldier but also good at other things like blacksmith etc
there would be RESPONSIBILITIES given or chosen by each player depending on number of players.
So each player would have different responsibilities where the players Theign was a master at a skill or two, or in a low player count have more than one Theign...
I was thinking of possibly 60 garrison and 40 tradesmen in total, and yes the workers are really the main resource that drives the engine with possibly health and a push your luck mechanismon extra working in daylight(effecting health)in summertime
Health is effected by having a large variety of foods(and enough of course)
Healthy strong people getting more work done to further power the engine.

Also in the game players will do there turns pretty much together, for a fair amount of time.Also as it's a coop when players take people cards they can hand them to other players who need them. Players discuss about whether more people cards should be taken. All Theigns being equall.


The whole 1 player does this... another that...

Will become somewhat "boring". Some ideas to HELP you. First you could be using ROLES that have some kind of "bonus" ability. If there could be a pre-round where the roles can be chosen, giving each player a chance to partake in DIFFERENT roles on different turns. That's why I showed you Ben's "Wages of War". You see each player selects a ROLE and it has some kind of BONUS "capability" or "extra resource", etc. This helps make the game less SAME-ISH per turn for the various players.

And you can have MORE roles than players too. So it could be a 2, 3 player game or maybe a 6 player game (as an example).

Another suggestion is having COMMON tasks. What I mean is that one or more players can do the common task (if they should want to do so). What it is or are?! That is for you to determine. Again this is NOT necessary but it can improve the game (when and if needed).

Something to consider... Is that with ROLES the game allows the PLAYERS to be "flexible" in their decision making. Which means if one ASPECT of the game is neglected, they next round the player can prioritize this aspect. And if you want to make it FRESH and INNOVATIVE, maybe have TWO (2) Cards for "each" ROLE. This way, like I said if some aspect is being neglected, player can choose BOTH role cards and DOUBLE-UP on that aspect this particular round.

Another option is 5-4-3-2-1 ... Role cards. So 15 Role cards with the COMMON stuff being in the "5" count, the next mostly required in the "4" count, etc. Until you get the "1" Count Role which is allowable to be used once per round (for one Player). That's something else INNOVATIVE. Never seen it done... But it's a possibility.

Check-out the games that I have suggested, watch a few of the videos and get a "fresh" perspective. I've offered up two (2) innovative approaches to handling ROLES and it's different than all the games "out-there"!

Again, just ideas. Feel free to disregard and go in whatever direction you prefer. I'm just showing you things you can think about ... see if maybe you can derive something or come to your OWN "innovative" approach.

But one thing... 1 Player doing ONLY one thing... Is going to be boring as all heck... Sort of like micromanaging too. IMO you need something much more flexible/dynamic.

Again, just ideas and comments as I see it.

Re one player does this etc

Thanks for your input there. I think you have probably spotted something.
My thoughts had been that each worker could be able to be experienced in 2 or three different things and each player having perhaps up to 25 workers would give them enough but it would probably be that each worker mostly did the same thing each turn. Perhaps having your players able to do anything they deem necessary would increase interest and a feeling of achievement. I do have lots of things for lots of workers to do though and wasn’t planning on taking turns for each worker... rather everyone designates their workers together with discussion. Perhaps overlapping skills would mean helping each other out more and therefore more happiness.


Btw there’s no victory points although you could possibly have a group achievement score if you ever win.

That reminds me of ...

Small World:

But the workers are "mostly" about "area control". Here's another cool aspect about that game... It allows for race-combinations:

This allows for more "variation". Again just thought I'd share that with you because you could maybe have YOUR OWN "spin" on things... Like have one "worker" do "X" and then attach some kind of MODIFIER and it can do "Y" also. Or affect how "X" gets done, timing, duration, etc.

Just some additional thoughts. 25 workers is a LOT. But if it's like 5 per player... Or FIVE (5) TYPES per player. Like a "resource pool". Where you get "?" Workers depending on the previous rounds.

Like say someone "produces" FOUR (4) Citizens. And then a second (2nd) player "trains" them to be "2 Pig Farmers" and "2 Archers". (IDK) I'm just explaining... Then the "2 Pig Farmers" get added to the POOL of "pig Farmers" (Say there were 4 + 2 = 6 now) and "Archers" (say there were 3 + 2 = 5 now)...

Or this can be discussed as a TEAM: Citizens can be trained by any player given their purpose (Farmer, Combatant, Defender, etc.) That's another direction...

Also about the different tasks

My kitchen sink of a game has
Pigs, cows,sheep,chickens,oxen,horses,
Wheat, veg,ale wine,reeds(for thatch)wood, iron ore ,charcoal,iron,salt,barrels,shields,spears,axes,swords,bows,arrows,chain armour,leather,leather armour, leather goods, wool, mutton,beef,chicken,bacon.
Salted barrels of meat too... oh and stone!
And that’s without looking at the list!
So kind of a town economy to get going and to keep fed through the winter.
So not so much one thing per player... however you are still right... it’s nice not to straightjacket the players. And I do think that all players will have to talk to each other to work out how to get everything done.
I still like the idea of players having to fight their corner for what is needed.

25 people more like 100

In history I’m kinda basing the people at 20-1
So if the garrison was 1200 soldiers then there is 60 in the game... that’s 60 cards
If I had them single sided then they could be a soldier and also one other trained skill. As well as that they can help out as general labour at 1 point.
If the cards were double sided the each person could have 4 skills.
I know that I may have to scale smaller... but I’d rather do that much later once the games 90% done.
I’ve just realised that the game could eventually be done just with cards with building cards having the engines on them and workers cards tucking behind them. Guessing about 5-6 packs

For now though it’s got a board and/or tiles.


I also have the model walls towers and gatehouse built that fit together to make a castle
It’s a plastic model. 14 pieces now 3”/75mm wide.
Can I add a photo?

Just some other ideas...

If you are using CARDS ... Why not use these CLIPS to track EACH Card "quantity" on the LHS:

And have a "track" on the LHS with increments (to your liking) and then EACH "card" can have specific quantities... And you can use clips according to each player's color (they are available in 8 colors I believe)... This could give you a way of maybe having LESS cards and quantities on THEM.

For photos ... You need to "link" to a "shared" host if you want to embed them and use the "Markup" Input format (below) the textbox.

This is an example of how to do this... I don't know if there are any SHARING website which allow you to directly link. I think maybe IMGUR ( and then you just open the IMAGE using the LEFT Button and choose "Open image in New tab"...

Here's that sample:

To VIEW how to link the < img > just use QUOTE... And you'll see all the HTML code (markup).

So to summarize:

1> First go to and register for a FREE account.

2> Upload the image that you would like to POST as an "embedded" image.

3> Once uploaded VIEW that image and Right-Click "Open image in New Tab".

4> In your Message, use HTML < img src = "Path from #3" > < /img >

5> Select "Markdown" from the Input format below the textbox.

And you can add a 'width="400px"' I believe 500px is the maximum. Or you can alternatively use 'width="100%"' for example.

PM me if you need HELP. I know it's HARDER than it should be.

The other option is to ATTACH images to your "Original Post" (OP) AT THE TOP... Do EDIT and scroll down to the "Attached images" section... And you can UPLOAD an image too... But remember you ONLY have 10mb of total upload space.

It's much better to EMBED ... This way you don't have to worry about the space quota...

We work with what we have. IMGUR is a great work-around to uploading the images and then using them on Cheers!

Age of empires

The computer game I used to play about 30 years ago. That’s probably highly influenced this game. Also I have pillars of the earth so worker placement leading to building

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