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Archon — Circlet of the Heavens: Working over the weekend on this design

So two (2) things that have become CLEAR to me with the design of "ARCH" is this:

A> The game must focus on defeating the OPPOSING BOSS unit/card.

B> If neither BOSS unit/card is defeated after three (3) Rounds, the BOSS with the MOST "HP" (Health Points) is the winning BOSS.

The gameplay is going to be simple:

1. Draw six (6) cards from your Ally Deck (leaving 10 cards for the other Rounds).

2. Choose ONE (1) Card from the six (6) to be the BOSS.

3. Each BOSS has exactly 10 or 15 HP (TBD with Playtesting which is better).

4. The remaining FIVE (5) cards are Pit Units.

5. Each Sequence in the Round is comprised of three (3) ATTACKS. Player choose which three (3) units will ATTACK "Blindly". This is ATM left of a HIGH amount of CHANCE (I need to think about this some more...)

6. Players reveal their THREE (3) Tokens (1 to 3) and battles are resolved using the RPS-5 rules from EACH CARD.

7. If a player WINS the RPS-5 with an ATTACK, that unit gets to choose the EXACT TYPE of ATTACK: Pit Unit or Boss depending on each unit's abilities and if a LANE has been made OPEN (to attacking the opposing BOSS).

8. Repeat for all THREE (3) UNITs (for the next sequence).

9. Two (2) things can happen: 1: one of the BOSSES is defeated. 2: three (3) units are defeated.

10a.If one of the BOSSES is defeated the game ENDS and the opponent is the WINNER.

10b.If three (3) units are defeated, discard ALL defeated units from each side, draw five (5) cards and GOTO Step #4 (for ROUND #2) and refresh your Pit Units with the amount of cards that were discarded (1 to 3 Cards).

11. Repeat this until THREE (3) ROUNDS are played. At the end of the 3rd Round the winner is the player with the BOSS having the MOST amount of HEALTH POINTS (HPs) if neither of the BOSSES is defeated.

And that is that ... For the MOMENT. But I'm thinking about ADDING some additional CARDS to the mix, TBD. I'd like to have a HAND but don't ATM either... We'll have to see.

More thought is required to bring this DESIGN together FULLY!

Note #1: At Step #4 there is a HIGH amount of CHANCE... I'm going to see how this can be MITIGATED. For one the RPS-5 rules to be on the BACKSIDE may HELP in remembering which Units were used in the previous Sequence... IDK. I was going to remove the RPS-5 from the Backside of cards.

But more and more, I think this "mechanic" will serve a purpose.


Some additional thoughts

Okay so to address Step #4 ... I will keep the RPS-5 rules on the "backside" this could HELP in identifying previous cards in battle but not strictly reveal their nature (if they were face-up). You won't be able to ATTACK the opposing BOSS until a LANE is freed. What this means is that your opponent loses one of his Pit Units (1 out of 5).

So you've really got to focus on KNOCKING-OUT one Pit Unit and then doing damage when and where it counts (think the opposing BOSS).

The RPS-5 rules will VARY per card. ATM all COMPLY with Standard RPS-5 Rules. But in the future, this may not be the case. We'll have to wait and see...


Some early thoughts...

The idea behind the LANES and defeating ONE (1) Pit Unit is simple:

Have one LANE to the opposing BOSS means that the BOSS is vulnerable to an attack by one of the OTHER opposing Pit Units. Once there is a CRACK in the wall and defense, all chaos breaks loose and damaging the BOSS is permissible.

This sounds sufficiently logical and doesn't create a RUN-AWAY LEADER syndrome had there been MULTIPLE Lanes which could alter the amount of DAMAGE dealt to one of the BOSSES.

Basically once you PUNCH through ONE (1) LANE ... You can target the BOSS with whatever is left in YOUR arsenal.

This is MUCH more FAIR for BOTH sides. And doesn't cause any problems related to imbalances or chasing the opposing player.


Here's what I mean

If you encounter a Coal Miner Orc in the 1st Round during the 1st Sequence... And deal 3 melee DMG, ideally another "3"-Strike would put that Pit Unit out-of-commission...

But in order to do more DMG, you need a 2nd or 3rd Sequence since the opponent may opt NOT to use the Wounded Unit in his next Sequence.

This may mean that the opposing Player may need to re-think who he battles and when there is a opportunity to do MORE DMG.

The opponent may opt to NOT use his Wounded Unit ... But eventually several, not only one Unit will be Wounded... At some point, some Units will be defeated... And it's the whole DEFEAT and DAMAGE THE BOSS type of Gameplay which is what motivates you to do more DMG to the BOSS but at the same time finish up a ROUND.

Definitely more POTENTIAL with this Method of Play.

Still working on this game "currently"

I would like to include a HAND and a Deck of "Support" cards... This is just a THOUGHT ATM. I said "I would LIKE to..." it doesn't mean that the design will allow for it. If the HAND card would be a series of "Instants" that could MAYBE justify a HAND... Maybe...

I'll think some more about these "extra" cards and how they would fit in. TBH, I wouldn't mind a HAND and some extra "tricks" to add to the game play.

But anyways I'll review the card abilities and see what COULD work and not necessarily what WILL work.


Interesting dichotomy

As I said you need to BALANCE between getting Wounded (Pit Units) and being beaten (Your Boss is defeated) and there is something more important... Strategy wise:

If you decide to PROTECT weakened or damaged units, you may win the Round, but in the next Round the opponent will REFRESH "3" cards/units and you will have a cast of wounded units.

What can happen here is that you easily LOSE Round #2 because your units were too weak or had multiple damage done to them.

This is important because SOMETIMES it's better to LOSE a Unit rather than just wait until it "barely" survives and makes for a weak target the NEXT Round.

Interesting strategy ... I'm going to have to sit down and design some more CARDS for this game. At least so I can playtest and see how the Turn-Order mechanic works...

Also thinking about HOW to possibly include a "HAND" with other support tactics.

Cheers everyone.

So I am trying to limit the TYPE of cards

So the "Ally" Cards have already been introduced. They are your Units that will provide you with Fusion and defend your Boss (another "Ally" Card).

Next we have the "Gear" Cards which can be attached to the various Units in-play. This is sort of like "Items" or "Permanents" in many other games. You place the Gear Card below and it effect resolves immediately when it is put into play.

The third category is "Hex" Cards which are like "Spells", "Instants" or "Traps" and can be played when a RPS-5 is won (attack), the player may opt to use a "Hex".

You can play three (3) "Gear & Hex" card per Sequence (think Wave).

Also on each turn prior to the RPS-5 resolution, you may DRAW +1 Card from your Support Deck and place them into your HAND (each turn).

This 2nd Deck of Support Cards ("Gear" & "Hexes") is comprised of 30 Cards.

So we can have other Support cards that allow you to search for a specific "Gear" or "Hex" or to restore some Hexes from the DISCARD back into your HAND!

All that good stuff... Sincerely.

Has anyone played the ORIGINAL in the 80s???

The original game was entitled: "Archon: Light vs. Darkness". It was made available on various computer systems like PCs, Amiga, Commodore 64 and consisted of a game similar to Chess with different pieces. It was also a DUEL between the two (2) sides.

Of course "Archon: Circlet of the Heavens" is a completely DIFFERENT game. It may draw some inspiration from the original, but there is NO BOARD!!! So it's not a Chess game anymore.

It's now more of a "Collectible Card Game" that focuses less on the Collection aspect and more on the PLAYING aspect of the game. The goal is to encourage gamers to adopt the game and PLAY it.

At the moment, I'm not sure how LONG a match will take... But my initial estimates in terms of time is just less than 60 minutes. Not a gateway game. But neither a "Main Event" game... Sort of an in-between game that two (2) players can play. It's ONLY a two (2) Player Game... The mechanics would be very "heavy" had I needed to support MORE players per game.

Anyhow... Just curious if anyone has played the 80s Original???

Never played the original,

Never played the original, but yours sounds fun with a lot of possibilities. I'm thinking you'll need at least 4 possible cards that you'll want to be your "Boss" to ensure you get one in your opening hand. Possibly one that boosts your Allies, or simply seems stronger to you? Will there be different factions?
Also, maybe support by healing / extra defense?

We'll have to see how FUN the game is before moving forwards!

Craeneium wrote:
Never played the original, but yours sounds fun with a lot of possibilities...

The original was rather easy to beat if you knew how to use the abilities. You could win in like 3 to 4 turns. Needless to say that's not how most people approached the game (others would play it as a normal game of chess with combat...)

I'm thinking you'll need at least 4 possible cards that you'll want to be your "Boss" to ensure you get one in your opening hand.

Initial Hand/Draw is six (6) cards, the next Round it's five (5) cards and the final Round it's four (4) cards. So from your Ally Deck, there will ALWAYS be one (1) card never available to play.

Possibly one that boosts your Allies, or simply seems stronger to you? Will there be different factions? Also, maybe support by healing / extra defense?

The idea is that each "Unit" has some kind of "Boss Ability" which is unique to that unit. I'm still working on defining what are the options. The way I do this is to simply LIST all the different "elements" in the game and then after figure out how each one of these can be modified/changed.

Healing or defense bonuses are (maybe) possible... But you've got to be careful about them. Why? If an Orc deals "1 DMG" to the opposing Boss... Healing the Boss when he/she has 10 (or 15) HP is counter productive. I don't want to make the game too easy to beat but at the same time I don't want it to linger on too long.

That's one of those kind of abilities that could maybe HEAL a Pit Unit by "1 HP"... IDK Yet! I did have the "Healing Grove Unicorn" which seems to suggest something of a kind of "Healing" and it comes with a "Hex" called "Healing Touch"... So I've definitely THOUGHT about it... Just a little.

I've been playing around with the Ability Levels...

And here is what I have currently:

1. Basic = The standard ability available at usually the lowest cost.

2. Elite = An advanced ability that has higher fusion costs.

3. Noble = An ability used by the Lord in your party.

I went away from the "Boss" terminology and settled for LORD. And the Ability Level as being "Noble". In any event, this shows that I have continued to work just a little-bit on ARCH... I want to desperately TEST the game's primary and secondary mechanics to see HOW WELL they MESH together.

That's Card RPS-5 (traditional RPS rules for now) and Dynamic Turn Selection (where player secretly plot on how they are going to vanquish their foes).

Maybe some time this weekend (maybe Sunday), we'll have to wait and see!

Dummy Turn-Order tokens

It came to my mind that perhaps instead of just "3" Turn-Order Tokens (1, 2, 3), it might be VALUABLE to have TWO (2) "Dummy Tokens". The reason that I am thinking about this is something like this:

If the First Player ONLY plays ONE (1) Turn Order Token on ONE (1) of his cards, the opponent will KNOW what turn that one token gets triggered.

What does this mean in English??? Well it means that the opponent will know EXACTLY when this card will RESOLVE. And that is VERY BAD! My solution before was that Player #1 would have to PLAY "at minimum" "2" Turn Order Tokens to make the identity a 50/50 odds...

But still I didn't like this. It simply reduces the odds to something a BIT more fair... But still a coin-toss odds.

My NEW idea goes like this:

Now you have FIVE (5) Turn-Order Tokens, three (3) with a VALUE either 1, 2 or 3 and "2" Tokens that are BLANK.

What this does is that by PLAYING three (3) Tokens ("1" real and "2" fake), it makes the odds 33.3% of getting the right card. But with the remaining "2" Tokens that's a 50/50 coin-toss odds again.

But it is MUCH better than BEFORE. Before it would be too EASY to determine which card is which... Granted that with the cards, it can AFTER the first sequence (think wave), you can "guess" 100% which is a card given the RPS-5 rules on certain cards.

It's not always a guarantee ... But it CAN happen.

Anyhow I will work on playtesting with these DUMMY tokens... We'll see if this makes the game less prone to CHANCE (50/50) and have more strategic depth... Even if it may result in some CHANGE later in a sequence.

If anyone wants to comment or ask questions, please feel free to do so. Cheers!

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