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It seems I can’t get away from complex war games. However, I feel the tendency towards over complication is better than the reverse, allowing me to pick and choose rules and concepts instead of having to create new ones on top of a concept. The point of this reflection is that the first shots at Boarding Action showed that the rules I outlined beforehand are VERY complex.

The playtest showed that pre-built units are probably the best way to go, with a Food pool of something like 30 instead of 150.

Players will also start with 1 Captain, 1 First Mate, 1 Buccaneer, and 1 Master-At-Arms. New crewman can be bought using the player’s Food points and equipped using their Booty as outlined before.

New access points to the opposing ship will be added to the board in addition to the plank boards. These “swing points” will take crew members over to the other ship onto pre-determined positions.

The statistics for each crewman as as follows:

Cook:  S:1  A:1  P:11  D:11  H:20  R:3  Special: Heal adjacent by 1d6.  F:3

First Mate:  S:3  A:3  P:12  D:12  H:15  R:4  Special: Double capture rate.  F:7

Master-at-Arms:  S:0  A:4  P:10  D:15  H:12  R:3  Special: +3 ranged damage.  F:5

Buccaneer:  S:4  A:0  P:15  D:10  H:12  R:3  Special: +2 melee damage.  F:5

Bo’ sun:  S:1  A:1  P:14  D:14  H:12  R:5  Special: +1 P & D for adjacent.  F:6

Captain:  S:4  A:4  P:13  D:13  H:22  R:4  Special: Only one at a time.

Special Attacks are the same as before and Booty can be recovered as before using the enemy’s hold.

I think these revised rules will make much faster setup and gameplay.  Will have to write these up into a readable rule set for the next playtest.

To be honest, I’m getting sick of war games.  I really want to make a kick-ass, simple card game.  I don’t have any good ideas for one yet, but I think it’s one of the areas I really don’t have much experience in and would really challenge me.  That’s what I’ll be shooting for if the next challenge allows for it.




    • Max Esayev
    • Posted February 12, 2009 at 16:38
    • Permalink

    It’s a good sign that you’re not afraid to really flip your ideas. There’s a saying in the writing world that goes ‘you have to be able to kill your babies’. Meaning that you can’t treat every project like it’s the last one you’ll do.

    Have you tried some established war games before. I played a full game of Warhammer today for the first time, really enjoyed it.

    • Roucis Kyle
    • Posted February 13, 2009 at 01:14
    • Permalink

    That’s a strange saying. But I understand the message, and yeah, you have to be willing to let go of a bad or old idea. Fortunately, I’m branching out in the comfort and safety of University, but in the real world a shift like this could be risky. I believe it’s worth it either way because it will encourage me to think outside of my current box and will teach me more about he game design aspects of other areas.

    Yes, I have played Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Battletech, D&D (sort of a war game), and a few others. I’ve definitely had my fill of them over the years!

    Thanks for the insight, Max!

  1. Kyle,

    With games, killing the project is something you want to do as early in the design process as possible! This is why it is best to prototype, because it’s a lot cheaper to trash a bad prototype than a bad game that you’ve spent months on.

    As for wargames, about the only one I played was Avalon Hill’s Gettysburg, and I still have the 150th Anniversary Edition!

    Maybe if you still want to think about wargames, you should consider simpler rather than more complex. Avoid biggerism (aka ‘feature creep’). Can you build a wargame using bare minimum of parts? What are the minimum elements you would need to create a wargame? (number of spaces, number of pieces, number of stats – is a die or random number generator even needed?). And – if you need ideas for the next challenge – could this wargame be made to fit on the back of a business card? (to tell the truth, I tried making one myself!) That would be the ultimate micro wargame.

    Devin Monnens

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Boarding Action « Warstrek’s Weblog on 13 May 2009 at 9:12 pm

    […] Check out the rules on my partners blog. […]

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