Austin Andersen
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Latest version of the rulebook can be found here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3T6VFNzs1HwbGxSb3dUOV9PNlE...

********************
*Change Log 11-02-13*
********************
- Changed the way dashing is processed, so that dashing short distances takes priority over dashing long distances.
********************

I have renamed my game to Samurai Spirit: In the Heart of Battle from Kenjutsu: The Method of the Sword.

Introduction:

This game is my attempt at creating a tactical battle game that integrates some gaming mechanics that I enjoyed from various games that I have played and enjoyed. Some of the mechanics used are: action point allocation, deck building, bluffing, auction/bidding, grid movement, area control, RPS, and simultaneous action selection.

The theme of the game is a battle between two groups of samurai warriors, in the heart of a battlefield, during a skirmish.



The image above is an example of an action card devoid of art. The inspiration for these cards came loosely from Mage Knight Board Game. In Mage Knight, I enjoyed having to decide how best to utilize the cards that I had available. These cards are used to do everything from moving, bidding, as well as attacking and defending.



The image above is an example of an instigation/reaction card, again without any artwork at this stage. In this instance an instigation only card. These cards are used to loosely simulate all the slashes and parries that take place during a sword fight.



The image above is an example of the battle field. I have marked off the starting locations. The hex spaces have a RPS (rock paper scissor) relationship to neighboring spaces.

For this game, I utilize dice as pawns, with one player having dice of one color and the other player having a different color set. The dice are used with the 2's representing eyes, 5's the back side, and the number on top their life total (1,3,4, or 6). Orientation of the dice on the battle field is important as it indicates which way the character is facing. Each player has 1 die that is larger than the rest, which is their leader character.

As characters die, players are able to spawn reinforcements.

I should have a revised rule set done within a week and am looking for people that are interested enough that they'd read over the rules, just to make sure everything makes sense.

If you are interested in play testing as well please let me know.


Links to SS related posts with newest posts up top:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1064105/how-is-game-weig...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/13698039#13698039
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1053458/seeking-board-de...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/13663215#13663215
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/13655451#13655451
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1037303/wip-kenjutsu-the...
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Phoebe Wild
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Re: [WIP] Samurai Spirit: In the Heart of Battle
I'd be interested in reading over the rules and playtesting. Feel free to Geekmail me with details.
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Austin Andersen
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Re: [WIP] Samurai Spirit: In the Heart of Battle
MissJekyll wrote:
I'd be interested in reading over the rules and playtesting. Feel free to Geekmail me with details.

Thanks for the offer. I'm glad someone other than my myself and my family is interested. I hope to have the rules ready for you to review by the end of this week. I have a working copy, but it needs a bit more work before it is ready for others to read over. Some of the wording isn't as clear as I want and it needs more pictures to go along with it.
 
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Ryan Cook
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Re: [WIP] Samurai Spirit: In the Heart of Battle
Looks like fun, I like how each individual warrior has his own facing. What kind of things would you be bidding on in this game?
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Austin Andersen
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Re: [WIP] Samurai Spirit: In the Heart of Battle
The bidding that takes place is on other action cards. At the start of the game, each person only has multiple copies of action cards ranging from 2 through 5. Whenever a duel takes place, players will also have to bid on 3 action cards from a common deck ranging from 1 to 6. Each player will also trash to the common discard the main action card that was used for the bidding at the end of the duel. During each battle, players will have to consider not only with allocating action points for the current duel, but also for battles that will take place later on. Each persons action deck will evolve over the course of the game while maintaining it's size, for each card gained, a card is lost.

 
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Craig C
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Re: [WIP] Samurai Spirit: In the Heart of Battle
Sounds interesting. Neat use of the dice. I'd be interested in reading the rules.
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Austin Andersen
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Re: [WIP] Samurai Spirit: In the Heart of Battle *updated with rulebook* - Please review and comment.
Updated the thread with link to rulebook now.
 
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Ryan Cook
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Good I like the rulebook, the diagrams are helpful. One thing I am slightly confused about is the notion of "rings." I also think an "example of play" section would be helpful
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Austin Andersen
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Thanks for the feedback. The rings are symbolic more than anything and are used to draw people into the battle. I figured controlling all five rings wouldn't be an easy feat and would allow for a bit of back and forth. Thematically they also tie in to are supposed to tie in into The Book of Five Rings by Musashi Miyamoto, the greatest samurai historically. I might rework the powers of the rings to fit the theme of the rings more, or at least make the artwork look more appropriate at a later time. I guess a little historical section wouldn't hurt as most probably don't know anything about Mushashi or his book. I'll include it towards the back so people can skip over it if they'd like.

My next revision though will be an example of play as you have suggested. I think that is a terrific idea and will help people who are looking over the rulebook to pick up on what the game play will be like.

I'm still striving for a game that is highly thematic as well as being strategically demanding.
 
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Maxim Steshenko
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bbblasterfire wrote:
I'd be honored if you'd take a look and offer up any advice/feedback as I'm sure you have studied samurai duels to some extent in making your game and probably have more background knowledge into the subject matter than most.

bbblasterfire wrote:
Thematically they also tie in to are supposed to tie in into The Book of Five Rings by Musashi Miyamoto, the greatest samurai historically.
I'm still striving for a game that is highly thematic as well as being strategically demanding.

I'm sorry, but this game doesn't tie thematically to anything. You decided to make a Japanese skirmish. I remember good and thematic (at some point) skirmish Okko: Era of the Asagiri. But it was 35 minutes long and has way less components! You represented landscape as RPS relations between hexes and made interesting duel mechanic with bidding and action cards, but the rest is more like a semi-abstract game about Medieval Europe warriors.
Life points? Even if samurai lose a duel and survive after this he will be incapable to continue fight and likely will perform a seppuku. Same for a shogun - if he lose most of his soldiers he will do the same.
Facing? I doubt that it's necessary. Yes, a helmet narrows vision dramatically, but ether player have to babysit each unit or samurai can be aware about what surrounding him. If you really want to use dice to represent miniature's orientation take a look at Bushi Shogi.
Decoy... Wait, what? You lost me about "Turn an active character die so that it faces forward diagonally from previous facing". This game is not about massive battles, so there is no need for tricky activations with bluffing and AP counting. Your idea with RPS landscape requires steady pace, when player move their pieces around and wait for opponent mistake to engage piece in a weak position. Take a look at Engage. So give players ability to activate units in UGIG manner or by playing Actions cards. With activation system you reminded me Earth Reborn mechanic. However keep in mind that you can "suppress" samurai by attacking him with more than one enemy, but they won't attack him simultaneously - it will be a series of duels with small disadvantage for attackers and huge challenge for the defender.
I hope it was a joke about Rings. If you want thematic objectives you may force player to perform Morale checks each round if he lost more than half of his troops. Failing this check makes player spend more Actions card and eventually leads him to a defeat. This is rough but solid representation of the Spirit. Try to keep gameplay "fluid" and split it into Activation phase and Action phase (Movement or Duel). Personally, I think about this game as a Memoir '44 activation/movement part with RPSLS marked up landscape and diceless duels with bidding and bluffing. Btw, you may add different weapons as another RPSLS element or specialization for each unit. And read the book for sake of the proper game design. It's only about 100 pages.

Best regards.
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Ryan Cook
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While all of this may be far more historically accurate, it sounds less fun, which is the whole point of a board game. Perhaps there could be a section at the back of the rulebook that adds these rules for a more historically accurate experience if the players wish?
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Maxim Steshenko
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TheGoodGuy wrote:
While all of this may be far more historically accurate, it sounds less fun, which is the whole point of a board game.

Fun is undefinable term, and everyone has there own definition of "fun". Besides a heap of guidelines always sounds boring, because it isn't a strict and well described system.
I always choose "gamification" way over "squeeze in necessary theme" way, unless there is nothing to gamify in a first place and my feedback based on this way.
I'm sure for someone Phoenix Command is a game full of fun. ^_^
 
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Austin Andersen
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silencewalker wrote:
bbblasterfire wrote:
I'd be honored if you'd take a look and offer up any advice/feedback as I'm sure you have studied samurai duels to some extent in making your game and probably have more background knowledge into the subject matter than most.

bbblasterfire wrote:
Thematically they also tie in to are supposed to tie in into The Book of Five Rings by Musashi Miyamoto, the greatest samurai historically.
I'm still striving for a game that is highly thematic as well as being strategically demanding.

I'm sorry, but this game doesn't tie thematically to anything. You decided to make a Japanese skirmish. I remember good and thematic (at some point) skirmish Okko: Era of the Asagiri. But it was 35 minutes long and has way less components! You represented landscape as RPS relations between hexes and made interesting duel mechanic with bidding and action cards, but the rest is more like a semi-abstract game about Medieval Europe warriors.
Life points? Even if samurai lose a duel and survive after this he will be incapable to continue fight and likely will perform a seppuku. Same for a shogun - if he lose most of his soldiers he will do the same.
Facing? I doubt that it's necessary. Yes, a helmet narrows vision dramatically, but ether player have to babysit each unit or samurai can be aware about what surrounding him. If you really want to use dice to represent miniature's orientation take a look at Bushi Shogi.
Decoy... Wait, what? You lost me about "Turn an active character die so that it faces forward diagonally from previous facing". This game is not about massive battles, so there is no need for tricky activations with bluffing and AP counting. Your idea with RPS landscape requires steady pace, when player move their pieces around and wait for opponent mistake to engage piece in a weak position. Take a look at Engage. So give players ability to activate units in UGIG manner or by playing Actions cards. With activation system you reminded me Earth Reborn mechanic. However keep in mind that you can "suppress" samurai by attacking him with more than one enemy, but they won't attack him simultaneously - it will be a series of duels with small disadvantage for attackers and huge challenge for the defender.
I hope it was a joke about Rings. If you want thematic objectives you may force player to perform Morale checks each round if he lost more than half of his troops. Failing this check makes player spend more Actions card and eventually leads him to a defeat. This is rough but solid representation of the Spirit. Try to keep gameplay "fluid" and split it into Activation phase and Action phase (Movement or Duel). Personally, I think about this game as a Memoir '44 activation/movement part with RPSLS marked up landscape and diceless duels with bidding and bluffing. Btw, you may add different weapons as another RPSLS element or specialization for each unit. And read the book for sake of the proper game design. It's only about 100 pages.

Best regards.


Thanks for noticing and leaving me with a lot to think about. I thought no one would ever take notice. As the game is a work in progress, I will probably revise quite a bit.

I admit the game is more abstract than it is thematic, but I was trying to capture the overall feel of a sword fight more so than actual techniques and such. I was also trying to go more for combat on a portion of a battle on a battlefield more so than an actual war or an entire battle.

Either way, I'm sure the game needs a lot of simplifying. Thanks again for noticing and leaving me with much to think about. I especially appreciate the other game references and how you made it convenient for me to check them out.
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