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Subject: Fields of Blood Designer Diary I: Introduction rss

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Steve DeBaun
United States
Ventura
California
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I've started to put my Fields of Blood ideas down on paper. I think that some people might enjoy watching the evolution of the design over the next couple of months, so I'll be posting design diaries about it.

What is Fields of Blood?

FoB is one of our first planned expansions for Ars Victor. It gives you extra map tiles and a few extra ways to play Ars Victor. It's fairly straightforward, from a design perspective: it doesn't change Ars Victor, as much as it provides optional enhancements to the core gameplay.

We decided to offer an early release of FoB as an add-on for our Ars Victor Kickstarter campaign last year. While we didn't get enough takers to justify a production run, we did get a few people who were interested. We will be fulfilling their orders with a limited print-on-demand run in the next few months.

Goals

FoB is meant to expand the core concepts of Ars Victor. Other planned expansions -- like the Tour of Duty campaign game and the un-announced armored fighting vehicle game -- will consist of lots of new systems that dramatically change or expand the way you play Ars Victor. FoB, like the planned army expansions, will instead give you more options to use with the base game.

I chose the following scope for FoB:

* Expand on the map tiles. This includes things like extra "regular" map tiles with different terrain configurations, as well as any new terrain effects and types.

* Additional "game modes". I wanted to find a way to alter the goals of an Ars Victor game, in a way that didn't touch the core parts of the rules.

Elements

With those goals, I've identified these discrete elements:

* Additional "Standard" map tiles. These are "stock" terrain tiles that just add different mixes and layouts to your existing map tiles. The base game already gives you a bazillion different combinations. Still, after your hundredth game, you start to get really familiar with both sides of all nine of the base map tiles. Having a few extra regular map tiles will increase the possible combinations even more, and you will start having games where the dreaded tile #9 doesn't show up at all!

* "Expanded" map tiles. The terrain effects in the base game are carefully designed to create interesting decisions. On the other hand, there are no extreme effects that are likely to grant a big advantage to whoever ends up with them. Here's where you get those extreme effects! These map tiles are for players who want a little more imbalance on the battlefield. They also have a lot of potential for being used in the Tour of Duty campaign game.

* "Special Objectives". I found a cool way to encapsulate different game modes. In a "Special Objectives" game, each player gets to pick one extra way that they can knock down their enemy's glory. This adds a whole new spin to your battlefield strategy, without affecting any of your basic tactical choices.

Coming Up...

You can see a very raw framework of the rules here, including a list of the terrain effects and Special Objectives that I'm starting with:

Fields of Blood - Prototype 1 Rules >>

For the next designer diary, I'll talk more about the Special Objectives, have a few more playtests under my belt, and let you know how they're working out. Check them out in the document above -- got any other ideas?
 
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Jeff Paul
Canada
Winnipeg
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I wonder if you might consider adding a recon unit.

Pay double glory for any unit at the start of the game. This allows it to enter play with a special flag - it can be ordered by any card without paying the additional off-flay penalty....

PS When is Fields of Blood going to be available for non-kickstarter supporters?

 
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