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Bruno V
Canada
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Hi everyone. My game Control Freaks is mostly done after nearly two years in development and a few drastic changes. It has made a very good impression with my friends and family, so at this point I would like strangers to take a stab at it and tell me why I need to go back to the drawing board laugh

I don't have a print-and-play file yet, but I actually went and made a LackeyCCG plugin for it so you can play around with it on your computer and play online with friends. If people prefer an actual printable game, though, just let me know what kind of format people expect and I'll whip something up!

My website has the rules PDF and a database of every card in the game, and the aforementioned plugin with instructions.

Game description
Players: 2
Time: 45-60 minutes
Style: Fantasy, tactical combat, deck-building

The game is played on an 8x8 grid, on which you recruit pawns that will fight for you. Your primary goal is to reach your opponent's side of the board, from where you can attack their Champion, which is a specific card played in front of them. Nothing spectacular so far, it's really about strategic combat and nothing else.

The pawns you recruit come from 6 different families (or races), each offering a unique ability that allows you to focus your strategy on the aspects you prefer (combat, speed, movement...). You recruit one pawn every round up to a limit of four, and take turns with your opponent activating them. They run on a Move and Attack action economy that may feel familiar if you play role-playing games, but combat is resolved very simply with an opposed d12 roll (and the occasional bonuses) -- rolling equal to or higher than your opponent is a kill.

Each player also uses a 20-card deck that will grant special abilities to their pawns, and that's where the other important part of your strategy comes from. This deck can be prepared to allow a specific approach, or selected randomly for quick play. Each card will give you a choice of two abilities: the first is a single-use ability to play during a pawn's turn for additional capabilities; the second is a Champion ability that you can play in front of you for effects that will remain active throughout the game (or until you decide to change your Champion).

Lastly, if your deck runs out, you lose by default, so you need to balance playing cards to enhance your pawns' actions and conserving them to avoid premature elimination. But whatever you do, you always discard one at the end of each round, which generally keeps the game's duration to under an hour.

Thanks to every pawn having a permanent special bonus, Champions giving you an additional ability to enhance your strategy, and your deck giving you frequent, short-lived boosts that are only usable with specific pawn families, it's a pretty solid mix of tactical elements that keeps you on your toes and revising your strategy to adapt to your opponent's choices. Since every family has its own strength and can be used exclusively or mixed with others, you also get several possible approaches to the game that go beyond "hit hard" or "move fast" even though combat itself is kept extremely simple.

I'd like to know what people think of the rules, if there's another game out there that's too similar to this, and if anyone wants to try it out, balancing the cards is a work in progress that will require as many playtests as possible. Thank you for your time!
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DZ Woloshyn
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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The rules are well written overall, and give an immediate sense of simple-gameplay-with-depth. Three things, though:
(1) What's a grade? I get the impression that you can get more than one disabled marker and that a grade is related to this marker.
(2) Can you push back/away an enemy right off the board?
(3) You don't mention in the rules that each player must discard a Persona card each round.

Unfortunately, I'm not in the best position to tell you whether your game is excessively similar to an existing one. I haven't looked at stuff like Navia Dratp or Summoner Wars or any of those other arena/chess/skirmish style games in quite some time. I'm sure that you've already looked there for tips and inspiration...?
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Bruno V
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Thanks for taking the time, Dizzy.
Dizzy is Calm wrote:
(1) What's a grade? I get the impression that you can get more than one disabled marker and that a grade is related to this marker.

There may well be a better word for it, but yes, you can have Disabled inflicted to you multiple times, and each comes with a stacking -1 penalty to Defense. So 3 grades, for instance, is 3 markers on your pawn and -3 to its Defense.

Dizzy is Calm wrote:
(2) Can you push back/away an enemy right off the board?

As things stand, no, but it could be a great optional rule to try out. If I had an unlimited budget, I'd make variant boards where that may or may not be possible depending on the terrain, but art doesn't come cheap, unfortunately, and I have no talent whatsoever in that department

Dizzy is Calm wrote:
(3) You don't mention in the rules that each player must discard a Persona card each round.

Good catch, thank you, it must have slipped between the two documents I'm updating in parallel.

Dizzy is Calm wrote:
I'm sure that you've already looked there for tips and inspiration...?

Actually, not really. I never looked into TCGs until I started translating one, and my experience with deck-building games is very limited, which is why I'm asking people if I accidentally made something that essentially is already on the market. If I did, I don't want to clutter the gaming space with a cheap knock-off, even unintentional.
 
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DZ Woloshyn
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Salvatos wrote:
As things stand, no, but it could be a great optional rule to try out. If I had an unlimited budget, I'd make variant boards where that may or may not be possible depending on the terrain, but art doesn't come cheap, unfortunately, and I have no talent whatsoever in that department


You might be putting the cart before the horse. I find that working on artwork before the game is truly playable makes me hesitant to change rules that would cause me to scrap an investment of effort and/or time and/or money.
 
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Bruno V
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That's why I said I would do it if I had an unlimited budget. I already have a couple ideas I may draw on cardboard to play with friends, but I don't see any way I'll be able to afford including them in the actual game.
Although, now that I think about it, they could also be playable on LackeyCCG in MSPaint quality.
 
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