Gary Boyd
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This is my entry for the 18 Card Microgame Contest.
It is also my entry for the Min Tin Design Contest (Awarded #1 by guest judge Chris Hansen).
Here is a link to my Geeklist Entry for the 18 Card Microgame Contest.


Here are the most recent files: (3/8/17)
Files
Everything
Rules Document
Regular Cards
Low Ink Cards
Business Card Size Cards for the Mint Tin Contest
The Great microGame video Tutorial

The Great microGame is a 2 player game using a hybrid-bastardized COIN-Battleline type system that I concocted in my kitchen with a pressure cooker.

The Great Game was a struggle between the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom for Central Asia. It started toward the beginning of the 19th century and lasted roughly a hundred years. It had a huge impact on both Central Asia and the Empires that sought to control them.

I started with the basic idea of creating something of a condensed COIN system-esque game where each card has: which empire it help (the flag), a State, State defense, an event, an attack rating, a defense rating, an influence number, and a "die roll" (1-7 with 4 +/- modifier cards). It is meant to have a relatively quickly play time (I'm shooting for 15-30 minutes).


The distribution of cards is: 7 positive for UK, 7 positive for Russia, and 4 Neutral.

Each round players draw up to 6 cards. The first card played is played as a Location and each Location has a threshold number which is it's Defense. These locations are the Battlegrounds the players will be fighting over.

With their remaining 5 cards players may either:
- Play the card for it's Event or
- Use the card for an Action

If using the opposing empires card for actions you must play their event as if they had played it.

The actions players can take are:
- Attack: Attack an opposing force on a given Battleground. Attack vs Defense Stat with each player drawing a card from the deck as a modifier to their stat.
- Defend: Bolster State Defenses and gain 1 Influence.
- Influence: Gain Influence equal to the Influence Value(# atop the little factory). This is the only score that will require tracking.

If a player has a total Attack value exceeding the State Defense Value(the number at the top right) + the Defense value of any cards that were used to Defend that round, then that player takes the Battleground and scores a # of points equal to the the State Defense Value.

At the end of each round the deck is reshuffled and each player is dealt 6 new cards.

Once 5 Battlegrounds have been scored the game ends. The player with the most Battlegrounds gets a 10 Influence bonus. The player with the most Influence wins.

So that's what I've got so far. I'll be working on it in the next few weeks and updating as things progress. I'm really excited about this game. I think it's going to be super fun and engaging.

Things to work on:
- Experiment with a Balance of Power mechanic like DEFCON in Twilight Struggle.
- Work on refining historical accuracy of key events for both sides. Glaring omission is the Anglo-Russian convention. (Neutral Event, likely to replace another.
- Work on making Events as thematic as possible.
- Refine locations to correspond with key events.
- Make sure it's a whole hell of a a lot of fun.
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Gary Boyd
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
This post is reserved for playtest results. If you would like to provide playtest data please visit the Google Form here. It's a few short questions and it will make it easier for me to track data. Otherwise, feel free to post your comments in the thread here.


Player Count Player Winner P Score K Score Duration
1 Player Russian Empire United Kingdom 41 46 11-15 Minutes
1 Player United Kingdom United Kingdom 45 32 20-30 Minutes
1 Player Russian Empire Russian Empire 51 38 11-15 Minutes
1 Player Russian Empire United Kingdom 47 49 20-30 Minutes
1 Player Russian Empire United Kingdom 44 46 16-20 Minutes
1 Player United Kingdom United Kingdom 32 25


So, at this point it's pretty conclusive that Russia needs some help.
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Gary Boyd
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
These are my stream of consciousness notes, so nothing terribly important here. Just mulling it over.

Playtest this evening resulted in some necessary changes. The Defense action is going to go away. It's not a viable option with the system that I'm using.

Attacking is interesting but a bit maddening. The neutral countries have modifiers that give +/- 1/2 then flip another card but I think it's too much with so few cards so I'm going to give them all set values. I think the neutrals will be in the 3 & 4 range so that we have a bit of a curve in the combat.

Some of the forced events are working as intended and some I'm not sure about yet. More playtests to come. I'm really enjoying it so far. I want to tweak it already but I'm not really sure where to tweak so I just need more data.

There are a couple of cards which allow one player to just take a Battleground if a certain condition exists and I love the threat of those. You don't want your opponent getting a nearly free Battleground.

Production as a strategy, to the detriment of taking Battlegrounds will work as well, I think. It will largely depend on how you play the cards.

I feel like there needs to be a third way, and that's where the Balance of Power comes in. I need it to be like DEFCON suicide but I don't have the luxury of a board where the possible actions I could take are more numerous. So I need to think of another way. I think if I were to attach it to either attack or influence it would cripple that strategy and that's definitely not the goal.

I could attach the Balance of Power to the use of Events but that makes Events less useful. So I may need to reevaluate the combat situation. I like having the Attack value + a card draw as your actual attack value. I'd like to keep that. It adds some needed variability to system.

I need another variable/resource/whatever that will be easy to keep track (meaning it doesn't require tokens or anything). Any ideas are welcome.
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Luke Phillips
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
Interesting.

Micro consim, not sure if there's a market for that, but what the hell, why not?
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
lukerazor wrote:
Interesting.

Micro consim, not sure if there's a market for that, but what the hell, why not?

Right? And while we're at it I want to make it solo playable...BOOM! 1PG Represent! whistle

It's an interesting proposal and I thought it would be fun to try something completely unexpected.

When people think of microgames they usually think of this very elegant streamlined design. When they think consim, it's massive maps and lots of chits everywhere.

It felt like a gauntlet thrown down when I thought about it.

But truth be told, the COIN system is elegant and streamlined. Maybe there's no market for this at all but we'll see how it goes.

Here's a card mock up.
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Gary Boyd
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
I've got component files for the Geek List now. I'll be working on the rules document over the next day or so.


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todd sanders
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
really starting to come together. never played a COIN game before
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
dumarest123 wrote:
really starting to come together. never played a COIN game before

Thanks, Todd.

I hope to capture the essentials of the COIN system.

Here is the cover I came up with. Not sure if the White will wash out too much but I'm pretty happy with the overall look. Will probably mess with the color of the cards and I'm not entirely happy with the card back.




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todd sanders
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
i can see there is some real competition this year. we all seemed to have figured out the basics of how to use 18 cards last year and now the designers can explore those structures in interesting ways. you among them
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Gary Boyd
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
I agree. I think it's going to be a great competition and I'm really looking forward to refining the game into something I'd be proud to put on a shelf. And thank you very much for the compliment, it is much appreciated.
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
I need another variable/resource/whatever that will be easy to keep track (meaning it doesn't require tokens or anything). Any ideas are welcome.

can you use the back of the cards as this variable. turn over a card won in battle to do X. decision tree point being lose vp to gain possible advantage and greater VP
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
Interesting, I like that a lot actually. With this little real estate it would certainly be a good idea to use the backs for something other than hidden information. I will try playing with this and report back.

I've come up with a fairly competent AI for the solo variant. At least, it can beat me (that may not be saying much, my 11 year old almost just beat me at Twilight Struggle today). So, I don't have to wait for playtesters.

One thing I've been thinking about, is how to replace DEFCON suicide without having to track anything. I think the number of cards available to draw are going to be that replacement. If there are no more cards left in the deck or discard during your action round you lose the game.

Basically, the time period is over, the world has moved forward and things are the way they are until the Great War comes. This will generally only happen late game (as cards are removed when scored).
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
Any ideas for a good icon to use for influence? The factory was the icon from a previous iteration and it's just been a placeholder.
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
handshake or coin or envelope with some sort of seal. like a diplomatic letter begin sent
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - The Battle for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
Coin with a crown it is!

Thank you, sir.
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - Conflict for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
Several Playtests today, a first draft of the rules (I'd love some feedback), and I'm excited about the AI! It's really working fairly well. It's name is K1M (Kipling's 1-Player Mode)

The first two playtests were using the solitaire variant. I've included changes to a few of the cards to include 1-Player variant Events and an icon to show which events K1M will not use. It played really well. I was beaten both time I played as the Russian Empire.

Then I played as the United Kingdom and I did much better.

I got 2 games in 2-player and both times the United Kingdom won (one time me one time my son). I'm thinking I need to make a few balance tweaks, but other than that the game is playing really well.

I've got a first draft of rules I'm ready to post and components are ready to playtest. Everything should print out just fine greyscale. Let me know if anything doesn't. Everything can be found at the top of the thread.

EDITED TO REMOVE BAD LINKS
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - Conflict for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
printing this up tomorrow to run through
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - Conflict for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
Aweosme, Todd. Thank you so much! It will be good to have a set of fresh eyes on it. I'll try to be around to answer questions.

And do let me know when Pulp Detective is ready for testing because it looks fantastic and I just got a nice new color laser printer I'm just itching to use.
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - Conflict for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
hopefully soon. will address your comments on my thread tomorrow
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Jeremy Heisey
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - Conflict for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
Sweet. I should be able to print this tomorrow. Looks like a lot of fun.
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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - Conflict for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
Printing tommorow as well!
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Gary Boyd
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - Conflict for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
Wow, the response from the community has been amazing. Thank you all.
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - Conflict for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
I'll be working on revising and fleshing out the rules today so if anyone happens to come across something that needs clarification, please let me know. It's pretty rough but I wanted to get the game into people's hands early enough that they could try it out before the actual judging of the contest.
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - Conflict for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
I've revised the rules to make them more clear. I've also included a couple diagrams to help illustrate the setup and the card information.

Along with that I've entered the game into the Mint Tin Design Contest.

Here are some pictures of the Mint Tin version of The Great microGame. If only Mint Tins could hold standard size cards. I love Altoids.





All packed up and ready to go
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Re: [WIP]The Great microGame - Conflict for Central Asia (18 Card Microgame Contest 2015)
quick typo - Siege spelled incorrectly on Buluchistan card

quick question - what are the tiny number 1s on top of all the cards for?

read your previous rules and found a few things but your newly formatted rules caught them all.

you have come up with some good Event actions. a few are very specific for very singular situations and may not see much play, but i don't think that is a detriment in any way.

when i go from round to round i assume we shuffle the entire deck, not deal out the remaining cards in the draw deck then shuffle discard etc....

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