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Subject: Solar System Game - Rules and Gameplay rss

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Carl Frodge
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I realized after posting, my other post is probably kind of confusing. So I decided to make a more straightforward post about the game and how it's played.

This is the 4th version of the game, after a handful of playtests. The biggest challenge at this point is figuring out and streamlining the Planet abilities as much as possible.

Theme/Idea: Solar System is a space-themed card game where 2-4 players race to align the planets and complete the solar system in order from Mercury to Neptune. The first player to do this wins.

Components:
A.4 "Sun" cards.
B.64-card Planet Deck, containing 8 copies of each planet (Mercury-Neptune, also numbered 1-8).
C.4 Player Reference Sheets (which list Planet Abilities and Actions).
D.6 Optional Event Cards. (Currently under construction)
E.Rulebook (not pictured).


Set-Up:
1.Give each player a Sun card, and have them place it in front of them, to their left.
2.Deal 3 cards, face-up, to each player. These cards go to the right of their Sun card, and start their solar system. Players can arrange these cards in whatever order they like. (If 2 or more of the same planet is dealt to a player, discard those duplicates, and deal new cards to them.)
3.Deal 3 cards to each player to form their starting hand.
4.Deal 5 cards, face-up, next to the deck, to form the Galaxy.
5.The start player is the player who has the highest-number planet in their galaxy. If there's a tie, second highest, and so on.

On Your Turn:
On a players turn, they take 1 of the following actions:
•Take 2 planets from the Galaxy into your hand. This includes from the top of the deck. (One planet at a time, replacing each planet after it has been taken).
•Play a planet from your hand to the outermost position in your solar system (farthest, to the right, from your Sun).
•Discard a card from your hand to activate its special ability (Planet abilities are listed below).

As a free action (meaning it doesn't count as your action for the turn), you may discard any card from your hand to cycle the planets in the galaxy (discard the cards in the galaxy, and replace them).

Note: There is a hand-limit of 7 Cards. If you end your turn with more than 7 cards, you must discard cards until you only have 7.

Note: You cannot play a planet to your Solar System if that Planet is already in your Solar System. (ie: you can't have 2 Saturns)

Note: If you play a planet into your solar system, that is already in your solar system, the older planet gets discarded.

Planet Special Abilities:
1 - Mercury: Swap 1 Planet in your Solar System with one in the Galaxy.
2 - Venus: Play 2 Planets from your hand into your Solar System.
3 - Earth: Swap 2 adjacent Planets in your Solar System.
4 - Mars: Move 1 Planet in your Solar System to either end of your Solar System.
5 - Jupiter: Take 3 Planets from the Galaxy.
6 - Saturn: Swap 1 Planet in your Solar System with one in your Hand.
7 - Uranus: Discard another Planet from your hand to take any Planet Ability.
8 - Neptune: Return 1 Planet from your Solar System to your hand, then play 1 Planet from your hand into your Solar System.

Still trying to figure out Neptune's ability, and then I need to test, because some of these are potentially overpowered.

Game End/Winning the Game:
The game ends as soon as one player has all 8 planets in their solar system, in the correct order (1-8 with 1 closest to the Sun, and 8 farthest from the Sun). That player is the winner.

If you have any ideas/questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments. But keep in mind, I will not add anything new to the game until the core mechanics/gameplay is at least somewhat set in stone. Believe me, I have plenty of ideas for how to add to the game.

 
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Josh Zscheile
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Neptune maybe for interactivity, like: swap a planet from your Solar System with one from another player in the same distance to the sun (same position). Dunno about balancing though. Alternatively (if you want less interaction), sth. like swap three adjacent planets in your solar system any way you like.
Also, to me, the theme does not fit the mechanisms very well. I mean, players each building their own copies of our solar system, trying to get planets in the right order? Although I cannot come up with a better fitting theme right now.
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Carl Frodge
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Dagar wrote:
Neptune maybe for interactivity, like: swap a planet from your Solar System with one from another player in the same distance to the sun (same position). Dunno about balancing though. Alternatively (if you want less interaction), sth. like swap three adjacent planets in your solar system any way you like.
Also, to me, the theme does not fit the mechanisms very well. I mean, players each building their own copies of our solar system, trying to get planets in the right order? Although I cannot come up with a better fitting theme right now.

The goal is to streamline as much as possible. The theme can change later, it's not important right now.

Swapping a planet in your solar system with one in your opponents is too situational. Swapping 3 planets is too powerful.
 
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Carl Frodge
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OP Updated with slight rule changes, and All Planet abilities. Will try to test soon and post my results.
 
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Setratus
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Just read through the rules. I'm thinking that a good starting hand could give somebody a huge advantage. Drawing a 1,2,3 without any real player interaction means that the player is nearly halfway to winning before the first turn.

When talking about interaction, I'm trying to think of ways to have it without devolving into a 'I shift your planet one space away.' Followed by the targeted player having a turn where he plays a card just to switch it back.

Going with the space theme here, why not have gravity play a role? Have planets auto shift depending on total gravity of all players. Or maybe copies of planets can affect gravity. So, if you play a Jupiter when you already have a Jupiter in play and don't use its normal ability, all players with Jupiter in their system moves their planets one step towards Jupiter with the planet that just shifted into jupiters spot becoming a moon and is considered destroyed
 
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Carl Frodge
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setratus wrote:
Just read through the rules. I'm thinking that a good starting hand could give somebody a huge advantage. Drawing a 1,2,3 without any real player interaction means that the player is nearly halfway to winning before the first turn.

That's true. A good starting hand or starting cards in their solar system can be an advantage, but that's true in any card game.

Quote:
When talking about interaction, I'm trying to think of ways to have it without devolving into a 'I shift your planet one space away.' Followed by the targeted player having a turn where he plays a card just to switch it back.

Going with the space theme here, why not have gravity play a role? Have planets auto shift depending on total gravity of all players. Or maybe copies of planets can affect gravity. So, if you play a Jupiter when you already have a Jupiter in play and don't use its normal ability, all players with Jupiter in their system moves their planets one step towards Jupiter with the planet that just shifted into jupiters spot becoming a moon and is considered destroyed

If there is player interaction, it has to make sense for reasons other than extending the length of the game. In fact, there is no reason to add something to the game just to extend its length. But if player interaction is meaningful for the game, or it doesn't simply extend the play time, then I'm interested.

Your gravity suggestion would simply make players frustrated, as it would cause them to waste a turn correcting it, and there's potential for it to happen to them 3 times a round in a 4 player game. It's too much.

I'm not dead set on the idea that the game even needs player interaction, but it is an idea I'd like to play around with.
 
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Setratus
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agentkuo wrote:

That's true. A good starting hand or starting cards in their solar system can be an advantage, but that's true in any card game.


While of course there are good and bad hands in any card game, in a game where there isn't any player interaction, a great starting hand could make it darn near impossible to catch up. If I start with 123 and my opponent has 258, I'm 3/8 of the way through the game while my opponent has to basically rearrange everything.



agentkuo wrote:

If there is player interaction, it has to make sense for reasons other than extending the length of the game. In fact, there is no reason to add something to the game just to extend its length. But if player interaction is meaningful for the game, or it doesn't simply extend the play time, then I'm interested.

Your gravity suggestion would simply make players frustrated, as it would cause them to waste a turn correcting it, and there's potential for it to happen to them 3 times a round in a 4 player game. It's too much.

I'm not dead set on the idea that the game even needs player interaction, but it is an idea I'd like to play around with.


Agreed that extending the game for no reason is useless, but I'm trying to get player interaction while still retaining the core elements of your gameplay. Basically, I'm looking for reasons that a player would ever need to look at another player's side of the table. It doesn't have to be complicated nor does it have to be true interaction where the card I play removes a card that another player has, but if what I do really has no impact on what my opponents do, it really hurts a game's replayability.
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Carl Frodge
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setratus wrote:
agentkuo wrote:

That's true. A good starting hand or starting cards in their solar system can be an advantage, but that's true in any card game.


While of course there are good and bad hands in any card game, in a game where there isn't any player interaction, a great starting hand could make it darn near impossible to catch up. If I start with 123 and my opponent has 258, I'm 3/8 of the way through the game while my opponent has to basically rearrange everything.



agentkuo wrote:

If there is player interaction, it has to make sense for reasons other than extending the length of the game. In fact, there is no reason to add something to the game just to extend its length. But if player interaction is meaningful for the game, or it doesn't simply extend the play time, then I'm interested.

Your gravity suggestion would simply make players frustrated, as it would cause them to waste a turn correcting it, and there's potential for it to happen to them 3 times a round in a 4 player game. It's too much.

I'm not dead set on the idea that the game even needs player interaction, but it is an idea I'd like to play around with.


Agreed that extending the game for no reason is useless, but I'm trying to get player interaction while still retaining the core elements of your gameplay. Basically, I'm looking for reasons that a player would ever need to look at another player's side of the table. It doesn't have to be complicated nor does it have to be true interaction where the card I play removes a card that another player has, but if what I do really has no impact on what my opponents do, it really hurts a game's replayability.

That's true, I'll definitely have to give this some thought.
 
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