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Clash of Steel: A Tactical Card Game of Medieval Duels» Forums » General

Subject: Card layout rss

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Marcos Hidalgo
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It seems this is the first post (POLE!)

I'm a huge fan of the game even if I didn't even played it (just gone three or four times thru the rules).
And I'm a little concern about the card layout... It seems a little user-unfriendly as is in the previews. I've been making my homework and have some quick solutions:

Cards must be comprehensive and easy to read, so I suggest having the top right corner dedicated ONLY to attack/deffense/movement modificators to quickly find out the total reult, without having to go to different pico-sized texts in the cards. So, you'll have something like this:

Action Cards
Only DEFENSE has some modificator and only if the target is paired, so an icon for +1DEF and other icon that indicates that target should be paired (helmet = helmet for example) will be great.

Stance Cards
In the center section it is important to reflect the win initiative (on quick) and lost initiative (on strong) again, an icon could do the trick.
- Quick Stance will have a -1 A/D/M Icon on the corner
- Strong Stance will have a +1 A/D/M Icon on the corner

Wound Cards
- Head will have a -1 Def symbol
- Torso will have a -1 Att symbol
- Legs will have a -1 Mov symbol

Stamina Cards
- will have a -x A/D/M symbol pairing the x stamina of the card

Weapon Cards
It will be great to have a small table, placed at the same place on all cards with the 4 ranges (Hand Arm Step and Reach) with the fixed modificator for the weapon, and another area with the "special rules".
This way the table should be something like this:
Items // Hand // Arm // Step // Reach
Axe // -- // Att/Def +1 // -- // --
Dagger // Att +2 // Att/Def -1 // Att/Def -1 // Att/Def -1
Shield // Def +1 // Def +1 // Def +1 // Def +1
Spear // -- // vs. not spear Att +1 // vs. not spear Att +1 // Att +1 Def +1 / vs. not spear Att +1
Sword // -- // -- // Att/Def +1 // --
And the special effects:
Axe Vs.Shield Att+1
Dagger --
Shield Not with Spear Vs. Spear Def +1
Spear Not with Shield
Sword Vs. Axe Att +1

The effect of the action are pretty important, but the info is again a little scattered and text oriented. I suggest to have 3 sections for the cards, Cost, Your effects (if won) and Enemy Effects (if won). What happens if you loose is that you suffer the enemy effects of your enemy action, so it is redundant and useless. Cost is important, and could be resolved with an Icon at the same spot, for example lower right corner.
- Attack: Cost Discard Both Stamina Cards, You - no effect, Enemy - Discard hightest Stamina card from hand
- Defend: Cost Discard Highest Stamina Card, You - no effect, Enemy - Disarm the item used
- Attack: Cost Discard Lowest Stamina Card, You - Change to a different range and pick item lost, Enemy - no effect

A deeper analysis of effects an cards result in a reasonable and discreet icon set:
- Range: Could be marked with a piramyd or truncated pyramid with 4 sections, it will be marked the section affected by the rules, so the top will be reach and the bottom Hand.
- Just 4 icons needed: Discard Highest at Hand (stack), Discard hightest Stamina Card used, Discard Both and Discard Lowest, a card with the teardrop will mark the stamina card, arrow up for highest, arrow down for lowest and a hand symbol for hand...
- Actions are the most universal elements, as all modifiers affect one kind of action, so attack, defense and movement should be self explanatory and pretty clear. Sword, shield and footsteps could do the trick, but to make a difference with item icons, make then negative inside a wax seal like icon and voilá!
- Items just the "clipart" of the item could do the trick (I still don't like not having item types to make rules more universal, but it's ok, I understand this is a self contained game)
- Target helmet, breastplate and armored legs do the trick perfectly
- General there are other icons to take into account, Initiative could be great with a Crown (expample, win initiative on quick stance) Wound, a blood splatter is nice; Disarm and retake item could be a hand dropping and taking a sword; Change range could be just the move action footsteps with an arrow pointing both ways; And alter Target or Action could be the target and actions icons with a question mark.
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Ben Dutter
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Hi Marcos, thanks for the very thoughtful and detailed post (As well as your very generous support on the Kickstarter). I'd say that everything you touch on here is something that we're carefully considering, and largely agree with.

Part of the issue with being too reliant on icons is that it can actually be a bit harder to decipher for those who don't want to refer to the rules document -- so we've tried to strike a nice balance (As well as not covering as much of the art as possible). We'll keep iterating and hopefully improving, thanks again for your help!
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