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Subject: [WIP] Pirates vs Cowboys vs Sorcerers rss

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Jason Barrett
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A five minute two-player 18 card game. Players try to build an army for their faction while sabotaging the others.

2017 Two-Player Print and Play Game Design Contest

Rules
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8S5YnwkybsEeFNaQ25UYkhNbE...

Cards 2 files of 9 cards each - Low Ink - Poor Art
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8S5YnwkybsEblhPVXcxcnVmcm...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8S5YnwkybsEMl9PZHhwRThWZ1...

To do:
Tweak Rules
-Should defence bonus be tweaked? To +1 good guess, 0 for no guess and -1 for wrong guess?

Make better rulebook with images

Commission more artwork

Put all cards into one file, as I add more artwork

Work on backgrounds for cards

Make gameplay video


Updates

5/1
Added Rules and Cards PDFs

4/30
Entered 2 player PnP contest

4/20
Prototype Logo Added

4/19
Picked a theme Pirates vs Cowboys vs Sorcerers
First Prototype with art


Original Post
-----
I had an idea for a short 2 player game using 18 cards. Very basic, so I assume it has done before but I figure I'll work on it in case it hasn't.

You select a faction card and attempt to build a small army with synergies that helps you best the opponent's leader and army. You use luck, bluffing, and deduction to help build your army and win.

18 cards - 3 faction leader cards and 15 army cards
14 Army cards have various point values Examples +2A, +1A +1B, +2C -1A -1B. 1 Army card gives you the option to trade-in for the top discard, or an army in the selection row

Pre-Round 1 - Faction leader Selection.
There are three faction cards. Each player selects a facedown faction card, views the card and keeps it face down. This is your faction leader. Your leader will provide a bonus to faction A, B, or C.
For example, if you select leader A, you will get a bonus 2 pts if you end up with a >0 score in A points, a bonus 3 pts if you get a >=5 of A points.

Round 1
Three army cards go to the selection row. Two cards are face-up, one is facedown. 1st player selects a card for themselves. 2nd player than selects a card for themselves. Selected cards are laid in front of player, either face-up or facedown, corresponding to how they were in the selection row. Third card is discard. There are two discard piles, one for face up cards, one for facedown. Cards get discarded to corresponding pile

Round 2-5
Round 2 starts with 1st player. Unless a player selected the facedown card and chose 2nd player to start. Only one player plays per round. Players alternate rounds.
Three cards are put into the selection row, two face-up, one face down. The player selects a card for themselves, and then then one for the other player. Remaining card get discarded.

Prepare for battle
You predict who your opponent's faction (A,B, or C) is. Correct guess gives you +2 (A,B, or C) defence against that faction. Incorrect guess gives a -1 against you opponent's faction.

Battle
Review your faction cards.
You add up you corresponding faction points. Some cards give positive, some negative. Check to see if you reached a bonus, that is your final offence score. You opponent add up their points in your faction's colour, and add or subtract for a correct defense guess. That is their total. The difference between the two is your score.
You opponent does the same as above, and records a score.
Highest score wins. First tiebreaker is highest offence score, second tiebreaker is highest score in third faction.

For the factions, I will likely look at a combination of Pirates, Sorcerers, Cowboys, Ninjas, Vikings, etc.
 
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Paul Evans
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Re: [WIP] A vs B vs C (Theme TBD)
Fairly neat. More factions and army cards would be nice - get it up to the 52 range.
 
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Warren Fitzpatrick
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Re: [WIP] A vs B vs C (Theme TBD)
Would like to see this in action.
 
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Jason Barrett
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Re: [WIP] A vs B vs C (Theme TBD)
Here's some pictures of the prototype. I used colours (Red, Blue, Yellow) as the A vs B vs C for the sake of testing. I added the scoring on the edges of the card after a few games, so the edge scoring doesn't line up to wording on the card. Will be fixed on future prototypes.



This is an example of the game layout as it'd look at the start of the third round. The top two piles are discards, one for face down, and one for face-up. The middle row has the remaining cards pile on the left. The next three are the selection row (Or mercenary market it'll likely be termed) Two face up and one face up. The Boss cards are actually the player's Faction card facedown. The cards beside it are their current army cards, either up or down, corresponding to how they were in the selection row. Facedown cards are only known to the player who holds them.



An example of a end game hand for Yellow, before the showdown. In this example, Yellow has a +2 yellow score from his army cards (4Y - 2, X on the card edge is used to denote negatives), since their Yellow is >0, they get a bonus 2Y for a total of 4 yellow. They scored 1 Blue (3-2) and 1 Red (3-2)



This is an example of the end game showdown. Yellow had scored 4 yellow points for their offense, and 1 point for defence against Red. Red scored 3 Red offensive points (including their bonus) and 1 Yellow point. If either player had guess correct their opponents colour/faction, they would gain an extra 2 defence points. Let's assume they both guessed right. Yellow had 4Y offence points vs Red's 3Y defence points (assuming Red guessed correct). For a difference of +1 for Yellow. Red had 3R offensive vs Yellow's 3R defence (again assuming they guessed correct). So Red scores 0. Yellow 1, Red 0. Yellow Wins.

That's the basic mechanics of the game. A theme and illustrations on the cards would make it a bit more exciting, but I didn't want to get too indepth on this in case it had been done to death.
 
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Jason Barrett
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Re: [WIP] A vs B vs C (Theme TBD)
PaulEvans wrote:
Fairly neat. More factions and army cards would be nice - get it up to the 52 range.


I was originally thinking something bigger, but scaled it back to this. I had ideas on drafting and auctions, but what I really liked, and kept, was the selection row. The idea that there are three cards, and you know what two are. You keep one and give your opponent one (at least for the final four rounds). But which one do you take and which one do you give.
With a small deck and three factions, it's easy to balance, and will be easier to complete. I just need to ensure there is enough of a feeling that choices matter and they don't feel totally random, nor obvious. Once I get it hashed out, and the experience on making a smaller game, I'd like to move on to a larger version.
 
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Jason Barrett
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Re: [WIP] A vs B vs C (Theme TBD)
warrenfitz45 wrote:
Would like to see this in action.


I made a video but it's was bit longer than I'd like, since I was doing a lot of commentary. I'd also like to clean up the cards before doing and posting a prototype gameplay video. Some of the cards have scribblings that might be confusing, and led to required commentary.
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Jason Barrett
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Re: [WIP] A vs B vs C (Theme TBD)
Got a few playtests in with friends. Everything went well. They had the same suggestion that a bigger deck could open up the game more. But they saw the value in the smaller deck and how the cards worked. It wasn't obvious what each player was collecting each game.
Now I need to work on the cards themselves. I have a few design ideas and need to settle on the combatants'. I am going to focus on the 18 card 2 player game first.
 
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Jason Barrett
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Re: [WIP] A vs B vs C (Theme TBD)
Had some more play through and found something annoying, cards that neutralized other cards, i.e additive inverse cards. Some cards have an inverse card, such as a card that is +1A, +1B, -2C will have an inverse card of -1A, -1B, +2C. If you end up with both of those cards, its like you are only playing with three cards instead of five. So I added a rule that if you get two inverse cards, you can immediately combine those to draw top card from a discard pile.
It provides a bit more strategy and helps to negate those additive inverse cards.
 
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Jason Barrett
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Re: [WIP] A vs B vs C (Theme TBD)
I decided on a theme; Pirates vs Cowboys vs Sorcerers

First prototype card with art!
Commissioned a drawing off fivver


This card is worth one Pirate and one Cowboy point.
I'd like to have the symbols closer to the edge but that would put it outside the bleed area.
 
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Jason Barrett
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I have made prototypes of all the cards and am ready to make a PnP. Some horrible art on them, except one. I'll print it off, play a bit with friends to ensure no errors, before making it available here.

Created a prototype logo to give the prototype game some pizzazz

Icons from game-icons.net by Delapouite
 
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Jason Barrett
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Got a different artist for his take on a pirate/cowboy. I like this one since it's easier to manipulate the lines and colours in photoshop. Although it feels too clean.

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JK
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Welcome to the contest Jason!

You have about a week to post your components and declare your game "component ready" or "contest ready". Best of luck!

JK
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Jason Barrett
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Cards and Rules added

Rules
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8S5YnwkybsENDdGR3N0b29USV...

Cards - 2 files of 9 cards each - Low Ink - Very Poor Art
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8S5YnwkybsEblhPVXcxcnVmcm...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8S5YnwkybsEMl9PZHhwRThWZ1...

To do:
Tweak Rules
-Should defence bonus be tweaked? To +1 good guess, 0 for no guess and -1 for wrong guess?

Make better rulebook with images

Commission more artwork

Put all cards into one file, as I add more artwork

Work on backgrounds for cards

Make gameplay video
 
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JK
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PLAYTESTER SPOT PRIZES

This game is eligible for a playtester spot prize for the next week!

See this post for more details.
 
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Jason Barrett
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I got two more pieces done on Fiverr. Which one do you prefer? The ones on the left, or the ones on the right?

 
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Mark Tuck
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The ones on the right - cleaner and more dynamic
 
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Tim Edwards
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Very late feedback on this. Apologies!

The rules look mostly tight and clear. Minor typo at the beginning:"a random a faction leader" must be 'at random'.

The big things for me were the terms "mercenary row" and "Army deck". I think your Game Set Up needs to be more comprehensive and define and explain these terms. They are not described anywhere else in the rules, so maybe they are known expressions for experienced players of this type of game? It was difficult for me to fathom.

Hope that helps a bit!
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Jason Barrett
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All constructive feedback is welcome. Not too late. I appreciate it. Did you get a chance to play it?

I updated the rules with a few pictures.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8S5YnwkybsEeFNaQ25UYkhNbE...

Tim Edwards wrote:
Very late feedback on this. Apologies!

The rules look mostly tight and clear. Minor typo at the beginning:"a random a faction leader" must be 'at random'.

The big things for me were the terms "mercenary row" and "Army deck". I think your Game Set Up needs to be more comprehensive and define and explain these terms. They are not described anywhere else in the rules, so maybe they are known expressions for experienced players of this type of game? It was difficult for me to fathom.

Hope that helps a bit!
 
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Tim Edwards
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Hi, I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to actually play. A sudden family issue scuppered my plans to play test games prior to the contest deadline. Now that things are more normal, I should be able to experience some of these games. Good luck!
 
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Tim Edwards
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Hi, just had a look at your updated rules. It might just be me but I got stuck straight away on round one.

I would suggest that (for thick people like me!) you really explain the procedure in a very thorough step-by-step way. The rules as they stand feel to me to be in a sort of note form that would work well to remind someone who knows the game of what to do - but leaves a total newcomer quite lost.

It might well be that the system is similar enough to other deck building games that what is confusing to me is intuitive for others...Imagine you're writing the rules for an alien who knows what cards are, but has no other points of reference.

Sorry to say, I am more or less that alien!

 
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Jason Barrett
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Tim Edwards wrote:
Hi, just had a look at your updated rules. It might just be me but I got stuck straight away on round one.

I would suggest that (for thick people like me!) you really explain the procedure in a very thorough step-by-step way. The rules as they stand feel to me to be in a sort of note form that would work well to remind someone who knows the game of what to do - but leaves a total newcomer quite lost.

It might well be that the system is similar enough to other deck building games that what is confusing to me is intuitive for others...Imagine you're writing the rules for an alien who knows what cards are, but has no other points of reference.

Sorry to say, I am more or less that alien!



I'll try working on the rules. I was worried about being too precise and too many words. I'll work on it.
 
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Jason Barrett
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Four more prototypes with art completed
 
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JK
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Jason,

I just spotted that you haven't nominated any categories for your game to be entered in. Please specify this in your top post before WEDNESDAY. If I don't hear, your game will only be entered in the Best Game category.

Cheers,
JK
 
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J S
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Fun little game! I like the card distribution mechanic!

Might be a little late now, but would it have been smoother to have the defense guess be a simultaneous reveal? If I have Pirates, guess the opponent has Sorcerers BUT they have Cowboys, then my opponent knows to guess Pirate.
 
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Jason Barrett
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Joshua,
I've been lagging behind a bit in this, but I updated the backs of the faction leader cards to have a symbol on three of the four corners. So the current idea is to have players cover their cards with their hand, or any kind of screen, rotate the card so their guess is facing their opponent, and then a simultaneous reveal.
 
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