It's 4:33 AM and I am writing my very first blog in my life. As recent member of BGG, I've spent far more time on BGG than playing any games. I have set up a pool party at my home and I can't wait until Saturday night. I've been working on some new game ideas as well as thinking of ways to improve an old game I have made Leaders & Agents.
Leaders & Agents is a dicefest game that uses d10s. Players have a priority pick to determine what they want more of Leaders, Armies, or Agents. Each player has a playmat that holds each players bits. There are no areas to fight for. Each player who attacks, attacks another players army. The game does have player elimination but is played for VPs. You are scored higher in areas that has lower priorities(like some Euros). Agents consist of Merchants,Spies and Assassins. Spies are what I like think of as "Buffing" pieces. They do nothing themselves but when placed on an enemy leader they make him easier to Assassinate and give bonuses to battle him. Merchants are what give me the most headaches but they are the primary source of money. The economy of the game is so far the biggest design flaw. I have changed it numerous times after playtesting results. The assassin is my favorite piece in the game. To my delight, the assassin is well balanced and is fun to play. The assassin can kill enemy leaders and agents. Leaders determine how many actions a player has. A player can give up his first action to make all his other leader do the same thing or pick one action and roll the rest of the actions(like war of the ring). Taking different actions gives the player VPs for leadership, assassination VP for agents, and successful battle VPs for armies. I like the game's overall concept but I must playtest more before I finish the game's economy which may be broken. I have even made small bis for the game. I took some wood pieces from Hobby Lobby and crafted gold coins, wood stars for VPs and flat circular pieces for armies. This I found cost way to much for me but I still have them.
I worked on the playmats, trying to optimize space and ascetics. A friend suggested I use dice in columns to replace bits. This would free up space. Jeff, another friend of mine, suggested I make it a mini game and use paper mats and chits. I like this idea. It would keep costs low and may be able to reach a larger audience because of price.
The other game(Untitled) is a fanasty civ style wargame. It is a hex and counter game whose objective is to gain favor of the games "gods". Shrines to each god is placed on the center of a modular hex piece. The players build the map then place starting cities. This game has variable player powers which are bid on. The game ends when all the shrines are captured. There is no player elimination because dead players can be respawned on the map. I made the game's city piece 3 hexes big. This is to hold population, armies and agents. In this game, individual leaders aren't represented. Armies are of the same value. Most of the core mechanics are done by rolling two dice which are modified by the favor of the gods. The game has 6 tables total which are small. I may use a static hex map as the modular map maybe totally meaningless.
As far as themes go, I orignally saw Leaders and Agents as a classical Rome game. I went so far as to assign nation states priorities. Some of these just didn't feel right. The base system seems like it could work with a number of themes like ancient Japan. Ninjas could be used instead of assassins. Our maybe the mob. Lots of possibilites here.
My untitled game has a fanasy theme but I have yet to name the gods and flesh out the world around it. As a long time D & D player, I know how important proper names can be. I have been long ridiculed for name choice in some games and rightful so. As my grammar and spelling may indicate, I am no wordsmith. I want to use a real world mythological pantheon of gods but have decided against it. The gods are War, Trickery, Travel, Nature and Hearth. These fit in with many Greco-Roman gods but Trickery? I thought of Hera but wasn't so sure. Or Hades. The Norse pantheon had some good selections but it was hard to nail down Hearth.
The untitled game has only been playtested by me. It seems balanced on the first run. I have yet to play test with multiple players. Most of the variable powers are equal. The latter powers called titles in the game are used as mini games within the game. Most of these result in simple die rolling but a few are economic or bidding.
Leaders and Agents has met with mixed playtesting results. One player thought attacking should be more in favor of the attacker rather than defender. The economy has been the major complaint, throughout. Most people agree it is a complete system, even if it needs work.
I am also not working on a game I have co created with a friend. Being a huge X-Com fans, we decided to make an alien invasion game. Called Invasion, you play either aliens or humans. As the human player, you start small but quickly begin to steamroll as you pick up tech and money. As the aliens, you have a huge tech advantage but must slowly pipe in the bugs. This game is huge and incomplete. Will never see the light of day, more likely than not. Still, the thought of this game excites me. Maybe FFG will get the rights to make a true X- Com game.
The last X - com game I played was good. A new company( I forget the name) has the rights to the code but not the name X - com. The new game is called UFO: Exteriestals. It plays much like the first 2 X-Com games. You can't buy men. They come in at given times. Also the tech tree is huge and some of the aliens are rough. Not lobsterman rough, but hard none the less. Never completed the game but worked on it for months. I have beat down the first 2 X-Com games. This one should be a challenge for those like these games.