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Subject: Chesscraft rss

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Chen Changcai
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For people who are interested to playtest, or just interested in board game design, please give me some comments on my first attempt at board game design. I have uploaded the card graphics and rules in the file section. Thanks!

This game has the elements of chess variants and collective card games. The inspiration for this game came from Navia Dratp, Knightmare Chess and Magic: The Gathering. The game allows for 1 vs 1 or 2 vs 2.

Objective of the game is to capture the opponent's king. At the beginning of each player's turn, he draws 1 card. During his turn, the player has to make a move on one of his pieces. Before or after the Move, he can summon piece, promote piece or play a card by paying the cost. Costs are paid by discarding cards.

There are 4 races, each represented by a different colour. Orc is Red, Undead is Black, Human is Blue and Elf is Green. Each has their own unique abilities to influence the game play. Orc has piece promotion and piece special movements. Undead has graveyard manipulation and piece control. Human as piece position and board manipulation. Elf has card manipulation.

Setup
- Each player chooses a colour and gets the 8 corresponding colored 8 pieces.
- Deal the board tiles to the players. Then, they take turns to place the board tiles.
- Similar coloured squares cannot be adjacent, and each tile must be placed such that its joins to an existing tile at 1 square edge or more (not corner).
- After each player places their last board tile, he has to place their King on one of the 4 squares on this last tile.
- Mark the intersection of this last board tile with a corresponding colored marker. This 2x2 region is where the player can summon their pieces.

Brief Rules
- Objective of the game is to capture the opponent's king.
- At the beginning of each player's turn, he draws 1 card.
- During his turn, the player has to make a move on one of his pieces.
- Before or after the Move, he can summon piece, promote piece or play a card by paying the cost.
- Costs are paid by discarding cards.
- During opponent's turn, player may play cards that counter the opponent's cards.

Pieces
- The cost of each piece is displayed at the top of the movement grid.
- Discard number of cards equal to the cost to summon the piece.
- A piece just summoned can be moved. However it has summoning lag, which means it
(1) may not make a move that captures an opposing piece.
(2) may not be in a position or makes a move that causes a Checkmate.
(3) may not be in a position or makes a move that resolves a Checkmate.
- Promoted pieces have a circle at the center of the movement grid.
- Player may promote a piece by paying the difference in cost between the promoted and basic piece. A just promoted piece has summoning lag.
- Player may directly summon a promoted piece.
- Player may not move such that his and his opponent's moves repeat themselves the 2nd time.

Cards
- Players may only play cards of their color.
- The cost of each card is displayed on the top right corner. Discard number of cards equal to the cost to play the card.
- There are 2 types of cards. Actions goes to discard pile immediately while Permanents stay in play.
- Kings cannot be targetted or affected by cards unless specified.
- A played card must not cause a checkmate or resolve a checkmate at that round.
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David Weinstock
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You may also want to check out a game that I published in 2004 called "ChessHeads." There are 121 cards in the set, with randomized Deck Builders of 30 cards each.

The game is played with a chessboard and extra pieces and piece tokens that consist of Queens, Rooks, Bishops, Knights, and Pawns, in an area called a "Boneyard."

There is a resource in the game called "Entigy" which consists of the normal point values of the chess pieces themselves (1, 3, 5 and 9 points depending upon the piece).

As players capture, destroy, steal, or otherwise remove pieces from within the 64 square grid of the chessboard during play, they may place them in their "Entigy Pool" to be used as resource with which to pay for the effects on the cards in their hands.

The cards cost 0, 1, 3, 5, or 9 points to play, and players can create wild effects that include -- but are not limited to -- making multiple moves, putting pieces in prison or to sleep, regenerating pieces back into the game from the Boneyard, blowing pieces up, bouncing pieces around the board, creating monstrous piece creatures or piece generating factories, making multiple captures, reorganizing their pieces on the board into new layouts, and etc.

The cards are collectible, but there is no rarity structure, and players may build their own decks of at least 30 cards, but of more cards if they follow the printed Deck Building rules.

ChessHeads has a reasonably high learning curve, and takes approximately 45 minutes to 90 minutes or so to play a game.

If you are interested in checking out the effects on the original playtest cards in PDF form as research (or simply to play), you may download them along with a rules set, from the ChessHeads page on my site, ChessMate.com.



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Chen Changcai
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ChessCraft v1.1 is uploaded. I have added Piece Modifier Permanents that affect the way pieces move, capture or interact with other pieces. This greatly expands the piece movement and capture possibilities which cannot be adequately described with the movement grid representation.

David Weinstock:
I saw the many varied and interesting effects in Chessheads! Actually, I found that my game concept is pretty similar to yours, using cards as resources and to bend the chess rules. I do see differences as well. ChessCraft uses non-traditional pieces and modular board, which I hope makes the game less Chess-like.

One suggestion that I have on Chessheads is to make the wording on the cards shorter and simpler if possible. For a new player, the learning curve can be steep.
 
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Chen Changcai
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ChessCraft v1.2 has been uploaded.

- Reformatted the rules, changed Piece Modifier Permanents to Actions as there is a problem of tracking these Permanents.
- Added terrain to the board tiles. Players can draw 1 extra card if they occupy all their 4 terrains.
- Included various versions of the game, such as cards-only or pieces-only.
- Included 2 more victory conditions.
- Players may respond when opponent plays a card by playing a card of their own. Cards are resolved first in last out.
 
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