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Subject: [WIP] Iron Game Designers - Prismatic Battles rss

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Pierre Rebstock
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Here's my entry for the Iron Game Designer Challenge

My ingredients:
--Classic sci fi movie(s): Star Wars
--Rainbow(s): Yes!

Mechanics:
--Card Driven
--Area Control
--Deck Building

Additional constraints (just because):
--Minimal components
--Max of 54 cards (one Artscow deck)

So here's my offering:

Designer's name: Pierre Rebstock
Name of game submission: Prismatic Battles
List of necessary components: 54 cards (that's it!)
Brief explanation of the game: see below
Approximate time to play: 45min

Link to game files:
Nice art version
Cards
Rules

Awful "art" version (aka Stick edition)
Cards
Rules

Artscow link: Prismatic Battles - Stick edition

Photos of the game


First turn, end of Assign Step. You have kept two cards in reserve to buy a new Jedi during the Recruit Step.


First turn, all Jedi cards are revealed (instead of one planet at a time).
Planet 1
Prismatic phase
Opposing player goes first (less Jedis on his side) and destroys your 5 Yellow with his 4 Green. With only a 7 Red and a 6 Orange, there is nothing you can do so you pass. The opposing player destroys your 7 Red with his 6 Orange. You pass. Opposing player passes too. End of Prismatic phase.
Battle phase
You have only 6 Power from your remaining 6 Orange against 10 Power (6 Orange + 4 Green). Opposing player nows controls Planet 1 by turning the planet card so that the control arrow faces him.

Planet 2
Prismatic phase
Opposing player destroys your 4 Green with his 3 Blue and your 3 Blue with his 2 Indigo.
Battle phase
Opposing = 5 vs you = 0. Opposing player takes controls of Planet 2

Planet 3 & 4
Opposing player is unopposed and takes control of both planets as well.





End of Control & Conquer Step. Opposing player controls all four planets. Yikes! this is not going so well.

Some turns go by....

End of Assign Step


Planet 1
Prismatic phase: Nothing happens
Battle phase: Opposing = 4 (2+2) vs You = 1; Opposing player conquers Planet 1
Planet 2
Prismatic phase: Opposing 4 Blue destroys your 5 Green/Yellow and opposing 2 white becomes Green to destroy your 4 Yellow.
Battle phase: Opposing = 6 (2+4) vs You = 0; Opposing player controls Planet 2
Planet 3
Prismatic phase: Nothing happens
Battle phase: Opposing = 1 vs You = 7 (2+4+1); You conquer Planet 3
Planet 4
Prismatic phase: Opposing 4 Green destroys your 5 Yellow
Battle phase: Opposing = 6 (2+4) vs You = 0; Opposing playr controls Planet 4



End of Control & Conquer Step.
Opposing player conquered Planet 1
Opposing player controls Planet 2
You conquered Planet 3
Opposing player controls Planet 4


Genesis: I originally thought that you had to produce that had both themes (rainbows + classic sci-fi) and somehow clicked on the colour of the lightsabers in Star Wars. I realise none of this is canon and I'm certainly no SW buff, still the gameplay felt interesting enough to pursue. I raided the internet for pictures/fan art related to my theme. Just in case I get a cease&desist letter, I've included a version of the cards and rules with my own "art" *coughs* :-)

Prismatic Battles - the Rules


Introduction
In a galaxy far far away, the desperate struggle of the Rebel Alliance against the Empire is but a myth from centuries past. Periods of relative galactic peace have been few and far between. Wars spanning whole quadrants have been waged and billions of lives have been lost on the whims of the powerful. The actual causes of the last conflict have long been forgotten but the aftermath has left only a few planets worth anything. As the leader of your Jedi clan, it is up to you to claim enough power to assert your dominance in those uncertain times and become the new Emperor.
The ancient order of the Jedi has been instrumental in the fate of the galaxy, from saving its inhabitants from powerful forces to ruling its entirety with an iron fist. The gradual depletion of resources and knowledge has led the humble lightsaber to become the only weapon worth fighting with. New disciplines and techniques have emerged and today’s Jedis specialise in one of seven form of lightsaber combat and each Jedi indicates his allegiance by the colour of his lightsaber. All forms, except the very defensive Soresu, have a nemesis that will completely counter

Description
Prismatic Battles is a 2 player card game of area control and deck building in the world of Star Wars. Each turn, players can improve their deck by recruiting new Jedis and/or take over planets for victory points. At the end of the game, whoever has the most victory points is the winner.

Components
7 start cards per player
20 planet cards
20 additional Jedis

Setup

Each player receives a set of seven Jedis (one of each colour, numbered 1 to 7) to create their Jedi deck.

Shuffle all the planet cards to create the Planet deck. Draw four cards from the Planet deck and place them horizontally between the players. They represent the planets currently available to control and conquer.
Shuffle the other Jedi cards to create the Recruit deck. Draw four cards from the Recruit deck and place them face up between the players. They represent the Jedis the players may be able to recruit to bolster their decks.

First Player
Players determine who is the most Jedi-like to be the first player. If no consensus can be achieved, the youngest player will be the first player. In case of ties, the first player will play first. At the end of each turn, the player to the right of the current first player becomes the first player for the next turn.

Gameplay

1. Draw Step

At the beginning of each turn, all players draw a hand of seven cards from their available Jedi deck. If there are less than 7 cards in the Jedi deck, reshuffle the discard pile to form a new Jedi deck from which to draw from.

2. Assign Step

Starting with the first player, players take turn to assign one of the cards they have in hand either to a planet on the board or to the reserve until all cards have been assigned.
Planet cards in hand can also be assigned to planets or held in reserve to recruit Jedis during the Recruit Step. Planet cards do not contribute any power toward controlling or conquering but players may wish to do so as a bluff.

3. Control and Conquer Step

Starting with the planet closest to the Planet deck, players reveal the cards they have at that location and proceed with the Prismatic phase followed by the Battle phase.
Repeat the Control & Conquer Step for each planet card in play. When all planets have been resolved, players move to the Recruit Step.

Prismatic phase

During the Prismatic phase, players have the opportunity to eliminate opposing Jedis.
The player with the fewest Jedis on a planet goes first and may select an opposing Jedi to destroy as per the sequence: Violet -> Indigo -> Blue -> Green -> Yellow -> Orange -> Red. The opposing player has then the opportunity to do the same. The Prismatic phase continues with players taking turns until neither player can destroy an opposing Jedi in this fashion.

Battle phase

After the Prismatic phase, players are able to use any special ability listed on their Jedi cards present on the planet.
Once all players have declined playing any additional effects, each player combines the power of each Jedi on his side and the +2 bonus from the control arrow (if applicable) and compares it to the opposing player. Planet cards played on either side do not bring any additional power.
Whichever player has the highest power now controls the planet and rotates the corresponding card until the control arrow points towards him. If there is a draw, the planet remains in its current state (uncontrolled or under the control of one player).
If that player already controls the planet, then he has conquered it and the planet card is placed in that player’s discard pile.
Once a planet is conquered, draw a new card from the Planet deck so that there are always four planet cards in front of each player. If the planet deck runs out of cards, the game ends.

4. Recruit Step

During this step, players have the option of recruiting new Jedis to their decks.
Starting with the player with the fewest cards in his reserve, a player may either discard 2 cards from his reserve to recruit a face up Jedi or the top card of the recruit deck.
Each time a face up Jedi is recruited, the top card of the recruit deck is revealed and replaces that Jedi on the board. The game ends if the recruit deck runs out of cards.

5. Clean up Step

At the end of the turn, each player places the Jedis he played during the Control & Conquer Step, the planets he conquered, the Jedis he recruited and any cards left in his reserve in his discard pile. The player to the right of the current starting player becomes the starting player for the next turn.

6. Winning the game

When either the Planet deck or the Recruit deck runs out of cards, the game ends at the end of the turn. Players then take the planet cards out of their Jedi deck and discard pile to count the number of victory points they have accumulated through conquering planets. The player with the most points is the winner. In case of a tie, the player with the least amount of Jedis is the winner.
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Nate K
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I might have to print out the version with your art. Those stick figure Jedi are adorable!

I would recommend breaking the game up into five "steps," rather than phases:

1. Draw Step
2. Assignment Step
3. Conquer and Control Step
a. Prismatic Phase
b. Recruit Phase
4. Recruit Step
5. Clean Up Step

That might help avoid some slight ambiguity.
 
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Pierre Rebstock
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kurthl33t wrote:
I might have to print out the version with your art. Those stick figure Jedi are adorable!


They do make me laugh.
Feel free to grab that deck from Artscow if you like the game. Link: Prismatic Battles - Stick edition
Artscow is having the usual sale with the ever important (when you live out here in NZ) free shipping. So I've uploaded a bunch of my prototypes.

Quote:
I would recommend breaking the game up into five "steps," rather than phases:

1. Draw Step
2. Assignment Step
3. Conquer and Control Step
a. Prismatic Phase
b. Recruit Phase
4. Recruit Step
5. Clean Up Step

That might help avoid some slight ambiguity.

Well spotted, I've updated the cards and the rules. Will reupload the files in a moment. Thanks!
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Sharon Adamson
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Actually, I love the stick figure Jedi! (The cartoony nature of my own game artwork may help to explain this preference...)

Sharon
(also in NZ)

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Pierre Rebstock
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snookums wrote:
Actually, I love the stick figure Jedi! (The cartoony nature of my own game artwork may help to explain this preference...)

Thanks!
Quote:

Sharon
(also in NZ)

aka the Land of the Long Crazy Expensive Shipping Costs
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todd sanders
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reading through your game. i have a few questions/clarifications


under 'first player'

you say at the end of each turn, the player to the right of the current first player goes next. but ... this is only a 2 person game. this might be better worded.

under '2. assign step' you talk about a 'reserve' but you do not really define it anywhere nor show it with perhaps a dotted box in your setup diagram. i eventually figured out what it does but you might wish to explain it earlier on

you might also want to state when assigning cards to the planets or the recruit piles that you place them face down so they can later be revealed one by one.

because the control arrow is important (and i like that idea a lot in this game) you might want to mention that when planet cards are first placed, they are oriented horizontally between players so that the control arrow points at neither player. you show this in the setup diagram but do not state it.


your RPS diagram shows that red does not defeat anything and that violet can never be defeated. this seems problematic to me. why would i want to ever recruit red cards to my cause?

you say the game ends when either the planet or recruit deck runs out of cards. do you mean from when the draw pile is depleted or do you also count those cards face up between players and the game is over once one of these two areas no longer has cards in it?
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Pierre Rebstock
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dumarest123 wrote:
reading through your game. i have a few questions/clarifications

under 'first player'

you say at the end of each turn, the player to the right of the current first player goes next. but ... this is only a 2 person game. this might be better worded.

I still have hope to upgrade the game to 3-4 players and wrote that paragraph with that in mind. Should be a straightforward tweak, as planned, only the initial setup changes but I'm lacking any time to test it at the moment

Quote:
under '2. assign step' you talk about a 'reserve' but you do not really define it anywhere nor show it with perhaps a dotted box in your setup diagram. i eventually figured out what it does but you might wish to explain it earlier on

Good point, will update the rules to properly introduce the concept of reserve.

Quote:
you might also want to state when assigning cards to the planets or the recruit piles that you place them face down so they can later be revealed one by one.

Ha ha nice one, i completely forgot to mention that indeed.

Quote:
because the control arrow is important (and i like that idea a lot in this game) you might want to mention that when planet cards are first placed, they are oriented horizontally between players so that the control arrow points at neither player. you show this in the setup diagram but do not state it.

... and that... shake

Quote:
your RPS diagram shows that red does not defeat anything and that violet can never be defeated. this seems problematic to me. why would i want to ever recruit red cards to my cause?


Red starts with a mighty 7 while violet only gets a puny 1. This is what led me to balance it out by making violet "unkillable" during the Prismatic phase while Red 7 requires some risk taking.
I also kept Violet as the invicible colour after doing some research on lightsaber things, there happens to be seven "forms" of lightsaber combats (as there are seven colours in the rainbow... just meant to be, i guess) and one of them is focused entirely on defense (Soresu) so I found it quite fitting for Violet 1.
In terms of the recruits, some are indeed more valuable than others in order to push players to make a decision with regards to assigning jedis to planets or keeping them for this turn and recruiting some powerful ones. Red 2 has a pretty good special and, while Red 4 is indeed a bit of a filler, it remains a decent 4 Power (if it survives the Prismatic phase). Finally there are only two red recruits as opposed to three of the other colours (ok, 2.5 for yellow and green ).

Quote:
you say the game ends when either the planet or recruit deck runs out of cards. do you mean from when the draw pile is depleted or do you also count those cards face up between players and the game is over once one of these two areas no longer has cards in it?

I see. I do mean that the game ends when there are no cards in either deck so there are still four planets between the players when the end game is triggered.
I've changed to: When the last card of either the Planet or Recruit deck is drawn, the game ends at the end of the turn.
Any better?

Relevant documents have been updated with changes.
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todd sanders
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thanks for the answers on the colors. well thought out
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