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Subject: Shattered Empires LCG rss

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Matt Hester
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I'm developing an LCG based on a science fiction universe called Shattered Empires. The game revolves around Space Combat. The game mechanics seem to be pretty set, though we're still in the play testing stage for balancing to make sure the factions are even. You can learn more about the factions, races and the world in general at http://www.shatteredempiresccg.com

Anyway, I'd love to get some feedback on the overall design of the game. I've got the basic rules laid out and will have those posted here. I haven't been able to get the cards themselves into an easy to print format for testing since I'm still tweaking values but I could provide roughs for someone if they're able to get them into a PDF format that would be easier to print off?

Would love some feedback.


Turn Order
At the beginning of the game, draw up to your maximum hand size, with the default being 7 cards.

Beginning of the Turn
Anything that states “At the beginning of your/the turn” triggers.

Draw Phase
Draw two cards.
(Re)Fill Queue
You may play Construction projects from your hand until you have equal to or less than your maximum queue, as determined by your cards.

Allocation Phase
Restore Command Points to Maximum (as determined by your cards in play).
Assign available Yield to Construction and/or Research Projects.
Complete any finished Projects.

Acquisition Phase
Play up to one Resource from your hand.
Begin Research Projects ( Play any number of Research Projects from your hand into play. Research Projects cost 1 Command Point to play. )
Hire Personnel ( Play any number of Personnel, keeping in mind their Command Point cost.)
Assign Personnel (Move any number of Personnel between your active units, paying command points equal to their cost.)

Combat Phase
Choose one of your units. You may have that unit announce an attack. For each of that unit’s weapons, you may assign a target. Not all targets need to be assigned at a time. Any targeted units may then assign their weapons against the attacker. Each weapon on a unit may only be fired once per turn.
Resolve damage.
Continue with any number of available units and weapons, one at a time.

Repair and Replenish Phase
Assign Repair
Replenish Shields to Full

End of the Turn
Anything that states “At the end of your/the turn” triggers.
You may scrap any number of Construction Projects in your Queue at a cost of 1 command point for each project scrapped in this manner.
Discard down to maximum hand size if necessary.


Deck Construction
When building your deck, you may not have any more than four copies of a single card in the deck, unless that card has the Unlimited designation. Decks must be at least 60 cards, though there is no upper limit. Certain Construction and Research Projects have no cost involved in them. Those cards are placed into a Side Board and cards in your deck are used to put them into play. There is no need to draw those cards.

Terms

Construction
The cost to complete a Construction Project is Yield equal to the number in the top right hand corner of the card.
When you complete a Construction Project, it goes into Testing, meaning that it cannot be used to initiate an attack during your Combat Phase. It may still defend itself. Testing ends at the beginning of your turn after the unit has been constructed.

Destroyed
A unit is considered “Destroyed” when it has taken damage equal to or greater that it’s hit points. A destroyed unit it put into the Scrapyard. Any personnel on the unit are also “destroyed” and placed in the Scrapyard.

Modifications
Modification Construction Projects are used to augment an existing unit. If there are no units of the required type available, the Modification cannot be completed and must remain in the Queue. Placing a Modification on a unit is called modifying a unit.

Assigning Damage
When assigning damage to a unit, it is applied to Shields first, if there are any present. Once shields have been exhausted, the damage is applied to the unit. Shields replenish to full at the beginning of the unit’s player’s Repair and Replenish Phase.

Destroying a Modification
During a player’s combat phase, they may target a Modification on a unit rather than the unit itself. The defending unit may fire back as per normal, however the damage is directed against the Modification, rather than any shields or hit points for the unit itself. Defenses such as shields do not mitigate any damage assigned to Modifications.
When using a command that deals damage to a unit, that damage may be redirected to a Modification on that unit.

Damage
Damage that is dealt to a unit stays on that unit until it is either repaired or destroyed.

Defense Stations
Defense Stations may not initiate attacks during your Combat Phase. Defense Stations must be attacked first before attacks may be initiated against the base. An attacker may choose to ignore this requirement to attack the base, however if they do, the Defense Station gets to fire on the attacking unit before any other combat attacks are completed.

Drawing Cards
If at any time you are required to draw a card and there are no cards in your Deck, shuffle your Scrapyard. It becomes your Deck.

Evasion
Evasion is a unit’s ability to dodge combat attacks. When assigning a weapon to attack a unit with Evasion, roll a d6. On a roll equal to or greater than the Evasion, the attack is a hit. Otherwise, the attack is considered a miss and deals no damage.
If a unit is removed from combat due to an ability or card, any attacks used against that unit are still considered used and may not be directed against other targets. This includes cards such as Evasive Maneuvers, which removes a unit with Evasion from Combat.

Hit
Hit is a unit’s ability to target another unit. A unit with hit applies the Hit to rolls made against units with Evasion.

Intercept
A unit with Intercept may attempt to shoot down an incoming unit during combat while defending. The unit with Intercept may assign any available weapons against the attacking unit. Once that damage resolves, then the attacker may complete the attack. Intercept is used after that attacker has declared the target of the attack. Weapons may still only be fired once per turn.
Alternatively, the unit with Intercept may choose to become the target of the attack. When becoming the target of the attack, effective evasion is 0.

Launcher
Launcher is a unit’s ability to fire projectiles. When you complete a unit with Launcher, search your deck for a Projectile for each instance of Launcher on the completed unit. Reveal those cards, then put them into your hand. Shuffle your deck afterwards.
Projectile commands may not be played unless you have a unit that has completed Testing.

Research Projects
Research Projects are played during your Primary and cost one Command point to put into play. Once they are in play, they cost an amount of Yield to complete as indicated on the top right hand corner of the card. Projects complete at the End of the Allocation Phase, just like Construction Projects. They remain in play unless destroyed by a Command or Effect. Research Projects have no effect until they are completed.

Attack
An attack is when a unit assigns one or more of it’s weapons as targeting another unit, or when playing an Attack Command.

Repair and Auto-Repair
A unit with Repair is able to Repair any friendly unit during the Repair and Replenish Phase. That repair is equal to the abilities Repair, the number directly after the ability name. IE Repair 2 allows the unit to repair up to 2 points of damage. Auto-repair is Repair that only applies to the unit that has Autorepair.

Queue
Queue is the number of Construction Projects you are able to simultaneously work on. When you play a card to your queue, place it in front of you, closest to you. You may not have more Construction Projects in play that your Queue value. Once a unit is completed, it is no longer considered a Construction Project.

Construction Project
Construction Projects are the cards that eventually become your ships and stations. Constructions projects are generally played into your Queue. There is no cost to place a Construction Project into the Queue. In order to complete a Construction Project, you allocate Yield to them during the Allocation Phase. When you have Yield allocated to the Construction Project equal to or greater than the total cost on the card, the Construction Project is considered completed.

Sideboard
The sideboard is a place where your special cards are kept. Cards such as special research projects or special units. These cannot be placed into a normal deck, as they require special conditions to be able to play. Once those conditions are met, the card is generally put into play from the sideboard. All sideboard cards must be declared before the game starts. There is no limit to the number of cards in your sideboard.

Personnel
Personnel are the crew, pilots, commanders, thinkers and ambassadors of your forces. While units don’t require personnel, they are able to benefit from their effects. To hire a personnel, you pay the Command Point cost then put it into play. It starts at your base but is not considered assigned there. During your primary phase, you may assign the personnel to a unit at the cost of command points equal to the play cost. Bases may only support Ambassadors and Engineers, unless a card says otherwise. Fighters may only have a pilot. Capital ships may have a Captain and/or Engineer. Stations may have Administrators and/or Engineers. You may not have more than one Personnel of any designation ( pilot, administrator, etc ) assigned to the same unit.

Unique
If a card is Unique, there can only be one copy of that card in play under each player’s control. If one is already in play, another one cannot be put into play. If a card or ability would make a copy of unique card, that copy does not come into play.

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Matt Hester
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Currently we're looking at Kickstarter as a way of funding to get the game published. The game itself is completely playable in the first version as long as you've got two or more players with the game. There are going to be five customizable decks at launch with a number of expansions planned to expand deck styles and add factions.

I'm still looking into finding a publisher but mostly I want to make sure that I have a complete, balanced product before I approach someone to publish the game.
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Drew Dallas
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Just FYI Living Card Game, LCG and the LCG logo are registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight so you probably don't want to use the term. Expandable Card Game or ECG seems to be the alternative that many use.

Also your website is getting blocked by Avast Virus program as containing malware, might want to make check your site over to make sure there isn't anything wrong with it.
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James Hutchings
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What do you think is better about this game than similar, existing games?
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Sturv Tafvherd
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apeloverage wrote:
What do you think is better about this game than similar, existing games?


This ... a thousand times this!

Back between 1995 and 2001, I would have grabbed every CCG designer by the neck and asked them ... "WHY???!! Why did you think your game is better than ... M:tG, Doomtown, Babylon 5, L5R, Shadowfist, Netrunner, Game of Thrones ... etc, etc."

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Matt Hester
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The website redirects to www.facebook.com/shatteredempires so not sure why it's being blocked by Avast. As for LCG, not going to call the game an LCG, just using that as a reference for the type of game.
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Matt Hester
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The thing that sets Shattered Empires apart from other games such as magic is a game much more in touch with the universe behind it. Every ship, person or event mentioned in the game itself has a story behind it. Additionally, the players will help to shape the universe as it continues to evolve around them, similar to L5R.

I may be wrong but I haven't been able to find any other sci fi card games that are taking place in space. If there are some, please let me know so I can go take a look.
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Nate K
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Shattered Empires wrote:
Additionally, the players will help to shape the universe as it continues to evolve around them, similar to L5R.


I would like to hear more about this.
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Matt Hester
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The universe behind the game is very developed, with a rich history and an active storyline. As people play in organized events, we will keep track of how the decks perform. Because it's a galactic combat type game, the factions that are winning will be winning in the storyline as well.

We have several artists who will be doing accompanying comics, omnibus style. We welcome feedback from the community as well. For the expansions, you'll see characters direction from the comics coming to life, as well as minor factions evolving into playable factions over time.
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Nate K
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Shattered Empires wrote:
The universe behind the game is very developed, with a rich history and an active storyline. As people play in organized events, we will keep track of how the decks perform. Because it's a galactic combat type game, the factions that are winning will be winning in the storyline as well.

We have several artists who will be doing accompanying comics, omnibus style. We welcome feedback from the community as well. For the expansions, you'll see characters direction from the comics coming to life, as well as minor factions evolving into playable factions over time.


Intriguing. How does one find out more about the different factions?
 
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Matt Hester
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Currently the information is on the facebook page on one of the events. https://www.facebook.com/events/340215709409783/

There are five current factions.
Empire - Main Faction of the universe before it all went to hell
Warlord Darkon - Rogue element from the Empire
Bogathan Empire - Race of lithovores that hate everyone
Merchant Coterie - Merchants and their Black Market
The Void - Battle Computer gone crazy, continuing to "repair" itself and all it's copies
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Shattered Empires wrote:
The thing that sets Shattered Empires apart from other games such as magic is a game much more in touch with the universe behind it. Every ship, person or event mentioned in the game itself has a story behind it. Additionally, the players will help to shape the universe as it continues to evolve around them, similar to L5R.

I may be wrong but I haven't been able to find any other sci fi card games that are taking place in space. If there are some, please let me know so I can go take a look.


Space themed card games:

Space Hulk Death Angel
Race for the Galaxy
Eminent Domain
Core Worlds
Starship Catan
Star Trek deck building games
Horus Heresy
Star Trek CCG
Star Wars CCG
Babylon 5 CCG
Galactic Empires CCG

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Matt Hester
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Several of those have been discontinued but there are some that are still being produced. I'll have to check them out.
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Andrew Rowse
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I've couched this sentiment in diplomatic language several times before, so this time I'm going to try it in brutally plain language...

Small scale customisable card games are pretty much never successful. It doesn't really matter what the distribution method is - whether you use LCG-style fixed blocks or randomised boosters. If players are spending time outside of the game building decks, the game needs a critical mass of motivated, geographically close players in order to build momentum, and that's a really difficult thing to manage.

If there is any way that you can eliminate the by-yourself deck-building component of the game, I would strongly urge you to do so. Take a look at how Mage Tower took what is essentially a MtG-style game engine and nested it in a drafting mechanic - resulting in a game that only one person needs to buy in order for multiple people to enjoy.

Take a look at the many Kickstarter CCG projects that there have been. With few exceptions, the only ones that have done well are the ones that are digital - because digital CCGs get over the geographical problem, and can often offer single-player vs AI.

The idea of having players affect future releases and storyline is something that White Wolf did with VTES. If you can build a sufficiently large and enthusiastic player base, and get them sufficiently invested in the world you've created, it's a very cool thing to do.
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Matt Hester
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A lot of good information and stuff that I'll be taking to heart during the creation process. Involving the community has always been a significant part of the game and it will be showcased as such whenever we get up to mass marketing.
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James Hutchings
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Shattered Empires wrote:
The thing that sets Shattered Empires apart from other games such as magic is a game much more in touch with the universe behind it. Every ship, person or event mentioned in the game itself has a story behind it. Additionally, the players will help to shape the universe as it continues to evolve around them, similar to L5R.


It seems to me like you might have a conflict there: if the story is well-developed, what room is there for players to add to it?

Middle-Earth is a good example of this.

EDIT: It also seems like you should be spending as much time, if not more, getting feedback on the story as on the rules.

EDIT 2: Also, the best decks are unlikely to make 'story sense', and the most story-appropriate decks are unlikely to be very competitive.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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apeloverage wrote:
Shattered Empires wrote:
The thing that sets Shattered Empires apart from other games such as magic is a game much more in touch with the universe behind it. Every ship, person or event mentioned in the game itself has a story behind it. Additionally, the players will help to shape the universe as it continues to evolve around them, similar to L5R.


It seems to me like you might have a conflict there: if the story is well-developed, what room is there for players to add to it?

Middle-Earth is a good example of this.


That's a good point, but I know of at least two other CCGs who had storylines influenced by the players.

Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) as mentioned by the OP, is definitely one of them.

Deadlands: Doomtown also had the players influence the story. A lot of the metagame and the winning/losing factions in the tournaments led to further developments in the storyline.

In fact, I know that some of the character artwork are based on the players (and at least one based on the designer). It's kinda fun to attend their tournaments and dress up in cowboy gear, cuz you just might be asked to pose for a picture that ends up on a card.

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Chris Phillips
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Lets not forget

The Game Of Thrones LCG

I believe nearly every character is from the book series and has their own background, if maybe limited.
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Matt Hester
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The basis for the storyline is well established, but the continuation of the storyline is what is going to be influenced by the players. Two of our initial five factions were actually designed by the community during a contest that we held on our Facebook page.

We're going to see what people do in the tournaments, feedback for the comics themselves, forums on the website once we have it up and running.
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Matt Hester
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Drafting a demo video for the game. You can also see PnP versions of the game at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rrbiv0e1t2tgv12/2W45KSmYmu
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Matt Hester
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Merchant Deck uploaded to the dropbox
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rrbiv0e1t2tgv12/2W45KSmYmu
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Matt Hester
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SxLEc51z_Y shows what the Print and Play cards look like. Writing updated rules for the game and will be uploading them this week.
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Matt Hester
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Lots of updates on the print and play version of the game. Rules updates.
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