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Subject: [WIP] Battle Tank: Escape From Giant Robot Island rss

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Erik McGrath
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I used the WIP tag but Battle Tank is essentially finished (but please read on). You can see the BGG entry here and read the Current Rules and more on Inspired Press's website @ inspiredpress.net

The plan now is to get it printed in the near future, but there's still plenty of things that can be improved, I'm sure, so that's what this post is for.

You can see the prototype with the components in the pics below. To summarize the game uses 7 8" hexagon tiles to form the island. Being hexagons the tiles can be rotated any way you like and still match up so every time you play the island, and thus the escape routes, are different.

There are a total of 4 tanks, 12 robots (3 black, 9 grey) and 1 giant robot (not pictured). The game starts with the 4 tanks leaving the volcano by one of the 3 gates and 6 robots placed in the center hex of each of the 6 tiles. In the 3 or 4 player version the tanks are split between two players and in the 4 player version the robots are split by color with the black robots controlled the Mad Scientist and the grey robots by his henchmech.

Blowing up the other players's tokens is done with D6s. You just count the range and terrain then add the target's armor, you need to equal that on your dice roll to hit. If you hit you roll on the malfunction table for the unit you hit and see what happens. Tanks have high armor and a forgiving malfunction table while Robots mainly just get blasted apart. But its ok because more robots show up each turn.

One of the remaining hurdles is due to the robots. They can be walking or flying but a good way to represent that has eluded us so far.
Including alternate tokens for each state is an added cost that I would like to avoid. Right now we just use a blue cardboard disc under the robot to show that it is airborne but its not very satisfying.

The other issue is also one of tracking states and its about the tanks. There are different states the tanks can be in, gunner stunned, temporarily immobilized, permanently immobilized or their main weapon being knocked out. We have two viable options for tracking that.

First is the easy one, we just use chits that say what's wrong on them. They are cheap to make and are obvious to everyone since they are easy to see and read.

The other is printing reference cards with places to check off (or say attach a paper clip) over the damage. I like this idea myself because it gets the armor values and weapon states out of the rules and onto the table where no one has to remember them.

Suggestions, questions and criticisms on anything I've written are more than welcome.





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Erik McGrath
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Thinking on it for awhile I definitely want to go with making reference cards for the units. They will contain the armor and weapon ratings, movement points and the malfunction table for that unit.

I'm not sure if I can fit the terrain costs on there, but I will if I can.

That still leaves me with the robot problems.

What I didn't mention in the first post is that the tank and robot pieces are all resin casts of clay sculpts I did. I'm not sure how well resin pieces goes over with a general audience so I'd like to learn more about that if anyone else does know.

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Jessey
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For airborne or groundborne robots why not just use a double sided token? (which obviously does not work if you use miniatures instead of wood discs as I had assumed until I saw the pictures).

For the tanks, why not combine both methods. Instead of paper clips to mark the state of the reference card, you can have chits that get put into the reference card -- then you still get the benefit of the reference information (armor etc).
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Erik McGrath
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We did originally use double sided chits for everything but we went and got ambitious wit the miniatures.

Cards with chits is a good idea. We can write the conditions on the card and then you can put a chit on them to show which you have. Then you can flip the card when your tank is wrecked and have the information for the infantry on that side.
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Colin Mossbarger
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Alvin
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Hey I don't know if this is really off budget but what it you had some sort of addition like wings or a jet pack type of piece that could just snap onto the back of the robot? Kinda like the things those Lego dudes had. That way you don't have to make a whole other set of robots but could just make a few Wing sets.

But this might cost too much, who knows
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Erik McGrath
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Snap-on wings is a great idea. I should be able to prototype some of those pretty easy.

Thanks.
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Colin Mossbarger
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Alvin
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Anytime, this game looks really cool and I'm excited to see where it goes
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Erik McGrath
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Thanks its always good to hear people are interested.
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