I'm designing a board game that's a mix between tactical and strategy. Right now it's in the early stages. The base idea is that players start by designing ships, then using a constructor ship, build bases and fleets to try to destroy the opposing player's constructor ship. Think Star Trek: Armada in board game.
One key element to the game I'm thinking about is having players be able to design their own ships at the start of the game. Now once the ships are designed they can't be augmented during game, but each player may select a hull size, weapons, armor and speed of four different ships prior to starting the game.
I have two ways to go about it.
My first initial way was to have cards. Each hull size is a tile that has a base cost, and hull size. Players then use cards to select weapons and engines. On the cards are a chart with the hull size and stats (eg: laser cannons would have a different range/damage/cost for the small hull as opposed to a large hulled ship). Players also place tokens for the armor rating of the ship.
The second option I was thinking was similar to the first in that there is a tile with the ship's hull size and modifiers written on it (bonus range, or bonus armor). Players then place tokens on the sheet to give it range, damage, armor and speed.
The upside to the first option that I see is that players can modify ships more. You could make a slow ship that has weak long range weapons but also powerful short ranged weapons. The ability to add in more than one weapon so long as space allows. The biggest con I see is balancing and complexity. It may turn people off having to pick and balance weapons and engines.
The bonus to the token option in it's simplicity. Ships have one weapon that deals 'x' damage at a maximum of 'y' range and move 'z' spaces.
I'm torn between the two, as I like the variability of the first option, but I could see it turn people off of the game when their initial set up is spent trying to pick weapons and engines for their ships.
Or is there a third option that I'm missing that I could toy with?
I have a game under development which is a little similar. In the first part you build your own ship and then you battle against your enemy ship. You can check it out here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/919546/wip-from-glory-to-deb...
I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested.
Ships should be rated on three scales: Attack, Defense, and Speed. I would allow players to assign points to the three scales. Maybe players start with a set number of points per ship and can increase this during the game through research.
Small ship (frigate)
0 points 2 attack
1 point 3 attack
2 points 4 attack
0 points 1 defense
1 point 2 defense
2 points 3 defense
0 points 4 speed
1 point 6 speed
2 points 8 speed
If you gave the player 3 points he might choose a ship with 2 attack, 2 defense and 8 speed. Or he may choose 4 attack, 2 defense and 4 speed.
Pretty cool idea. Just kind of base it on the points, frigates would have 3 points like your scale, while larger ships (and thereby slower) would have it tweaked like the following with more points to spend:
0 = 2
1 = 4
2 = 6
0 = 4
1 = 6
2 = 8
0 = 2
1 = 3
2 = 4
It's definitely a different way than I was thinking. Would allow for some more interesting tweaks (ie: a race that focuses on defense would have their larger ships as 5, 7, 9 on the defense).
have you checked out Merchant and Marauders? They have an interesting way of dealing with it. Your player mat has spots that allow you to move cubes up and down stat tracks. So if you upgrade something or a ship you can set the stats. It is really easy to read and understand and works really well.
I almost forgot. A game called Káosz Galaktika (never been translated to english) features spacebattles. Both fleets have basic ship cards. There are four type: scout, fighter, cruiser and destroyer. Scout can have one card on it, fighter can have two and so on. A card can be personnel (what can be changed from ship to ship during the game) or a module, what usually give bonus to one of the stats (speed, firepower, shield, bombardment) or some sort of ability, like concealment or quick repair. Of course, bigger ships are more expensive and much slower. There was also a hangar limit, where a scout took one place, the fighter two and so on, so you couldn't have much more ships than the enemy. This game used cards and two type of tokens (one for credit and one for everything else)