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Theoretical Community CCG Project

Started by Malagar, December 12, 2011, 03:35:41 PM

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Quote from: Trevor on December 14, 2011, 08:40:36 AM
How can an amoeba be complicated enough to be sentient? They are single cells.
There is a race in the Star Frontiers RPG (or the Star Frontiers setting of the d20 Future PRG), called a Dralasite that is amoebic in nature. Thus, he means an amoeba the size of a fat child.  :)

For the factions, it's good to call them by what they are (lizardman, amoeba, etc.) for that cheesy sci-fi feel (who doesn't like cheesy sci-fi?), but in the flavor text, you can call them by their racial name they give themselves. (Example: Silurians from Dr. Who are Lizard men.) Doing it this way could give your game real flavor.


Okay, try this on for size:

As I was reading, I noticed that you 1) want imperial conquest, 2) Want political intrigue, 3) Want space battles, 4) want planetary skirmishes, 5) want to fight over planets, 6) have racial factions, with each person playing a race, and 7) you want both individuals and space units.

Alright, so here is what I propose:

A) Fast pace, which means to keep things as simple as possible. Each action is wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am. In other words, you lay a card down or make a declaration and you're done.
B) Multiple Locations (Planets). Each person sets down a planet card back-and-forth until 5 planets are on the board. (One person has 3 planets, the other 2. We can figure out which player gets which later, when we figure out which player should have the most or least starting board position.)
C) Planetary Resources. Each planet provides a resource (activated? or simply static?).
D) Diplomacy Cards. Players start out playing cards involving diplomacy. These cards affect trade, construction, treachery and conflict.
E) Command Units. When a war stats, Command units may be played that control the conflict.
F) Fleet Units. Each player has space fleet cards. These aren't just single units, but whole fleets.
G) Diplomatic Restoration. Once combat ends for a planet, diplomacy resumes and stability returns to the region.
H) Fluid play. The game is fluid in that there are no "turns" (beyond back and forth play), only card play. So you decide at any time what your action is going to be for any given planet. Players play back and forth.
I) Object of the Game. To control all the resources. (Regardless of whether you actually control a planet.)
J) Resources Directly Affect Actions. The more resources a player possesses, the more things they get for their units, planets and ability to play Diplomacy cards. Science can improve power, Medical can improve healing, Mining can improve material resource, Politics can improve Diplomacy, etc.
K) Resource Icons. For each resource you control, you gain a resource icon. If you control two Science resources, then your power improves that much.


I don't mean this to be a plug, but maybe you could get some ideas from the newly developed Space Empires board game developed by Jim Krohn.


We do have quite a few cooks filling up the kitchen already don't we...

I'm fine on not going super tough into the RTS style feel, leaves room for me to make the greatest fan-game adaptation possible still. I like that structures would just increase your ability to play certain types of cards or whatnot.

The way the Game of Thrones LCG does it (at least on the cards I've seen) is that certain locations (which would be structures in our game) can tap to reduce the cost of a card with a certain criterion by a certain amount, thus providing a much more specific resource type. I like this because it would allow decks to have good reason to build structures throughout the game, and players can choose to build a variety of them or a more focused group of them.

Or, a new idea for structures and the way things are played...
Instead of their being a "Lizardman's Basic Ships" structure that allowed you to play a few of the lower power Lizardman ships, perhaps it would be more like the Tech Level idea from before.
So, each Nation card lays down how good that group is at the 7 different attributes (and I actually like 7, btw)
Structures (and other cards in play) can increase how good you are at the different attributes.
So instead of requiring a certain card to be in play to bring certain units into play, why don't we make it so that most Barracks type buildings increase your Military level, allowing you to play things that require that higher level. So Science and Military would kinda be the two resources for playing Units. I think its innovative, perhaps a little too much to deal with still in terms of this project.

If you wanna start drafting up rules Malagar please do. For the most part, as long as the game is fairly cool, I will have a good time designing things for it. Sometimes you've gotta turn off that designer part of me, because it'll almost never be happy until I'm almost making a Decipher game, and everyone but me hates those lol


Im writing from work, so i have to keep this short.


I dont like the term "city hall" - but i do like the upgrade idea. it could also read: "you can only build heavy warships when you reached tech level 2" or something like that.

yes, its too many stats. i realise by now. im thinking about 5.

the victory condition thing you speak of also sounds very interesting.

i think a rulebook will be far on the horizon (probably spring next year).

@ascent / yudencrow:

yeah the races where just dumb placeholder ideas. there have to be cool races of course with a bit of background histoy and good names.


A.) could be, but it does not have to be "fast pace" all over the place.
B.) good idea! maybe the one who goes first, places one planet less?
C.) yep, i would say activated, but dont know yet.
D.) Hmm....thinking about it.
E.) Yeah good point, but you could also attach command units permanetly to fleets (even during peace time) and let them travel with the fleet or so.
F.) generally spoken i agree, but dont know yet - i want a "fleet" to be 1-6 cards or something (2 fighter squadron cards, 2 bomber cards, 1 carrier card and maybe 1 commandship card). otherwise combat gets too shallow, it is a combat game after all.
G.) Tied to D., sounds interesting.
H.) "no turns" sounds intriguing, but i dont know if plays well in reality.
I.) i rather go with Yudencrows victory condition idea.
J.) definetly yes, resources are tied to attributes wich are tied to main mechanics.
K.) definetly yes.


I'll check it out later

Here are some cards from the old Babylon 5 CCG, i liked that game very much although it was slow and clumsy sometimes. but, i dont want to make a copycat of that game (pictures just for inspiration):


sorry, no time to answer your post - later!


Im leaving for work now - did not have much time to come up with new ideas. im thinking about the number of attributes and wich mechanics to tie to them. maybe we step back a bit and remove attributes like "ecology" and "spirituality" - i got the idea from Civ games, but its not really suited for a card game. instead im thinking about theese attributes:

1. military - measurement of combat strength, provides resources to bring fleets into play, enables installment of military tech cards
2. science - measurement of tech level, provides resources to bring structures and non-combat fleets/personel into play, enables installment of science tech cards
3. diplomay (WIP)
4. intrigue (WIP)
5. PSI ??? (WIP)
6./7. do we need 7 attribute???

here is a quick mockup of how i think the gameboard could look (2 players red/blue), just to get a feeling for it. nothing is set in stone yet!


: That looks really the same as the "old" Star Trek CCG (first edition) ccg.  :o

Biggest problem I have (voicing opinion here), that these kind of set-ups really creates either very complicated board states (star wars from Decipher kinda feeling here / Babylone 5), or you give in with too many concessions and are left with a broken game that no serious player wants to play (star wars from wizards / Young Jedi.).

Before to you all in deep with mechanics, please let us know what your goal of the game should be, what demographic of players you want to address. Hardcore ccg players, fast Magic grinders, your Pokemon players?

to add something useful to the discussion, how about this:

each player brings x planet cards at the start of the game. each planet card can tap for resources. ALL players use the SAME planet cards (thus yours AND opponents) to pay for resources. Each time you tap a planet for a resource, add 1 token to it.

planet generates resources = 1+amount of tokens on it. thus you might want to tap that planet to gain some resources for yourself, but my opponent will gain more of it next turn when he uses it, etc..etc....

anyhow, just some simple resource management thingy I just thought of.


Do you want the main point of this game to build an empire, or destroy the other one. In my opinion if it is about building an empire fleet should play a much smaller part in the game. Possibly their main purpose would to defend against event cards played by another player rather than the fleet battling each other the entire game.

If it is about Fleet battle then I am afraid that adding planets and structures and those type of cards would just complicate things too much. The only purpose For those cards would to build resources to build more of them.

I do like the tech cards for both platforms however. I am looking forward to this game, whatever it turns out to be. I will try to help as much in the process as possible.


Diplomacy & intrigue is pretty much the same. (Well, it has the same impact.)

The tier system sounds pretty neat.

Also, remember rule #2! KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!)


To be honest, I think to have it as a board game is more suitable. Then the players in the begginning can build a customized planet/star system/galaxy at their will before the game be alternately revealing certain cards.

I do think it should focus on aggrisiveness and battle rather than diplomacy and civlization-building. Meaning making the deck out of technological support cards, defensive structures card and offensive ships.

I think letting each player to stat with a hero will be awesome.


I think making it a board game is an option, however not completely necessary. You can make this a card game easily if you make sure the the final goal is easily understood. Kill an empire verses build an empire. I also like the ability to build a deck around your strategy. I think that makes for much more replay value. If you made this a board game, you also run the risk of making the game too complicated for a casual player such as myself.

The factions could have different strategies. One faction might create more resources, while another has better ships, while yet another has more technological advantages. I think having custom decks allows for more of that, rather than just picking a faction before the game.



i thought the same when i made the mockup: too big, too complicated and too much focused on warfare. well, at least we have something to look at, i try another layout once i gathered enough input.

ps: i think hardcore is the right target audience ;-) - but this does not mean its super-complicated or slow


yes, the whole fleet thing not only takes up too much of the board - but too much of the game.

and yes, if it would be fleet based - we could just remove the planet thing at whole!

but i dont want this game fleet based - i want it empire/civ based with a ---touch--- of fleets to it


nope, sorry - im not making boardgames, im all into card games.


exact, i rather like a little bit more complicated card game than a full blown boardgame.

with the second part of your post, you exactly described the deck building aproach im thinking about.


i feel more like a thread moderator than someone who is giving valueable input, so i decided to share a random thought:

as i want combat to be only one part of the game, there have to be ways for the players to interact with each other in different ways. lets tie mechanics to the attributes and some nations are better at certain mechanics than others (= they have higher/lower attribute ratings), combat would be just one of many mechanics and not the grandstand.


Non-Combat Mechanic-Idea-Snippet:

Nations should be able to switch between "Peaceful" and "At War" states (Ascent also mentioned this before). But i dont want the bookkeeping involved tracking who is at war with who. So we simplify this: a player can tap its nations card to declare that he is "At War", while with an untapped card his nation is considered to be "peaceful".

Now, we have a simple mechanic to attach systems to: Players can perform certain actions only if they are "at War" while other actions are only possible when being "Peaceful". Attacking with fleets for example is only possible when at war, while trading is only possible when being "peaceful".

Let me complete this example with one mechanic I had in mind: Trade. Players can only trade with other players when both of their nations are in "Peaceful" state. Trade is based on a attribute - lets call it "Commerce" for now. A player can declare a trade during his turn, targeting an opponent. The player with the higher "Commerce"-Attribute may set the trade-factor. this factor can be 3:1 , 2:1, 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3 resources. then his opponent can agree, and only if he agrees the trade takes place. as the tradeable resources are tied to the attributes, players could trade "Military" against "Commerce" or "Science" against "Diplomacy".

BUT: this means the resources have to be permament and carried over the next turn, wich also makes the game and bookeeping more complex.


Also i think the current layout of the game is too "realistic", we have planets with structures and fleets hovering above them (its almost like the objects in a RTS - yuck!). Maybe we go with a little more "abstract" aproach. What do we really need to represent and play a space opera? We need diplomacy, trade, intrigue, big characters, big ships, tragic storylines, personality, historic events and of course a bit of warfare.


Sorry, triple post - but our game has a (working) title!

And therefore thou shalt be called GALAXIAN!

I know its cheesy, but who cares.  ::)


Maybe You could start the Game with each player controlling 3 or so home planets. More minor planets could be added to those as the came progresses.

You could have ships also complete "objectives" or "obstacle" played by either you or the opponent plays.

Tech cards could be used to upgrade either planets or ships.

The obstacle or objective cards could give you bonuses if completed, and hinder you while it is in play. These also could also include back story.

Event cards to affect play.

Minor planets would be just like Home planets except not as good.

Do you plan on this being a more than 2 player game.

I like the trade idea you had. The objective cards would help keep the combat down as well.

Some things I am not sure about.

This game should be based on some sort of victory point system. If so what determines when you get them? Maybe objectives?

Should Home worlds be attacked or just other ships. I am thinking leaving Home worlds untouchable, but minor planets being able to be destroyed by an opponent, for lack of a better term.

What stats would the Ships have? Maybe similar to the Will power in LOTR lcg and attack and defense. You could even add a hull for HP if you wanted.