Pen & Paper…and lots of labor!


In our previous article we ended with a nice little prototype game and a mini rule-book which made our game playable.

Gameplay Rules:

  1. One six sided die (or 1d6 in D&D language) decided who goes first.
  2. The first player always moves one field forward then throws a 1d6
  3. Then, the second player always moves one field forward than throws a 1d6
  4. If players collide they throw a 1d6 to determine who moves forward one field and who doesn’t.

1d6 rules:

  • If player rolled (1-2), player moves one field backward
  • If player rolled (3-4), player doesn’t move
  • If player rolled (5-6), player moves one field forward

We had some more rules, but for now these are the ones we need to focus on because they drive our game.

Firstly when I look at these rules the thing that bothers me is that we roll a 1d6 for too many things. We should associate rolling with one thing. That way players know that they only roll after they move one field forward. So instead rolling to see who goes first we could change the first rule into an even more classic one also known as “coin toss“.

Now we have one roll less in the game!

Another roll we could change is when players collide. Something more complex should happen there…Complex yet simple…something familiar to players, something fun and engaging, something that produces an outcome which always surprises players. Something called “COMBAT!”

Now let’s think about burning knights that ride on their mighty winged steeds carrying…


Ignore your creativity once again and bare with me. We have a combat system on our hands that needs to be done.  So where did we stop before? Aaaahh yes…removing extra die rolls. Yes we need to remove that. How to do it? Lots of things come in mind, but lets work with what we have instead of adding new things to the game. What we have are fields and in our basic notes that I took in the previous article we wrote about having effects!

Now is the time to combine these effects with our combat system! 

To distinguish different effects I added symbols to our fields on the board and painted them with different colors. I don’t know what these symbols mean nor what effects they represent but whatever they are, both players should have a hard time with them or benefit from them equally. That’s why, I horizontally split the board in two and got this:


Now when I look at it I see that the different colors vertically spread along the whole board. These areas are great places to put extra things on the board. Such as cards? Maybe? The upper part of the board holds player’s one cards and the lower part holds player’s two cards.

But we don’t know if we’re going with cards or not? YOU DECIDE!

Cards tend to complicate board games a lot and after we make them, we need a lot of balancing afterwards in order to give players different strategy options yet equal powers. But even before deciding on what cards would do, we need to implement them somehow in our game. So when do we play them?

Strategy in games is usually deeply connected with the player’s ability to make a choice (I choose to bring these armies here so that I surround my enemy and then wait in the forest with my archers.…you get the picture). If you can make multiple choices then your strategy will have your name on it. On the other hand games which are exclusively based on luck become boring quickly. But adding a little bit of luck in a game could make the difference between a fun game and an extremely fun game!

So, big note to self:

Don’t exclude LUCK in this board game

Before going deeper and deeper in the field of strategy and luck let’s go back a bit.

We wanted to resolve the rolling issue when players collide. We’ll do that by saying that both players will play cards instead of rolling. That’s settled! Still something missing?

CHOICE! Well, the best moment to give players the ability to choose is when they feel like they must do something and then you say: “Heeeey! You don’t need to do that, try this!”

What did our players HAD TO DO?  Lots of things really, but what was the thing that looked sort of FORCED? Take another quick glance at our video and try to guess.

I presume the keyword MUST gave it away ha?! That’s right, they both had to move each turn one field forward before rolling 1d6. Now we’ll let them choose:

  • Either move one field forward,
  • Or stay on the current field and put a corresponding symbol card face down(yellow card if player is on a yellow field, blue if on blue and so on).

Why face down? To surprise the opponent. But let’s make it even better! Nobody sees the card. Not until both players collide on a same field (feeling the luck?). Then if both players have cards on either side, they both reveal them. If not, only the player who has one does so.

As you can see, today we’ve improved our board a bit, added &removed some rules, and invented effects through these things called “CARDS” (beings enduring between fingers) without even inventing a single one.

We have a lot of time to do that now when we know WHEN and HOW we play them.

So, stay tuned readers. In our next article WE MAKE CARDS!

…..ooor we don’t, it really depends on you. 🙂 


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