Friday, 31 August 2012

Adeptus Titanicus: Turn Sequence Revised

The Problem
Part of the problem with writing is that it allows one to connect thoughts without regard for the particulars of what they purport to describe. Writing rules, where games are concerned, is best done after the designers establish a fun way of playing together. Usually this means fiddling with little widgets, cutting out paper chits, and literally playing until you have something that you would like to write down so that others can grok it. But part of the problem is that you may be writing down something that is fun for reasons that other people may not share, even with the same motivation and elements.

The other part of the problem with writing rules is writing with a particular representation in mind, and from there it's just a small step to arguing whether rules are 'realistic', and all the ill-will that follows from trying to build a simulation out of a game. Someone who wants to push a giant robot around a map saying "pew pew" might not be envisaging the same game as someone who wants to be the Princeps of the Collegia Titanicus, bolding striding into battle for the glory of the Omnissiah. It's not impossible to build something that can be enough things for enough people. The question a designer needs to ask herself is not whether a particular set of rules matches up with some pre-existing expectations, but whether it could.

The Solution
So back to the drawing board, but with the same elements: cards, dice as money, a Titan on the board, and putative crew.

So each player has a Strategy Deck that they have 'bought' along with the Titan and its crew. They also have a hand of cards drawn from the Strategy Deck, and cards that have been played are cycled back into the bottom of the Strategy Deck. The active crew of the Titan defines the number of cards that a player may have in their hand, and the number of cards they can draw from the Strategy deck: Captains and Officers allow the player draw/play additional cards, while Crewmen allow the player to draw/play one card per crewman. For example, if a Titan has five remaining crewman, and draws two cards, then the player can play three cards from her hand that round of play.

To play a Round of Adeptus Titanicus:
1. Draw cards from the top of the Strategy Deck and place them in the player's hand.
2. Play cards from hand face down and reveal once all cards are played.
3. Index actions on the cards to determine the order and costs of events.
4. Spend dice to realize successes and failures.
5. Resolve events in order.
6. Roll failure dice and return them to the player's dice pool.
7. Discard strategy cards to the bottom of the Strategy Deck.

Strategy Cards
Stride
Turn
Halt

Target Lock
Arm Weapon
Fire

Damage Control
Charge Shields
Tactical Assessment

Crew, Cards, and Control
Captain (3)
Officer (2)
Crewman (1)

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