Thursday, 10 December 2015

Titanomachia: Tokens, Cards, and Stuff

I currently have a version of Titanomachia that I am rather pleased with, using the concept of Skill markers to modify the effects of other markers on the board, and to provide a semi-random element to break up an otherwise combinatorial game. I'm please with this version for two reasons, in that Skill really does explode the possibility of computing the outcome of the game from its starting positions, and provides a lot of decision points for players during a game, as each activation might result in Skill markers being cashed in. These markers also provide a nice narrative hook for why things might work out, and a nice spatial/tactile way of representing a Titan's crew intentions on the board.

This last part is one of the reasons why I wanted to go with the specification that Titanomachia should be a board game, because board games are games that are both discrete or composed of logically related components, and that is logic be represented in a concrete fashion. Which meant talking about squares, and markers, and cards. The cards, as I discussed in an earlier post about how cards bundle information together, bundle information together and act as a third dimension to an otherwise flat board - Damage markers can be placed on System cards to represent the damage incurred by a Titan, and Skill markers can be placed on those cards to cancel the damage, or repair it

Part of the utility in increasing the tactile aspects of the game is that you can string together some pretty complicated operations, or at least operations that would be complicated in the abstract, to enhance game-play. For example, something that I think is a good idea is having players place Target markers on the board, and having those Target markers be the limit on where their Titan can shoot. Of course, these markers can be affected by Skill markers, with players being able to double their own Target markers, or negate their opponent's Target markers.

What that means in game-play terms is that a player activates their Crew system and puts Skill markers down on the board where they hope to use them, in effect suggesting a particular path of play to their opponent. So play is mediated as something of a discussion between players using the markers being placed on the board, taken away, or otherwise manipulated.

The other thing I find need, and hence is a darling that may need killing, is the notion of delay, in that a player can activate any systems during a round of play, itself composed of players taking turns activating systems. However, each system requires a number of rounds before it can be activated again. Some systems have a delay of 0, meaning they can be activated every round. So when a player activates their Crew system, they are going to have to play through the next few rounds without being able to change the allocation of their Skill markers. However, they can play around the allocation of those skill markers, which is kind of the point of having players place markers on the board, since those markers will allow players to cognize persistent effects.

So players need:

  • 10x10 board divided into 100 squares.
  • 50 Terrain markers, ~25 each.
  • 100 Damage markers, Light and Heavy
  • 20 Blast markers
  • 10 Target markers
  • 10 Skill markers
  • 12 Shield markers
  • 2 Position markers, 1 per player. Perhaps model Titans...
  • 52 cards (Systems and Titan cards)

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