Empires of Steel and Steam

For all those games that happen to not be BrikWars

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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby mgb519 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:45 pm

Pssh. My point is that world domination doesn't happen in one turn, and it shouldn't feel like such. It's like in a brikwar when someone somehow manages to get damned lucky and wipe out half your army. And unlike brikwars, there's no rule fudge to protect the fun. Risk favors massive offensives over all else, or at least to my experience.
...Hmm. Larger armies should have a more limited attack range than smaller armies. That'd be interesting.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby Keldoclock » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:04 pm

Less Risk, more Settlers of Catan.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby enders_shadow » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:52 pm

Keldoclock wrote:Less Risk, more Settlers of Catan.

lol. Fun game, though
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby IVhorseman » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:51 am

mgb519 wrote:It's like in a brikwar when someone somehow manages to get damned lucky and wipe out half your army.


Do you mean the first turn of any brikwar? Because I've noticed that in any given turn, you can expect about 50% of your current forces to die horrendously. Of all the games I've played in recent history (I actually got in about 4 games last week! I didn't take any pictures, or else there'd be a battle report on "The Legend of the Exploding Axe" and "The Siege of Team Badguy Castle"), only one of them ended with more than two or three minifigs on any side.

Catan is another great way to get pissed off at your friends for hoarding all the goddamn bricks, but it's not as "warry" as Risk. By the way, Risk favors massive offensives if (and only if!) you can actually back that up with your defense the next turn when the guy you brought down to three dudes in Argentina suddenly turns in cards and stomps every last one of your over-taxed and under-defended territories to dust.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby Ross_Varn » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:08 pm

Keldoclock wrote:Less Risk, more Settlers of Catan.


Have to agree here.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby Silverdream » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:11 pm

Unleash your inner Welshman:Have wood for sheep.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby IVhorseman » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:45 pm

One time, someone played two monopolies in a row and took my ENTIRE FUCKING HAND OF SEVEN CARDS.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby knolli » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:07 pm

I spent half of the Saturnalia holidays playing Settlers of Catan with my extended family. My granny played it for the first time and won by an incredible stroke of luck. Her most profitable numbers were rolled about seven times in a row. Unbelieveable case of beginner's luck!
I didn't know the game was so popular outside of Germany, too. Woo! German board games will conquer the world!
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby jmatthew » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:27 pm

Dude, I've been playing Settlers of Catan since '05. I have every single expansion, including 5-6 player ones. That game is awesome.
I also have three different versions of Risk, my favorite of which is the 2210AD variation. Twilight Imperium and Small World are both also incredibly fun games if you're into conquering/ trading shit.

Anyway, I've worked out the phases of the turns for my game, which I am tentatively labeling "Empires of Steel and Steam."
There are three phases: Build, Move, and Upkeep.
During the Build Phase, each player in turn order does the following:
1. Spend power to activate any buildings they already own. Buildings the player chooses not to activate are turned side-ways for the round.
2. Build buildings (the obvious one). Buildings are always built inactive (sideways).
1. Create units at active warehouses. Unit creation is capped based on how much of a player's population is allocated to production.
4. Gain the next technology card from their tech queue (this might be more than one card depending on how much of their population is allocated to research).

Then comes the Move Phase, which is where I see most of the action happening.
Players will go around in turn order, each moving units from one territory into one territory, based on the units' movement value. If they move into an occupied territory, conflict ensues and is resolved. If, at the end of that movement, only one player has units in a territory, they claim it for themselves. If one player controls at least 2/3s of the territories in a country they either gain control of the entire country if it is unoccupied, or the player(s) with units occupying the remaining territories may choose to peacefully withdraw.
Players continue taking move turns until all players pass. Once a player passes a move, they are finished moving for the round, but may still respond by playing event cards, etc. This way, no one can make a massive sweep of the board, and any defending players have the chance to respond with a swift counter-attack.
Players may also re-equip their current techs as a free action any time during this phase, as long as all of the units affected by the new techs are in non-contested countries.
Players may also forfeit a move action to purchase event cards from the deck at a cost of wealth.

After all players pass on moving, each player, in turn order, completes the steps of the Upkeep Phase. Steps are completed by players one at a time (everyone does step one, then everyone does step two, etc.).
1. Generate resources
a.) Population, based on countries owned, plus a boost from any transit depots (immigrants).
b.) Power, based on how many Power Plants are active, plus boosts from any techs that affect them.
c.) Wealth, based on how many territories are occupied by population (working the land), how many government buildings are active, and any current trade agreements with other players. (You get wealth based on the number of buildings the player you have an agreement with owns. This rewards players who align themselves with successful nations.)
2. Declare any peace treaties, trade agreements, or war declarations.
3. Draw tech cards from your tech deck based on how much population is allocated to research, and spend wealth/ power to put a certain number at the bottom of your tech queue. Basically, if you have more researchers assigned, you'll be able to draw more tech cards to choose from to purchase. Any un-chosen cards are shuffled back into that player's technology deck.
4. Re-organize population pools (Research, Production, Military (which can be used during the next Build Phase to create military units, or simply used as infantry), or place population into territories you control.
5. Re-deploy your military units.
6. Draw one event card from the event card deck and de-activate any buildings you own.

Any time during any of the phases players may trade resources with one another, or buy and sell non-equipped tech from one another. Event cards may not be traded, unless your tech states otherwise. Territories/ entire countries may also be bartered with.

[edit]
Basically, as the game progresses, each nation's population grows, which enables them to do more things. At the beginning of the game, players might only be getting one tech a turn, or sometimes none, but as their population grows, they'll be getting upwards of 3-5 a turn, plus generating more units, and getting mo' money. Population is basically a built-in game-speeding-up mechanic that will hopefully emulate exponential advances in a society's technology and progress.

That's it so far.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby IVhorseman » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:47 pm

jmatthew wrote:I also have three different versions of Risk, my favorite of which is the 2210AD variation.


Hell yes! I have this one too and agree that it's awesome!

Meanwhile, this actually does look like a viable game so far! The turns look like they'll start to really drag by the time you get to the end though. Glad you're ending it after a set number of turns.

Cards that increase your transportation station population generations (wave of immigrants or whatever) would be totally awesome. Also, try saying transportation station population generation five times fast.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby jmatthew » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:53 pm

IVhorseman wrote:transportation station population generation


I'm DEFINITELY including that exact phrase somewhere in the rule book! And yeah, I was already planning on having a lot of cards that would do things like that, and boon a player's economy in other ways. I'm trying to decide if the game will end after a set number of turns, or after a player reaches a specific threshold of wealth and population, or has to build a really expensive unique building (akin to a wonder in Age of Empires 2). Either way, it will not be a "world domination" game.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby Keldoclock » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:50 pm

If you wanna be a real bro, make your game pieces simple enough to be made in 3d printers and your rules free.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby jmatthew » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:16 pm

Keldoclock wrote:If you wanna be a real bro, make your game pieces simple enough to be made in 3d printers and your rules free.


I'm pretty sure it's actually illegal to copyright the actual rules to a game, which is why you can download pdf versions from any game publisher's website. The actual cards and printed materials used in a game can be copyrighted. I'm planning on probably just using LEGO pieces for the buildings and units initially, but was also looking into 3D printing and such. If I ever do sell the game, I'm planning on doing it for cheap, just to cover the cost of printing the materials.

ANYWAY....
I started working on the civilizations that will be pitted against one another, but I need ideas for more. I'm planning on each player having the same deck of general technology cards to draw from, but with a few additional ones based on their race that they will add to their decks at the beginning of the game. Each race also needs a unique ultra unit that can be built mid-to-late game and a few race-specific bonus rules.
The races I have thus far are (and these are not the official names, just the archetypes) as follows:
Airship Pirates (they get to pirate wealth and sometimes tech from other players) and may choose Totalitarianism, Anarchy, or Tribal governments.
The Coven (A collective of witches with a penchant for clockworks--I'm playing with the idea of them having some kind of nether-gate techs, as well as abilities that trigger when they "sacrifice" population). They can choose Theocracy, Tribal, or Technocracy.
Clockwork Men (sentient steam-bots who can "recycle" population into power and wealth, and have some of the best, but most power-consuming techs in the game). They can choose Technocracy, Totalitarian, or Collective Mind.
The Unearthed (steam-driven zombies who only exist to consume tech). They can choose Collective Mind, Anarchy, or Technocracy.
Standard Human Imperial Whatever (you know, the space marines of steampunk). They can choose Theocracy, Democracy, or Totalitarian.
The College (another human faction, but geared solely toward the pursuit of knowledge and exploration). They can choose Democracy, Technocracy, or Tribal.

That's all I have so far. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby IVhorseman » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:42 pm

The Hive(Insectoid parasitic creatures that have a small chance to gain population during battles) They can choose Collective Mind, Tribal, or Theocracy.
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Re: So I'm making a board game of steampunk empire building.

Postby Ross_Varn » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:01 pm

Sparkward: Steampunk's required mad scientists. Those ridiculous machines come from somewhere, after all. (Capable of creating massive doomsday-devices that target an enemy nation, requiring stealth operations and massive luck to both arm and disarm. HOWEVER. The player of this faction must have a Mad Scientist Rant prepared for when the enemies do overcome his machinations.) They can choose Technocracy, Democracy, or Theocracy.

To prevent the game from falling into the cracks, I think you need a... can't call it a gimmick, that sounds too tacky. Some mechanic, some concept that's funny or just makes it stand out. Something that makes somebody want to pick it up when they see that it's free, and want to keep playing it when they have their hands on it. Beats me what that might be though.
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