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Subject: War Haven PnP rss

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Raymond Hayes
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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We have released our game as a PnP and are looking for feedback
(download link at the bottom!)


Basics


War Haven is a strategic card game with a focus on battlefield maneuvering and calculated risk. The game tells a story of intergalactic cataclysm and strife. A wave of radiation threatens to wipe out all life in the known universe, and drives all the sentient races who can to migrate to the single planet they can reach that the oncoming disaster will not. Crippled by the expense of the migration effort and cut off on the surface of a strange new world, societies collapse and new allegiances are built around enigmatic and powerful individuals.

Each player controls one such individual, their commander, who along with their other five character cards comprises their army. The game is played by moving and attacking on a board with your character cards while playing support cards from your hand to aid them in destroying the enemy commander. The cards in a deck can be assembled freely from the game's three races, but support cards are limited in who they play with based on character race and class.

Gameplay


The game starts with a blinder placed in the middle of the board as each player arranges their six character cards in a battle formation on their side. The blinder is then removed, players draw 5 cards from their support decks and the battle begins.

Each turn, players have three actions to spread across their characters. When they've taken three actions, they draw a card from their support deck and end their turn. These actions can be used to move a character, attack with a character, or play a spell or upgrade card. The fact that your options far outnumber your available actions creates an inescapable economy of action in the game, and removes the need for resources or a fixed action order.

Combat is handled by each player rolling a D6 and adding it to their attack or defense, respectively, and subtracting the difference (if there is one) from the defender's health. However, the combatants can be reinforced with permanent upgrades or one-shot attack or defense support cards, and the characters of War Haven have been carefully balanced in their access to these cards. Generally the lower the stats a character starts with, the nastier the tricks it may have up its sleeve..

The combined effect of the game's features is somewhere between a battle card game, a tactical board game and a simplified tabletop RPG. An average game plays out in 30-45 minutes but there are outliers on both sides of those numbers.



We feel that War Haven is essentially gameplay complete, but we'd love to hear any ideas you have. We do have some minor design tweaks planned for the card frames, bringing out the text more and enlarging character icons, etc. and the instruction booklet is still a bit of a WIP.

While feedback is welcome on any part of the game, we are especially interested in feedback on some specific areas:


-How informative do you find the instruction booklet?
-What questions did you have that it didn't answer?
-Did you find the arrangement of content seemed natural?

-What do you think of the card back graphic?
-Are there any other areas of the card design that bother you?

-How well do you think the randomness in the game is balanced with strategy?


We are also interested in anyone who might want to write a review on the game.
If you have any questions you can shoot an email to ray@fringegames.net or rusty@fringegames.net or just ask right here

You can download the PnP @ http://www.fringegames.net/print-play.html
download includes the full set of cards, board and divider image, and a WIP instruction manual.

Thanks for checking it out!

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Dallas Tucker
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Things look good. I have read through some of the material, and looked at some cards, and here are some observations.

- I would tone down the background of the Delylia cards. They are much louder than the other two groups.

- I have a hard time seeing the Card Class symbols in the PDF because the backgrounds are really close to the card background. For instance, even zoomed in, the Distance symbol on the Pulse Sniper on Page 3 is difficult to see.

- On page 3, under Character Classes, I think that the first sentence should probably be in bold, or maybe re-worded. At this point in reading the rules, I don't know how big a deck is, or anything like that. After reading through the classes, I see that I can have 1 Commander, 2 Grunts, 2 Ranged, etc., and 3 Infantry in my deck. A question would be, is having 3 Infantry really important for game balance, or could everything but Commanders be 2 cards?

- For flavor text, maybe make it like MtG, where it is italicized. I think it helps to show that there is no actual ability on the card at a quick glance. (Referring to Firebreathers on page 4).

- Page 5: I would personally prefer a +1 to Plus 1 on cards. Also, you could use symbols instead of words for Attack and HP, since you use symbols on the characters. Also, on the bottom of the gray card on the top right of page 5, there are 3 symbols of things that it plays on, but 2 are black and one is gray (and hard to read). I don't see anything on that page to explain that.

- The last sentence of the Spell Cards paragraph should probably be in bold. Also, you started talking about actions in this paragraph, but I know nothing about actions at this point, so the sentence means nothing to me. I have to make a mental note to read this paragraph again once I know what actions are. Same with the following Attack Card section.

- While looking at Ancient Elixir at the bottom of page 5, the symbols on the bottom are hard to read. I think that making Class symbols bigger, and different shapes would be better. Maybe you can eliminate the oval and just increase the current shape. Or maybe make them all different colors (so Grunt is always Yellow, Infantry is always Green, etc.).

- The Remember note at the bottom of page 6 is nice.

- Page 7 explains the 'plays on' bit. I see why you made the choices you did, but I think that maybe making some different symbol choices would increase readability. I would flip the last two example cards or the last two example paragraphs so that the rules line up with the card they are explaining.

- Now I see the deckbuilding on page 7. Maybe some of this could be moved up to the character class section, or just remove the deckbuilding information from the character class section entirely.

- 'gameplay' at the top of page 8 should be capitalized. In the setup paragraphs, you should write, "Each Player's deck is then shuffled..." 'Can' makes the rules lawyer in me say that I do not have to shuffle, and can therefore stack my deck.

- In 'Turns and Actions', "complete that action again" should be "perform that action again".

- As a personal preference, I like the word 'Space' more than 'tile'. (In the movement section at the bottom of page 8).

- Page 9: I don't think you need the word 'directly' in front of 'adjacent'. Also, in the third paragraph of Combat Phase, I think 'Characters using them' is better than 'Characters playing them'. In the following paragraph, sentence 1, Attack is capitalized the first time but not the second, and defense is not capitalized either time. Also, you use the word 'aggressor' in the rules at least twice (once on 9 and once on 10), but 'attacker' over the card in the example on the right.

- There should be a period at the end of page 10. Also, I have a question after reading page 10: does damage stay on a character from turn to turn, and if so, how is it recorded?

- First sentence of Spell Cards on page 11 should be: "..., varying widely in effect and good for one used before being discarded." Also, bold the last sentence of that paragraph. Page 11 is basically a repeat of a previous page, though I think that it might be better written.

- Page 12: "As stated before..." - I do not remember this being stated before, so if it was, it should probably have been in bold. In the next sentence, put a comma after 'commander character'. Also, the sentence doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Next paragraph: don't use the word 'felled' - use 'killed' as you did before.

I did not read the card syntax and notes section.

Thanks for the files. It looks like a fun game, though I don't know if I will get a chance to play anytime soon. Have a good one.
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Will
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Wow, the artwork is certainly beautiful! Thanks for the opportunity. Do not lose hope on kickstarter. Surely the next one will go great!!

If I can summon the time to print your game a review will certainly come

Best of lucks!
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Raymond Hayes
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Wow! I can't thank you enough for your thoughtful and thorough response!
A lot of the things you pointed out on the card designs are among the tweaks we're making to the template right now :)

Our team member working on the instructions booklet asked me to thank you too, he has been dying without a decent copy editor on the team (and especially with none of us being very experienced in this particular type of writing :P)

I think you're right that we need to restructure the deckbuilding section so the whole booklet makes more linear sense.

And especially thanks for pointing out all the syntax continuity errors, as we've tweaked the syntax over time these things have become harder and harder to see for us :)
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Raymond Hayes
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Salt Lake City
Utah
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Thanks so much! We've been really lucky in finding a lot of great artists who are not only talented but a pleasure to work with

And don't worry, we haven't lost hope on kickstarter! In fact it's becoming how we get a lot of our games
I'm constantly amazed by the great ideas people come up with on there!
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