Yet another attempt at a Wesnoth board game…

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Kalajel
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Yet another attempt at a Wesnoth board game…

Post by Kalajel »

Shockingly original, I know… :lol2:

Anyhow, after finding this topic which, sadly, seems dead, I took it upon myself to see if I could come up with interesting game mechanics to make a Wesnoth board game.

I made a basic rule set (a very light/simplified version of the computer game for macrobalancing reasons as well as a possible use to introduce new players in teh world of Wesnoth).

So far, the game seems to hold up; I've done quite a few mock battles and mock games to balance things out and did a playtest run with my roommate last weekend. The units act pretty much the way they do in the computer game, I seem to have done a good job at capturing the "feel" of the computer game.

I intent on doing more playtest runs, as well as adding the other elements of the game later (in an eventual "Advanced Game module"), but I've also decided to make the basic game available to all so you can try it too.
Basic_Rules.zip
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Kalajel
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Re: Yet another attempt at a Wesnoth board game…

Post by Kalajel »

Hey, sorry for the double post.

Well, it's been about 4~5 days since I uploaded the game and I see it's already been downloaded 10 times. Nice, though might be a bit too soon to call this a success… :D

Anyhow, thanks to those who downloaded the game and I hope you like it. So just in case some of you had any questions, I figured I could elaborate a bit on the design philosophy of this game…

So, the basic principle is to try and make a board game that would recreate, as close as possible, the feel of the computer game. Now, I'm not criticizing Elric's or Matthi205's design philosophies, but I feel they've taken certain libeties that detract their game from that "Wesnothian feel" the computer game has (they're doing their own things and that's quite OK). I based of my game's various attributes off of the computer game's mostly because it's been around for a while and a lot of people have been working on it, so it seemed reasonable that the computer game would be balanced. And if my besic source of inspiration was already balanced, then I stood a higher of making a balanced game. So I started by reducing the various values so as to make all calculations during game (damage, experience, etc.) as easy and simple as possible so as to keep bookkeeping to a minimum and speed up gameplay. I decided to leave Alignment and Resistances out of the game for now for a various of reasons (the game would be easier to macrobalance if it had fewer elements, leaving them out would speed up gameplay, I had no idea how to incorporate these elements in the game at the time, etc.). This lead to a finished product that I dubbed "the Basic Game" (because I have every intention of adding those elements in an eventual Advanced/Expert Game…).

I based my choices of factions and units on Elric's board game. The choices of unit based on niches such as Fighter, Archer, Scout, Spellcaster, and Specialist seemed natural giving a wide variety of units to choose from without giving the player too much choice… I made a few adjustment however, such as going with the Pikeman branch of the unit tree as I found it weird the Spearman would suddenly trade his spear for a sword… I also went with the Marksman branch for the elf archer as I felt giving the Rebels two units with Ambush would seem like a lack of diversity. The reduction of Movement Points for each unit was made because, unlike the computer game where you have vast amount of virtual space for your maps, the players of the board game would be limited by their kitchen table and whatever material they would use to make their maps. Also, being limited by a static, unchanging playing surface meant that players wanting bigger maps would need to make smaller hexes. Reducing the Movement Points would help solve these problems. I based the amount of XP needed for a unit to level up on the MP's default value of 70%. However, I reduced it a bit to increase the likelyhood of seeing level 2 units pop up during gameplay so the players wouldn't feel like they're gaining this XP for nothing. Units will level up roughly 33% faster in the board game (give of take a few). [Note: this raised an interesting question while I was doing my conversions; when multiplying the computer's XP by 0.7, the result often came out with a decimal and I was wondering, what is the convention in Wesnoth when dealing with decimal numbers?]

I then did a few mock battles and mock games to iron out the kinks in the system, and eventually I managed to make a real game with my roommate to playtest the game for real. All I can say is so far, so good. The game feels very much like it would on a computer (barring the whole table top aspect, of course), the units interact with each other pretty much the same way, damage and healing, etc.

So far, I'm using one of the hexed grid paper from http://www.pdfpad.com/ as a playing map. I'm using the letter US format to which I've added those partial hexes on the side by completing them (took me about 15~20 minutes), so the end result is a playing map of 11x13 which gives 137 hexes.

Now, for those of you who are trying out my game, I'd greatly appreciate it if you could send me playtesting reports as this would help me to balance out the game. Basically, you could fill out something along the lines of the form below and maybe post it here (or if you want, PM it to me or send it to me via e-mail).

Factions Used (the game is supposed to be Loyalist vs. Rebels, but if you want to try a Loyalist vs. Loyalist or a Rebels vs. Rebels game, feel free!):
Problems Encountered:
Possible Fixes:
Other Comments:

So that's pretty much it for now. I'll keep you updated of changes and additions to the game. See you next time.
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Kalajel
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Re: Yet another attempt at a Wesnoth board game…

Post by Kalajel »

Hi everyone, it's me again.

Haven't really had much time to playtest my game again; my tendonitis seems to be healing so I've started up work again so that left me less time to work on this project…

Concerning the note I placed in the basic rulebook about merging Hills and Mountaints into a single terrain type called Rocky; I've extrapolated a bit on this idea and came up with other possible terrain combinations;
• Water (Swamp + Shallow Water)
• Sea (Deep Water)
• Impassable (Impassable Mountaints, Cave Walls, etc.)
• Rough (Snow, Sand, Mushroom Grove, Cave, etc.)
• I was maybe even thinking of doing a Building (Castle, Village) terrain…
This would allow to add more variety of terrain while keeping the game simple… Of course, only some sub-categories of tarrain would retain their special abilities (for example, in the Building terrain type, only villages would grant gold and heal unnits…).

This would also serve to shorten up the unit roster; instead of having a long line of listed terrain with alternate values for Move and Defense, I could come up with special abilities that I could add in the "special" column of each units. For example;

Forester: This unit is adept at moving through wooded areas. A unit with the Forester special ability can move through forested hexes at a cost of only 1 movement point. Often time, Forester units will also have a higher Defense value in forested hexes. If this is the case, this improved Defense value will be noted in parenthesis. For example, a woodsmand would have teh Forester ability, while an elvish fighter would have the Forester (6) ability and an elvish archer or shaman the Forester (7) ability…

Mountaineer :This unit is adept in moving through mountaineous areas. A unit with the Mountaineer special ability can move through rocky hexes at a cost of only 1 move point. Often time, Mountaineer units will also have a higher Defense value in rocky hexes. For example, most Northerners units would have Mountaineer, while most dwarvish units will have Mountaineer (7)…

Tell me what you think…
jzombi
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Re: Yet another attempt at a Wesnoth board game…

Post by jzombi »

Hello!

I'm happy to hear that others are interested in a board game. Sadly i don't have an opportunity at the moment to playtest it on paper. I think a VASSAL version of this would help the development process, a lot of people could test the game on the internet.

IMHO the board game don't have to follow the computer game rules so strictly. I think (but of course playtests could prove it otherwise) that recording the HP and XP for every unit is too complex for a board game. Also recording a unit which have the ambush ability is too much (there's a game called Scotland Yard, where one player is Mr. X. and had some kind of property like this, and the others had to catch him on a London map - there the whole gameplay is based upon this ability, and in this wesnoth board game it would be only a tiny part of the gameplay).
So back to the point: the board games i play have simpler rules, and require less tokens/counters/dices/etc., probably it would be better for this game too. Also i think as we have the opportunity, why don't we create new things in the game, which makes the gameplay more diverse and fun, we should only keep the style of the computer game.

Some specific notes: the simplified movement and defense are very good, with the Forester/Mountainer extension! It's simple, and though it gives different strategies for different races.

Sorry for the long post and bad English :)
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Kalajel
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Re: Yet another attempt at a Wesnoth board game…

Post by Kalajel »

Scotland Yards, man I haven't played this game in ages! But I'll admit I wasn't thinking of Scotland Yards when drafting up the rules for Ambush, but rather that miniature version of the battle map from Starfleet Battles' module R1 which could be used to map out hidden minefields or track the movement of Romulan cloacked units… I also wanted to prove to people who thought it was impossible to include Ambush mechanics on a tabletop format that it could be done… just count your blessings I haven't done rules for Conceal and Nighthaunt yet!

Calculating HP and XP is remarkably quite easy as I've seen in the few playtest games I've made… The reduced HP, damage, number of attacks, and XP values helps a lot, as well as teh little playaid I included with my rules; most of the time, you will calculate XP while your opponent is subtracting HP so there's almost no slowdowns…

Finally, I guess we could always try and add different things to the tabletop game (and individual players are more than welcome to do so), but then it wouldn't be Wesnoth anymore… I tried to stay as close as possible to the feel of the computer game because that's apparently what a lot of people wanted. I guess I could always do a bunch of crazy stuff with this game later, but for now, I'll stick close to Wesnoth cannon because that's what people want.
jzombi
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Re: Yet another attempt at a Wesnoth board game…

Post by jzombi »

Calculating HP and XP is remarkably quite easy as I've seen in the few playtest games I've made… The reduced HP, damage, number of attacks, and XP values helps a lot, as well as teh little playaid I included with my rules; most of the time, you will calculate XP while your opponent is subtracting HP so there's almost no slowdowns…
Good point, it can work. Sadly i don't have the opportunity to try it out now (or only through the internet with VASSAL, but that's not the same feeling), there are not so much people around me who like wargames, the people i know (including myself :) ) usually play with family-styled tabletop games.
Finally, I guess we could always try and add different things to the tabletop game (and individual players are more than welcome to do so), but then it wouldn't be Wesnoth anymore…
We have different opinions about it, i think :D
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Matthi205
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Re: Yet another attempt at a Wesnoth board game…

Post by Matthi205 »

I am not dead :D still,that's long way till I or my boardgame will be dead :lol2: ,but that mentioned thread isn't mine
"And on his tomb,
an eptitaph:
'Always John,
now always off.'"
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Kalajel
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Re: Yet another attempt at a Wesnoth board game…

Post by Kalajel »

Matthi205 wrote:I am not dead :D still,that's long way till I or my boardgame will be dead :lol2: ,but that mentioned thread isn't mine
Nor did I mentionned you were…

Anyways, I've been working on adding factions to the basic game. So far, I've only managed to add the Knalgan, and in order to do so I cheated a bit; I putthe thuderer/guard in the "spellcaster" role (surely it could be argued that the other races might view the dwarven thundersticks as some sort of magic…).

Anyhow, if I ever get around to playtest then, I'll try and update my ruleset to include them…
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