07 February 2011

Designing Out Loud

I'm opening up a new page for a new project here...

I'm looking at opening up the design process here for people to watch as I work through stuff - rules, ideas, counters, cards, etc.

A few notes: People who make actual contributions to the design will be credited as such if/when this ever sees the light of day being published anywhere. That said, anyone who makes any contributions here surrenders any legal claim, in any nation or on any planet, to any material contributed through this blog. I'm not going to have someone throw out an off-the-cuff idea in an open discussion, and come back 6 years from now and try to sue me for something they think is inspired by a blog comment they once made.

With all that said, everything here is copyright 2011 and beyond to me, Brant Guillory. This includes the art, design, rules, comments, inspirations, and smart-ass remarks. I'm trying to be careful about this - I want to open a dialogue here, but I don't want this idea to come back and haunt me. So the basic rule is three-part: Have fun, contribute, and don't be a douche :)

The First Set of Notes

6 Feb 2011

Modern Ops card game

Players are attempting to win a ground battle over a 4x3 card grid, executing various missions that are chosen at random at the beginning of the game. Players may choose from 2-3 different missions, each of which will specify some part of their force mix, as well as an initial allocation of command points.
Once their force mix is established, and their mission chosen, players start the game. The first part of the game includes planning for subsequent operations and their plans will be developed as the game unfolds.

The cards represent the missions as planned by the players. The cards are stacked up in order of phases, specifying the tasks the player will execute as the game unfolds. These tasks can be changed later in response to the unfolding battlefield situation, but at a cost of command points (of which there will *never* be enough!).

The units available within the game are break down into several basic types:
- Armor / direct fire, with a picture of vehicle on it
- Mech / mounted infantry, with a picture of a vehicle + dismounts on it
- Dismounted units, with a picture of one or more people on it
- Indirect fire units - both mounted and dismounted - have an artillery shell icon
- Recon units - both mounted and dismounted - have an icon of binoculars
- Command units - both mounted and dismounted - have a flag icon

terrain = cards w/ 3 'areas', one on each side + 'key terrain' in the middle. limited attacks from area to area w/o going thru key terrain.

multiple phases of the operation for prep battle, main battle, and recovery/follow-on ops

units selected / deployed based on METL tasks and proficiency with those tasks
missions executed based on cards played and when missions match proficiencies then units get bonuses to action

unit markers (counters? blocks?) enable some incremental FOW w/ varying degrees:
- unit type (dsmt / whl / mech)
- unit size (small / med / large)
- dummy counters for counter-recon and deception

4 types of missions:
Assault (Blue)
Fire (Red)
Defend (Green)
Recon (Yellow)

Missions give mods to unit stats based on these types of missions, so some units are better at Assault than Defend, and some missions need Assault rather than Defend, so that mission bonus would do better for units suited to that type of mission.
Some terrain types also mod particular types of missions, and those bonuses apply, too.

3 "colors" of dice for combat: black/white/orange (or something)
Unit counters noted for type of dice they provide.
Each add'l unit in combat w/ same color die gives +1 to roll.
Each add'l unit in combat w/ diff color die gets to roll that die also, not just addition to existing die roll.
Designed to encourage combined arms synchronization.

Commanders give different abilities for units/missions, and number of command points regained each turn.
-1 command point when commander moves away from current unit
-1 command point if TOC jumps
Cost in command points to change orders from the plan (ie, the stack of cards, by phase, for units

Command points used to deploy recon, plan missions, change missions, re-route units, re-supply units, add assets/reinforcements, etc

Limited EW/ISR play
Recon assets need to ID certain types of units in certain locations by certain turns to score bonuses, but still not sure what bonuses look like (add'l actions? bonus to combat? regained command points? free change in mission stack?)

FRAGO cards allow for cheaper mission changes if planned for early in the process. Limit to number of FRAGO cards in each units mission stack. (Cost up front + cost later, but cheaper than just cost to change later)


Chris said...

This sounds like a conversation we had a year or two ago. I'll have to refresh my thoughts on this particular subject.

Brant said...

For anyone who might be wondering, this is not a re-make of the old Card Wars engine. That one was much more CCG-ish, where as this is more Up Front-meets-eurogame. Similar concepts, very different execution.

Anonymous said...

I'll be watching. Were you thinking along these lines: http://www.dvg.com/.sc/ms/dd/ee/24/Modern%20Land%20Battles

Jason said...

How do you handle the joint aspects of modern conflict?

Brant said...

Well, it's going to be fought at a low enough echelon that naval assets aren't really relevant.

Air assets will be some sort of card-based play, so if you've got a CAS mission available, you gotta play it right now, or lose it.