About “Space Battle!” – The game I’m working on…

 

History and About

Seating up to six players Space Battle! is a competitive strategy game that revolves around gaining control of quadrants and destroying the other players who vie to control the board. The game is won when a player or allies have removed all hope the other players have of reinforcing their fleet.

Why have we settled on naming it “Space Battle”? Well, during our initial inception we had done a quite laborious bout of brainstorming for other titles. I decided that these were mostly dumb, fake, and rather pretentious. I began polling all the people who played the game on their favorite title and which one they thought was objectively the best. The results were all over the place. During this phase the question constantly arose, “Why don’t you just call it ‘Space Battle’?” which until then had only been the working title. At that point Dawson and I came to the conclusion that “Star Wars” was a pretty bland name and it did pretty well. The title is direct, correct, and not presumptive. All things that I like.

Space Battle! as an idea was created by my friend Dawson after he sat down and labeled his problems with playing the board game “Risk”. The foremost of these problems was the way other people played. In the rules alliances were verboten but people did it anyway. It was sort of a notional, “Let’s gang up on this guy and move on after” sort of thing that I’m sure we’ve all done. What he wanted to do was not only make alliance part of a game but he wanted to diversify the units just enough to make it a game of tactics as opposed to simple overwhelming force. As the initial driving force he came to me with his concept for a new board game and although I was initially intrigued I was skeptical. I could not see the potential for myself until he sat me down and we played it with some friends. It was after that I saw the vast realm of possibility for this game.

An early play-test. I became consumed with the idea of making this thing happen. Doing art, organizing play-tests, contacting fabricators, managing assets and paying for a lot. Right now we’re at about +15 months from initial inception.  As such we’ve come to a point where we’re simply trying to complete some aesthetic aspects of the game. We’re taking quotes on production costs and getting as many play-tests out of the way just to find any remaining chinks in the armor.

Sketch sketch2 beaconsketch

How to Play

At the beginning players will have units on the board, asteroids blocking paths, and each player will choose their strategy for their first turn. These strategies are what happens at the beginning of the next turn or while you are waiting for your next turn. “Command” for instance will permanently increase your amount of actions by 1. Whereas “Reinforce” will call in all of the units you are able to, down to the minimum number of reinforcements. After you have used the strategy chosen you can take as many actions you have to do whatever you like. Move to another quadrant, attack your enemies, and take control all in one turn if you have the actions required to do so. After each player has taken their turn one of the asteroid fields will move randomly causing units in that quadrant to evacuate or be destroyed.

There are three basic kinds of units each with their own ‘Tactical’ ability and ‘Special’ ability

  • The Fighter

Fighter-Line

 

A short-range yet high-speed vessel designed for providing security or harassing enemy fleets

  1. These are the only unit that can navigate asteroid fields
  2. They can move for two quadrants at the cost of one action

 

  • The Destroyer

Destroyer-Line

This unit is the vanguard of the fleet. Designed with the purpose of establishing control and stopping incursions into controlled space

  1. These units drop beacons to establish allied control of a quadrant
  2. When an opponent attacks a quadrant your destroyers occupy they may make 1 attack before the opponent continues

 

 

  • The Battleship (design not finalized)

options

Presiding over the battlefield these ships excel at tearing gaping holes into ships big and small from afar.

  1. A Battleship can bombard enemies in any adjacent quadrant
  2. At the cost of 2 actions any Battleship can ‘scramble’ one fighter

* A Battleship can be turned into a flagship upon a successful ceasefire or alliance

Other Units

The BeaconBeacon

This is the standard unit for establishing control of a sector. It provides early warning, lines of communication, and a location for reinforcements to move to. Placed on the map by Destroyers these units are an innocuous yet crucial piece of fleet hardware.

The Flagship (design not finalized)

This unit is made when a player successfully negotiates a ceasefire or alliance. It automatically establishes control of whatever quadrant it occupies. It is well-armed and hard to destroy. Beware of these harbingers of war.

Testing new mechanics

What is our long-term target? Simply put it’s to have this game meet its goal on Kickstarter. Our goal is to have 200 copies of the game ship to people at minimum. Now that goal translates into a dollar amount (that as of this post hasn’t been worked out) but the idea of chasing a dollar amount seems futile and corrupting. I personally have found a new passion in board game design and I would like this to be minimally successful so as to inspire me to chase the other ideas that have sprung forth from working on this game. As such I hope you will follow us and when the time comes I hope you will support our endeavor!

Signing off ~ Maxwell

You can follow our progress on Facebook or Tumblr!

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