#016 – City Battles

I totally missed last week! Sorry! And then Finn asked me to do Thursday, and I completely forgot about that too! D: D: D:

But here we go.

A new idea.

From the mind that brought you loads of utter crap:

CITY BATTLE. Keep in mind this is my first wargame of any type, be easy on me!

This is a 2-4 player 100%-deterministic strategy boardgame. Each player builds a city, which in turn they use to build an army, which they use to attack their opponent’s cities. But here’s the catch: each player only gets to do five things each turn (ie. each player gets five action points to spend every turn).

Suddenly, STRATEGY.

Everything takes one action. You can move one unit, build something in your city, get some resources, etc.

Gameplay takes place on a chessboard-like 9×9 grid. Each player starts on one side of the board, the centre square of which is their Headquarters. If somebody’s headquarters is destroyed, they’re out of the game, and the person who attacked it gets one victory point.

In the centre square of the board ((4, 4) for you programmers out there) is the Intelligence. If a player can get a unit there, pick it up, and bring it back to their headquarters, they get one victory point.

The winner is either the last player standing, or the first one to reach 3 victory points.

Each player starts with 12 Steel and 12 Oil. They can spend an action point to get one more of either resource. They can build an Oil Well for 5 Steel to get oil, and a Steelworks for 5 oil to get steel. Building anything in their city costs any specific resources, and one action point.

Oil Wells and Steelworks each provide one Oil and one Steel (respectively) for each Residence in adjacent tiles every turn. Residences cost nothing to build, except one action point.

Factories are places you can build tanks and artillery. Each factory costs 5 Oil and 5 Steel. Players can spend one action point to create a tank on any factory.

Broadcast Towers cost 15 Steel to build. While they stand, their owner gets one extra action point each turn.

Runways cost 3 Oil and 3 Steel. You need three of them in a row to have a complete runway. Once you have those three, you can build a Hangar next to any of the runway tiles. Each hangar can hold (and build) one aeroplane of any type. I’ll talk about planes (and other units) later.

Barricades cost 3 Steel to build. They stop enemy (but not friendly) units from moving through a certain tile.

Bunkers cost 3 Steel and 3 Oil. Any buildings adjacent to a Bunker cannot be damaged by aeroplanes.

Barracks cost 3 Steel and can create Infantry and SAM Infantry. Each cost 1 Steel OR 1 Oil to produce, but if the Barracks has two or more Residences in adjacent tiles, these units are free (besides the action point).

Okay. That’s it for city-building. You can see it’s a kind of spacial management puzzle, to maximise the efficiency of each building. But now let’s talk about units.

Units are the real meat and potatoes of the game. They are where everything is won and lost.

Infantry are the cheapest and most basic units. They cost 1 Steel or 1 Oil (and an action point) to make, in a poorly-optimised Barracks. They can move once each turn, one tile in any direction (North, South, East or West). However, they can “charge” two tiles in the direction away from their Headquarters.

A tile can attack a unit in any of the 4 adjacent squares. This can be done in the same turn as attacking, but costs a victory point.

SAM Infantry can target a plane unit 5 tiles or less in any direction. However, they are totally useless against land units. Also, any bomber that targets that tile or any of the 9 tiles around it is destroyed (but it is still successful in attacking that tile). (FYI: SAM infantry are anti-aircraft. I didn’t just name them after some guy called Sam).

Tanks are tanks. Surprise surprise. They cost 3 Steel and 3 Oil to make, minus one for each Residence the factory they’re being made in is next to. Tanks can move fast (up to two tiles in any direction) and can attack any of the nine tiles around them, or two tiles away in any of the four cardinal directions (so they have a sort of diamond-shaped attack radius). However, they require one Oil to move. So yeah.

Artillery are those big slow gun things. They can only move one tile per turn (in the four cardinal directions). However, they can attack any tile up to three spaces away, in a big 7×7 square.

When Artillery attacks a tile, if there is a unit in it, then the unit is killed. However, if there is no unit, then the building in that tile is destroyed. Thus, they are one of the few ways to get past a Barricade.

Now lets talk about planes. They need a lot of infrastructure to get set up (four buildings), but they’re worth it.

Bombers cost 3 Steel and 3 Oil, minus one for each Residence the Hangar they’re made in borders. They can target any tile on the board, with the same attack rules as artillery. They are the only other way to break a barricade! Bombers can only be defended from by SAM infantry, Bunkers, and fighters. Bombers, like tanks, cost one Oil to use. However, they go out, bomb, and come back to their Hangar again in one turn, so you don’t actually need to move the piece.

Fighters you say? Yes, fighters! They cost the same as Bombers, but have the purpose of fighting against other planes. They can be sent out to any space on the board for one Oil, but they stay on that space until it’s your turn again, when they *have* to go back to a Hangar. Once in that space, they can attack any units three tiles or less away, including other fighters, a bomber in its Hangar, or any land unit. They can only be targeted by SAM infantry or other fighters.

So that’s City Battle (don’t worry, that’s only a WIP name!). The strategy comes in balancing your military with your city; do I spend this last action point building an Oil Well? Or do I move my units forward? Should I try and gather the resources to build a Broadcast Tower? Or should I use those resources to build Bunkers and Barricades to protect what I have already built? Should I send the forces out further? Or instead should I create reinforcements to double my strength next turn?

There is no luck involved at all. I think it’s still kind of surprising and replayable, because you’ll have to adapt to whatever your opponents do. You were planning on surprising your enemies with an early rush of infantry? Oh dear, they’ve built up a Factory already, you’ll have to rethink that plan! You were going soft and steady building up a runway to have control of the skies? Tough. I just send three tanks your way.

Your Headquarters is destroyed if any enemy unit stands on it. If anyone gets the Intelligence back to their Headquarters, then they get their victory point, but the Intelligence is placed back in the central tile immediately.

3 thoughts on “#016 – City Battles

  1. Isn’t this a bit of a stretch to go on this site? I mean, I don’t know, it is an idea, but from the last posts, I sort of got the impression that they were just ideas that could go in to a game, not a layout of an entire game. This kind of practical design document leaves no room for someone to come along and want to make it, because you just did.

    • Ideasquish is the place where I post whatever has been on my mind. It’s for any idea, big or small. Most other ideas are only little mechanics or parts of a bigger game because I haven’t had time to expand them into what they could be. And some mechanics that I think of can’t be explained without a full game around them. It’s most definitely not the first full game I’ve posted. In fact, I tag full games as “full game”. If you click on that tag at the bottom of this post, you’ll see it’s the fifth full game so far. That’s almost a full third of everything!

      You can take this game apart, and look at its mechanics. It has two totally separate elements, the city-building and the unit manipulation. Each could be its own post.

      But when I came up with the idea, it all happened at once. And when I was writing it, I was hardly going to leave out half of what I’d thought of?

      Do you prefer the less-filled ideas to the big ones? Because standalone concepts are much harder to come up with!

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