Rebellium (print 'n play demo)
A downloadable game
Rebellium is a competitive turn based strategy game with a focus on resource management. Two players control their units and vie for control of the board so that they may destroy the opponent's castle. The rules, map, and unit card, are all in the downloadable files. This is just a demo version of the print 'n play for now, but later I will be creating more maps for Rebellium, developing a more polished board, and creating proper resource counters and unit figures for 3D printing.
In the Screenshots for the game, I show the progress that we have made, going through iterations of our board, from the original paper we drew up the full board on, to a printout of the most recent design.
In the first board, we were testing the resource systems for the first time, so naturally we designed the map around the villages. There were three lanes to fight in, but as we quickly realized, it was only worth it to fight in the top lane and bottom lane. Devoting troops to the mid lane had no real strategic value, and simply left your village in the mountains undefended. The second problem with this board was that because it was on paper, it was becoming messy quickly with our playtests.
Our second iteration of the board fixed the second problem, and allowed us to play the game using a mess-free google drive file; however, we still weren't happy with the flow of gameplay. In our next iteration (no picture available), we opened up the mountains to allow easy access from the outer lanes into the mid lane. We hoped this would provide strategic advantages to holding that ground, because it allowed the player to attack the enemy's villages and castle unpredictably. This still wasn't enough incentive to control mid, and our players were still running turtling strategies around their mountain villages.
In the iteration of the map following this (also no picture available), we added the healing well tiles mechanic into the game. We hoped here that making the mid lane into strong ground to defend and rest troops, that players would finally stop fighting over the mountain villages constantly and see the middle lane as a viable option. The problem was that we only made the center four tiles into healing well tiles. This wasn't appealing enough of an option for players to use strategies that centered around controlling the middle lane just yet, because the risks still outweighed the rewards, but we did see some players making use of the new mechanic.
Our final board (pictured above) is when we decided to make a risky change and turn most of that center lane into healing well tiles. With this change, it was extremely rewarding to control the middle lane. Because players could now safely build up a sizable attack force in mid before rushing the opponent's mountain villages or castle, there was finally a way to break the hold that the turtle strategy had over out game. If a player ignored his opponent's presence in mid, and simply focused all troops on attacking the enemy castle from the safety of the mountains, they would be overrun in a few turns; however, if the player taking control of mid devotes too many troops to that space, then they may quickly have the tables turned on them as an opposing unit may swipe their mountain village out from under their nose.
This is the design journey that our map undertook in the development of Rebellium. What this doesn't show is the many hours we spent in a prototyping phase trying to find a balance in our basic troops, nor the several revamps we took our resource system through.
All of the rules, maps, and unit cards will be found in the download links below.
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