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E-Mail: ericp[AT]lariennalibrary.com

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Spellcraft: Early war

Page: GameIdea.GameIdea-Spellcraft-EarlyWars - Last Modified : Mon, 27 Jan 20 - 1471 Visits
How much do you like this idea?

0 stars Not rated yet

Very Good (10/10) The game is very interesting, make it as soon as possible.
Good (8/10) Great idea but some modifications are required.
Fair (6/10) Interesting but a lot of things are missing.
Bad (4/10) Would need to completely redesign the idea in order to work.
Very Bad (2/10) It will never be interesting, abandon the idea.
Already Exist (0/10) Do not waste time on this game idea.

Status: CLOSED

  • A multiplayer game
  • Rules could probably fit on a page
  • game designed to be small
  • Only a partial idea of how mechanics could work.

Progress: Prototyped
Priority: Low
Number of players: 2 - 6 players
Expected Play time: 1-2 hours


This is a very compact game where players produce units and attack other kingdoms to capture territory. Who ever controls the most territories wins when the time is depleted.


While not being very innovative, one of the important aspect of the game is how small the game is. Each player has 9 cards, a set of unit tokens and a diamond board tile. Probably all the players component will fit on 2 sheet letter page making it easy to print and play.

Players only need to carry their own piece, there are no common pieces, so each player could print and assemble their 2 pages and play with other players who did the same. SO a compact game is one of the objective.


This game is in fact a combination of many other game ideas of mine plus the card play mechanic in 1812. Making this game could make other game ideas obsolete. I also got ideas from 8 minute empires legend which could be pretty nice.

Priority Evaluation

Theme vs Mechanics: Based on mechanics, I have a semi working game, but not quite what I want.
Video vs Board Game: There is no restrictions of platform, both are possible.
Single vs Multi player: I think sinngle player is impossible, because it consist in combining boards of different players. Also because of the tactica maneuvering.
Rating = 5/12


? Cartography: There seem to be limited cartography that can probably be implemented as a graph.
- Scripting: this game will probably require scripting if there is magic with special powers.


The game is pretty simple. Each turn, you have 2 cards in your hand and chose to play 1 of them. The card played influence the following variables:

  • Number of military movement that can be done
  • Number of production points at the end of the turn
  • Spell cast at the beginning of a turn
  • Special maneuver abilities, or ship abilities.
  • Initiative

So each player play a card, and resolve it in initiative order. When all 9 cards are played, the game ends. The player that controls the most territory wins. Controlling opponent's covenant will grant extra points.

In a turn, players will:

  • Activate their spell effect
  • move groups of units
  • resolve battles if 2 player share the same territory
  • produce new units in controlled territories.

There are 3-4 type of units which fight like an axis and allies system but in a specific order. Each race has various unit stats and spell abilities on the cards.

The game could seem pretty bland or generic, but the focus is easy print and play and easy transportability. Still, I would like to find new twist to make the game more interesting and unique.

Problems that prevent development

I made my first playtest this morning, seem to have gone relatively well. No major problem so far since the game is pretty simple.

News, changes and updates

February 9th, 2014: I just played 8 minute empires legend and there are a couple of things I could borrow from it. I really like the cubes and citadels in 8 minute empires, but I think I'll use unit tokens to have more depth with various kind of units.

I like the rectangular board of 8 minute empires. I would use this if I could find a territory division pattern that would allow connecting the tiles in various ways. Probably it will be a 2-4 player game max unless a tile pattern is possible.

I like the double function of cards in 8 minute empires. I was thinking that each player had 8 cards total with 5 in hands. 3 of 5 are played, then the remaining 3 cards in the deck goes back into your hand. But the 3 cards played on last turn impact the current turn (secondary effect bonus). So the 3 cards you play this turn will affect the next turn. and the last 3 played cards get's drwan back into your hand. So a card can be played every 2 turn.

Card action would consist in placing units, moving units, attacking (maybe included in moving), doing magic, etc. Another idea is that all cards does everything but in various quantity. So a card could: move X units, buiild Y units, cast spell Z and give various buff to next turn.

Again, the primary objective is to keep the game tiny. Each player should have the following components:

1 Modular map tile. X unit tokens of 3 categories 1 Tower pawn representing the home territory 8 action cards played during the turn 1 race card listing unit stats and racial abilities X dice for battle resolution.

Looks really cool. Easy to print and play, 1 page will be for the cards, 1 page for the map and the units. Add a pawn and dice and you have a player's components. Repeat for each player.

Again, the goal would be to allow players to print and assemble the race they want to play and bring their pieces with them to play with others.

February 10th, 2014: Quick update already, some new ideas I got during the night.

I want to separate the race from the Spells to allow various combinations. So there will be 9 cards for a sphere of magic that will be spells and action cards. And all the race components will fit on a page.

The cards play will be different. Players will have 3 cards in hand, they play a in the discard pile. The card played is boosted by the card at the top of the discard pile. So the card you play now will power up the next cards you play. It's possible the game ends when all the cards are played. The winner is the player that controls the most territories

Each card will have a spell ability that will power up the action you are doing. I think all cards will basically be spells names that allow a powered up action which will probably be Move, Produce and Devellop or War.

I might have development tokens. Not sure exactly what they do yet. Either they boost the value of the territory, Either they give you a permanent powerup to all your action cards (or both). The value of a territory could determine for example the nb of points you use to build units, move units, etc. I am not quite sure yet since it would make certain territories more likely to get used for production and movement, on the other hand, it gives a reason to develop other territories.

Else it could be an off board power up like "Mithril Weapons" that allow rerolling combat dices for example. But I need something else to do other than Move/Attack and Produce units.

Maybe a units limit could be set to each territory according to it's territory value to prevent players from activating always the same area.

Prototype Pictures

First Prototype

Development Log

21-dec-2013IdeaIn order to keep the game small, could use my card idea as a map for my main spellcraft game. It would make sense that both games use a similar mechanics. They still need to be 2 different games. The main difference being unit mobility.

Back to my list of Board Games and Ideas

News, changes and updates

Date X: this thing has happen.

Date Y: this thing has happened.

Development Log


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