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E-Mail: ericp[AT]lariennalibrary.com

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Page: GameIdea.GameIdea201003230655AM - Last Modified : Mon, 07 Feb 22 - 2206 Visits
How much do you like this idea?

4 stars Rating 8.0/10 from 1 votes
Vote Distribution: 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 1 – 0

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 of this game idea.

Status: CLOSED

  • Perfect single player game if playable VS and AI
  • Maybe I can find an AI for tactical games, that could reopen the project.
  • Playable with 2 players only, less likely to play with 3-4, but should be possible.

Progress: Prototyped
Priority: Low
Number of players: 2 - 4 players
Expected Play time: 60 - 120 minutes

This game should be implemented as a video game if possible. It seem that trying to find a substitution for fog of war simply changes the nature of the game. So the results would be better as a video game. The objective would be to make it my first Java Game with LibGDX. It seems like the perfect design for my first java game.

Update (nov 2013): I am still thinking about making the game 100% playable as a board game even if more convenient as a video game. The spotting mechanics system made it possible to simulate a fog of war gameplay without having a fog of war.

Update (dec 2013): But even if the game could be playable at 100% as a board game, it would be more convenient to play it as a video game especially for scenario design.

Update (nov 2018): I will aim for a video game, but there will be a board game prequel that takes place in a more limited environment where the focus of the game is to move 3 units per turn. It will have similarities in game play to chess.


A game of modern warfare where each player controls a series of units and tries to capture cities on the board.


My first idea was to make a board game version of the "conflict" NES video game since there were a lot of things in that game which were not really balanced. I thought that since it had a board game like game play, I could actually make a better and more balanced game but as a board game instead.


The primary source of inspiration was a video game called "conflict" which I think evolved as "Dai Senryaku". "Advance wars" and "shattered union" was also a good source of inspiration.

Priority Evaluation

Theme vs Mechanics: This game seems to be mechanic based but the theme is still well integrated.
Video vs Board Game: Would be much more convenient as a video game to keep track of move all units, fuel and ammo. Also could simplify some computations. But not impossible as a board game.
Single vs Multi player: This is game is strictly multiplayer has each opponent has a similar gameplay. A decision AI would be required if implemented as a video game. Certain mods could be more puzzle single player games.
Rating = 8/12


- Cartography: Hexagon grids are required.
+ No Scripting: This game is only based with data and standardised rules.


  • The board is made of hex maps that can be assembled to create various maps.
  • Combat are resolved with dice roll
  • There might be special situation die used in battle which could allow surprise for example.

Problems that prevent development

After playing "shattered union" and "Dai Senryaku", I have realized that most of the time you would want to move your units as groups that will contain at least an anti-air unit to protect the group and some scout unit to make targeting easier. Which had the consequence of changing the design. Later, I realized that in Dai Senryaku, the main difference is the fact that air units stay on the board. So you can intercept air units actively. So all your units does not require anti cover. Second, in shattered union, planes can target the whole board, in Dai Senryaku, they have movement.

Instead of moving individual units from one hex to another, you would move group of units from one hex to another. I would probably use a larger hex map. Now the problem is that I need to design a new combat system that will take care of all the elements I want. For example, you need scout to know where is your enemy, airport nearby should be able to offer air support. Anti-air unit and airports should be able to intercept air support, etc. All of this must be resolved, if possible, in one combat roll.

Switching back to moving individual units might not be a solution since the move you need to do becomes quite boring. I tried using hidden units with cards, but it gets really confusing. Instead of hiding unit, I'll just make the player less efficient if there is no scout.

Building up scenarios is also complicated because it is hard to evaluate the value of every type of unit and evaluate the tactical position on the battlefield. If would take too much time to play test each scenario. So the idea of having a "story mode" with dozens of scenarios to follow is almost abandoned.

News, changes and updates

December 10th, 2018: I have been very bosy with school so the progress has been severely slowed down. I partially designed the stats of my units, I'll have to continue and make some tweaks before it's playable. After that I will be able to playtest the game play more intensively. I expect to have around 15 to 20 unit types. I want to keep the unit variety relatively small to keep the cost low. I made an estimation of the required components on game crafters and it gave me 30$.

The units design inspiration comes from the vietnam wars approximately between 1960 and 1970. The story will take place before the birth of Erician during the proxy wars between Stripped Star and Red Hammer. The game will have a chess like feel, where each turn you can move at most 3 units. You will have to chose which unit is the most important to move from what you have. Because of that, battle field will be relatively small, and most units will stay in range to simulate a chess board. I might even make most cities on the board already occupied to start in the action and simulate a real country border. I also had new ideas for infantry that has a high mobility in presence of cities, Making them good defensive units. All utility units has been removed to keep the game thin.

Even if I have many game ideas with this franchise, I learned that the key to making good games is not to simply copy paste old design that previously worked, but also make each game unique and stand on it's own. So for example, the video game might use the move all units rule with story dialogue since it is more convenient for a video game. While the game above fits more for a board game.

I hope to get a prototype soon enough, the game is no that complex, so I might end up already in tweaking phase even after a few tests.

September 29th, 2018: An important twist of events occurred, I have played the original conflict recently, and I also had a chance to try to blood bowl as a video game. Now you'll be wondering what blood bowl has to do with it, I'll come to that point soon. Yes the original conflict game is pretty buggy and difficult, the strategy mostly consist in camp, destroy any plane sent at you to drop enemy fame point then fight back. The computer is always in a very strong position compared to you even at level 1.

Now playing move all units against the computer is almost suicide, normally I play move 3 units limit because the AI does not always chose the best 3 units to move which gives an advantage to the player who can select his battle more carefully. But at the same time, that is creating an experience that is very unique to this game which might make it more interesting.

When I play Dai Senryaku, the algoritm I am using is to select units which has the least target in range first, then move the unita that has the most targets last. This make sure you don't end up in a situation where unit A destroy unit Z, but unit B only had unit Z in range, so it loses an attack opportunity. Eventually, that can become pretty boring or mechanical, there is not that much tight decisions to make. This system works for games where you can move all units.

When you play blood bowl, you try to make the no risk moves first, but when you start taking risk, you make the less risky ones or the most important onces first. This is where the strategy of the game lies. The players are trying to figure out what is the most important moves I should make because a failure ends their turn. Sure it is much more demanding in term of strategy, and yes there could be an optimal solution, but it feels less mechanical.

This is where conflict now stand, by moving only 3 units per turn, you have to make a choice, which unit should you be moving. You'll might be exposing some units which are defenseless, or that moved on a previous turn. So this is where there is a hard decision to make, should I go in offense, should I fall back and make sure certain units survives. Should I progress slowly, should I punch in with a few units, etc. Also reminds me of duel masters when you needed to choose between using a card as mana or as a creature.

So I thought that the Erician video game could in fact be smaller operations, leading to shorter game play. The conditions would need to be:

  • Smaller maps since there will be les units and places to conquer
  • Low amount of units: At most 15 or 20 units on board. Moving 3 of 20 units is not very efficient compared to moving 3 of 10 units.
  • Lower scale, instead of dai senryaku 10 vehicle per unit, here it's 1 vehicle per unit. Makes more sense to have a lower scale this way.

I wanted a story based video games and I don't think making the map smaller and game faster would actually hinder the story. It also makes more sense, to have rebellion operation using a small amount of units. What I am not sure if the production of units in game, It's interesting because with move 3 units you can potentially destroy 3 units and build 1 every turn. In the most recent thread below, I discussed how units could all have the same cost, else that planes does not have to be more expansive than land vehicles.

Now if you read carefully so far, you could notices that all this changes to the game could in the end make it easier to implement as a board game. Or using the board game as a prototype for the video game. Here is why it could be possible:

  • Smaller maps: Easier to print and put in board game. Could be a 2 part tiled for extra variety.
  • No fuel: Sinnce you only move 3 units, unmoved aircrafts could remain in air so I have to remove fuel, making it easier to implement as a board game.
  • Less units: Easier to have a large variety of units if there are few units in the game itself.
  • Move 3 units makes it easier to remember which unit moved. No need to rotate or mark units.
  • The shorter game makes it fit easier into a board game time frame
  • I have mechanics for fog of war and interception. Allowing artillery range attacks.
  • I could use flip side of tokens for damaged unit.

The only thing I do not have is ammunition count, so there will be no resupply which could be a feature since there will be no supply vehicle. I have some ideas for combat resolution, but I might need to do it with fewer dices. Else is how to make sure I don't end up with many tables of stats, so I might standardize some numbers.

So I am wondering if I should not be trying to build a prototype. I don't have much time, but I have some printed components and maps If remember already (possibly those pictured below), so it might worth it a try. I can also check what game crafters has to offer for the future. Not sure I'll be able to put in the humour in the game as there could be in the video game. Event cards could help, but not sure yet how they could be used (maybe 1 per turn, each side plays a card).

It's just weird how old ideas can change and come back.

September 27th, 2013: While I was thinking about how it could be implemented as a video game, I made some quick play test to see if I could still work as abord game by turning off certain features that could be added in the video game. Right now it seems to be possible.

The kind of features I would be turning off for example is fuel consumption because it's almost impossible to keep track as a board game. I am not sure yet if I could manage moving all units on the board. Using smaller board with a smaller number of units on each side could be a solution to make it easier to play as a board game. Larger board could be used in multiplayer games.

Now there is a couple of neat features that I discovered recently while playtesting that might keep the look and feel of certain features in like for example the fog of war. I discovered the idea of "Spotting" units before attacking. This was only used for artillery as a replacement for fog of war, but now all units need to be spoted before beign attacked. Making recon units much more usefull since they can spot a radius of 2 hex while all other units can spot 1 hex. It forces the player to spot first, and then attack.

I also intend to reduce the number of hex the units can move and target to make it easier to calculate. Probably many units stats will be standardised to prevent the need of searching for unit information when moving or attacking.

Another idea was to remove infantry and only used assault vehicles like IFV to capture areas. That would make an only vehicle game which would be easier to manage. For buildings that can stack units, I though of maybe having a separate off board card to hold the units. If the map is not too big, it should not be very complicated to manage.

I'll update some pictures of the latest play test soon. I am not sure if the project is going to become active for the next year. It's not a very innovative game, so I don't think it would require that much play testing and little mechanic exploration needs to be done compared to other games where I don't know where I am going.

Prototype Pictures

Quick prototype with a new set of tokens (2013)Close up of the units
An example of battlefield using a battle tech map

Related Threads

Board Game Geek: How to title a prequel to a trilogy that does not exists yet? (nov 2018)
Board Game Geek: How to deal with infantry? (3 nov 2018)
Board Game Designer Forum: How to deal with infantry? (3 nov 2018)
Board Game Geek: Should vehicle and weapon name matters for a fictional settings (30 oct 2018)
Board Game Geek: Can Cold Wars contain military conflicts? ( sep 2018)
Board Game Geek: War games: To reinforce or not to reinforce? (sep 2018)
Board Game Geek: War game mechanics to restrain the number of units moved per turn (sep 2018)
Board Game Geek: Is there alternative POD to game crafters for war games? (Aug 2018)
Board Game Geek: Hex Modern wargame: Avoid the RPS immunity between units? (Aug 26th, 2018)
Board Game Designer Forum: Hex Modern wargame: Avoid the RPS immunity between units? (Aug 26th, 2018)
Board Game Geek: Moving all units, how to keep track of it! (sep 17, 2013)
Board Game Designer Forum: Moving all units, how to keep track of it! (sep 17, 2013)
Board Game Geek: A new way to manage fog of war with recon units (sep 24, 2013)
Board Game Designer Forum: A new way to manage fog of war with recon units (sep 24, 2013)
Board Game Geek: Fog of War for a Video Board Game (aug 8, 2013)
Board Game Designer Forum: Fog of War for a Video Board Game (aug 8, 2013)

Development log

29-jun-2016IdeaAnother idea to make the game playable as a board game, use smaller map or larger hex to have less units on the battle field. Flip units when they have moved and use tokens instead to keep track of damaged unit. Or simply no damaged units. Make maps tilable for bigger maps on demand (like wizard king). Supplies could be an issue, thinking of using supply range, if you are out of range, you need to move back into range. Logical if expand the time a single turn takes compared to similar video games. 1 turn could equal 2-3 turns. There could be multiple combat assault to. Another idea to keep track of who moved is to keep units in pack and associate them with a single commander. Can achive this if has smaller map and 2 player/commander per map.
11-nov-2015IdeaIf I want to use a GI-joe like theme, there could be a lot more characters in the game which can be assigned to various units to increase target unit ans surrounding unit's strength. Characters would be more than just commanding officers as 5 to 12 of them could be on the board. I might wtill be more convenient as a video game, but could allow progression as level up. Could ne a nice substitution to individual units level upping.
29-sept-2013IdeaFor conveniency issue, maybe unit cannot be stacked above one another. To Air units could not stack above land or sea units. Maybe it could be an optional rules. Since there will be no infantry anymore, there is littll stacking left.
01-Aug-2011ProblemI like the idea of having command points which would allow a player to move X groups of units each turn. Or X target hex or area to attack. This way, it is easier to remember which unit has moved. The problem is scaling these command points with the size of the board. Else I would need to flip tokens, which will prevent me from using a hidden unit mechanics.
01-Aug-2011ProblemEven if dai senryaku really reflect the modern military units currently available. I might remove some units if 2 units would have the same stats or function or if it makes the strategy boring. For example, some planes can launch cruise missile 18 hex away, that is just boring to play with.
01-Aug-2011ProblemKeeping track of which unit has attacked in battle, considering that you need to keep some unit token face down if they have not been detected, is very hard to manage.
01-Aug-2011ProblemStacking units on fewer larger hex seems to be a problem because you need to manage stacks of units which is annoying to manage. But it also affect the strategy. There is little interesting maneuvers to do and people could easily do huge stack to place all their units at the same place. So I might use a detailed hex map like before instead.
01-Aug-2011IdeaI'll use the idea of dai senryaku where IFV, APC and assault copters comes with their troops to capture cities. So no lead to load any units on a unit. Still, 2 assault unit will be required to capture a city instead of a single infantry unit.
01-Aug-2011IdeaThere will be no transport units on the board which will remove the need to stack any token at all on the board. So 1 token per hex max. There will be some transportation unit card off board that would allow moving between cities you control and carriers and airports will have a separate card where you can stack the tokens there. so I think I found a zero stacking solution.
01-Aug-2011IdeaMaybe I cold place hidden unit on board. All units will have the same detection range except some recon units that will have to be revealed to be activated. Detected units will be flipped face up and they will now be the target of range attack.
01-Aug-2011IdeaIn the old rules, there were initiative cards to determine the first player. I wanted to add other values besides initiative so that each cards has pro and cons to be played. I thought of counter balancing it with command points (act fast but less units, or slow with more units)
26-jun-2011IdeaMaybe I could make 2 games into 1. One version of the rules would be more simple and would group units on the same hex. While another version of the rules would detail the unit's movement and only have 1 unit per hex. Combat resolution will be almost the same.

Related Projects

GI-Joe (or EricIan) card game

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