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Big trouble in Japan

Page: GameIdea.GameIdea201004090644PM - Last Modified : Mon, 27 Jan 20 - 2343 Visits
How much do you like this idea?

4.5 stars Rating 9.0/10 from 2 votes
Vote Distribution: 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1

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

  • New idea makes it a single/two player game
  • Good ideas of the mechanics to use,
  • Mechanics and theme partially innovative

Progress: Partially designed
Priority: High
Number of players: 2 - 5 players
Expected Play time: 60 - 120 minutes


A game where you fight for control of japan, in a very unusual way, through the ancient, modern and high tech age.


I really like japan, there is a lot of game conquest game that takes place in japan but there is actually very few of these games that I actually like. So first I want to make a conquest game that takes place on the Japanese territory. Since there are historical scenarios, like for example Nobunaga's war, and fictional scenarios like fantasy or sci-fi theme, I said to myself, why not include everything in the same game since I am not going to make 3 games that takes place in japan.


Japanese anime is the primary source of inspiration. It is somewhat a parody of many anime series. New mechanics ideas could be used from Rune Age since I intend to convert this game as a deck building game.

Priority Evaluation

Theme vs Mechanics: Based on theme but the deck building mechanic seem to fit well with making cards obsolete.
Video vs Board Game: Could be released on both platform.
Single vs Multi player: Idea update makes it a single or 2 player civ game.
Rating = 7/12


+ No Cartography: The map is very simple, could be implemented as graph or be abstracted.
- Scripting: If played as a deck builder, there will be special text abilities. Especially for each situation according to game age.


The core of the game is a basic conquest game where you score points for territories you control. You would be able to score more points if you could control specific pairs of territories. Each player plays a family that will evolve through time.

The regular units would be simple bingo tokens placed thought the japan territories which has been split in 15 areas. Each player will have special unit cards that can be used to support their attacks and they will also have special buildings in front of them.

The game will also take place over 3 eras, first you start in the ancient age with ninjas, samurais and shugenjas, then most of the material becomes obsolete and you pass to the modern age which feels more like world war 2 with tanks and artillery. Finally, you end in the high tech era with mecha, net ninjas, androids, etc.

One of the special thing you can do is that if you are in trouble, you can always call upon the darkside to gain support from Demons, Mad scientist or even Aliens. Selling your soul give you points penalty, but gives you power to defeat your opponents.

Problems that prevent development

Due to the limited amount of territories, It might be hard to support more than 4 players unless I make a game where you can be functional with only 1 or 2 territories.

Player balance might be a problem. Since the game last multiple eras, I must make sure that each player stay in play until the end of the game and never get eliminated. I do not want to have invasions or rebellions like in fallen kingdoms. The only solution so far is the "sell your soul to the dark side" mechanic that should bring people back into play.

I might have to prepare my self to the eventuality that a player gets completely kicked out. Unless, I prevent player elimination by preventing the people to attack players with 1 territory.

Since there are so few territories, the conquest might not be interesting and it could become boring with time. For example, 2 players could constantly exchange territories, so their fight goes no where.

I am still not sure if the amount of turns passed in each era would be fixed or if a special event would trigger the change. I am still not sure yet if all cards from the old age becomes obsolete, or if some card changes but other cards can be kept.

December 10th, 2013: even if the deck building mechanic looks awesome, the design of the map seems to be an issue. In fact, the layout of japan makes allmost all territories accessible by sea. Even by defining sea zones, that makes almost all territories accessible by everybody. Which prevent the need to actually keep track of which territory is adjacent to which territory. Else that would mean increasing the detail level of the map which means using a bigger map.

One idea could be to use a map system like dune express where you can access almost any territory at any time, but sometimes adjacency is important. I'll have to give it some thoughts but it could be a solution.

News, changes and updates

October 25th, 2010: I think I have too much conquest game ideas where there are bingo chips on the board and card in hand. I prefer to keep that mechanic for ratscraft since your opponent does not know how well is your hand of cards since the value on the card is random. Here is big trouble in japan, once you have bought your cards, people knows your hand.

Instead, I'll use tokens for special units and buildings. This will allow them to be located on the board. Still, there will not be that many special units on the board (approx. 4-8 per player), so it will not require that much tokens and might make assembly easier. For the support units like ships and air force, I am not sure if they will located on the map. Maybe they will be off board and they will not be hidden.

May 6th, 2012: In the middle of the night, I had a wonderful idea that I think that will unlock this game for good. I intend to use deck building mechanic and use the cards like in Rune Age. The idea is that buildings will work like gold cards and allow you to produce stuff while units are used in battles. The system will be different from Rune Age since you have a real map that contains unit tokens to support the card played.

But the main difference is the ages. Each card will have different effects according to the age played. For example, a riflemen in the ancient age is used as a unit card, but in the modern and high tech age, it destroys it's self and place a unit token on the board. A temple in the ancient age might give you gold and bonus, in the modern age only gold, and in the high tech age nothing. Some cards will obsolete themselves which will thin the deck, some cards will be upgradable. So it will create a deck building game where the deck evolves through time since stuff becomes obsolete and new cards are available for purchase.

I am curious to see how this game will evolve.

July 28th, 2014: While I was playing civilization 5, I realised that a deck building game where cards becomes eventually obsolete could fit perfectly for a civ like game. Then I though that it was similar to this board game idea and decided to make a melting pot of both.

It would be a civilization deck building game that only take place in japan. There will be no tactical map, as the map is so small that there is no see to keep track of adjacency. The game would be a single player or 2 player game where each player plays a family wanting to gain power and influence through time. Taking place only in japan will make more sense to have no map with a centralised play area for each player. There might be territory cards.

Like in Civ, cards would give various kind of currency: Gold, Culture, Military, Science. Gold allow you to buy more cards, culture probably gain victory points or certain other advantage, military is to min war, and science is to unlock new cards for the next age.

Prototype Pictures

The map I intend to use for the game

Development Log

24-Apr-2011IdeaSince there is little space on the map to place units, ownership of a territory will be marked by 1 token which can be a simple colored token or a building of a player's color. Armies would be off board in this case.
24-Apr-2011IdeaIt is possible I redesign the map. I was thinking to have more territories and make the number of adjacent territory when you attack important on the combat results
24-Apr-2011ProblemThe major lock in this game is finding the right combat resolution system. Once this is defined, it will be easier to make playtests.

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