I have decided on a different method of dealing with the strategic scope of the campaign. I am using a more abstract system than the traditional campaign map with unit markers etc. The Uncivil War campaign will use a modified form of Monopoly to track what neighborhoods and for managing the economics of the campaign.
At this point you might be thinking “are you smoking bath salts?”, no I’m not, but keep reading and I will explain my logic (or lack of).
I am not a professional game designer, I like to dabble in game design and would like to be a professional but the reality is I don’t have the time to devote to making something many people may not even play.
However I am familiar with certain game design principles, game balance and keeping interest in play.
It is difficult to make a campaign map that is balanced. If we look at the map of Lewiston we see that some neighborhoods are off on their own while others are surrounded by others. This usually means the isolated areas are easy to defend while the more open are hard to defend. This is fine for a historical realistic scenario, but I’m trying to create a campaign where everyone has equal potential to be the king of Lewiston.
Then there is the issue of making sure the strategic level of play does not become too complex and boring. The intent is for the strategic layer to be fast, reasonably simple yet provide a framework which allows a player to track resources and territory.
The game Monopoly does these things well. It is uncomplicated, has a monetary system, a well balanced gaming board and some random events which add a certain element of randomness to the game.
The basic premise is to have a figure represent a players “army” as it moves around in the city. The players army is comprised of a list which the player has to record and keep track of units, their equipment and casualties. In my case I am using the Spectre Miniatures rules. All the players will start with a small army of equal points values.
Movement is handled slightly different than a standard Monopoly game. Players may stay in place (not move), in order to build up a neighborhood move 1 place (in order to take other neighborhoods in a district) or move the random 2D6 according to the monopoly rules. Movement is always clockwise unless “going to jail” or if an army is moving with a district (explained later).
When an army lands on an property not owned by anyone they have the option of buying or not, just like the original game. There is no auctioning however, you can only buy if you land on it.
Since a player can choose not to move they can build up the neighborhood by buying houses and hotels. Dice (or numbered counters) are used to indicate how many houses on on a property, the only limit is how many hotels are available on map. The number of buildings indicates extra money for bribes (as per game rules), the level of neighborhood defenses (1 house = militia units, 2 = trained) and the number of points available per incursion. The player that owns a locality does not need to have a listing for their defensive forces, they need only purchase the units before the tactical battle begins.
If a player owns a whole district there are advantages they can tap into. First off they can build up individual neighborhoods with the army being present, and they may build up all neighborhoods simultaneously. If an army is present in a district they may move to another neighborhood (not passing go) within the district as their move. This gives a player an opportunity to help defend a neighborhood than another army is invading as long as their turn is not played beforehand.
More coming soon in part 2.