Game Development Continued…

First just wanted to say that the forums have been up for less than a week and we already have 99 members and are on the verge of breaking 100. That’s fantastic to see…and anyone that follows these blogs that have not checked out the forums yet, please feel free to stop on by and check them out. We’ve already got a host of great discussions going (the Forum link is right next to the Home link in the header bar above).

So, moving on to the meat of this blog. Originally, like so many other games along similar lines, there was no making repairs on the fly in this game. Thinking back on it I’m not sure why I went this route, though it likely was a case of always striving to strip the game down, helping with ease of learning and play. Ultimately, several things came together to change my mind.

First, after I moved Crews to their own Slots and gave them Crew Dice, I began to realize they needed to have a little more value in game play. While Crew Slots are very effective when wedded to Gun Batteries, I didn’t like the concept that the Gun Battery’s destruction meant the Crew Slot was instantly worthless for the rest of that game. Additionally, I began to realize I wanted the flexibility of giving a ship a unique feel such as having Crew Slots in a Location with no Gun Batteries.

Second was an aesthetic discovery. Unlike so many other games I’ve dealt with in the past where there is a very small number of individuals crewing a playing unit, leviathans are crewed by dozens and dozens of individuals…so having ‘crewmen to spare’ to make repairs seemed logical. Not to mention the feel of a few desperate crewman using ingenuity, desperation and a healthy dose of luck to plug a leak, fix a broken engine part or make a destroyed gun work again…that fit perfectly with the grim and dirty, yet heroic world of Leviathans.

Finally, once I’d put the repair rules into place and gave them a whirl a few times I realized I’d put another “That Was Totally Wicked!” moment into the game, as one side desperately attempts to fix a destroyed Slot, while the other side cheers for a bad dice roll leaving the Location he just pummeled in a bad state.

All of those items combined into a great aspect of the game. Basically at the end of the turn, after all other actions have been resolved in a turn, a player can choose to try and fix any Slots destroyed in a previous turn in a Location that has an un-destroyed Crew Slot (the exceptions are Armor and Crew Slots, which cannot be fixed in this fashion). Any number of such ‘fixes’ can be attempted in a turn, but only one such attempt can be made per Crew Slot (meaning if the ship has multiple Crew Slots, multiple attempts can be made). The player then makes a dice roll to see if he succeeds or not. If he fails, the Slot remains destroyed…if he succeeds, the Slot is fixed and can be used on the following turn.

This helps to explain, as some players have noted, those ships that have Crew Slots in a Location without a Gun Battery. Since you don’t want a game to extend under the Lieutenant’s Manual, which is all about providing a quick and fast taste of game play before moving on to the Commander’s Manual, repair is not found in those introductory rules.

See ya next duty shift!

Randall

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