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Author Topic: Creating steampunk themed boardgames  (Read 1482 times)
Gerry Hunter
Gunner
**
Canada Canada



« on: July 11, 2016, 11:11:37 pm »

Being sans internet for some time, I've rediscovered boardgames and card game as an entertaining decompression and interactive activity. Though it would probably be better if I had other with whom to play.

I find myself trying to conjure up new games with a streamlined theme and flair. I can't post often but I'd love to share ideas and any examples I make.
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Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2016, 07:47:23 pm »

I would like to see a cooperative game, using characters from victorian fiction. A kind of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen board game. With each character having special skills a la Pandemic.
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Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
Inflatable Friend
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Italy Italy



« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2016, 08:34:42 pm »

I briefly started on a steampunkish skirmish type game, set following the martian invasion with a sort of WW1 and brutal expansionist UK government theme. I wanted something that felt gritty and steamy, while trying to avoid the worst of the steampunk miniature tropes.

Got reasonably far with the development, but was waylaid by the dual rigors of work and childcare. It's a project I aim to go back too, it was too fun not to at least get the miniatures done, if not the rules.
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Steam Titan
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


fulgur adducere


« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2016, 11:03:07 pm »

Airship combat game on a hexagon board? different ships have differnt move speeds, attack types etc. Could be dice based where you roll xd6 or d10s or something and successes allow you to move, aim, fire. Enemy rolls for defending. COuld even roll for where damage is, balloon, fuel, propellors, guns etc. Sorta thinking almost a Guns of Icaraus board game
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Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2016, 05:13:47 pm »

Something like Star Trek's 3D chess board would be interesting and allow the airships to move properly in different directions.
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You have to tread a fine line between avant-garde surrealism and getting yourself sectioned...
Steam Titan
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


fulgur adducere


« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2016, 01:07:16 am »

Something like Star Trek's 3D chess board would be interesting and allow the airships to move properly in different directions.

yes was contemplating something of that sort. Prototype prolly be good to test in 2 dimensions but adding a third would be neat. bigest issue would be establishing distance across boards
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Inflatable Friend
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Italy Italy



« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2016, 09:44:44 am »

Would you want to go chess style board game with that, or a more open open skies type game in the style of X-Wing, Wings of War or the American Heritage Dogfight board game?

Chess sees to imply a lot of pieces, whereas I'd feel airship battles might be better with a few pieces.
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Harvey Midnight
Gunner
**
United States United States


« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2016, 01:20:35 pm »

There was an interesting game my son and I really got into, when he was younger. Sadly, it's been discontinued.



The game was based around the pieces of the ship that you constructed, and the card you punched the pieces out of...  distance and movement were based around the length of the long and short sides of the card you punched the pieces out of.


ya know....

Wouldn't be hard at ALL to do something like that-- using unique, steam-themed props.  Each player could control a NUMBER of airships---

--each airship could have a set number of gears-- small gears you can buy at a craft shop--  each point of damage your ship takes, you lose one gear.. once the ship is out of gears, it crashes.

Firing and damage could be done with dice. Others have mentioned using d10s or d20's.. but actually, I played a super-hero game in college, where everything was done with standard 6-sided dice... roll 3 of them to get a number between 3-18, and that generally takes the place of a d20 for a 'to hit' roll. Each ship could start with 12 'accuracy' -- i.e. have to roll 12 or higher for a successful hit;  but your accuracy gets better with practice -- reduce that number by one, for each ship you successfully shoot down, until you get it down to 5-- roll a 5 or higher to hit,  which would mean you'd hardly ever miss.

Your ship also could have a number of cannons-- roll once to hit, but each cannon adds one die of damage. Or maybe not "cannons" but some other steam-based prop, to determine damage. (edit to add:  maybe just use dice-- each ship has a number of dice, and that's the damage it does.)

If you kept it as a 2d game like a board game, movement could just be done on a table-top with rulers-- each ship has a set number of cm or inches it can travel, and a set range that it can shoot.. so you'd have to approach the other airships to fire on them.

And there could be some 'design' aspect to it as well... imagine each ship starts with a 'value' of 15, and you design the ship's traits: 7 cannons + 5 gears + 3 cm of movement = 15. Or, just 3 cannons + 2 cm + 10 gears = 15.


Edit again to add: KEYS!!! get a few packs of those antique style skeleton keys, all in the same length; those could be used to measure the distance your airship can travel; lay  them end-to-end to plot a course. And one key-length is the distance of weapon fire.  


One more edit--- and nevermind dice for damage at all. One gun/one hit = one point, one gear lost. having up to six or 12 'points' lost per turn would be too short a game. You have 3 guns, you do 3 damage. But still.. what's another small prop for the number of guns???

That's how I would do it.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 03:09:07 pm by Harvey Midnight » Logged
Peter Brassbeard
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States



« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2016, 04:28:25 pm »

If you want an airship combat tactical simulator ... pulling a few elements from the RPG rules I've been writing ...
4 basic stats: attack, defense, health, movement.

Each attack point translates into on attack die, rolled individually for hit/miss.  Difficulty of a hit can vary with range.
Each defense point gives a die that can be rolled to cancel a hit, such as a dodging maneuver, or the hit going through a non-critical part of the structurer.
Each hit deducts 1 health.

Movement, instead of being a constant distance, is a count of dice rolled.  Each success is a unit of distance that may be traveled that round.  Various factors at different locations (storms vs. clear air?) may alter the difficulty of success.

Maybe merge health and speed, each point of damage reducing speed.

Spend a round not firing to repair a point of damage.
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Steam Titan
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


fulgur adducere


« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2016, 09:45:29 pm »

There was an interesting game my son and I really got into, when he was younger. Sadly, it's been discontinued.



The game was based around the pieces of the ship that you constructed, and the card you punched the pieces out of...  distance and movement were based around the length of the long and short sides of the card you punched the pieces out of.


ya know....

Wouldn't be hard at ALL to do something like that-- using unique, steam-themed props.  Each player could control a NUMBER of airships---

--each airship could have a set number of gears-- small gears you can buy at a craft shop--  each point of damage your ship takes, you lose one gear.. once the ship is out of gears, it crashes.

Firing and damage could be done with dice. Others have mentioned using d10s or d20's.. but actually, I played a super-hero game in college, where everything was done with standard 6-sided dice... roll 3 of them to get a number between 3-18, and that generally takes the place of a d20 for a 'to hit' roll. Each ship could start with 12 'accuracy' -- i.e. have to roll 12 or higher for a successful hit;  but your accuracy gets better with practice -- reduce that number by one, for each ship you successfully shoot down, until you get it down to 5-- roll a 5 or higher to hit,  which would mean you'd hardly ever miss.

Your ship also could have a number of cannons-- roll once to hit, but each cannon adds one die of damage. Or maybe not "cannons" but some other steam-based prop, to determine damage. (edit to add:  maybe just use dice-- each ship has a number of dice, and that's the damage it does.)

If you kept it as a 2d game like a board game, movement could just be done on a table-top with rulers-- each ship has a set number of cm or inches it can travel, and a set range that it can shoot.. so you'd have to approach the other airships to fire on them.

And there could be some 'design' aspect to it as well... imagine each ship starts with a 'value' of 15, and you design the ship's traits: 7 cannons + 5 gears + 3 cm of movement = 15. Or, just 3 cannons + 2 cm + 10 gears = 15.


Edit again to add: KEYS!!! get a few packs of those antique style skeleton keys, all in the same length; those could be used to measure the distance your airship can travel; lay  them end-to-end to plot a course. And one key-length is the distance of weapon fire.  


One more edit--- and nevermind dice for damage at all. One gun/one hit = one point, one gear lost. having up to six or 12 'points' lost per turn would be too short a game. You have 3 guns, you do 3 damage. But still.. what's another small prop for the number of guns???

That's how I would do it.

was it a pirate game? cause i have those and its sort of part of what my thinking for the airship idea was
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Steam Titan
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


fulgur adducere


« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2016, 09:46:57 pm »

Would you want to go chess style board game with that, or a more open open skies type game in the style of X-Wing, Wings of War or the American Heritage Dogfight board game?

Chess sees to imply a lot of pieces, whereas I'd feel airship battles might be better with a few pieces.

Probably less pieces. Maybe 3 ships per player.  how does the x-wing and open skies handle all 3 dimensions or is it only useing 2? I thought maybe a hexagon board would be neat simply because its more directions to move in that way. could also be a boardless game where you juse use measuring sticks to establish distance moved
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Harvey Midnight
Gunner
**
United States United States


« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2016, 05:07:19 am »

was it a pirate game? cause i have those and its sort of part of what my thinking for the airship idea was

Yes, it was, actually!!!

One idea I had for adding a little 3d realism to the game: you could have obstacles-- these might be the tops of buildings, maybe the spires of mountains, or cloud-banks....  ( crazy suggestion: use small antique-style tins for the obstacles.)

But assuming you need a direct line of sight to fire on an opponent, they might move behind an obstacle for cover--- but one of the airship's movement options could be to "ascend"-- giving you the ability to go over an obstacle.
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Inflatable Friend
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Italy Italy



« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2016, 03:43:46 pm »

Would you want to go chess style board game with that, or a more open open skies type game in the style of X-Wing, Wings of War or the American Heritage Dogfight board game?

Chess sees to imply a lot of pieces, whereas I'd feel airship battles might be better with a few pieces.


Probably less pieces. Maybe 3 ships per player.  how does the x-wing and open skies handle all 3 dimensions or is it only useing 2? I thought maybe a hexagon board would be neat simply because its more directions to move in that way. could also be a boardless game where you juse use measuring sticks to establish distance moved




A good question, not played X-Wing or Wings of War/Wings of Glory, but as I understand it they use various cards and markers to denote altitude and so on.



Compare that with the system used by Clouds of Glory where models pitch/roll and climb on a system of rods above the battlefield.



I've also seen the rod system used in a submarine combat game, but can't remember what it was (possibly based on the Stingray TV show).

Of course, accuracy isn't always needed, compare GW's Battlefield Gothic with Adastra's Attack Vector. Both are popular and apparently enjoyable games, but the approaches they take are wildly different with GW going for their normal style while Adastra's game goes for as much realism as it can.

Clarifying what sort of target audience you want would be good, then a rough time to play through as a target.

How do you want the game to flow, a traditional you-go-I-go turn based system (normally a little easier to learn) or a more modern and dynamic 'interrupts, abilities and cards' type a fair (harder to learn, but often more fun).

Scalability, having a starter for two is great, but what if you've got more friends or a club? Will the system scale up or down, is there room for different or bigger ships? (Scouts, carriers and little aeroplane fighters for example).
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Steam Titan
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


fulgur adducere


« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2016, 11:16:38 pm »

was it a pirate game? cause i have those and its sort of part of what my thinking for the airship idea was


Yes, it was, actually!!!

One idea I had for adding a little 3d realism to the game: you could have obstacles-- these might be the tops of buildings, maybe the spires of mountains, or cloud-banks....  ( crazy suggestion: use small antique-style tins for the obstacles.)

But assuming you need a direct line of sight to fire on an opponent, they might move behind an obstacle for cover--- but one of the airship's movement options could be to "ascend"-- giving you the ability to go over an obstacle.


yeah was thinking of using obstacles. Just pieces that are put on the board.



Would you want to go chess style board game with that, or a more open open skies type game in the style of X-Wing, Wings of War or the American Heritage Dogfight board game?

Chess sees to imply a lot of pieces, whereas I'd feel airship battles might be better with a few pieces.


Probably less pieces. Maybe 3 ships per player.  how does the x-wing and open skies handle all 3 dimensions or is it only useing 2? I thought maybe a hexagon board would be neat simply because its more directions to move in that way. could also be a boardless game where you juse use measuring sticks to establish distance moved




A good question, not played X-Wing or Wings of War/Wings of Glory, but as I understand it they use various cards and markers to denote altitude and so on.



Compare that with the system used by Clouds of Glory where models pitch/roll and climb on a system of rods above the battlefield.



I've also seen the rod system used in a submarine combat game, but can't remember what it was (possibly based on the Stingray TV show).

Of course, accuracy isn't always needed, compare GW's Battlefield Gothic with Adastra's Attack Vector. Both are popular and apparently enjoyable games, but the approaches they take are wildly different with GW going for their normal style while Adastra's game goes for as much realism as it can.

Clarifying what sort of target audience you want would be good, then a rough time to play through as a target.

How do you want the game to flow, a traditional you-go-I-go turn based system (normally a little easier to learn) or a more modern and dynamic 'interrupts, abilities and cards' type a fair (harder to learn, but often more fun).

Scalability, having a starter for two is great, but what if you've got more friends or a club? Will the system scale up or down, is there room for different or bigger ships? (Scouts, carriers and little aeroplane fighters for example).


The cards denoting altitude might be a good way of doing it. I'm honestly hammering out this idea into something I might take to a convention sometime for play testing now.

THought about doing hitboxes for the ship in a way somewhat similar to the cards used in Warmachine to denote damage to the jacks
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ArtWench Prime
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


Itinerant Artist


« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2016, 06:36:17 pm »

Yes! We need Steampunk games! I have a gaming group that plays everything from Magic to Cards Against Humanity with board games thrown in for variety. We have a few Steampunks in the group and we'd love to spread the insanity!

I know gears are overdone; however, I have a maniacal fascination with them. Would love to have a Steampunk Rube Goldberg machine type game involving cogs & gears.
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Steam Titan
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


fulgur adducere


« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2016, 09:19:25 am »

Yes! We need Steampunk games! I have a gaming group that plays everything from Magic to Cards Against Humanity with board games thrown in for variety. We have a few Steampunks in the group and we'd love to spread the insanity!

I know gears are overdone; however, I have a maniacal fascination with them. Would love to have a Steampunk Rube Goldberg machine type game involving cogs & gears.

so steampunk mousetrap?
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Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2016, 06:19:39 pm »

so steampunk mousetrap?

With a clockwork mouse?  Pleeeeaaaase .....
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Steam Titan
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


fulgur adducere


« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2016, 12:06:41 am »

so steampunk mousetrap?

With a clockwork mouse?  Pleeeeaaaase .....

when you get down to it the look of mousetrap is rather turn of the century. The bathtub the diver man etc. Perhaps just a paintjob?
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ArtWench Prime
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


Itinerant Artist


« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2016, 09:30:00 pm »

Yes! We need Steampunk games! I have a gaming group that plays everything from Magic to Cards Against Humanity with board games thrown in for variety. We have a few Steampunks in the group and we'd love to spread the insanity!

I know gears are overdone; however, I have a maniacal fascination with them. Would love to have a Steampunk Rube Goldberg machine type game involving cogs & gears.

so steampunk mousetrap?

Never played mousetrap. Hmmm need to check it out, I guess!
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AltheBiker
Gunner
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Vroommmmm


« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2016, 02:00:56 pm »

Have you tried Eldritch Horror or Arkham Horror - very nice quality 1920's feel
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Music and Toast in Darkness
Steam Titan
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


fulgur adducere


« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2016, 08:40:29 pm »

Have you tried Eldritch Horror or Arkham Horror - very nice quality 1920's feel

I love Arkham horror. the problem is the 3-4 hours a game can take with full players
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Otto Von Pifka
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2016, 07:11:18 am »

talisman is a fairly fun straight forward board game, just make up steamy heroes and villains and add chuthulu monsters and steamy equipment. convert the board a little and there you have it.
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ArtWench Prime
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


Itinerant Artist


« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2016, 09:59:17 pm »

Have you tried Eldritch Horror or Arkham Horror - very nice quality 1920's feel


Haven't seen those. Need to check them out!
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Gerry Hunter
Gunner
**
Canada Canada



« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2016, 03:09:45 am »

At least my autocorrect didn't prevent anyone from getting the message. Roll Eyes

There is a card game called the machine that builds chains of cards with weird chain reactions in them.

And the pirate game referred to has a raging gothic style counterpart, with rocket ships, forces from Venus and mars as well as earth. I remember loving the idea and getting some of the sets before it was discontinued.

My mind keeps trying to come up with games that involve collecting parts for a clockwork goliath to conquer the board, and of course I want it to be a real windup monster with pop in gears.

I could also do some sort of game hunting safari style game, where the hunters hunt each other_ the greatest game. Or a game park set up around the site of a portal opened by a mad cultist, where you are gathering trophies from eldritch horrors for what purpose I know not.

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steiconi
Gunner
**
United States Minor Outlying Islands United States Minor Outlying Islands



« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2016, 08:24:17 pm »

I love Mousetrap; you could use other Rube Goldberg designs for inspiration, too.  The balls always got lost, though, making the game unusable; can you use something easily replaceable, please?

The game "Battleship" hides your various types of ships from your opponent.  They guess grid locations to score hits.  I like that you had to triangulate the locations.  Be even more challenging if the ships could move.

Another game system:  collect cards or nifty miniatures to make a set (perhaps relating to another culture), then use some kind of device (open an airship hatch) to match or reject your set, discovering you've cultivated an ally or uncovered an ememy.
(inspiration: 1960s "mystery date" game--cards made sets of clothing and equipment for a particular activity, like skiing, then you opened the door to see if the randomly selected "date" was dressed for that activity). 

Was the pirate game "Privateer?" my brother helped develop that one.
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