Friday, March 29, 2013

Holy crap!

Holy crap!

I mean, what are the chances?

Not only does this game have the exact same name (plus an exclamation point) as mine, but the end goal is essentially the same: take the keep.

Now, I admit, it seems like they put a lot of work into their game (and it seems like the game play is significantly different); too much to have likely stolen my idea to make their own, but talk about major coincidence. Their kickstarter page posted on October 20th, which was a mere 18 days after my first post on this very blog!

Anyway, good on them. I hope I can be as fortunate with backing if I try to kickstarter this game.

Guess I'll have to come up with a new name though.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I have finally managed to take pictures (albeit crappy pictures) of the game board and cards involved. This should give you a better idea of the game as a whole.

 It's times like this I wish I had a legitimate camera instead of an iPad, which only takes optimal pictures if you have the right lighting. I have no idea what the right lighting is. I'm not a photographer.

I'm not entirely sure how clear these images will be for you and what may seem obvious to me may not be so for everyone so I will explain the game board a bit.

Here is the layout:

(+1 to D)
/    \
 Tower       -       Battlements    Battlements      -      Tower
(+2 to D)              (+1 to D)      (+1 to D)             (+2 to D)
/              /               \                \
Open Space  -  Open Space
Open Space - (High Ground)    (High Ground) - Open Space
/             \                                                    /             \
Open       Open                                            Open     Open
(Low Ground) (Low Ground)                          (Low Ground) (Low Ground)

And then the board mirrors from there.

Boy, I sure hope that shows up correctly in the post.

So essentially this is a series of spaces connected together by paths (represented by the lines as best I could) with their bonus text printed below in parentheses. The Keep connects to the Towers and Battlements, which in turn connect to open spaces and so on. Once you hit the middle of the board (made of four low ground spaces) the map mirrors itself, thus giving neither side a total advantage.

I think I failed to mention the High Ground/Low Ground rules in the rules post so I will do so here and update that when I get around to it. The High/Low Ground rules are designed to give players advantages and disadvantages in their attacks on the battlefield. If a space is labelled High Ground then there will be a bonus of +2 to your attack against a unit in a Low Ground space and a +1 bonus to your attack against a unit in an unlabeled or Mid Ground space (Note: the Keep, Battlements, and Towers on this map all count as High Ground and are labeled as such on the actual game board. I just didn't write them into the layout for spacing purposes.) As such, if you are attacking from a Low Ground space to a Mid or High Ground space you get a -1 or -2 penalty, respectively. If both the attacking and defending units are on spaces of the same level (i.e. High vs. High) there is no bonus or penalty.

The Cards:

The cards should be pretty self-explanatory if you have been keeping up with my posts. Their title is at the top, their stats are at the bottom, their drawings are incredibly derpy. Just as I am not a photographer I am also no artist.

The stats at the bottom list in the following order: Dispatch Cost, Attack, Defense.

You will notice there is a little inconsistency. Some cards list the Dispatch Cost as Dis and some cards have only two stats, which are Attack and Defense. This is a result of the constant changes the game has undergone during its development.

Much of this will probably be altered in a final product. One idea is to list the stats along two or more sides with a small icon to let you know what the stat represents. This concept would allow players to stack their cards in the most favorable position to limit board clutter and promote stack efficiency. It's something I worry about a lot.

Now that you have these key tools you should be able to easily replicate the actual game and I urge you to go and make it happen. Test it out! Let me know how it goes! If you have any concerns or you feel there should be an adjustment to rules or stats please let me know.

If you need a reference for stats of the individual cards and how many each deck should have please refer to  table 1.6.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Basic Rules:
The Aim of the Game - The primary goal in the game is to have one of your units (any one of your units) occupy the enemy's keep. Once a unit has moved into the opposing player's keep space the game ends. There is no final round. There is only victory and defeat.

Beginning the Game - The board is set between the two players. Each player takes a deck of cards and shuffles them thoroughly. The decks are then placed face down in front of the players. Roll the dice to determine who plays first. Typically, highest number goes first, but if you have some other way to determine who goes first knock yourself out. Each player takes five cards from the top of their deck.

The Cards – There are three types of cards, Regular Units, Support Units, and Items. Items should be pretty easy to tell apart from the other cards.
Regular Units: Regular Units are your standard military force. They have both an Attack and Defense and they are the backbone of your war machine. In the current version of the game they are distinguished by being the units with a Defense above Zero. They are the only units that can have items equipped and they cannot stack with other Regular Units. Regular Units include, Shield Bearers, Cavalry, Knights, and the Hero.
Support Units: Support Units are your specialists. They don’t tend to be good in a direct fight –or for some, fighting at all – but they do serve specific purposes. Support Units tend to have special abilities and are meant to buff your Regular army. They are distinguished in the current version of the game as being the units with a Zero Defense, which means that they cannot defend on their own so if they get attacked they die immediately. However, they can stack with either another Support Unit or a Regular Unit so if you play carefully they can last you a long time (See Stacking). Support Units include Clerics, the Blacksmith, the Sorcerer, the Assassin, and Catapults.

The Turn - Every turn has three phases:
1. Draw Phase - This is simple enough. Draw one card from the top of your deck into your hand. If you have no cards in your hand, draw two cards.
2. Dispatch Phase - At the beginning of each turn you have 4 dispatch points. Each unit and item has a dispatch cost ranging from 1 to 4. You may dispatch as many items/units as you wish up to the total 4 points that are available. Units can only be dispatched to your castle spaces. Items can be dispatched to any Regular Unit no matter where that unit is on the board. Units can have only one item equipped at any time and once they are given that item they keep it until they die so choose carefully.
3. Move/Attack/Special Phase - Every unit has the ability to do one of three things each turn: move one space, attack, or use their special ability (if applicable). To put it in other words, if a unit moves on their turn they cannot attack and if they attack they cannot move and if they use their special ability they cannot move or attack. You can only make a total of two attacks in a turn. Those two attacks, should you choose to make them, have to come from different characters. This is in keeping with the previous rule. For clarification, every unit may move or use their special ability each turn, but only two units can make an attack per turn.

Attacking - An attacking unit must be within range of a defending unit as defined by their move distance or ranged capabilities. Most units can move only one space per turn so they can only attack enemies in adjacent spaces.

Melee Attack:
If Successful – Attacking unit takes the space of defending unit, defending unit is moved to graveyard.
If Failed – Attacking unit stays in their current space.
If Critically Failed (Natural 2) – Attacking unit is moved to graveyard. Defending unit remains in their current space.

Ranged Attack:
If Successful – Defending unit is moved to graveyard, attacking unit remains in current space.
If Failed – Attacking and defending units remain in their respective spaces.
If Critically Failed - Attacking and defending units remain in their respective spaces.

Determining Success:
Success is based on a few fairly simple calculations. This may seem complicated at first, but it will start to come naturally with a little practice. Storm the Castle uses two six-sided dice so it’s best to start by remembering that rolling a natural two is a Critical Failure, while rolling a natural twelve is a Critical Success, which means that no matter what your calculations may be these two numbers will always be an automatic failure or success, respectively.
That leaves the numbers 3 through 11 to be modified to increase or decrease your chances of success. The number 3 is the base number of all your chance of success calculations. What that means is that when you’ve figured out what your Total Attack Bonus is you will add it to 3 to determine the highest number you can roll for success.
Example: If the attacking unit has an attack of 4, a great sword (+1 to Attack), and is on high ground against a defender on low ground (+2 to Attack) then the attacker has an attack of 7. The defender in this scenario has a defense of 3 and a tower shield (+2 to Defense) for a total defense of 5. Subtract the defense from the attack (7-5=2). The attacker has an Attack Modifier of 2. The Attack Modifier is then added to the Minimum Successful Attack roll of 3 (3+2=5). What this means is that the player needs to roll a 3, 4, or 5 (or the ever successful natural 12) to win this conflict. If the player rolls a 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or 11 (or the critical failure 2) then they lose the conflict. In a melee fight rolling a 2 causes the attacking unit to die.
(Unit Attack + Attack Bonuses (Terrain, items, etc.)) – (Enemy Defense + Defense Bonuses (Terrain, Battlements, items, etc.)) = Attack Modifier
Attack Modifier + 3 = x or Highest Rolled Number for Success (i.e. 3 to x is successful)

Stacking – Stacking is fairly simple. You can never stack more than two cards in a space. You cannot stack two Regular Units in a space. If you stack a Support Unit with a Regular Unit the Regular Unit is always on top and therefore is the first unit to defend if that space comes under attack. If you are stacking two Support Units together then they stack alphabetically, top to bottom (i.e. Assassin stacks on top of the Cleric) and the card on top always defends first. Items, which can only be equipped to a Regular Unit, stack beneath the unit.

The Graveyard – The Graveyard is where you place units and items when they are destroyed in battle, but it is absolutely essential that you stack your Graveyard appropriately. If a Regular Unit wielding an Item is destroyed then both go into the Graveyard in the exact order they existed on the gameboard (i.e. Regular Unit remains on top of the item it was using). This is important as it directly effects the resurrection/reconstructing process.

Special Abilities -Some units have special abilities that they can use instead of moving or attacking.
Assassin: Can choose what card in a stack it wishes to attack.
Blacksmith: Choose an Item from your Graveyard the roll the dice. If you roll a 7 that Item is returned to your hand.
Catapult: Catapults have a ranged attack of up to two spaces, but can only attack Castle Spaces.
Cleric: Roll the dice instead of moving your Cleric. If you roll a 7 the unit on the top of your Graveyard is resurrected and placed in the space the Cleric Occupies. This cannot be done if the Cleric shares the space with another unit (See Stacking). The Cleric also gives a +3 Defense bonus to a Regular Unit in the same space.
Sorcerer: Can give a +3 Attack bonus to a Regular Unit in the same space instead of moving or attacking