An Untitled Deckbuilding Game

The Basics

  1. Its a Deck building game — Meaning that this is a game you’ll buy in a box. It’s not like Magic,Yugioh, or the others where you spend gobs of money to collect cards. This has its challenges, but I feel the design I want to convey will work best when everybody has access to all the cards. I remember what it was like trying to play Legend of the Five Rings and how hard it was to get both decks up to snuff.
  2. The goal of the game is to siege other players’ keeps. I’m debating whether there’ll be other win conditions based on your own castle, but for now I just want to focus on getting the core mechanics down.
  3. There are really four basic card types
    1. Heroes. Which cost a large amount of resources, but attack every turn and have an ability or two
    2. Items. Which give a hero a bonus so long as that hero is not defeated
    3. Spells. Which give a one time effect when they are cast
    4. Keeps. Which provide resources and boost your forces
    5. Structures. Which provide a range of benefits
    6. Minions. Which may or may not be able to attack and usually have one ability.
  4. Mechanically, the game is pretty simple. Each turn
    1. Champions you control attack. Champions an enemy controls Deal Damage and you champions Deal Damage to each other first before attacking the enemy keep
      1. Champions which take fatal damage are returned to the keep and return to play after a number of turns
      2. Spells can be played here
    2. You draw cards until you have a hand of five and gain resources from your keep. (Cards you play can grant bonus resources)
      1. You spend resources to buy spell, item, and hero cards.
      2. Equip heroes with items
      3. Play spells here
    3. Non-Fatal damage dealt to heroes is healed and unspent resources are lost
  5. And that’s it really. The game goes until 2/3 of the purchasable cards are bought or until only one person (or team) is standing.


There are currently 8 Keeps: A barracks, a mining hub, a cathedral, a smuggler’s den, a gambling house, a research lab, a colonial outpost, and some ancient ruins. Each archetype has a distinct advantage and gains varying levels of credits and science resources each turn. That said, lets look at each after the break!


  • 3 Durability
  • You gain 1 Credit and 1 Science at the beginning of each of your turns
  • Soldiers you control get +1/+1 for each Structure you control

I wanted the Barracks to be straight forward. It buffs Soldiers and encourages building your base out. Getting an income bonus of each resource lets you balance between recruiting soldier minions and building tech. 3 Durability means that early attacks won’t take it down but without other structures to protect it, the keep will fall pretty quick.

Mining Hub

  • 2 Durability
  • You gain 2 Credits and 1 Science at the beginning of each of your turns
  • Whenever you play a mineral or mine structure card, gain 1 Credit

The mining hub is the credits ramp. Playing smart will quickly net you an advantage, to balance that the keep is on the weak side to keep you worried about stability and not just aiming for big haymakers


  • 1 Durability
  • You gain 2 Credits and 2 Science at the beginning of each of your turns
  • Structures you control gain one durability for each Cleric you control

I wanted the Cathedral to engender a strong sense of unity. By giving you a very big incentive to build Clerics, both in the bonus durability for structures and the fact that the keep only has one durability, I hope it has that flavor.

Gambling House

  • 2 Durability
  • You gain 3 Credits at the beginning of each of your turns
  • Once per turn: When you would gain credits, you may flip a coin. If the coin is heads gain twice that many credits. If tails, gain half as many rounded up.

I wanted a high risk/high reward feel for this archetype–without gimping the player. The Gambling House is all in on Credits which means you can either rely on the bonus income to supplement a Science blitz or you can try to capitalize on the bonus for massive rewards.

Smuggler’s Den

  • 3 Durability
  • You gain 2 Credits at the beginning of each of your turns
  • At the beginning of your turn, you may reveal any number of unique Rogue cards. Draw a card for each Rogue revealed this way

I wanted the Den to be about card advantage–which isn’t AS big a deal in game where your deck might only be 10 cards for most of the round, but the flavor feels right.

Research Lab

  • 1 Durability
  • You gain 1 Credits and 3 Science at the beginning of each of your turns
  • Whenever you draw a card, you may reveal it. If it is a Science card, +1 Science. You can do this for each Scientist you control.

Scientist’s help each other research, so the bonus science resource chance for each Scientist you control was right in there as a great ability. I’m worried this might be a bit snowball oriented, but we’ll see

Colonial Outpost

  • 3 Durability
  • 1 Credits and 1 Science at the beginning of each of your turns
  • Structures cost 1 less for each other unique structure you control

Of the Archtypes, this one is the most Human. It’s all about building structures and setting up a colony.

Ancient Ruins

  • 4 Durability
  • You gain 1 Science at the beginning of each of your turns
  • Whenever a Spirit you control dies, flip a Coin. If heads, return that Spirit to play.

Of the 8, this is the one I’m most concerned about. A ruin haunted by ghosts has an interesting flavor application, but I’m not sure what how it feels as a keep for an army trying to claim an area.


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