Re: A WAR Proposition?
Well, hereís one idea I came up with that I felt I could toss out there.
The main WAR board game (which Iíll call the ďCampaign ModeĒ) could work a bit like Battleship, which Iím sure most people have played at least once. If someone hasnít, basically itís a game where you try to destroy all of your opponentís ships while s/he tries to destroy yours. All five ships are placed on a grid and are kept hidden from the other player, and you try and attempt to guess the location of those ships by calling out coordinates. The way the grid is laid out is the vertical y axis consists of letters A-J, while the horizontal x axis consists of numbers 1-13.
The way this could work is each team commands a military base, and each base has say something like twenty buildings/assets. Before the WAR begins, each team designs their base, placing various buildings on a grid-like layout, very similar to Battleship. Some buildings are large and take up several squares, whereas others are small, reducing the risk theyíll be hit. They could place buildings such as a barracks, an airstrip, vehicle hangers, and so on in the context of the grid however they like allowing the team the freedom of designing their own base before the WAR begins.
The objective of this game is to destroy the other teamsí bases as much as possible while protecting their own. After a duration of time, whichever team has the least amount of damage done to their base is the winner. This can be calculated by how many intact assets the team still has against how many assets were destroyed during the Campaign Mode.
The sections, such as graphic art, fan fiction, creative writing, and so on no longer earn the team points. They earn the team weapons and abilities instead. For example, winning graphic art for the week doesnít earn two points, it instead allows the team to use an air strike attack on another teamís base, which destroys anything in a straight line across any point on the vertical or horizontal axis. Or, winning fan fiction for the week allows the team to use a SAM (surface to air missile) site to stop another teamís attack from striking their base, protecting their base from that attack. Or, another example could be winning URPG allows the team to repair damage done to their base. Each section corresponds with a different weapon or ability, and once earned, they can be used at any time. However, saving them for the end of the WAR doesnít earn the team anything, they need to be used or they go to waste.
As another twist, a team can only use something like an air strike attack if their airport is intact. Or, to use the SAM site, that canít be damaged either, making them strategic targets for another team. However, repairing elements of the base is available at all times, so if a team has available air strikes but canít use them because their airport is destroyed, they can repair the damage and then put their air strikes to use.
Special events that are usually held during the WAR can feature unique weapons or abilities that arenít ordinarily available in the normal sections, giving them added appeal.
And here I go, attacking my own bullet points:
Consider how long this might take. How many rounds of play might be involved, and how often will these rounds take place? If you have a lot of possible rounds and these rounds will only be played once a week, youíre looking at a pretty long and extensive War, which may not be such a good idea.
With this idea, the game can be ended after four weeks, and in that time, quite a bit of attacking and defending would have happened. Rounds donít need to exist, as soon as a team earns their weapons or abilities, they can be used whenever the team wants, first come (post) first serve. If Team Trainer attacks Team Aqua with an air strike attack, that immediately gets resolved. So after four weeks have passed, the damage on each teamís base can be assessed, and a winner can be declared based on whoís base is the most intact.
When considering using already existing games as an inspiration, such as Risk, think about how the game needs to translate from being a board game toward being on a message board context. Unlike a board game where all your players are gathered around and ready to play, message boards involve people not always being present at all times, so rounds/moves will take longer to complete to accommodate this. You also need to factor what kinds of roles people have, who are the main players (you obviously canít have 40+ people playing Risk all at the same time), who can help support the team, and what happens in the event of someone being inactive.
True, a standard game of Battleship, which this was taken from, can last many rounds, mainly because the players attack point by point. With this game, multiple points will be attacked at once, such as an air strike that attacks all points on a line on the horizontal or vertical axis, or could be a missile attack that strikes five points in an X or + formation, so much more damage is being caused in a lesser amount of time. This would speed up the game significantly. Meanwhile, teams would be able to see each otherís bases and asset placement, which allows them to decide how to attack rather than guess where to attack.
Inactivity isnít an issue if there is no waiting around for other players to take action (if you snooze, you lose in this case). Once its been confirmed your team has earned a weapon or ability, that can be used at any time, you donít need to wait on anyone else. If Team Trainer earned their air strike from Week 1, they can use it immediately, or wait until Week 3 to use it (for intimidation factor! XD). Also, its possible for a team to assign three people to be in command of the base during the WAR. So if John, the team leader, is going on vacation for a week, Dave or Naomi can take over and declare attacks on other peopleís bases while Johnís absent. Teams can also discuss how to use their weapons, but they'd better be quick about it!
Translating the game can be basic, such as using a grid and symbols/letters to designate locations, or a picture could be uploaded to show the status of each teamís base (picture would probably be cooler and better).
Consider all the mechanics of the game, and if there are any means that can be exploited or any loopholes that may exist. Would play-testing need to be involved?
Play-testing might be needed in this case. We would also need to determine what section unlocks what weapon, and to make sure all the sections all have abilities and weapons of the same appeal (ie, the URPG weapon needs to be just as good as the weapon that fan fiction gives, but allows them to be unique in their own way). Weapons/abilities earned through events could be a bit stronger though to entice the teams.
A round of play-testing might be a good idea to see how the game flows, and to see if any complications or loopholes exist.
Also, how do the teams participate? Does everyone get a fair chance at doing at least something to help the team, or does the gameís format run the risk of having benchwarmers who never get the chance to take part due to lack of skill or ďrookieĒ status?
With this setup, any team member can be out there trying to help the team earn weapons and abilities by participating in the various sections. Sure, some team leaders will be the commanders and decide exactly how and when the weapons are used, but any member can take part, and in this case, its also impossible for a team to be fully eliminated. A team thatís taken significant damage can still use repair abilities to heal the damage, and then get back into the action.
In addition, the game doesnít have to be modern military based. For a medieval theme, the bases could be castles, and the weapons/abilities could be siege attacks or spells. A futuristic space theme is also possible, where teams control a space base with futuristic weapons and abilities.
I think itís a pretty flexible idea and it pretty much takes care of all the issues. Meanwhile, its not overly complex, and its still an idea where everyone can still take part.