Charta - An overview


It all started with a map. Several maps, to be fair. I've been fiddling with the idea of modular cartography since a while, and although it's far from being an uncharted field (pun intended), there still was a lack of products for regional maps with a decent quality around.


Out of the blue, I decided to experiment more in this field, and shared the results on socials. The reaction was surprisingly good, and many asked what game was associated with that. Working from a very different perspective than my usual, I drafted the rules with a result already in mind: a tile-placement game capable of generating countless maps, focusing more on topology rather than relying on resource management or workers placement.
Three prototype iterations followed, both refining the mechanics and the whole tile placement geometry issues: cool designs could work in a very little number of combinations, and optimizing the joining rules isn't easy.

Components

Since the game started as a map on its own, the tiles are the central component of the game. In terms of production they will have to be manifactured at their best, good enough to actually capture the attention and desires of the public. I've received countless messages from people wanting the game to use for RPG maps rather than for the boardgame experience, and that could be done. The rest of the components (wooden cubes and cilinders, or possibly fancier tokens?)

Gameplay

The game has some obvious resemblances to Carcassonne, but in terms of gameplay it's not close.
The table has to be filled with tiles entirely, and the duration of the game is linked to that: once the map is complete, the game is over. Roads play the central point of the game: connected territories give points, while unconnected ones are harder to defend, and harder to gain points from.
As a parallel dynamic, what you discovered must also be claimed. Explorers move on the map tiles and slowly convince the settlements to join the faction: every time they do that, they are moved back in the closest connected settlement already controlled. So, settlements too far will require a bigger effort, but will also allow to advance more in the map, getting closer to other territories too.

Future goals

When a game has finally taken shape, the mind starts to go wild and countless ideas start to pop. Here, things are pretty modular and the game is simple enough to allow virtually any kind of expansion, and possibly alternative game modes too.
The more reasonable expansions for now could be:
Rivers: Rivers are a pain to join with the rest of the game since they introduce a new boundary in the system, but as long as they are kept on a separate pile (or even better, designed as part of the scenario) they provide an excellent diversion to the gameplay: the are rich of resources and provide a quick mean of transportation, facilitating both expansion and conflicts.
Mountains: Quite the opposite of rivers, mountains can split the map and provide places for cities and villages that are less connected to the main land. They also provide an excellent visual addition to the maps, which are otherwise kinda flat.
Arcipelagos: Introducing sea routes working as roads the water can step up from being a secondary element of the game, and can instead provide new scenarios and expand the maps limits with new resources and gaming turns. This would be a major expansion, but it would look ways too cool.

I guess that's all for now, I hope this will be enough while waiting for the beta-test print and play release of the game for balancing and fine tuning. 

I'm happy to answer to all the questions, and feel free to join our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thelazygames/

Cheers,
The Lazy One


Comments

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