Genre: Wargame, Team Tactics
Project Role: Solo Developer
What is it?
“Nova-War” is a four-player tabletop team-tactics game centering on controlling the solar ball and using it to destroy the opponent’s base.
Players split into two teams and select their race: either Sora or Cora. Each team is comprised of one Sora character and on Cora character. There are four unique characters from each race for players to choose from, each with their own backstories, abilities, attributes, and appearances.
This game has aspects of both football and basketball. Players need to take the solar ball to their opponent’s base area and shoot it into a goal. The damage will depend on the distance from which the shot is taken to their opponent’s base space, similar to a three-pointer in basketball.
If you are interested in the full rulebook, it can be found here.
The characters are designed based on the classical elements of earth, water, air, fire, and various combinations of those. Each character has two abilities, each corresponding to their element.
Besides elemental attributes, each race also has its own property. Sora are good at changing or enhancing themselves. As a result, most are very mobile. On the other hand, Cora focus more on the relationship between them and the world around them. Therefore, they can use their power to affect the world around them.
The building spaces can be occupied by the player and will either build a teleport bridge for their team or give them extra ether energy for them to use their ability.
Arrow spaces force the player to move to the pointed space while lava spaces reduce the player’s health.
Each turn is composed of two phases: the movement phase, and the action phase.
Each team moves their characters in turn during the movement phase. At this point, players can choose to use their normal attack, spend ether to use an ability, pass the solar ball to their teammate, or shoot the ball.
Since most Sora characters have the ability to change characters’ positions, it can be difficult for Cora characters to use their abilities if a Sora acts earlier than a Cora. As a result, I designed the Sora characters on both teams act after Cora characters finish their actions. This is the same reason why the movement phase takes place before the action phase.
Combat in this game is fast. It isn’t difficult to defeat a character during gameplay, but characters return to the battlefield after two turns. Players can choose to respawn their character on any space in their base area or any ether tower space occupied by their team.
Controlling building spaces plays a huge role in the game since they can bring benefits to either team. This is because they act as a shortcut to the opponent’s base area or being able to return to the frontline immediately.
The accuracy and damage of shooting the solar ball depend on the distance to the base space. The further the shooter is from the opponent’s base space, the more damage it does and the higher value that the shooter must roll to succeed.
To reduce the penalty of a missed shot, the attacking team can still own the solar ball if they miss a shot. However, the shot is more difficult later because their accuracy will decrease if their opponent stands at the same layer of the base area.
The solar ball transfers to the other team if a shot succeeds, the carrier dies, or if a character uses an ability to steal the solar ball.
What went wrong?
Since this game was developed as a prototype for a video game, the action phase resolution and the character abilities were a little complicated and hard to memorize. Some character’s abilities also did not fall into their classification very well, and some team builds were too powerful.
What went right?
Most playtesters set their team strategies to surrounding the map objects and did their best to make good use of the objects they controlled. Most playtesters enjoyed their character’s abilities and the way they worked within the map space.