AI-resistant Grand Strategy Board Game -- V 0.1 Created 2021/7/29 -- Updated 2021/9/10 ______________________________________________________________________________________
:: About ::
Skor is a grand strategy boardgame designed to be paired with Stratic to stop AI from outperforming humans at strategy boardgames and to also train people on the fundamentals of war theory while still being about as simple to learn as Chess. Grand strategy games typically have very high learning curves and take many hours or days to play, so we majorly simplified the experience to allow for very rapid learning and start-to-finish play within minutes. Some other unique features of Skor are its use of expanding boards and hexagonal spaces instead of square spaces, both of which are explained in much more detail in the sections below.
:: Rules ::
Pieces: There are only two kinds of pieces - Civilian and Military. Civilian pieces can build things on the board and gather resources and Military pieces can capture other pieces. All pieces can only move 1 space per turn by default. Some complexity is added by allowing players to spec into how those two pieces behave, but the game is kept fairly simple because of the lack of piece diversity. Two pieces of any type can occupy the same space so long as they belong to the same player. Double occupation only has special properties for combat, which is explained in the combat section. When the game starts, you will have 2 civilian pieces placed on your City space on the board. More civilian pieces can be spawned on the City hexagon (as long as it is not already occupied by 2 pieces) any time during your turn and this is the only way pieces can be added to the board. Civilian pieces can be promoted at Military Base structures into military pieces, exchanging one for the other. Your pieces can also be removed from play at any time if you wish. All pieces cost 1 Resource to feed each turn; this is explained more in the next section.
Resources: There is only one kind of resource in Skor, and it is uncreatively called Resource. Resource is required to 'feed' your pieces and perform actions in the game like placing structures and advancing through the tech tree. Resource does not carry over between turns. The reason we decided against stacking Resource between turns was not only for simplicity - so that players would not have to keep running tallies of things - but also for realism as resources in real life are only useful so far as you currently control their extraction and so far as they are immediately deployable. As soon as real war reaches the stage of simply waiting for your opponent to deplete their resource stores, the outcome has been guaranteed. When a civilian piece starts a turn on a Resource hexagon, that space is considered occupied and produces 2 Resource per civilian occupying it. Since no Resource spaces are occupied at the start of the game, the first two turns are considered grace periods where you don't have to feed your pieces and no structures can be placed.
Turns: At the start of your turn, you must count the amount of Resource you have available, subtract the number of pieces on the board from that count, and the remaining amount is then what you have available to spend on building structures or upgrading your tech tree. If you have less Resource at the start of your turn than you do pieces on the board, you either cannot move any piece that turn, or you must remove pieces from the board until you have enough Resource to feed them all. After this, you can start moving your pieces, one space per piece by default, until they have all been moved to where you desire. After pieces have been moved, you can build structures if you have enough Resource to do so or promote civilian pieces to military pieces at a base. Structures can only be built on spaces occupied by a civilian you control. After desired stuctures have been built, any remaining Resource can be spent on the tech tree. Remember that Resource does not roll over to the next turn, so you should try to spend as much as possible each turn.
Combat: Military pieces are the only ones that can attack other pieces on the board and combat happens when a military piece tries to move into a space occupied by an opponent's piece. When an attacker captures another piece, it moves to occupy the captured piece's space. A military piece attacking a civilian piece automatically wins. A military piece attacking another military piece requires both pieces to roll 1d6 each, with the higher number resulting in the capture of the opposing piece. A military piece attacking double-stacked civilians results in the defender rolling a single d4 against the attacker's d6, with the higher number winning the engagement. A military piece attacking double-stacked military pieces results in the defenders gaining a +1 to their rolls. If a defender is occupying a structure of any kind, they gain a +1 to their rolls as well. Whenever a piece attacks another piece, they are always attacking the entirety of the space they target, meaning they roll twice for double-stacked military pieces (assuming they do not get captured on the first roll). If rolls result in the same number for both sides, both pieces are removed from play.
The Board: The board is composed of two starting territories, one for each player. A territory is a center hexagon, which the City structure is placed on, surrounded by 6 more hexagons, surrounded by 12 more hexagons, for 19 total. After rolling for the distribution of Resource hexagons and natural obstructions (explained below), the player can then decide which of the six sides they want their territory to be oriented for connection with their opponent. The territories are joined by one of their sides with 2 connecting hexagons between them (image illustrating this will come soon). 6 Starting Structures: The center hexagon is always the player's City. Cities are a non-buildable structure that are the source of new pieces in Skor. A City can spawn up to 2 civilian pieces per turn. Three Resource hexagons are placed randomnly by rolling 2d6 each. The first d6 determines which side of the city hexagon you move to with the sides being numbered clockwise starting from the top. The second d6 determines which side from the Resource is placed. If a structure already occupies the rolled destination, roll the second d6 again until a free space is selected. Two natural obstructions are placed randomnly using the same method as resource placement, making for 6 structures in your territory by default. Natural obstructions represent things like mountains or radioactive areas, areas that could not typically be traveled through with ease. This is useful since hexagonal spaces take three moves to go around instead of just two like square spaces, which allows players to set up defensive lines using their natural terrain. 6 Buildable Structure Types: The buildable structures of this game are one of the main Resource sinks but are required to gain significant advantage against your opponent. There are six structures that can be created by a player and each comes with their own Resource cost. A strcture can only be placed on a space that a civilian piece occupies and only after all pieces have finished moving.
- Farm - Farms are buildable structures that allow a player to add Resource generation to their territory. They behave the same as naturally spawned Resource spaces and thus generate 2 Resource per civilian occupying it on the start of your turn by default. Farms can only be constructed on an adjacent hexagon to a City and they cost 2 Resource to construct. - Military Base - Military Bases are structures that convert civilian pieces into military pieces. A civilian occupying a military base can be converted to a military piece at any time for 1 Resource. Military Bases cost 3 Resource to construct. - Fortification - These are structures like walls or other defensive measures that help protect pieces that occupy them. Occupying pieces gain +1 to all rolls. Fortifications cost 2 Resource to construct. - Debris Field - Any structure can be turned into a Debris Field by an occupying piece for the cost of 1 Resource, or built for 2 Resource. Debris Fields give -1 to all rolls by occupying pieces (the default +1 to defenders does not apply here). - Turret - This structure allows you to attack pieces that are not adjacent to yours. It must be occupied by two military pieces to function. You can attack pieces that are X spaces away from it where X is the amount of Resource you are willing to spend on it. If you lose an attack roll, your military pieces are not captured. Turrets cost 4 Resource to construct. - Road - Roads are incredibly useful for moving pieces around since a Road space doesn't count against movement costs. This means if you have three Road spaces in a row, and you move a piece onto one end, then that piece can travel all the way across the three spaces and land on the fourth non-Road space at the other end. Roads are not directional and your destination hexagon can be any adjacent non-Road space. Roads cost 2 Resource to construct. 6 Tech Tree Branches: 6 Tech Tree Upgrades: Each branch of the tech tree has 3 tiers that cost 4, 6, and 8 Resource to unlock respectively. We will add more tiers in the future, up to 6 total, for when multi-city play becomes more frequent. Quick advancement through the tech tree is crucial for gaining advantages over opponents in Skor.
- City - The city branch of the tech tree is required for other branches to be unlocked. The city represents the center of research and innovation in society, so the first tier of the city branch needs to be researched in order for the first tier of the other branches to be researched, and the second tier of the city needs to be researched before the second tier of the other branches, etcetera. - Resource Production - Tier 1 resource production allows Farms to produce 3 Resource when only a single civilian is occuping them. Tier 2 allows Farms to be automated, producing 2 Resource when no piece is occupying them. Tier 3 makes double-stacked civilian pieces only cost 1 Resource when occupying a Resource hexagon. - Civilians - Tier 1 changes double-stacked civilian combat dice to 1d6 instead of 1d4. Tier 2 changes single-stacked civilian combat dice to 1d4 instead of an automatic loss. Tier 3 changes single-stacked civilian combat dice to 1d6. - Military - Tier 1 changes military combat dice to 1d8 instead of the default 1d6. Tier 2 lets military pieces move two spaces per turn instead of the default 1. Tier 3 changes your military combat dice to 1d10. - Diplomacy - Tier 1 allows you to send Resource to your opponent for use in their next turn; for every 3 Resource you send, you get 1 free military piece that you can place anywhere in your territory. Tier 2 lets ties be drawn in combat; if two opposing pieces roll the same number in combat, instead of both pieces being lost, neither is lost. Tier 3 allows you to win the game by occupying your oponent's City with a civilian rather than a military piece. - Espionage - At Tier 1, you can sacrifice 2 of your civilian pieces and 1 Resource to kill any 1 of your opponent's civilians. At Tier 2, you can spend 2 Resource to allow a single-stacked military piece to attack a double-stacked military piece as if it were only single-stacked; this means you only roll once and the outcome for all pieces involved is determined by the single roll. At Tier 3, you can spend 6 Resource to turn any structure built by your opponent into a debris field. 6 Cultures: Before you start the game you must pick an enculturation for your civilization. Culture gives your civilization a unique benifit and some are far more advantageous to have at different stages of play. For example, Technocracies and Feudal cultures offer a huge starting advantage in single-city games but offer little to no advantage on larger boards, Dictatoships and Theocracies are powerful on multi-city boards but have severe disadvantages on single-city boards, and Nomadic and Alien cultures offer slight benefits for small to medium sized boards but offer the greatest benefits on very large boards. The six cultures are listed below.
- Technocracy - You start the game with one level 1 tech tree advancement of your choice unlocked. - Feudal - Civilian pieces can move 2 spaces by default instead of just 1. - Dictatorship - Double-stacked pieces only cost 1 Resource to feed, but at the end of each of your turns you must roll 1d2 and remove a piece from play if it lands on 1 (or flip a coin and similarly remove the piece if it lands on heads). - Theocracy - When you start a turn with an opponent's piece within one space of a piece you control, you can roll 1d6 for each of your opponent's pieces within range, converting them to one of your own if you roll a 6. - Nomadic - You can move your City and its' inhabitants at the cost of 1 Resource per space, so long as you do not move it through already occupied spaces; this includes spaces with pieces already in them or any structure that is not a Road. - Alien - You may spawn 1 of the 2 possible civilian pieces that are normally spawned in your City in any structure that is occupied by 1 of your other pieces instead. - Possible Alternative Culture - During the final stage of your turn when you go to spend Resource on your tech tree, and if you have the available Resource required, you may roll 1d6, gaining the advancement without having to spend the Resource if you roll a 6, and spending the Resource normally if you roll a 5 or lower.
:: Misc. & Alternative Gamemodes ::
- Expanding board application as joined boards of previous games. - DM handles dice rolls, environment used for large TTRPG map and spaces become individual instances.