Oh Captain, My Captain


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One feature of the old Skirmish and Skirmish 2 prototypes that is still included in Hex Gambit (in its own way) is the hero concept, which now takes the form of your team’s Captain. You and your opponents each select one to accompany you into battle. But unlike Skirmish, your captain is no longer a character on the board that can be defeated. Their job is to provide bonus powers from afar.

The idea came when one day, Alex got stomped hard in the Hex Gambit prototype (I had lot more experience playing than him). There’s a point in any competitive game when the losing player is done for, they know it, and they no longer have any fun taking their doomed turns in the slow downward spiral to defeat.

What if we gave that losing player some kind of bonus to keep things interesting? Not a “blue shell” solution; nothing that automatically turns the tables in their favor. But some smaller powers that, if used wisely, could help you change your fortunes. And the worse you’re getting stomped, the more you’d get to use them.

The captain system in Hex Gambit is based on that idea, and it really works beautifully. In a neck-and-neck game, both players have equal access to their captain’s bonus powers, which can be used 1-3 times in a match depending on their strength. But if one player pulls WAY ahead, their access to bonuses dwindles while the losing player’s access grows. The result: players losing badly still have a few tricks up their sleeve, and players that pull ahead can’t get too cocky.

There’s a lot of interesting strategy in timing your bonuses, and it’s a ton of fun to watch these matches unfold. It reduces the “hurry up so I can win already” moments, replacing them with an extra layer of excitement. When you get your hand on the beta, we think you’ll agree!

Want to know more about our upcoming turn-based strategy game, Hex Gambit? Stick around! We’ll be posting lots of artwork and details here weekly. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get email reminders when we hit big milestones, like the launch of our Kickstarter, Early Access/beta, and the official release.

Categories: Hex Gambit

Notable Replies

  1. How is it determined whether a player is pulling ahead or being crushed?

  2. The game is first to 20 Victory Points, which you can earn a few different ways. So the further ahead one player is on VP, the more resources the loser gets for bonuses.

    Winning players do get a different, non-captain privilege that we’ll tell you guys about later on. The dynamic between the two is really cool.

  3. Does this make the strategy kind of like Mario cart, to where you really don’t want to be winning until the very end? Or does the non captain privilege make it to where you want to be winning the whole time?

  4. It depends what’s on the board. Sometimes you’ll want to hold back a little to build your bonus, sometimes you want to rack up VP to leverage that winner’s privilege.

  5. It sounds like there is going to be a lot of hours spent thinking how to balance this system perfectly but I trust it will work eventually.
    I also have to say that I call dibs on the clown captain for myself

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