Nathan Hansen Games

I have a "short" list of games that I'm actively working on getting ready to release. Some have previously been released as Print and Play before as part of a weekly challenge or in one case as part of an attempted Kickstarter campaign, but I'm reworking those in a few key ways. Since I don't know yet what order they will be ready in, they are presented in alphabetical order.

Aotearoa

This is a game about the Māori settlement of Aotearoa (modern New Zealand). The current build of the game covers the "Archaic", "Moahunter" or "Colonisation" period, dating from c. 1300 to c. 1500. There is a certain elegance to the game as is, but I want to revisit the game to add some complexity as the game goes along in the form of new cards that represent later periods by introducing new mechanics.

Gameplay

Players take turns choosing cards from a selection of 4 revealed cards and placing a control marker on the space on the board indicated by the card chosen. The cost for taking a card is based on how far it is from the deck because you have to leave an activation token on each card between the card you choose and the deck. So, if you take the first card there is no cost, but the the 4th card has a cost of 3 activation tokens. You also collect activation tokens from any card you take. After all the cards have been taken, the player with the largest contiguous grouping of control markers on the board wins.

What I still want to do

While I think the current game has a certain elegance, it only tells the story of the initial settlement, but I think the game would be stronger if it delved into the "classic" period at the least and perhaps getting the European contact by the end. I think I can do this by either adding new decks for each age, or by having the sequence of play change slightly with each age; introducing new options of how to use the cards over time.

Capitalism 101

This is a two player deck builder with no starting decks and a light business theme.

Gameplay

Structurally a fairly standard deck building with a few minor variances. Hand size is only 3 cards. Every card can be used to purchase another card. Most cards have two alternative prices to acquire them. It's essentially a race game since players are trying to be the first player to be able to buy the Contract card on their turn.

What I still want to do

Mostly I want to revisit the graphics, as they are currently a bit rough. Functional but not appealing.

Day at the Dawg Track

Part of the Dawgs of War universe, taking place after the Great War depicted in that game. This game is a racing game with programmed movement.

Gameplay

Each player has a deck of 8 cards with instructions for how they want their car to move. Each card has a time cost. The game is played in rounds and each round is divided into a planning phase and a movement phase. During the planning phase players organize their deck into any order they want. During the movement phase cards are revealed and time is spent so that the players choices in the planning phase play out, usually with some amount of chaos as one or more players cars movement was interrupted in some way by another players decisions. Additionally there are various obstacles and player controlled events to contend with. And since the board is modular there is a huge amount of variance in each game.

What I still want to do

Again this is mostly a matter of graphic overhaul. 

Draftcar

A racing game without a physical board. Instead cars are lined up in order current "place" in a race and whichever car is in the lead at the end of a number of round wins. 

Gameplay

Basically you use card drafting to get cars to draft behind other cars. By positioning your cars behind other cars, or lines of cars all the cars involved get a speed boost because there is less drag, which can get that grouping to pass other groupings.

What I still want to do

This one is actually a bit of a puzzler. Technically, I'm already selling the physical game on The Game Crafter, albeit at cost, and I gave away the PnP on the previously attempted Kickstarter campaign. Since I previously gave it away, I don't know if I can reasonably sell this as a PnP without a significant overhaul, but I really like the current look. If I do decide to sell this on my site without significant graphic overhaul I'll need to pull down the links from the KS campaign and BGG. And pulling the BGG link gives me a bit of pause. But basically... I need to make a decision.

Federation of Sol

This might be my Magnum Opus :0) A solitaire space 4X-ish game. Humanity has finally reached to point that it can colonize worlds outside of our own solar system. Of course, we are not alone. And all the nearby systems are technically within the area of influence of other galactic nations.

Gameplay

This was originally designed to be part of the States of Siege series by Victory Point Games so it has a lot in common with those games, specifically in regards to loss conditions. But it also has a lot that separates it. You lose if an enemy fleet is in Sol at the end of a round, or if your government collapses (there is a track for that), or if you are technologically outclassed by all your neighbors (they have all their tech slots filled). You win if you settle all the worlds on the board. If you are familiar with the States of Siege series you may have noticed I didn't mention surviving the deck... Thats because this game is not card driven. Its dice driven.
Each round starts with you rolling 7 custom d6 which determine in combination with the current political state how the various factions will interact on the board in various fascinating ways that are beyond the scope of this post. You accumulate resources based on decisions on previous rounds. Then you get to spend resources you currently have access to. There are 7 types of resources, each of which can be used in a multitude of ways for a grand total of 27 possible actions. After you've spent resources you need decide what resources you will need in the future so you roll some dice (the number based on your production potential) to determine how many turns away you will gain resources and decide which resource to assign to each result. Then you start the next turn. Repeat until you lose or manage to settle your all the worlds on the board.

What I still need to do

The rulebook has some empty spaces in it where examples need to be made. And I need to figure out the best way to create some of the more "complex" pieces using my usual PnP methods. Specifically this game has counters that are ring shaped so that they can mark a space on a track and you can still read the text in the space. I'll probably just accept that I can't do that reasonably with my current method of counter design and make something solid and recommend players use transparent tiddly winks or something.

Niimura Station

Niimura Station is a tiny station on the Kamikōchi Line which is a railway line operated by the Japanese private railway operator Alpico Kōtsū in the western suburbs of Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. The line connects Matsumoto with Shinshimashima, the transportation gateway to Kamikōchi and the Hida Mountains. I made a game about this station as a part of personal design challenge. You play as the station attendant making sure travelers needs are met and hopefully turning a profit.

Gameplay

This is a solitaire game. You lose if you have to spend money but don't have it, or if you have to add a disgruntled cube to the cup but don't have one. You win if you manage to load all the travelers onto trains or if you haven't run out of money when the last train leaves the station for the day.
Each game round travelers currently in the station have cubes added to them that represent their needs. If there isn't room for a cube they become disgruntled and a black cube is added to the cup. Then two new travelers are drawn and added to the station. Now the player may take 3 actions. Actions include things like Janitorial Services, Restocking Vending Machines, Selling travelers food and drink, maybe shifting the order of future train arrival, and various facility upgrades. Then you may choose either a westbound or eastbound train will arrive next and fill it with matching travelers and earn money for each. And finally there is a housekeeping phase where you may have to spend money to upkeep the facility based on what you've unlocked.

What I still want to do

I would like to have the graphic style of the game match the graphic style of the trains on the actual line. Including potentially using the lines actual mascot. I've attempted to reach out to Alpico Kōtsū to try to work out some kind of deal but I have not yet heard back. If I do not hear back I will have to go a different route. 

The Conquests of Sol: Europa War

This is part of the same thematic series as Federation of Sol above. It takes place a bit before that game in the timeline though. This game depicts a war of aggression between Mars and Europa. It is a deterministic war game were each unit exerts influence on the neighboring spaces based on facing.  This game is an attempt to capture the feeling of a real time strategy video game (but without being real time).

Gameplay

Victory is based on Player Elimination.
The game is played in rounds with 5 phases; a recruitment phase, 3 movement phases, and a cleanup phase.
During recruitment, you spend points to purchase new units and as Europa place them or as Mars start them along a travel track. Europa can later get Callistan troops to help and they also have to travel but the track is shorter.
Each movement phase has 4 steps. Place Orders, Cancel Orders, Reveal Orders, and Obey Orders.
  • During Place Orders, you put down 2 orders which will indicate how you want that unit to move. There are 4 kinds of orders; Move, Maneuver, Charge, and Decoy. When used Maneuver and Charge are removed from the players options until Cleanup, but Move and Decoy are always available.
  • During Cancel Orders you may cancel up to 2 previously played orders (This could mean the orders you just played in Place Order or it could mean an order you gave on a previous round/movement phase). When you cancel a units orders you make sure it is on its stationary side and pick a direction for them to face.
  • During Reveal Orders the orders placed earlier are revealed and if given a move order the units flip to their moving side and are given a direction to face.
  • During Obey Orders, units on their movement side will move if units of their type move in this movement phase. Air units move on all movement phases, land vehicles move on the 2nd and 3rd movement phase, and infantry move only on the 3rd movement phase. If a unit is moving and it moves into an enemy unit you check all the influence of all the units in the area to see who has the higher number. If the attacker does, the defender is removed. If the defender does, the attacker flips to their stationary side without changing direction.
During Cleanup you check victory, then return special orders to their owners before cycling back to recruitment.

What I still want to do

I really like the "graphic" look of the units and various markers, but I'm not so happy about the look of the board. I'm going to try to revisit that to make it match more closely.

The Devil's Own Day

This is the Battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War. It uses the same core engine as The Conquests of Sol: Europa War above, but with some optimizations and changes for the specific battle. Notably, it introduces a Morale system so you don't have to kill every unit on the board to win, Artillery, and individual units have a strength which indicates how many loses they can take before being wiped out.

Gameplay

Mostly the same as Conquests of Sol: Europa War above except, that there is not recruitment phase but instead a road/reinforcement phase between the last movement phase and the cleanup phase. Duriing this phase any moving units moving along roads will move, and any units on the Reinforcement Track will move one step closer or be deployed if they arrive.

What I still want to do

I made the original board too small. I want to increase the overall size by about 50% to allow me to make the counters just a little bigger.

Written by Nathan Hansen — August 28, 2019

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