Shuriken Mission Cards

This is a Shuriken preview post. In Shuriken, Mission Cards give players an additional way to gather victory points, and to accumulate techniques that will aid them in combat.

Shuriken Mission Card

Shuriken comes with a deck of 80 Mission Cards. Players have a hand of Mission Cards and as they are completed players lay the Mission Cards face-up in front of them, gaining the benefit of the technique. Each Mission Card has three elements:

  1. A Mission, or what a player needs to do to get the benefit of the card.
  2. A Technique, representing some kind of in-game advantage granted by the card.
  3. Victory Points, which along with number of captured ninja, determine the winner at the end of the game.

Many Mission Cards offer both a useful technique and victory points. Others, like the example above, don’t grant victory points and instead offer only an in-game advantage. All of the discard (one-use) Mission Cards give zero victory points, so players are encouraged to use them.

In terms of game play, Mission Cards help give players direction as they play. Most missions require some kind of combat, often against specific other players, to keep the players interacting with each other. Players have a choice between working to complete Mission Cards, or just launching into combat against the best target on the board.

Chalkboard Gaming Table

Today Awesome Dice demonstrates how to convert your basement gaming table into a chalkboard surface:

Like many gaming groups, our game takes place on a crappy old kitchen table down in the basement gaming room. I was pondering the water-damaged surface one night and had a great idea — make the table surface into a chalkboard!

Chalkboard Gaming Table

They actually make chalkboard paint, which makes it incredibly easy to turn your gaming table into a chalkboard gaming table. The chalkboard surface is easily erasable with a chalkboard eraser, and you can always wipe it down with a damp cloth if you want to remove all traces of chalk. … See Full Post.

Shuriken Clan Cards

This is a Shuriken preview post. In Shuriken, each player takes on the role of one of five rival ninja Clans. Each Clan is represented by a 8″ x 4″ Clan Card:

Shuriken Clan Card

Click to Embiggen

The Clan Cards serve three purposes, in addition to looking darned good:

  1. Each Clan has a special ability available to only that Clan. Clan Takashi, pictured above, gets to skip a phase of combat, but only if Takashi is the one to start the combat. These Clan abilities often influence the strategy of playing that Clan.
  2. The Clan cards track the total number of ninja that can be moved with a move action, and the maximum number of spaces those ninja can move. These are tracked with glass beads.
  3. The Clan card also has a convenient list of what players can spend their 3 actions on, which is helpful for first-time players.

This is the first game component with finished graphic design, and it is exciting to playtest the game with something that looks good!

Shuriken Hour of Night Cards

This is a Shuriken preview post. The Shuriken board game uses two decks of cards. The Hour of Night deck provides global effects for each round, and acts as the timer for the game.

Shuriken Hour of Night card

Shuriken comes with 20 Hour of Night cards; however, in any given game only a random 10 are used. This ensures that players won’t know which effects are going to be present in any one game. At the beginning of each round of the game a new Hour of Night card is revealed, triggering a global effect for the round that replaces any effect of the previous one.

In this example, the Dark Future of Chojiro Kazaki, the global effect is that the player who rolls for damage gets to choose casualties (normally the player taking casualties gets to choose which of his or her ninja are captured). This effect will last for each players turn this round, and the next round a new Hour of Night card is revealed, replacing this effect with a new one.

Game Timer

The deck also acts as the timer for the game: since there are 10 cards in the Hour of Night deck, it limits that game to 10 turns. Personally, I’m a big fan of games with timer mechanics, which prevents the kind of endless games that can happen with victory point goals or player elimination.

The timer aspect of the Hour of Night deck also gives players the option of changing the duration of the game: choose to play with more Hour of Night cards in the deck for a longer game, or fewer for a quicker play.

The game, however, is balanced for 10 cards: too few and players won’t have sufficient chance to recover from bad combats; too many and players will run through the entire Mission Card deck (more on that in a future post) and the entire board will be destroyed from excessive combat!