Designing Bot War

A few weeks ago I made a post on the Bot War FB Group and I discussed my thoughts when designing Bot War. I thought I would make a post about that here.
When making Bot War I wanted to try overcome all the hurdles or barriers that I have personally had in the past to starting new games.
These are the things I came up with –
Bot War plays on a 3’x3′ board – So kitchen tables can be easily used and no major set up shenanigans or space is required. Set up and pull down of certain games of 4ft or 6ft boards can be a major issue. I just wanted to spend more time playing and less time setting up and packing up.
Rules are learnt by doing – The rules for Bot War can be learnt faster by playing a turn than by reading through the whole rulebook. For me this was paramount, because nothing puts me off a game more than learning rules by reading a mighty tome. I learn best by doing. And everyone will understand Bot War in a single turn of play. Then spend the remaining time mastering it. Rules don’t make playing fun. Playing makes it fun. And Bot War is about choices and risks rather than knowing the rules better than your opponent. Anyway, that’s how I feel about it. There is a downside to this I have found. I think many people read the book and don’t see the “mastering it part at all”. Without playing the synergies and combos of the game would be completely lost I think.
Character balance – This is perhaps a controversial one. Many games have points vs strength as a see-saw balancing act. Bot War had points/strength/ power as a three-way balancing act. This means that even weak characters can be valuable in Bot War which leads me to my next point.
List building – Perhaps I am a bit crazy but I love making army lists. I used to spend more time building and tweaking lists for games than I did playing. It is actually quite enjoyable theorising how my new list would perform then putting it into action. And this is a key part of Bot War. There are a lot of builds possible for every faction in the game.
Fast games – Games that last more than an hour are impractical these days. For me, getting a few games in rather than a single long game is a much better way to spend gaming time. More variety, more games, more fun in my personal opinion.
Half way through you still wont know the winner – Bot War is intentionally a swingy game. Not in a bad way, but in a fun and surprising way. I can honestly say I have had more close games of Bot War than one sided games. And certainly more Bot War games have been close compared to other games I have played. Obviously, there are still games that seem one sided, but its possible that the game can swing back 2 or 3 times in a single game.
Low model count – Bot War uses 3-16 models per side depending on what faction or list you play. More that this and the game becomes quite bogged down. This means painting time is less or you can spend more time per model.
The models themselves are intentionally not over complicated – Personally, overly detailed and complicated models are a pet peeve of mine. Its just my own opinion, I am sure some people love hyper detailed models. I just like painting uncomplicated models really well. I guess the focus isn’t even on the painting in this instance. The 80s retro brand for Bot War lends itself to a simpler aesthetic.
The game looks great on the tabletop when its all up and rolling – I have tried to capture the 80s style in the colour palette of the terrain and models. It generates interest in onlookers and is easy to follow as a spectator.
The lore is deep but simple – Let me explain this odd statement. The lore is deep in that every character has their own full back story and that there is a detailed web of causes, connections and mysteries throughout. But its simple in that the Bot War universe has clear good guys and clear bad guys. The factions are easily recognisable as good or bad and the whole game has that Saturday morning cartoon simplicity about it. My idea behind this is that I wanted an 80s retro universe where players could easily escape this one.
So in summary – Bot War is easy to set up, easy to get into, easy to build and paint the models, easy to learn, fast and fun to play, and has a depth to keep you interested.
I hope you enjoy playing Bot War Miniature Game. To join the Bot War FB Community click here – Bot War Miniature Game Community
To check out more from the Bot War universe grab a copy of Galactic Transmission Magazine here – Galactic Transmission Magazine