Grim Prospects: Classic

by ACWraith
Grim Prospects: Classic
A card battle over mining rights.
I worked a bit more on my iconography and improved the interface of my mining card battle, Grim Prospects. Enjoy.
  • Faction silhouettes were removed from the plus and minus signs that form the power ratings to make them more legible.
  • Power rating column headers are now silhouettes of the factions to distinguish them from the factions themselves.
  • Support table row headers were previously just faction icons. They now have "SUM" written over them to display how they are the total of the faction's power listed below.
  • Tunnels now have their own icons instead of sharing pickaxes. It serves as a unique column header during the first phase and is hopefully more legible at the top of the screen. (I went with a 'T' intersection of the guarding and invading forces. *shrug*)
  • Battle results now display arrows that point to the winner.
  • The help file was updated with the interface changes and some emphasized text.

Old => New


Much improved! In fact, muddling through, I actually managed to win my first game against the bots because I was able to sort of get what was going on.

The only things I'm not real clear about now are the significance of the three factions and why I lost some battles when I thought I had a superior sum on the column facing that opponent.
If the support cards (i.e. loitering miners fired by opponents) and cards sent as fighters have matching factions, they will fight on the same side during battle.

Factions also determine which of the three power ratings is used when fighting an opponent. For instance, in the bottom right picture, I played Rat and Bot #3 played Bunny. Therefore, my Rats referred to their Bunny power rating column and Bot #3's Bunnies referred to their Rat column.

Is your battle confusion related to arrows that fail to point to higher sums, columns that are added incorrectly or just a matter of not understanding how the factions work?
The arrows make good sense in that they explained who the winner was, and because I'm seeing it clearly pointed out I'm looking at "sums" it's not too hard to piece together that a higher sum is advantageous.

One thing I can say that isn't immediately evident in the interface is how the "power ratings" influence the battle. We can see some sums here, it's pretty clear how the workers are stacking up before the battle phase, but the columns themselves do not seem to advertise any inherent advantage or disadvantage of one faction versus another.

There's also the grey icon that sometimes appears on the very far right of the card. I'm not sure what that means?

I could no doubt pick this up from reading the help more extensively, but I'm thinking you could benefit from a fresh perspective of the average player who arrives on the scene and simply decides to muddle through, as usability studies seem to suggest such players are the overwhelming majority.
There is no inherent advantage or disadvantage of any faction versus another. They are suits with no hierarchy. It's situational. The game is about placing cards to create those imbalances for each player.

If I fire a miner with two negative power ratings and send it your way to loiter, chances are that you won't want to play a card with a matching faction when sending fighters. The fired miner would be added to your battle and you'd be weak against two of the factions I might choose. Meanwhile, I might be swayed away from playing whatever faction the miner's positive rating applies to just in case you do.

When you don't choose fighters that match the faction of your loitering miners, the miners keep loitering. You must choose to either use the current imbalance so you can get rid of it or risk more limitations piling up.

The gray icons on the right are special effects. I'm willing to redesign them, but they're the best I've come up with so far and have prominent placement in the help file. There's really only so far I can go for players who won't read the rules. The information is only a click away. Like any other boardgame, muddling through requires having other people around who know what they're doing.

The outward arrows label cards that go to opponents when discarded after battle.

Cards with silhouettes can be played alongside cards of matching factions when sending fighters (so players can place multiple cards at a time). They're like the factions' shadows. When I couldn't find a single symbol for the situation, I decided on the current design so players wouldn't have to remember anything new. Meanwhile, using all three silhouettes means I can mix and match them with cards of opposing factions should I decide to release an expansion.
There is at least one bug in the display. (It involves the arrow pointing the wrong way when at least one side didn't send fighters.) I'll try to post an update soon.

[Edit: I found another display error where the power of the right opponent is compared against the player's left (attacking) power instead of the player's right (tunneling) power. Frelling copy and paste.]

[Edit: Add one more that isn't just related to the display. Rats and Moles were not always added to lists because I looked for a card to insert them next to and then forgot to add them at the end if it wasn't found. *sigh*]