Friday, June 8, 2018

Laser Battlefield - tiny little battle to the death

I found Laser Battlefield when I was going through the older Nine Card PnP contests. I made a copy since it was ink-light and didn’t require any other components. I didn’t even realize that it had a solitaire mode until I was done making it :D

Laser Battlefield is a duel between two spaceships shooting into a three by three grid of shifting mirrors that bounce their lasers around. 

Two of the cards are the ships, shielded side and unshielded/damaged side, meaning they have two hit points. The other seven cards are the mirrors, which are color-coded so they only bounce a specific ship’s laser. One of them is actually a color changer, letting you bounce off the other mirrors. They are laid face down and only flip when hit.

You shuffle and place the mirror cards in a staggered pattern that forms a three by three grid with two open spaces. The ships are placed on opposite sides, shields up. There, ready to play.

You get three actions on your turn. Move one space around the grid, shift a card to fill in one of the empty spaces (sort of like on of the sliding puzzles) or fire. However, you can’t fire twice in a row. Oh and you always face into the grid. No sneaky firing along the edge :D First person to hit the other guy twice wins.

The solitaire option has one ship be a drone that always fires, moves right and fires again. The drone can’t shift mirror cards but it can ram you.

After I was done making the game, I played a couple solitaire games on the easy setting. Paused, and tried out the regular setting. Then got it out again and tried it on hard. (The harder you choose, the closer the drone is to you)

While the drone could ram me, it also followed a predictable pattern and I controlled the mirror grid. I never felt like my back was against the wall. On the other hand, it was an interesting enough puzzle that I kept playing it. I am convinced that two-player is the sweet spot.

Laser Battlefield borders on a hidden gem for me. I don’t think it will have the long term replay value to really reach that point. But being such a simple build definitely adds value to it for me. I don’t know if I’d buy it but it was definitely worth the five minutes it took to make.

This might be damning with faint praise but, if Laser Battlefield even sounds vaguely interesting, it’s so easy to make that it’s worth checking out.

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