How I Made a Board Game

Board games remain a popular classic among kids and adults of any age. So I thought why not make a board game of my own instead of buying yet another game? This board game was super fun to make and I would definitely encourage you to make it as a gift or to play with friends and family!

Rules:

Objective - Have the most points by the end of the game.

Set up - Have each player take turns rolling the dice. Whoever gets the highest number places their crown first. They can choose any star to place the crown on. Then the next player places their crown and so on until all the players have done so. Each player starts with 5 citizen tokens, 25 coins, and 1 objective. The player may choose the level of difficulty their objective is.

Objective Cards - If a player completes their objective, they receive 3 points for easy, 6 points for medium, and 12 points for hard. However, if a player does not complete their objective, they lose points (1 point for easy, 3 points for medium, and 6 points for hard).
Other ways to gain points include:
Placing paths - Players may buy paths with coins. To get coins, players roll two of the dice at the start of their turn. The total number rolled determines how many coins the player receives. Players may spend coins however they would like during their turn. If a player decides not to spend all their coins, the player may save the leftover coins for the next turn, increasing the number over time. Green paths cost 4 coins, blue paths cost 12 coins, and red paths cost 25 coins.
Gaining citizens - For each new citizen a player gains, they receive 5 points. Players can buy citizens for 10 coins. When bought, citizens may be placed wherever the player chooses. Citizens may only be placed on stars that the player owns. After the player puts down a citizen, the citizen may only travel to adjacent stars that the player owns. Each turn, the player gets one chance to move a citizen to an adjacent star. Players may choose to not move the citizen at all. There must be at least 1 citizen on each owned star. If there is not, the star becomes open for other players to take.
Attacking - If a player already owns at least 3 stars, they may now attack other players to try and gain more stars. A player may only attack from a star that is owned to an adjacent star. The rules for attacking come from the rules of the game Risk. This is a simplified version of the way attacking works in Risk. The way this works it to first look at the number of citizens both the attacking and defending players have. Whoever has the highest number of citizens determines how many dice the players get. They may choose either 1 or 2 dice. If 1 dice is chosen, both the defending and attacking players get 1 dice to roll. If 2 dice is chosen, both the defending and attacking players get 2 dice to roll. Next, both players roll at the same time. Whoever gets the highest total number in their dice wins. If the players tie, the match goes to the defender. The loser removes one of their citizens. This method is played until either the attacking star has 1 citizen left or the defending star runs runs out of citizens.
The game ends when all the stars have been claimed by a person and there are no more stars left to claim.

Supplies:

  • Large sheet of thin cardboard
  • 3 small boxes
  • Paint of various colors
  • 4 random objects
  • 5 dice
  • Black flair pen
  • Black sharpie
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Markers of various colors

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Step 1: Plan It Out

To start making this game, I grabbed some paper and a pencil and simply sat down to think. I combined ideas from my favorite games to come up with this game. For example, I added the idea of world conquest from the game risk and the idea of coins and points from the game 7 wonders.

Step 2: Make the Map

This will be the game board for the game. A map as a board was inspired by one of my favorite games, Risk.

  1. Draw the outline of the U.S.A. onto a large sheet of 33 x 27 in. piece of paper.
  2. Trace the outline with a thick sharpie.
  3. Draw the states into the outline with a thick sharpie. Notice that for spacial reasons, I designed my own states instead of using the existing ones. This worked out better for me.
  4. Draw stars onto the map with flair pen making sure that there is only one star in each state and that each adjacent star is either 5, 10, or 15 cm. away from each other.
  5. Draw dotted lines in different colors (green for 5 cm, blue for 10 cm, red for 15 cm) wherever there is a length that is either 5, 10, or 15 cm.

It is very important to note that the different marker colors on my map represent the different lengths between each star. All green dotted lines are 5 cm. All blue dotted lines are 10 cm. All red dotted lines are 15 cm.

Step 3: Make the Paths

Next up is to make the paths. These are game pieces that are sort of like the train cars in ticket to ride. I made three different lengths of paths with colors coordinating to the colors on the map. All the green paths are 5 cm. All the blue paths are 10 cm. All the red paths are 15 cm.

The green paths:

  1. Cut out 68 1 x 5 cm. pieces from thin cardboard.
  2. Paint the pieces green and let them dry.

The blue paths:

  1. Cut out 14 1 x 10 cm. pieces from thin cardboard.
  2. Paint the pieces blue and let them dry.

The red paths:

  1. Cut out 3 1 x 15 cm. pieces from thin cardboard.
  2. Paint the pieces red and let them dry.

If the paths curl up while drying, simply use your fingers to flatten them out again. It is important for these pieces to be quite flat, mostly so that the pieces are easier to use during game play.

Step 4: Make the Citizen Tokens

The citizen tokens represent the amount of citizens there are on a star at a time. I made three different types of citizen tokens, 1's, 5's, and 10's.

  1. Trace a glue stick on a thin sheet of cardboard to produce 70 circles.
  2. Cut out all 70 of the circles and paint them purple.
  3. Let them dry

When the circles are completely dry:

  1. On 30 of the circles, write the number "1".
  2. On 30 of the circles, write the number "5".
  3. On 10 of the circles, write the number "10".

Step 5: Assemble the Dice and Crowns

These are the pieces that the player will use to mark the capital of their territory. This was probably the quickest and easiest step.

All you need to do for this step is to find 5 dice either from other games or bought from a store. The dice are for attacking, determining who goes first, and determining how many coins a player gets at the start of their turn. The reason there are 5 dice is because it is common to lose dice and it is easier just to have a spare.

The other part for this step is to find 4 random objects that have a distinct color to them. These random objects will be the crowns. For my crowns, I used a green pencil eraser, a black bottle cap, a purple starfish, and a red spiral. It really does not matter what you use for the crowns as long as they are a solid color and are large enough to pick up easily.

Step 6: Make the Coins

The coins are the in-game currency that can be used to buy paths or citizens.

  1. Cut out 80 3 x 3 cm. squares.
  2. Paint them white.

Step 7: Make the Objectives

These give a player points by completing an objective, but they also take away points if the objective is not completed. I made three different difficulties for the objectives, easy, medium, and hard. Hard objectives will give you more points than easy objectives.

  1. Come up with some objectives of different difficulties (either easy, medium, or hard) and write them down.
  2. Cut out the objectives into strips.
  3. Fold the strips in half and lay them aside for minute while you make the boxes.

To make the boxes:

  1. Find three boxes. They do not all have to be the same size.
  2. Cut out a green, blue, and red piece of paper that has the same dimensions as a side of a box.
  3. Label one box "easy" with a green piece of paper, one box "medium" with a blue piece of paper, and one box "hard" with a red piece of paper.

Now, just put the easy difficulty objectives into the box labeled "easy", the medium difficulty objectives into the box labeled "medium", and the hard difficulty objectives into the box labeled "hard".

Step 8: Enjoy With Friends and Family!

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