I had an idea and you can't stop me from sharing a very basic first draft.
Please do share your thoughts as I work through it. Would decks made specifically for this type of play be balanced, or would they heavily favor a specific type of deck/card?
This is a MtG variation, by the way.
>The game is played on a 5x5 grid (columns A-E x rows 1-5), which begins empty.
>Whenever a land enters the battlefield, its controller places it onto an empty spot connected to that player’s home or another of that player’s lands if possible, or on top of any spot with the lowest number of that player's lands stacked upon it otherwise.
>Whenever a non-land permanent (except for a non-aura enchantment) is cast and enters the battle field, it must be placed onto the location of one of the mana sources used to cast it (one of the lands, or the location of one of the mana source artifacts or creatures, etc). Non-aura enchantments count as being everywhere. Tokens and other non-enchantment permanents put into play by instants, sorceries, or non-aura enchantments can be placed on any of that player’s lands. Non-enchantment permanents put into play by activated or triggered abilities are placed on the same spot as the permanent which causes them to be placed.
>At the beginning of the attack phase, each creature may move from their spot to an adjacent one (orthogonally or diagonally). If an enemy creature or land is located there, then creatures must attack to move there. If an attack is made the nonactive player may choose to block the attack with a creature on that spot, if possible (flying creatures may only be blocked by those with flying or reach, etc). If every creature on a spot which could block does not, then during those creatures’ controller’s next turn, they must retreat towards their controller’s home or directly backwards, only able to attack if an enemy creature is in the way. A retreating creature cannot retreat into a spot with an enemy creature without attacking.
Are you finished?
I don't see how this is any different from normal magic at all.
So far it's just a way of ordering permanents, you haven't made any explicit gameplay differences.
It's taking me a little time to make the images as well. I'm sorry to drag it out a bit.
>A creature may only deal combat damage to a player if it is in that player’s home spot. Otherwise, an unblocked attacking creature does no combat damage.
Some of them don't seem given to images either. Forgive me, again.
>A player cannot have a creature or a permanent enter the battlefield on a spot occupied by an enemy creature, unless there is also a non-retreating friendly creature on the spot.
>A player’s instants have a range of 1 from any of their permanents (including lands). Sorceries have a range of 2 from these permanents. A player’s aura enchantments may enchant any valid target on the field. Permanents’ activated and triggered abilities have a range of 2 from the permanent. Activated abilities of non-aura enchantments have the same range as a player’s sorceries. State based abilities and non targeted abilities affect valid permanents on the whole field.
A few more...
>A player cannot play activated abilities of noncreature permanents in locations occupied by an enemy creature, unless there is also a non-retreating friendly creature there also.
>Triggered abilities of non-creature permanents do not trigger unless activated abilities of those permanents could be activated.
>A moving creature may take other friendly noncreature, nonland permanents with it when moving.
I think that covers the idea. Would it be worth playing? Would it be too complicated? What would need to be changed, etc?
I agree that even these relatively few rules had to be complicated to cover a number of possibilities, but I didn't think they would be too difficult to use once known well enough
I'll try testing the idea with my brother. Have you tested the idea yourself?
Why is the range for an instant 1 while the range of most similar things 2? I don't have any fundamental problem with it but I don't know why it is there.
I thought that a shorter range might be the trade off for instant speed, coupled with the use of a card from your hand (a mystery/surprise) as opposed to a sorcery or a known quantity (a permanent's instant speed activated ability). Maybe they should all be equal?
I haven't had an opportunity to test it yet, and I am sure there are kinks to be worked out.
I had never heard of frontier. Looks interesting! And a bit different from this variant. Let me look over Frontier and compare some of the ideas it has. Maybe it can inform this variant I have. Call it... "Battleground" Magic?
I've played a quick pair of games against a pair of my decks. I think that adjacent tiles should be only orthogonal (cardinal directions), and not include diagonals.
Otherwise, I think that I need to think of a way to organize the board a bit. Maybe a collector binder sheet, into which lands are placed, with some area around them for the things on said space?