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by GM Dave

Developer Blog – Hauler Part 4

November 22, 2013 in Game News

Back so soon with another update?  YES!  In the spirit of NaGaDeMon, I have been working late into the night on all the aspects of the game and actually ran a 6 player simulation and it was not very good, in that the decks ran out too fast and the trucks did not move.  So, the game is now a 2-5 player game and I will be doing more playtests in the coming days.

946075_10202120233758072_1552013860_nIn the meantime, I want to talk about the card design for Hauler, specifically the deckbuilding cards.

Like many deckbuilders, the card is laid out with the title up top, the cost of the card in RED and the greenstamps that the card provides when played in GREEN.  When a player decides to do a deckbuilding turn instead of moving their trucks, they will play cards from their 5 card hand, and each played card may have effects, give the user green stamps to use to buy other cards, or both.  In the example on the left, the card is not worth green stamps, but this card allows the user to place an operations center, which acts as a hub and a free fuel stop for a truck.  This is a great time to either place the operations center where a truck already is or purchase a new truck and deploy it at the operations center so you don’t use up your fuel tokens or have to buy fuel.  Then, the player must move a truck and draw a pollution card.

In Hauler, when you choose to complete the actions on the card, you must complete all the actions, from top to bottom before playing another card or purchasing any cards.  The only thing a player can do after starting the actions on the card, but before completing all the actions on the card, is to buy and place a truck, as I talked about in the last paragraph.

The cards are color coded, in that this special operations card is orange.  Truck cards are red and all give green stamps.  There are gold Victory Point cards that give the player VPs to count at the end of the game, green Fuel cards that grant fuel tokens to move the player’s trucks during a dispatch turn or when a card effect is used to move a truck, blue Action cards that introduce a ton of variation in the game with positive and negative effects and black Pollution Cards.

1467480_10202123031748020_800666209_nThe Pollution cards are special, in that they are not purchased and are simply the consequences of using card effects to move trucks on the board instead of taking a dispatch turn to move all the trucks they own.  The Pollution cards just pollute your hand, and provide junk that must be removed in order to have a more productive deck.  There are Garbage trucks in the game that allow the player to return Pollution cards to the pollution deck, treatment facility cards that offer the same opportunity, and if a player passes a turn entirely, they can return all their pollution cards in their hand and redraw to 5, placing any pollution cards drawn on the pollution deck so they start their next turn with 5 productive cards.

I am going to be working on the card layout this weekend for the route and special effect cards and will hopefully have an update on them next week.  The route cards are straight forward, move a load from point A to point B and get paid X victory points.  Some perishable loads offer bonuses for quicker delivery, but you run the risk of speeding to complete the run with bonus points.  There are hitchhikers that also provide an opportunity for bonuses, and although you real truckers know not to pick up hitchhikers, hollywood has done a great job showing that everyone in a bind can get picked up by a friendly trucker.

Also coming are the weather and event cards, like earthquakes, hurricanes, storm fronts, blizzards and a host of other natural disasters that make speeding in or out of an affected city quite dangerous.

Thank you and please keep sending me suggestions!  One very helpful suggestion actually will have me redesign the card cost and benefit icons to look like a stop sign for the cost and a dollar bill for the green stamps it provides.


Profile photo of GM Dave

by GM Dave

Developer Blog – Hauler part 3

November 20, 2013 in Developer Blog, Game News

HAULER_BOXI have to beg for your forgiveness, I have not kept up with the blog on my working with Hauler.  Almost a year to the day since my last post, it is finally time I unveil the finished product that will be called Hauler!  I am very excited, that after more than 2 years in design and playtesting, I think the game is polished, tight and, oh ya…EPIC!  The specs on the final game come in with this list of contents:

  • 20″ by 30″ game board
  • 82 Route Cards
  • 520 Deckbuilder Cards
  • 32 Randomization Cards
  • 41 Tabbed Cards for Indexing
  • 6 Scoring Tokens
  • 12 Weather Tokens
  • 18 Time Tokens
  • 24 Operation Center Tokens in 6 colors
  • 36 Tickets
  • 36 Fuel Tanks
  • 36 Truck Tokens in 6 colors
  • and…the Hauler Die.  6 custom faces that represent Accidents, Robberies, Cops and Tickets.

The game is complex.  This is Dominion meets Trains meets Ticket to Ride…with a case of red bull.  Basically, the game is a deckbuilder and a board game fused in a synergy never before seen (by me at least) and promises depth of play that is beyond a normal gateway game, but not overly complicated.  Each turn, the player may choose to move all his trucks or play cards from his hand, purchase cards from the piles or purchase route cards that give victory points upon the successful delivery by one of his trucks from origin to destination, with the possibility of bonus victory points for added speed.  There are also victory point cards in the deckbuilding piles, so a player could theoretically catch some mega luck and win just collecting VP cards, but that is highly unlikely.  The winning player will have a deck that gives the right action cards to allow him to move his trucks and still provide green stamps (money for you non-truckers) to buy higher value cards for later use and deck building purposes.

But that is not all, there are action cards in the game that are like attack cards, but not really.  Only one real thief type card, but there is a sleeper cab that causes the other players to oversleep and lose 2 hours of drive time on their turns, there is a lot lizard (trucker term for prostitute) that causes other players to miss 4 hours of drive time.  There are cards that give you extra actions, extra cards, an extra buy and pollution cards that junk up your hand every time you move a truck with a card effect.

Players start with one truck and are able to move it after placing their first operations center, which their first truck is dispatched out of.  Trucks can move up to 12 hours of travel time per turn (more if a card allows) and if the player plays it safe, they simply move the time allotted on the map for standard travel, or they can speed and shave time off each segment to get to a destination faster and earn bonus victory points.  Some perishable items and hazardous materials will pay a bonus for alacrity on the highway.  Of course, if you speed, you still roll the hauler die.

So, gone is the turn order on the board.  Gone is the resource management poker mechanic and all that is left is good old fashioned trucking and deck building.  I will write more blogs, I promise, as we get past beta and into full prototyping.  Expect this title to come 2014 to a kickstarter near you!  In the meantime, here is the prototype board.



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