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[personal profile] andygates
Just trying to recall the rules for Gridthruster, the imaginatively named spaceship build-n-shoot game we came up with at middle school.  I'm a bit horrified that I can remember the detail so clearly.  We used to play this with graph paper and blu-tacked pieces. 

Start with a grid representing space, scattered with a random selection of drifting parts.  Each player gets a ship comprising a Command Module and one Thruster, mated to the Command Module.  Players start around the edges of the space, facing toward each other.

On your turn you may move or fire.
  • Moving: You may move as many squares as you have exposed thruster ports.  At the start you can only go in three directions because your Command Module is blocking one thruster port.
  • Firing: You may fire any one weapon.
  • Connecting: This is automatic.  If your move ends with your assembled ship touching a part, that part automatically adds to the ship.  Be careful not to block good stuff with space crud!
The pieces are:
  • Command Module: Be the last one standing to win.
  • Thruster: An engine that moves your ship one square against any exposed direction.  If you have three engines thus: TTCT you may move three squares up or down but only one left or right. 
  • Plasteel Block: A chunk of stuff, destroyed by any weapon.  That shows its age, "plasteel" was so cool in the mid-eighties. 
  • Armour Block: A chunk of stuff, only destroyed by a Missile.
  • Laser: Fixed directional weapon.  Destroys anything except the Armour Block when fired.  Range unlimited.  Reflected by Mirrors.  May be used again and again.
  • Missile: Destroys anything it hits.  One-shot weapon removed from the ship when fired.  May only be fired into open space.  If you make a Missile into a structural link, you lose the stuff on the far side of the link if you fire the Missile.
  • Mirrors:  Anti-laser defence angled in one of the two diagonal slashes.  Collect several for rebound fun.
  • Mine: Explodes destroying anything in the 3x3 grid of which it is the centre, when touched by a ship or shot by a weapon. 
If two ships collide, both have control over the gestalt mega-ship and both players may control the whole thing.  Hilarity usually ensues.

Damn, this makes me want a tablet and a coding kit.  Board games with the faff taken out are just what tablets are good at.  Faff?  Faff was moving a thirty-piece megaship and not missing any bits...

With computers, of course, you could sort the initial random scatter, introduce drift, make it realtime and introduce rudimentary physics.  And add a third dimension.  Make it a bit more buildy and a bit less Scrapheap Challenge IN SPAAACE.  And then you're damn close to the deep-alpha voxel game Blockade Runner.  :)

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