The Check Your 6! board game rules translate very well into a digital version.
To sum up some of the strong points of the original game that we also have in the digital version:
THE GAME RULES:
Ease of Play
Check Your 6! was designed to reflect the realities of air combat with the simplest wargame mechanics possible. Instead of endless die modifiers, CY6! utilizes multiple die types and innovative mechanics to enable players to think about the air fight instead of what chart to look at.
The Check Your 6! rulebook was released with over 20 scenarios and was followed by several Campaign Books in a Skirmish Campaigns-like format.
Check Your 6! was designed to closely reflect the realities of WWII air combat while allowing for a playable game. Combat is reflected in 3D and the game is the result of years of research into Air-to-Air weapons, combat maneuvers, aircraft statistics and the influence of pilot skill on combat. Statistical analysis was extensively used to find the most efficient game systems. In addition, former US Air Force and US Marine Corps pilots were a part of the design team from the start, greatly influencing the design and playtesting.
The key design goal for CY6! was to maximize pilot influence and historical accuracy while keeping the game relatively easy to play. Since players plot moves simultaneously, the game can easily accommodate large numbers of aircraft by increasing the number of players.
Turns are plotted in advance, so large games are possible.
CY6! has four pilot skills, +0 (Green), +1 (Skilled), +2 (Veteran) and +3 (Ace). Pilot skill is critical to success. In CY6! players will quickly find out that if one is inexperienced, one should avoid enemy aces at all costs! Pilot skill is the most important aspect in the game (a factor lacking in a surprising number of air games). CY6! truly reflects the words of Chuck Yeager, "It is the man, not the machine."
Weapons types are: LMG/MMG, HMG, Low-Velocity Cannon, Modern Cannon, Low-Velocity Heavy Cannon and Heavy Cannon. Heavy Cannon may be modified by Low, Very Low and Extremely Low rate of fire.
Aircraft have two sets of attributes, one for low-med altitude and one for high (20,000ft +) altitude. Attributes are: Maneuver, Max Speed, Agility, Climb/Dive, Acceleration and Robustness.
Movement is handled via hex based maps illustrating possible maneuvers for each speed level. The game features 3D maneuvers and has several Operational Altitude Bands (CABs); within each is six Tactical Altitude Levels (TAL).
Basic rules will cover aircraft combat from 1925-1947 and will include rules for early jet aircraft. All statistics for key aircraft of the Axis and Allied powers will be included.
Several scenarios will be released with the rules. The first digital version of the game will focus on the Battle of Britain; later additions will focus on the air battles over North Africa and Sicily, Europe and Guadalcanal. Jet Age rules and games would be next.
The upside of having a digital version was for us being able to avoid difficult calculations and having them being calculated and explained in a clear and understandable way, like this the payer can understand and check better the behind the scene impressive parameters and game rules.
Going digital also allowed us creating a fun single-player experience and offering the players to have the multi-player game cross-platform on all kind of digital devices.
Of course, to achieve this we had to make some crucial design choices, changes and adaptations.
Our goal was to make a fun digital game and at the same time trying to do justice to the original by keeping it as close as possible to the original complex and intriguing CY6! board game.
So that is why we tried to keep the differences to a minimum really.
The real challenge we faced was, that although the game may look a bit simple on the outside, the gameplay and rules are deep and rich, CY6! has a steep learning curve. We wanted to recreate that “one more turn” feeling and give it the same urge to replay scenarios just like the original CY6! game does.
I hope we managed to make the game approachable and intuitive for newcomers and still enough challenging for the die-hard CY6! and any other “strategic air war” fans.
Check Your 6! The digital version has been in the works for the last two years and the game is 99% based on the original.
The most important challenges we had to tackle to bring the original Check Your 6! game rules and gameplay to a digital environment were to create a custom made simple more intuitive GUI (Graphical User Interface) adapted for PC and other digital platforms.
We also had to design a capable and challenging AI that would allow the players to enjoy the game in single-player mode and give the players a run for their money trying to beat it.
We added the hangar as we wanted to show the aircraft in the game and give background info and some historical perspective. We strongly believe historical war games also must have an educational layer, we want to get players exited and more curious about the period, the conflicts and the aircraft they fly with in game.
For the more hardcore fans and for the ones who play and know the original CY6! board game rules, we will have to go a bit more technical.
Let us talk about some specific rules we had to change or adapt, to make sure the digital game would be fun to play with.
Basically, to sum up the most important differences in game rules between the original game and the digital game:
- We changed the surface attacks so that player chooses if he wants to attack before moving, therefore applying the hit check and damage before regular firing.
- Some special CAB (Operational Altitude Bands) rules were not implemented as they were rare and optional anyway.
- The optional bomber plotting rule has not been implemented.
- We moved some of the decisions, like deciding whether to move additional hex after -1 altitude drop (the simplest Dive).
- We changed how to adjust speed and some of the plotting rules to earlier sections, this to smoothen the jumping and approving moves and targets for a lot of aircraft simultaneously. This was necessary, so we can have at least a bearable multiplayer experience.
- We adjusted some of the scenario rules and have variable rules show up before the start of any scenario.
- Lastly, we integrated some of the firing/hit checks into joint functions instead of showing result for every step of the action (but the mechanics of moving, firing and plotting stayed the same at its core).
As you can see we were able to keep these changes to a minimum and they were all necessary to make the digital game enjoyable.
We may have less aircraft and scenarios in the digital base game compared to the original, but we have plans to add them over time, through DLC and expansions. We really would love to bring the whole Check Your 6! and Check Your 6! Jet Age rule and scenario books as a complete game series to the digital arena.
More is coming!
Happy gaming and Check Your 6!