For the unaware, Card Hunter is a quite good turn-based tactics game wrapped in the delightful trappings of D&D and other classic tabletop RPG games. I’ve been a relative late-comer to the title but it has won a special place in my heart for its visual design and mechanical approach. While it has its fair share of shortcomings, I became sufficiently enthralled with it to try my hand at designing levels and parameters – what it terms boards and scenarios – using its provided toolset.
Below you’ll find a gallery documenting my process using the Card Hunter editor as well as some finished maps and their associated scenarios to download. You can grab the whole mess in one file here: rburrell_cardhunter-map-pack.zip.
Arena – King of the Hill
Using the arena tileset, I created this relatively minimal map intended to encourage a continual slugfest. Each side must hold sole dominion over their respective capture location at the end of the round to earn a victory point, but the twist is that defeated characters respawn every other round so holding onto a location can be tenuous at best. The stairs up to the central platform can slow advances and the corners only block movement – *not* line of sight – thus allowing ranged attacks on to and off of the hill. The doorways placed around the edges serve as a constant reminder that new threats will re-emerge from both players.
Arena – Touchdown
Expanding from the King of the Hill map above, Touchdown presents an elongated corridor with “endzones” at opposing sides. A smaller, raised platform still exists in the center to serve alternatively as a brake on advances or a forward line of defense. Pillars are placed to create chokepoints or valuable cover, depending on the player’s goals.
On The Boardwalk
On The Boardwalk uses the Zen asset set, and I drew from this visual style as inspiration for the board layout and scenario goals. A modified king of the hill, players only receive points for being the sole occupant of either of the center capture locations. A relatively open map, the central platform provides little cover balanced by quick direct access from the core spawn points. Characters with lengthy movement ability can also use the stepping stone paths to flank or shortcut foes. Defeated characters continually respawn, but only every three rounds. This – coupled with the ability to quickly run to the center – makes the loss of a character particularly problematic.
Hot Foot supports continuous respawning of characters, but each defeat counts toward the needed points to obtain victory. Characters respawn every third round, with summon points being indicated by the bracketed cracks in the ground. Players can move fairly directly across the stones in the center, or with some degree of cover along the sides. The arches only block movement but still allow line of sight, so ranged characters can take pot shots between the side gaps. Plenty of pillars exist to provide cover and possible chokepoints.
This map is huge, with the characters spawning distant from both their friends and foes. The Altar uses normal scenario rules, so a player can win by either defeating the opposing team or gaining a sufficient number of victory points from the capture locations. The central platform provides quite a bit of cover from the sides, though there are gaps at regular intervals where line of sight (and therefore ranged attacking) is permitted. The difficult terrain of the stairs and various clutter objects along the side paths make direct approaches and group assaults tricky.
Wanting to create a map the exact opposite of The Altar, I put together a comparatively tiny board where movement is constrained and lines of sight are shortened. Battles in the Moss Pit can be up close and personal, though ranged characters can duck from cover behind a column to fire volleys over the wooden table dividing the center. I had a particularly good time with the set dressing of this map, creating an overgrown dungeon basement where two teams descend but only one leaves.
A Bridge Too Far
This map experiments with asymmetry and the cost/benefit of alternate attack routes. Characters may advance directly toward the capture locations with decent cover along the way, but are open to attacks from the flanks. The starting areas for each team are very defensible, but players will need to leave the safety of these bulwarks to gain points (or prevent their opponent from doing so). The top and bottom routes over the water provide decent cover for swift players and can be used for harassment.
The map created from my example process above, Fancy Duel uses the Manor tileset and appropriate sampled objects to create an environment that encourages pitched battles. Defeated characters respawn at lengthy intervals to allow the opposing team to attempt the long run to their capture point. The central platform functions as a defensive berm but also provides some cover for aggressors. Once in their opponent’s backfield, players can use the protection of the side alcoves and the decorative fountain at each end to hoover up victory points.