This has been a sketchbook idea for a while but I’d never worked up the drive to produce it as a playable prototype.
The elevator pitch is “Scrabble meets MtG, using runes”.
Each player has a unique deck of Spells and Minions, which require them to play certain sequences of runestones. Essentially, the mana/resource management element of a TCG/CCG becomes handled by a familiar scrabble-board tile-laying mechanism, with all the tit-for-tat of creating opportunities for the other player which comes along with that.
I’m not massively enamoured with vikings as a theme at the moment… That’s not to say that I’m not drawn to it on a personal level… I remember playing Heimdall on the Amiga a LOT as a kid. I just think it’s a bit overused in games – particularly tabletop – and I do warily associate viking-fetishism a bit with nazis. BUT as soon as you introduce runes as a component, the whole thing starts to evoke a type of fantasy that’s closer to Skyrim than Middle Earth.
In some previous designed I might’ve prematurely tried to come up with a balanced set of cards for the runes to trigger, but I think in this case I’m just going to roughly simulate two players laying down call-and-answer tile sequences and then throw in some rough card ideas which thematically match the runes, trying to model which spells and minions two opposing sorcerer types (e.g. ice queen vs pyromancer) might be throwing down at different stages of the game.