Designer Diary – Part One: What is Bloodstones?

This is my first designer diary. I’m not someone who enjoys the process of writing, especially about myself. However, as Bloodstones is due to launch on Gamefound soon I thought it might be helpful to explain something of the background of this game and the part it has played in my personal journey.

When I started writing this I thought it would be just a few pages, then it turned into War and Peace. Thus I have broken the diary into parts with clear headings. Just warning you, so you know what’s to come. ‘Bloodstones’ has had the longest, most tortuous path to publication of any of my designs, and one that I would prefer not to repeat. Therefore it may be of interest to some of you as a cautionary tale.


‘Bloodstones’ is a fantasy wargame with 4-6 asymmetric factions.

Your aim is to score the most points, which come from having villages on the map, winning battles, and capturing villages and citadels.

The tiles form the core of the system. Each tile has three pieces of information on it: the cost of building the tile (which varies from zero to two), the unit type, i.e. sword, cavalry, dragon etc, and the ‘pip’ value (going from two to five). The tiles are multi-use and while in your hand they can be used for various purposes. You are constantly faced with difficult decisions of what to build and what to discard. Combat also makes use of a different tile set.

Rather than going into a lot of detail about the gameplay here, you can download the rules from our website.

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