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Design Me: Action Point Allowance

It’s been a couple of weeks off on Friday’s for me, meaning I haven’t posted a review or Design Me article since life gets in the way sometimes. But I’m back! And today we’ve got an interesting Design Me Challenge. Here’s the result that I liked best from Boardgamizer:

Action Point Allowance to crusade the moon and beat a bad guy! I can do this!

Action Point Allowance to crusade the moon and beat a bad guy! I can do this!

Moon Rattler

In the game Moon Rattler you are in command of one of several military space fleets sent from Earth to destroy the moon. Little did we humans know that the moon is actually a giant rattlesnake. It has laid some eggs and it’s getting really feisty. We humans need to prevent those babies from hatching. It’s time to save the world!

Moon Rattler is an action point allowance game where players are moving around a rondel throughout the game trying to defeat the moon rattler. The player who accumulates the most points during the game will be the winner. Points are obtained by contributing to the destruction of the moon rattler, which can be accomplished in several ways, shown here:

Moon Rattler WeaponsBut these weapons cannot be used freely. Each player will have to charge their weapons or obtain bombs using their action points. Let’s dig in a little deeper.


  • Main board
  • 6 Space ship meeples
  • 6 player mats
  • Numerous cubes in each player’s color
  • Point tokens
  • 18 Wooden egg tokens (3 per player per game)
  • Health cubes

How To Play

Players will be flying their ship around the circle in clockwise fashion. At each location they will have 4 action points to use. In any turn the player may save two of their unused points for a later turn of their choosing. So on any given turn a player will have 4-6 action points available.

At each location the player may charge or obtain the item listed. This means that if they spend action points, then they would place a cube onto their player mat in the appropriate location. Charging their weapons or clock or obtaining a bomb require different amounts of action points. Here’s a tentative list:

  • CHARGE LASER: 1 AP = 1 cube
  • CHARGE CANNON: 2 AP = 1 cube
  • CHARGE BOMB: 3 AP = 1 cube
  • CHARGE CLOAK = 2 AP = 1 cube

Here is a look at the player mats, showing the maximum goods a ship can possess:

Moon Rattler player mat for orange player

Moon Rattler player mat for orange player

Therefore a ship can hold 2 bombs, a charge of 3 for their cannon, a charge of 3 for their cloak, and a charge of 4 for their lasers.

Here’s the catch: Players have to balance obtaining/charging weapons with moving and actually using those weapons. Let’s take a look at the board so you have an idea of what’s going on here:

Moon Rattler Rondel Board

Moon Rattler Rondel Board

Let’s pretend we are the orange player. First of all, we are in a red region. The three red regions near the Moon Rattler’s head are the regions where the rattler can strike you. In the dark red regions you lose 1 AP if you are not cloaked. In the bright red region you lose 2 AP if you are not cloaked. Using the cloaking device does not cost AP, but the cubes must be discarded from your player mat.

So the orange player is in a region with CHARGE LASERS. The region also shows that only lasers can be used to attack in that region. So the orange player is basically deciding if the want to charge or attack with their lasers.

The green player is in the same situation in the image above with the exception that they are either charging their cannon or using their cannon to attack the eggs. They are also in a red region, so hopefully they had a cloaking cube to discard.

Here’s the other thing. Players may stay in a region as long as they like. Their ships will fly only when they use AP to move around the rondel. A player may use any number of AP to move 1 spot per AP around the rondel.

On a turn a player will use AP in any order. So let’s imagine we are the orange player again. We might have a bomb on board. So we could spend 1 AP to move into the bright red region at the head. Then we could use 1 AP to drop a bomb (and earn 5 points), then we could spend 2 AP to move off the head and onto the CHARGE CANNON region. That would be a great turn if we did not have any more cloaking cubes.

At the start of the game, an appropriate number of health cubes should be placed on the octants of the board. For example, the head region should begin with 3. Each time these regions are attacked, the attacking player will remove one of the cubes per attack. These regions can still be attacked but are only worth 1 point each. The game will end when all cubes have been removed.

My Thoughts: I think this could be an interesting concept. I like the balance of using AP to charge versus to attack. With the rondel in the game it makes it important where you are located. I think I may mock this one up and give it a try.

Your Designer Perspective:

What do you think about the design for Moon Rattler? What would you have come up with for the design based on the Boardgamizer criteria? Any thoughts about my design?

Thanks for reading! And don’t forget to exercise your brain by doing design exercises like this! Have a great weekend.

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