Fun With Cards
I've been spending a lot of time developing organized charts in Excel for Leviathan. It's turning out to be one of my more complicated efforts in terms of controlling data. Even though you don't hear it mentioned much, Excel (or really any other spreadsheet program) really is a necessity in the game design toolbox.
Anyway, here's an example Discovery card. It has a list of the various ocean locations a player can be, and these get mixed up on each of the 10 cards. A player's turn begins with moving around the Map Board, and then drawing one of these cards. This card gets placed on the Discovery Board, and based on the player's location listed on the card, a player gets some codes to look up data in a set of tables to determine what he has discovered there. These codes are on the left and right of the card listed on the Discovery Board. It's a fairly simple player action, and probably doesn't make much sense at this point without seeing the Discovery Board.
After finding his discoveries (which is basically Fleet composition, but there are Weather events, also) the player can determine what his next move is, which for the most part is comprised of two choices: attack the Fleet, or hide and rest.
But the mechanics, planning, and math behind the curtain, so to speak, of what's actually going on and running the Discovery Phase is somewhat complicated. More on this later...