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Bungle in the Jungle

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sedjtroll
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Ok, I was driving yesterday and this song was on the radio (Bungle in the Jungle by Jethro Tull) and I thought "There needs to be a game called Bungle in the Jungle!"

So just now I thought "what could that be?" Here's what I came up with:

It's a bidding/set collection game, like I'm sure there are many others. Each player gets a card with a tiger on one side and a snake on the other (both on the face, all the backs would be identical and symetric). Things will come up for auction, and each player places their card face down with either the tiger forward or the snake. Then players bid normally with their supply of 'money' or whatever resource they might have- not sure what that should be just yet.

The catch is that at the end of the auction players reveal their cards... players that were snakes actually dropped out of the auction att he beginning and their bids were just bluffs. Players that were tigers were actually bidding for the lot. "I'm a tiger when I want stuff, I'm a snake when I disagree" - get it? I amuse myself...

Anyway, I think that could lead to an interesting decsion... is he bidding me up because he really wants this lot? or is he just bluffing so that I'll bid more?

[brainstorm]
The lots for auction could be anything, I was thinking something along the llines of Taj Mahal (since I just found out about that wonderful game and started playing it), or what it sounds like Amazonas will be like. Lots of cards come up for auction- let's use a standard playing card deck for example- and when you win the bid you get the cards. After you win a bid you can take any of the cards you have and 'lock them in', and the rest are still waiting to be 'melded' or whatever t should be called. Once locked in or melded, that set cannot be added to or taken away from. Scoring will come from poker hands that have been locked in. So if you lock in a set of cards which is a 3 of a kind then it'll be worth some points. If you lock in a full house it'll be worth more points, etc.

If you win a lot that includes a wild card, then you immediately discard the wild and take a card from any other player that has not already been locked in.

Now, for the cards I was thinking the suits could be changed to different animals, and the numbers could be adjusted so that a 'suit' could have several 1's, 2's, 3's, 4's and maybe 5's rather than 1 each of 1-13. You would score by having sets of the same number (3, 4, or 5 1's) or runs in the same suit, like Rummy I guess, and/or poker hands like I mentioned before. Oh, and of course there could be more than 4 suits... maybe 5?

Finally, there needs to be some kind of resource, and therefore some kind of income. I guess when you meld a set you could get paid for it. Obviously a bigger, higher scoring set woul be worth more than a smaller one, but you might need to sell the smaller set to get money to keep playing. The money could be the VP determiner... players start with some, spend some on cards, make some by selling sets, and whoever has the most at the end wins..

Selling sets could get you SOME of the points worth in money, but there could be bonuses at the endgame as well- so putting together a killer set doesn't make you super strong in the game, but will score you a lot of points at the end. Presumably that would make the game difficult for you and keep the winner from running away with the game.
[/brainstorm]

So what do you think?

[Alternate to snake/tiger cards]
Another idea I had about the Tiger/Snake card is this... Players get 1 Tiger card and a set number of Snake cards (or vice versa), and the one you have one of you can use over and over, but the one you have several of you lose... eventually everyone will be out.

The game could go on until everyone has used all of their limited cards-
For example, if I have 1 Tiger and 3 Snakes, then I can only bluff in 3 Auctions, the rest I actually have to participate in for real. And if people pay attention, they'll know if I'm out of bluffs or not. This might be good because if I want to I can be in on every auction, however the game may not end fast enough.

Alternatively if I have 1 Snake and 3 Tigers then I can only ever get 3 Auctions (maybe it'd be more than 3 for this case). There's also a possibility that the game will go on forever if everyone always plays the snake, so an additional rule would be needed- if all players play their snake, the game ends. This would also be interesting because if you're not winning and you play your snake, there's a chance the game will end and you will lose. With few players I think this might prematurely end the game too often though.

If this 'everyone plays their unlimited card = game over' is applied to when the Tiger is unlimited, could work the same way, but is it more or less likely that veryone will want a lot than everyone won't? I think this case sounds like the worst of all of them.

- Seth

Yogurt
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Bungle in the Jungle

I like the Tiger/Snake twist on bidding a great deal.

Ending the game when everyone plays snakes seems drastic. It's not that unlikely an occurance and could be awfully disappointing.

I'd suggest: when everyone plays snakes, the highest bidding snake actually has to buy the item. This adds some strategy to the snake bidder too. Otherwise, you're always going to raise any other bidder.

Yogurt

sedjtroll
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Bungle in the Jungle

Good call Yogurt, I like that a lot. My thought was that 'let them bid it up' but your idea is MUCH better.

I had another idea earlier which may be better still. Instead of Snake being a non-bid, maybe there are 2 lots, a Snake lot and a Tiger lot. You play either snake or tiger face down, then you bid normally... the highest bidding snake wins the snake auction and the highest bidding tiger wins the tiger auction.

With this idea there could either be simply 1 snake/tiger card, or there could be a limited number of each- maybe you do 6 rounds of bidding and you start with 3 each of snake and tiger cards. Then maybe some of the cards in the deck are snakes and tigers, and if you win those it means you have more flexibility as to which auction to go for...

Thoughts on that?

- Seth

sedjtroll
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Further thoughts

Along the lines of the 2 simultaneous auctions...
For he sake of description let's use a standard deck of cards. There is a Tiger Auction and a Snake Auction, and each player has a single card that turned one direction indicates Tiger and the other indicates Snake.

The currency in the game could be the cards themselves.

Begin by dealing each player 5 cards from the deck. Say 3 cards come up at a time (maybe different for different number of players, or maybe somehow different each round) in each Auction. Players must play their Tiger/Snake card face down, and at least 1 other card face up. If they have no cards in hand then they do not participate in the auction, but then draw 2 cards at the end of it so they can participate in the next auction. [I don't know if this forced bid is really necessary, but I thought it might be interesting]

After each auction, each player in turn order may play a set onto the table in front of them. A "set" is, like in Rummy, 3 or more cards of a kind in different suits, or 3 or more cards of the same suit in a run (numberical order).

Wild cards may come up in a lot for Auction. The winner of a lot with a wild in it may immediately discard the wild to take any card from anyone else's hand (hands would be open information). [Alternate: A wild can count as any number, but does not add to the scoring of the set]

Game ends after when the last of the cards is auctioned off. Players complete their turn. Perhaps you can only Meld 1 set per turn, to keep people from holding all their cards for the last turn.

There's a simpler, more sturctured version of the idea. The simultaneous Auction is the featured mechanic of this game, and I think a forced bid might help that mechanic shine...

- Seth

Zzzzz
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Bungle in the Jungle

Just a quick note, but I was suprised to see that Bungle actually has a meaning (at least based on WordNet website),

The noun "bungle" (from WordNet at least): blunder, blooper, bloomer, bungle, foul-up, f$@#up, flub, botch, boner, boo-boo -- (an embarrassing mistake)

The verb "bungle" (from WordNet as least): botch, bumble, fumble, botch up, muff, blow, flub, screw up, ball up, spoil, muck up, bungle, fluff, bollix, bollix up, bollocks, bollocks up, bobble, mishandle, louse up, foul up, mess up, f$@# up -- (make a mess of, destroy or ruin; "I botched the dinner and we had to eat out"; "the pianist screwed up the difficult passage in the second movement")

So maybe it might be fun to play with the theme of the game? Or maybe mix up the player goals to be odd for a jungle setting. As to fit with the meaning of bungle (which I am still amazed has a real definition...*shakes head*).

Scurra
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Bungle in the Jungle

Zzzzz wrote:
Just a quick note, but I was suprised to see that Bungle actually has a meaning
I grew up with a UK tv show called "Rainbow" which featured a bear called Bungle was was somewhat unco-ordinated, so I suppose I always knew what the word meant. )

Anyway, as far as the game idea goes - the latest proposal sounds a bit like Katzenjammer Blues as far as the "cards as currency" bidding goes: that game even features wildcards, although the jokers in there are more of a poison pill as the player with the most at the end loses a lot of points. It has a nice pseudo-random set size generation mechanic though - you keep on turning cards until you get a duplicate card or a joker.

I like the "two auctions but you don't know which one everyone is bidding for" idea - that could cause a lot of angst. How about making the income stream come from declaring sets, with the obvious restriction that you can't declare a set that has already been declared (with longer sets earning more money, natch.) I like the Poker hands analogy in terms of giving an interesting range of potential "sets".

I'm also taken with the restricted auction cards idea - even when you know what cards players are bidding for, that doesn't always help! If the card pools were generated in different fashions - say, the Tigers always had more than the Snakes - but you had 2 Tigers and 4 Snakes that might also make the choices a little less obvious.

Yogurt
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Bungle in the Jungle

sedjtroll wrote:
Instead of Snake being a non-bid, maybe there are 2 lots, a Snake lot and a Tiger lot. You play either snake or tiger face down, then you bid normally... the highest bidding snake wins the snake auction and the highest bidding tiger wins the tiger auction.

Oh, now that would be a whole different game. Having two simultaneous lots would make it a half-blind auction, I suppose. You have clues about what price you need to beat, but no guarantees. Nifty!

Back to the original idea for a moment:

I liked the Snake being a non-bid, because it reminded me of shills in auctions -- people who are there only to drive up the price.

Winning snakes should have to discard their snake card, as you suggest. That keeps the game from being littered with useless auctions.

It would also be worthwhile to have something happen in auctions where the winner is a snake, but there were honest tigers bidding. Perhaps the winning tiger could buy at the inflated price or a discount.

It would make the game more personal if a player got the money from the auction. That way, having a shill win your auction could be aggravating. (If the good being auctioned were from a draw pile, then the auctioneer could bid on his own item -- effectively getting it for free. This would raise the question "is the auctioneer really after this tile or is he shilling?")

Yogurt

sedjtroll
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Bungle in the Jungle

yogurt wrote:
I liked the Snake being a non-bid, because it reminded me of shills in auctions -- people who are there only to drive up the price.

I think that was my intent.

Quote:
It would also be worthwhile to have something happen in auctions where the winner is a snake, but there were honest tigers bidding. Perhaps the winning tiger could buy at the inflated price or a discount.

I agree, but I don't know what it would be.
Actually, when a Snake wins an auction, what was to happen was that really, the highest bidding tiger wins the auction. So there really isn't ever a Snake winning an Auction.

Quote:
It would make the game more personal if a player got the money from the auction. That way, having a shill win your auction could be aggravating. (If the good being auctioned were from a draw pile, then the auctioneer could bid on his own item -- effectively getting it for free. This would raise the question "is the auctioneer really after this tile or is he shilling?")

I'm not sure I follow this exactly, but it sounds like it could be pretty cool.

- Seth

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