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Game Design Showdown April 2009 Challenge: "Dictyostelids"

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seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

Game Design Showdown

April 2009 Challenge - "Dictyostelids"


Design a board game in which the players control their pieces in a whay that somehow resembles the individual and aggregate states of the Dictyostelid cellular slime molds.

Theme: Free. The game theme can be literally about cellular slime molds, or cellular nano-robots, or any other thing the designer finds suitable to the main challenge premise.

Main Design Requirement:
Players must control (owned or shared) pieces that can at some stages act individually and at some other times form clusters or groups that act as a unique entity with different capabilities than the individual pieces.

Formatting Request:
Please use the GDS formatting template as a reference to format your entries before submitting. No entry will be dismissed for lack of proper formatting, but entries based on the template will be greatly appreciated.

  • Start Date: Thursday, 16-April-2009
  • End Date: Thursday, 23-April-2009, Noon US Eastern time (approximately)
  • Voting: Thusrday, 23-April-2009 through Thursday, 30-April-2009.

  • Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge were handled on the Comments Thread.

  • GDS Details: For more details on how these Game Design Showdown Challenges work, visit the GDS Wiki Page.

Please note, you must PM or e-mail me, seo, your GDS entry for this month. If you want to use e-mail, please PM me for my e-mail address.

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #1 - Ballo dei Pagliacci (Dance of the Clowns)

Entry #1

Ballo dei Pagliacci

(Dance of the Clowns)

The clown car rolls into the fairgrounds and begins disgorging a seemingly endless number of clowns. They cavort with the appreciative audience as they make their way to their assignments in the sideshow tents. Suddenly, a trouper emerges from the clown car, stares balefully at the rookie clowns and regally marches toward the Big Top. He is not happy with all the accolades the audience bestows on his lesser brethren and vows to steal the spotlight. Things are about to turn ugly…


There are two possible outcomes: a Trouper victory (Stealing the Spotlight) or a Cooperative victory (Sharing the Spotlight)

Number of Players:



Game board, six dice, a poker deck with one Joker, a pile of poker chips and a dealer's shoe (optional) which represents the clown car


Set the Joker aside and shuffle the remainder of the deck. Stick the Joker somewhere in the middle and place the deck into the shoe. Roll one die into each sideshow tent and two into the Big Top. Youngest player gets to be the Joker and operate the clown car. ballo board


Clown Car Follies

The clown car drives around to each player (figuratively) and disgorges one clown. If the Joker comes out during the first round, stick it deeper into the deck. The driver doesn’t get a clown. After every player has a clown, they take turns placing their clowns face-up into one of the four sideshow tents. As each clown enters a tent, create a stack so that only one clown's value is visible. Each player receives accolades from the audience (pile of poker chips). The die represents the number of cheers collected. Once all the clowns are inside the tents, the car makes another trip around the table. Repeat this phase until the Joker emerges.

Joker’s Wild!

As soon as the Joker emerges, set the clown car aside. Any clowns that just came out must follow the Joker into the Big Top. Only the Joker receives the accolades represented by the two dice. Separate the clowns in the Big Top so that other clowns may be stacked on top. Note: if the Joker was the first clown out of the car, there will be no additional clowns. In this case, deal three more clowns from the car and place them in the Big Top.

Starving For Attention

Starting with the player to the Joker’s left, the new sequence of events is as follows: The player examines the topmost clowns in the sideshow tents. If the player is able to, he can collect up to four clowns - one from each sideshow tent - and build onto one of the clowns already in the Big Top. Each clown must be one higher than the one below it, with aces being the highest. The Joker pays to the player one accolade for each clown brought into the Big Top. If the Joker is unable to pay the full amount, all clowns immediately declare a cooperative victory. If the player is unable or unwilling to build onto a stack, he must pay to the Joker a number of accolades equal to the higher of the two dice in the Big Top. After receiving the accolades, the Joker must reduce that die by one pip. If the die is at one, it remains there. If the player is unable to pay the full amount, he is out of the game. If he pays his last accolade, he has one more chance on his next turn to collect from the Joker. After the transaction, the turn passes to the next clown. If the turn reaches the Joker, he can either pass or force a showdown. If he passes, the clowns have another chance to gain a cooperative victory. If there is a showdown, the Joker must have more accolades than ALL other clowns combined. If he does, he wins. Otherwise, it's a cooperative victory for all clowns. Memory might be a useful skill, but it is not permissible to share information about the clowns stacked in the sideshow tents.


It may be tempting to cram all the clowns into the most lucrative sideshow tent, but this will make it nearly impossible to achieve a cooperative victory. It will only extend the inevitable Trouper victory as players find themselves unable to build stacks in the Big Top. In the spirit of cooperation, clowns should make sure that the next player will have a favorable play. Unless, of course, it’s the Joker! If the Big Top dice are large numbers, the clowns with more accolades may want to pay the Joker, reducing future payments for all clowns. The Joker’s only defense to this strategy is to force a showdown.

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #2 - Tower

Entry #2


Tower is an abstract area-control game for two people, in which the players attempt to score points by manipulating the position of their disks on the game board. Disks can be combined to form towers of differing heights. Each tower height results in a different scoring ability.

Game Components

  • Game board with nine positions in a 3x3 grid. The outside positions are labeled with values 1, 2, or 3. The middle position is labeled with a zero. The outside edge of the grid contains a scoring track.
  • Eight disks, divided into two sets of four. Each set is a different color.
  • Two scoring markers, in the same colors as the disks.

Game Setup

Before a game of Tower begins, each player chooses a color. The scoring markers are placed on the beginning position of the scoring track. The disks are shuffled and randomly placed around the outside edge of the board until every space is filled. The center space is left empty.

A random player is chosen to go first.

Game Play

On a player's turn, he must shift one of his disks orthogonally by one location on the board. The player may move one of his disks to an adjacent empty space, or he may move it onto an adjacent disk of his color. Once the move is complete, the disk he just moved is scored in the following way.

  • If the move results in a tower with a height of one, the player scores points equal to the space printed on the board.
  • If the move results in a tower with a height of two, the player scores points equal to the space the disk just vacated.
  • If the move results in a tower with a height of three, the player breaks up the tower, placing the top two disks on any empty board spaces. Both of the new spaces are scored for the player.

Once a player has completed his move and scoring, play passes to the next player.

End Game

A game of Tower is played until one player scores 50 points. Once a player reaches 50 points, the game immediately ends.

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #3 - The Duchies

Entry #3

The Duchies


Each person has three counters and a card with 6 areas for "Farm", "Steal", "Guard", "Pillage", "War" and "Conquer". There are also two shared dice and equipment used to keep track of conquered lands and gold.

The counters represent the soldiers.


One player rolls a dice to decide how many soldiers need to join the army for the army to do something.

1: Number of players -2 2: Number of players -1 3: Number of players. 4: Number of players +1 5: Number of players +2 6: 2*the number of players.

Another dice is rolled and on a roll of 5 or 6 a war is created.


Each player then put their pieces on the card mentioned above keeping them hidden. They then reveal them at the same time and Soldier actions are done.

If enough players put their soldiers on an army space then the action with the largest amount of soldiers on wins. If there are not enough soldiers then those soldiers are not used.

If there is a draw between army action then going from the left of the dice roller soldiers in the army can change spaces till there is no longer a draw. If there is still as draw after a complete loop roll a dice to decide between the drawing options.

If Conquer is picked then each player gets a vote per soldier in the army to vote for the player who gets the conquered land. The player who gets the largest amount of votes gets the land. If its a draw then nobody gets the land.

Players at any time can give another player gold.



Farm: Gain one Gold Steal: Take one gold from another player. Guard: Take no penalties from war.


Pillage: Each soldier gains 2 gold. War: Discard a war. Conquer: One member gets a conquered land piece which gives one gold each round after.


If there's a still active war from last turn or earlier each player loses a conquered land piece or failing that a gold. If neither are possible then that player loses nothing.


When the forth (or any pre-chosen number) war appears the game is over. The player with the most gold wins. To tiebreak the winner is the player with the most conquered land.

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #4 - Escape from Hadron

Entry #4

Escape from Hadron


Escape from Hadron takes place in the first few picoseconds after a collision in the Hadron supercollider. The players are potential particles that are being created in the quantum plasma of the collision. The game is a race game where players score points for being the first to cross several finish lines and having the largest particle.


  • Quark Chips in 3 colors

  • Hex board Representing the inside of the collider. It is long and skinny with several 'finish' lines on it, each one about double the distance from the last one. There are also many hexes marked as seed spots for quarks.

  • 1 black strange matter chip

  • Player discs of different colors, one for each player.

  • Cloth draw bag.


Each player picks a color, and places one chip of each type on top of it, in any order they like.

All the chips except for the black one are put into the bag. The chips are then drawn out randomly and seeded over the collider on the marked spaces. After this is done the black chip is placed in the draw bag. Players start at one end of the track The player who places their starting disc last moves first.

Player Movement:

The players move along the track and pick up chips putting them on top of their piece. The players movement speed is determined by the smallest set of chips they have. For example a player whose stack is 3 blue, 2 red and 1 white would only move 1 space at a time.

Players move forward into one of the two hexes in front of them.

Players may choose to spend the top quark of their stack to gain additional movement.

Quarks come in three flavors, Left Spin (blue), Right Spin (red) and Up Quarks (white). If you spend a quark for movement you go in the direction indicated by the name. So a left spin quark would shift your particle one hex directly left. An Up Quark moves you forward one.

Players may not move into the wall or other players.

Any Quark you pass over you pick up and put on top of your stack.

Whenever a player picks up a quark, they draw 2 quarks from the bag and seed the track with them in the two trailing hexes. If there is a player in one of those hexes the quark goes on their stack. If there is already a quark in that hex it becomes a hybrid quark.

Flotsam and Jetsam movement:

All Quarks and Hybrid Quarks not in a player particle are considered Flotsam and Jetsam. Whenever any player crosses one of the finish lines, all F&J move.

Right spin quarks move one space right. Left Spin move one space left, up quarks move forward. Hybrid quarks move according to their component quarks from the top down. So a hybrid that was white on top and blue on bottom would move one up and one left. Any quarks that bump into players are added to their stack.

Quarks hitting the walls are placed back into the draw bag.

The black chip never moves.

Scoring and winning:

The first player to cross each line gets VP for it. The rewards increase as you get further down the track. When the last line is crossed the game is over. Players get 1 additional point for each chip in their stack.

The Black chip:

If the black chip is on the board and a player picks it up a special case occurs. The black chip represents strange matter, it could be anything, dark matter, antimatter, even the elusive higgs boson. The player picks 3 chips out of the bag, if they all match color, he has discovered the higgs boson and wins the game. If they are mismatched his particle has hit an anti particle and is annihilated, removing him from the game. An annihilated player removes his particle and places the three chips that he drew on the track in the spot where the black quark was an the two trailing spaces.

Players with a dark streak may play with the alternative rule that if a player draws set of three and wins, he must then draw one more chip, if the fourth chip also matches a black hole is formed crushing the entire solar system into a singularity.

Strategy and notes:

Players in the front of the pack seed the course behind them with new quarks. So the front runner may find himself overtaken by those picking up his wake.

Players should try to position themselves so that quarks drift into them.

None of the science in this game makes any sense. This isn't how particle physics works. I hope.

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #5 - Blobs!!!

Entry #5


A game for 2-6 players.

Life on the Planet X is just beginning to evolve. Currently, there are only two forms of life: blobs, and flowers. The flowers are beautiful, nutritious, and grow rapidly in Planet X’s rich soil. The blobs are voracious herbivores, which gobble up any flowers they can get their slimy slime on. Amazingly enough, the struggle for food has allowed even the simplest of organisms to evolve, not mere intelligence, but the ability to perform complex cooperative interactions.


You will need a chess set, two 8-sided dice (different colors preferable), a hat, and a pen and paper to record eaten flowers.


The first player whose blobs eat a combined total of10 flowers wins.


Each player controls two blob pieces. Each player must select a pair of chess pieces of the same color (two white knights, two black rooks, etc). Take four black pawn pieces to represent the flowers, and two white pawns to represent decoys. All other pieces can be put away.

Each player must place their blobs at random. Randomly choose who sets up their blobs first. Roll both dice. The first dice represents how many squares the first blob is placed from the left column (if using algebraic chess notation, 1 is in the “a” column, 2 is the “b” column, etc), and the second dice represents how many squares the first blob is placed from the front row (using chess notation, 1 is row 1, 2 is row 2, etc). ( The first played must do this for both of her blobs. Blobs can be placed on the same square as one another. The player to the right must then place her blobs in the same fashion. If any of her blobs are placed on an enemy’s square, she must put her blobs on any adjacent square (not diagonal). Proceed until each player has placed her blobs.

Once each blob has been placed, take four black pawns (flowers), and place them randomly around the board, using the same method. If a flower is placed on the same square as a blob, reroll both dice. Once each flower has been placed, place the white pawns (decoys) in the hat. The first player to place her blob may then take the first turn.

The Turn

Each player’s turn has two phases: Growing Flowers and Moving Blobs. Play proceeds anticlockwise.

Growing Flowers

First is the Growing Flowers phase. If all four flowers are currently on the board, skip this phase. Otherwise, that player must reach into the hat, without looking, and draw one piece. If she draws a decoy, return it to the hat, and proceeds to the Moving Blobs phase. If she draws a flower, she must randomly place the flower on the board (rolling both dice, as above). Flowers can be placed on squares currently occupied by blobs.

Moving Blobs

Blobs can be in two different forms. When each blob is in its own square, moving individually, they are considered “blobites”. When both blobs are in the same square, moving together, they are considered a “slug”.

If your blobs are currently in blobite form, then each blob may move 2 squares in any direction. It cannot move diagonally, nor through any enemy blob. Your blobs may move freely through each other’s square. If, after both blobites have moved, they are on the same square, then they morph into a slug.

If your blobs are currently in slug form, then together they may move up to 3 squares in any direction. They cannot move diagonally, nor through an enemy slug. However, if they move into the same square as an enemy blobite, then they push it. Move the enemy blobite to any adjacent square (not diagonal, not into a square containing another blob, and not off the edge). That blobite may not move next turn (as it recovers from being slugged). The slug may push the same blobite multiple times each turn.

If your blobs are in slug form, but you no longer wish them to be, then at the start of the turn, you must announce that your slug is splitting. Each individual blobite may move 2 squares in any direction.

If, at the end of the Moving Blobs phase, either blob is on the same space as a flower, then the blob eats the flower. Place the flower in the hat, and record that a flower has been eaten. It is possible for two blobites to each eat two different flowers in one turn. Because nutrients are shared, record only how many flowers have been eaten by each player (rather than her individual blobs).

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #6 - Ameban Amok

Entry #6

Ameban Amok

A board game for 2-4 players

In Ameban Amok you control a group of social amoebae in their daily business of evolving and eating. The players take turns in which their amoebae can act in order to reach the ultimate goal: eating all bacteria in the neighbourhood!

The player whose amoebae ate the most bacteria at the end of the game, wins.


The playing field, which consists of clusters of hexagonal tiles, is put down. The players can decide the shape of the playing field between themselves. When the playing field is ready, a bacterium counter is placed on each of the tiles that have a bacterium shape on them.

Each player chooses a color and is given five amoebae in that color. An amoeba is represented by a 2x2 LEGO brick. Also, each player is handed a 'pool' of five bacterium counters.

The players then choose a starting tile for the player on their left. One amoeba is placed on this tile, the other four are placed in such a way that all five are on connecting tiles.

The initial placing of the LEGO bricks representing the amoebae, is ‘dots downwards’.

Course of the Game

The game is played in turns, clockwise. The youngest player starts.

Amoebae – divide and conquer An amoeba is represented by a 2x2 LEGO brick. Each turn a player may move each amoeba one tile.

When an amoeba gets on the same tile as a bacterium counter, that bacterium will be eaten. The player takes the bacterium counter from the playing field and adds it to her/his own 'pool'.

Dividing At the cost of eight bacterium counters, an amoeba may divide. The player places another amoeba of the same colour on a tile next to the one of the dividing amoeba.

cAMP-ing At the cost of three bacterium counters, one of the player's amoeba may initialize cAMP. This amoeba is now ready to group with one or more other amoebae from that colour in order to form either a Slug or a Fruiting Body.

The Slug – good, bad or just ugly? An amoeba that starts the process of becoming a Slug, is turned ‘dots upwards’. A Slug is made out of multiple amoebae. Amoebae that are on connecting tiles of the cAMP-ing amoeba, may be added (dots upwards) to it on the same turn that it started cAMP-ing.

A Slug can move as many tiles as its longest side (measured in dots) and can eat all bacteria on the tiles that it covers. The amoebae that make up the Slug must be connected to each other!

Examples of Slugs

Fruiting Body – the sky is the limit An amoeba that starts the process of becoming a Fruiting Body, is immediately raised by two 1x1 LEGO bricks. This is the stalk, consisting of two stalk parts. The stalk always grows from the middle of a tile.

Amoebae on connecting tiles may be added to the amoebae on top of the Fruiting Body during the following turns, one amoeba per turn. Amoebae are just small, and it's quite a climb to get to the top.. When an amoeba joins the Fruiting Body, a number of stalk parts are added to the stalk equal to the total number of amoebae that make up the Fruiting Body.

The Fruiting Body cannot move, instead it falls over when the owning player wants to, at any time during her/his turn and in any chosen direction. When falling over, the tile that is touched by the amoeba on the highest point will be the starting location of the amoebae. One amoeba is placed on this tile, the other amoebae are placed around it in such a way that they are all on connecting tiles. The stalk is removed from the playing field.

Rise&Fall Fruiting Body

Hitchhiking! Amoebae never leave home without a towel and hitchhiking is part of their essence (it's true!).

Both amoebae and Slugs can hitchhike. An amoeba/Slug can move to a tile already occupied by another amoeba/Slug of any colour. When this happens, the amoeba/Slug on top will hitchhike on the amoeba/Slug it's on.

This only works if the top one is the smaller one: an amoeba can hitchhike on a Slug, but never the other way around. Should the top one be larger, then the other one gets squashed and can't move at all!

Fruiting Bodies cannot be used to hitchhike.


Victory conditions

The game ends when all bacteria on the playing field have been eaten. The player who has the most bacteria, is the winner.

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #7 - Altania

Entry #7


Word Count: 851

Once we stood poised to unite the warring nations under a single banner. But the asteroid storm changed all that. The largest asteroid ripped a hole not only in our greatest city, Altania, but in our very society itself. For embedded within that asteroid and its fearsome children was the mysterious element Kratosium. Our scientists soon discovered that Kratosium could power machines four times as efficiently as uranium, yet emitted no harmful radiation. Soon, the fragile alliance between the nations splintered. Each faction vied for control of the super-element, building ever more powerful robots that stalked the ruined city, feeding on the meteoroids even as they fought over them. And then the aliens came...

Altania is an Ameritrashy light wargame for 2-8 players. Each player, representing a different faction, will conduct combat with increasingly powerful robots that can join together. In the closing rounds, aliens will land, forcing a final showdown for ultimate control of the city -- and with it, the world!


  • 49 square-shaped board pieces showing a variety of city blocks: factories, labs, small meteoroids, abandoned areas, and one giant meteoroid.
  • Three decks of Mecha Cards, each representing a single robot (“Mecha”). Each Mecha has different health and movement scores. Most have a weapon (laser, slug, missile), some have a corresponding defense (shield, armor, point-defense, respectively), and some have both. The decks are different price levels, with increasing levels of power – expensive Mecha have multiple weapons and defense systems!
  • A deck of gray Alien Mechas, each frighteningly powerful.
  • A deck of Development Cards, which give one-time or even permanent bonuses. Some examples: Ambush (defender attacks first), Super-Duper-Mecha (allow a stack of 6 Mechas), Bounty (get cash for destroying another Mecha).
  • A pile of Kratosium chits (Kr), the game’s “money”.
  • Colored player flags, to identify players’ Mechas.
  • Damage tokens.
  • Dice in various colors and denominations, used for different weapons and defenses.


  1. The Giant Meteoroid is the center of the city, which is a 7x7 grid. Players place a factory in a corner (with 5-8 players, also at the center of a side), marking it with a flag as their Home Base. Place remaining city blocks randomly.
  2. Shuffle Mecha Cards and place them in six piles near the board (two per deck), FACE UP.
  3. Shuffle the Development Cards and place them in a pile FACE DOWN.

Game Turn

Each turn consists of five discrete phases: Mining, Repair, Movement/Joining, Combat, and Purchase.


Players collect increasing amounts of Kr for small meteoroids, Labs, Factories, and the Large Meteroid, but only if they have a unit on the square. They also collect from their Home Base, unit or not.


Players can remove one or two damage chits at a factory or their Home Base, respectively.



Mechas may move up to their maximum movement score, in any cardinal direction(s). For Super-Mechas, use the movement score of the greatest number of Mechas in the stack; ties go to the slower speed. Mechas may walk past other “friendlies” but must join together to form a Super-Mecha if ending this phase in the same square.

Joining (Super-Mechas)

Up to five Mechas may join together to form a Super-Mecha (SM). Move them to a square together and place them in a stack, with your flag on top. SMs may not disassemble, but individual components can be destroyed, leaving room for new Mechas to join.


Combat takes place when one unit moves onto a space occupied by an enemy unit. Combat takes place in rounds, with the attacker first rolling attacks and subtracting the defender’s defense rolls; if the total is more than the enemy’s health, it takes damage. Damaged units can then be destroyed with another hit. Roles are then reversed. Players may then retreat or opt to fight another round.

SMs attack with combined weapons, defend with combined defenses, and have combined health total; in short, they are big and dangerous. Hits mean a unit-wide damage token (up to the number of components) or a destroyed component.

Players can attack Home Bases, which have some defenses. A destroyed Home Base eliminates a player.


Purchase any of the face-up Mechas in one of the six piles by paying its Kr price to the bank; place it at your Home Base. Development Cards may also be purchased now.

Alien Attack

When TWO of the six Mecha stacks have been depleted, the Aliens land and immediately attack! Eliminated player(s) control the Aliens (otherwise they follow some simple algorithm, in parentheses):

  • A three-unit SM on each surviving Home Base (will attack Home Bases)
  • A Five-unit SM on the center Meteroid (will roam around, attacking units)

Continue until the Aliens have either destroyed every Home Base or been destroyed themselves. If the Aliens win, then the Alien player who was eliminated LAST is the winner of the game. If the Aliens lose, then the Human player with the most Kratosium wins, including half the total price of surviving units.

All hail the winner, ruler of a ruined world!

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #8 - Hungry Cities

Entry #8

Hungry Cities


In Hungry Cities, players take the role of a family of farmers and compete against each other and, soon, against the cities. They build farms, groups of which will grow together into cities. Families can now sell their food in the cities for gold, but the cities are on no one's side but their own, and they must be fed. Players must manage carefully, because while farms grow food and cities buy it, the cities also swallow the farmland as they grow. Can your family save enough to sell the farm and retire before the neighbours, and before the cities get too big?

For 2-4 players


A modular gameboard represents the countryside, marked with a square grid. One section is added for each player in the game. A separate board represents the market, and also contains a city-size track and a starvation track. Chits represent farms (in 4 player colours) and reverse to show generic city buildings. Cubes in 4 colours represent food harvested, and coins, gold. A starting player marker is used, and all actions occur in player order- none are simultaneous.


To begin, each player places 2 farms, which must have at least 2 spaces between them orthagonally or diagonally. A farm building takes one quarter of the space on a square- the other 3 quarters of the square are considered to be fields.

Game Play

Hungry Cities is played in rounds. Each player completes the Farm actions before play continues to the Market.

Farm actions- players may do one or both of these actions:

  • Take 1 food for each field owned (3 fields per farm), 2 for each field on any farms only 1 space from a city.

  • Build farms, at a cost of 6 food. Once the game begins, farms may be built in any empty square. There is no limit to how many new farms may be built on a player's turn.

Market (occurs only after at least one city is formed):

  • Place food to sell in the market. Once all players have done this, the total for sale is compared to the city size. Players take 1 gold per food for sale, and if there is enough food to feed the city (food is equal or greater than city size), the market phase ends.

  • If there isn't enough, a shortage occurs. All players except the one who brought the least may bring additional food (in turn order). The city will only buy exactly what it needs to meet the shortfall- once this is met no more may be added. Food sold in a shortage is worth 2 gold.

  • If after trying to meet the shortage there is still not enough food, starvation occurs. No player may add more food, and the starvation marker moves up 1.

Upkeep- players do all of the following:

  • Check for new cities. A city is any group of at least 3 farms touching in any configuration including diagonally. A city may include farms owned by any players.

  • If a new city forms, farm chits within the city are turned city building side up. Adjacent Farm fields are now considered city lots. Any player whose farm is turned to city gains 5 gold/farm lost.

  • City growth. Each player adds 1 building to each city, with the exception of newly formed ones. City squares contain 4 building lots (just as farm squares contain 1 farm chit and 3 fields), and when all the lots in a city are full, the next player to add a building may chose which square the city will expand into. If the expansion of the city connects it to a farm, the farm is immediately absorbed by the city, the farm chit turned over, and the owner paid 5 gold.

  • Update city size track & pass the start marker.

Ending the game

The game may end in one of 2 ways:

  • A player has X (see note) gold at the end of a round. His family sells the farm and retires to the city, of course! (In the case of a tie, tied players count their farms and the player with the most wins. Should they still be tied, play one more round and re-count).

  • The starvation marker reaches the end of the track. The Cities win! Civil authorities are outraged at the poor management and all farms are nationalised. All players lose. (Players may hiss at the opponent with the most food hoarded).

Note: exact winning conditions and board size to be determined through testing.

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #9 - cAMP Purpureum

Entry #9

cAMP Purpureum

Dictyostelium purpureum is a species of Dictostelium that forms colonies by kinship as well as proximity. cAMP Purpureum is an abstract that takes this into account in the colony “fruiting” mechanic.


Sets are sold in pairs. Each unit contains the following in a fabric bag:

-6 wooden hexes (representing the environment)

-8 coloured glass stones in two colours (representing phages)



Minimum 2, maximum is theoretically unlimited. Any number of people can join in a game as long as their phages are of a different colour from everyone else. Hexes are always the same colour.


To out-populate and crowd out the phage colonies of your opponents.


Each player takes three hexes and all four stones of one colour. The person who has most recently suffered amoebic dysentery plays first. Players place two hexes and one stone in turn starting from the first player.

Two Hexes

The hexes must contact at least one hex-side of the hexes already placed on the board. Glass beads (representing phages) may not start the game adjacent. Once this placement is complete, players will have one hex and three phages in their supply. Here is an example of a legal set-up:

Game Start


Play begins with the start player from the setup. The player may either:

-place/move stones, or

-place/replace hexes

Once he has done so, he may, if eligible, either:

-form a spore colony (fruiting), or

-remove an overpopulated phage from the board.

Play then continues to the left. NOTE: fruiting is illegal in the first round of the game.

Placement/movement of stones

A player may place a phage on any empty hex that is adjacent to another phage of the same colour.

A player may also place a phage on an empty hex that is adjacent to a phage of any colour if and only if a chain of adjacent phages (of any colour) can be traced from a phage of the player’s colour to the empty space. For example, if a yellow phage is adjacent to a red phage which is adjacent to a blue phage which is adjacent to an empty space, the yellow player may place a yellow phage in that empty space. If the chain of adjacency is broken anywhere along the line, the move is not valid.

A player may alternatively move any one of his phages to an adjacent open hex.

Placement/replacement of hexes

A player may place a hex from his supply to any place on the board, so long as the hex contacts at least one hexside of a hex already in play.

A player may, alternatively, remove any empty hex from the board and move it to a different eligible position. If the removal of a hex orphans any part of the board, its removal is illegal.


Any phage that:

1) is,

2) is placed, or

3) is moved adjacent to

a minimum of two other phages, provided that a minimum of one of the adjacent phages is of the same colour, may fruit.

To fruit, move the two adjacent phages into the hex of the phage that initiated fruiting.

On the player’s next turn, he MUST:

1) remove all phages to their respective supplies except one phage (in this case a “spore”) of his colour

2) place this “spore” in any open hex (includes the source hex)

A player who places a spore may not fruit with that spore.

Removal of overpopulated phages

A player may remove one phage from the board that is adjacent to three or more phages of any colour. This phage may not be of the player’s own colour. The player holds this phage in his supply for endgame scoring.

Ending the game:

The game ends either when one player has no phages on the board or when one player has one phage on the board and no phages of his own colour in his personal supply. Players score one point for each phage of their own colour on the board (not counting those in any fruiting colonies!) and two points for every opponent’s phage in their personal supply.

Sample game end: Red won with six points (including two opponents’ phages in his supply)

End Game

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #10 - Firewall

Entry #10



2-4 players

Players create the computer network. Everybody tries their network works with software of the same brand and the opposite networks software being hacked. To protect their own network players need to create firewalls.


Players uses only the set of 125 cards where the software brand is represented at cards by three different elements: color, shape or number and each element can be found in five different versions. The card can show one from five colors or shapes or numbers.


The set of 125 cards is shuffled. Each player receives two cards - one for the initial firewall and one for the initial computer in the network. The rest of cards make the deck. Put the deck in the midlle. Reveal the first card from the deck and place it next to the deck. It is always possible for player to take one revealed card or one card from the top of the deck.


Each turn one player can take one card either from the top of the deck or the revealed one. The player can then put the card to ones network (either to one of the firewalls or one of the computers) or can put the card to the common hacking area. Instead of taking a card the player can declare hacking.

Making networks: The player makes the network by placing cards in two rows. In the rows there can be several columns of cards created. Cards can make stacks in one column as well. One column of cards (first and second row) makes one network tree. The first row is the firewall set of computers. The cards placed in the firewall are put face down and only the number of cards stacked counts as a firewall level. The second row is the computer where the cards represent software brand. The cards in the second row are put face up. The player will try to stack the same elements in the second row (same colors, shapes or numbers).

Hacking: Players can prepare hacking all the time by putting a card face down to the common hacking area. Where there are at least three cards in the hacking area any player can hack. Hacking is done by selecting one of the opposite player network tree (the column of firewall and computer cards). Hacking player counts the number of computer cards (second row) in one of their own column against the number of cards of the hacked firewall (first row). The hacking is successful if there are less firewall cards than attacking computer cards. After successful hacking the player gets all the cards from common hacking area and distributes them one by one to all players at his wish starting from himself. The hacking player can also take one card from the hacked computers (second row) of the opposite player. Players put the cards to their own networks.

The goal

By taking cards or hacking other networks players try to make their own networks. The best network is the one created of the same brand of software so the player should stack cards in the columns of the second row. The player should also make the high firewalls to protect the network.

The end

The game ends when all the cards from the deck are used. Players then analyze their computers in networks by looking at the stacked cards in columns of their second rows. Only the cards with the same elements (either color, shape or number) in the stack count. Players total up points from all columns according to the following criteria: 2 cards with the same elements = 2 VP 3 cards = 4 VP 4 cards = 6 VP 5 cards = 10 VP

The winner is the one with the most VP or there can be a tie.

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
April 2009 GDS Winner Announced

Voting is closed and it's time to announce the results:

Winner: Escape from Hadron, by Jpwoo. 36 points (5,5,5,4,4,4,3,3,3)
Second place: Hungry Cities, by Roberta Taylor. 22 points (5,5,5,4,3)
Third place: Blobs!!!, by simons. 17 points (5,5,4,3)

Followed by:
cAMP Purpureum, by dnjkirk. 16 points (5,4,4,3)
Ameban Amok, by kJev. 15 points (5,4,3,3)
Altania, by ilta. 11 points (4,4,3)
Ballo dei Pagliacci (Dance of the Clowns), by Mitchell Allen. 8 points (5,3)
Tower, by McWookie. 4 points
Firewall, by Robert_C. 3 points
The Duchies, by Empking. 0 points.

For the record, based on the voting, the old winner takes all method would have resulted in a tie for first place with both Escape from Hadron and Hungry Cities getting 3 votes. With the 5-3-1 voting I suggested at the start, the results would have been basically the same, with no changes in the ranking.

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