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[GDS] AUGUST 2016 "Go Go Gadget GenCon"

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

We have a winner!

Royal Progress

by gilamonster

Let's give these designers some feedback in the critiques thread for taking the time out of convention season to keep the contest alive.

Entries are in!

Another month down, another tight set of entries. This month there are three combatants for your consideration to win the GDS crown for August.

When voting, consider how the entries used the required mechanic and theme. Was it clever? Are you interested enough to learn more? How clear is the description?

After you've read the entries, submit your votes HERE

Voting: Award a Gold, Silver, and Bronze (worth 3,2, and 1 points respectively) Medals to your three favorite entries. Any entrant that does not award all three Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (that's "Fool's Gold") worth -3 votes!

Ohhh, GenCon GenCon GenCon. That time of year when publishers large, medium, small, and 1-game wonders pitch their products. With the enormous volume of games these days it's hard for one to stand out! Demos are king, with flashy art and 'table presence' drawing players in.

Now what if you can only pitch a game with the gameplay and theme description? Will it get them to the table? What if that theme was a tired one, like "fantasy kingdoms?" Could you describe a game so innovative that people reading it will think "wow, I need to try this - it sound great!"

This is your challenge for Gencon week: Design a game whose gameplay is compelling, with the classic and over-used theme of "warring kingdoms."

To keep things grounded in the familiar for players, it should also feature at least one of these common mechanics:

  • Worker placement
  • Auctions/bidding
  • Trick-taking
  • Drafting
  • Roll-and-Move
  • Route-building

Now the details!

Component restriction: None Mechanic restriction: Feature at least one mechanic from the list above. Theme restriction: It must be focused on "warring kingdoms" in the way that so many games are.

Word Limit: Standard 500 word limit. Remember this is a pitch, so focus your thoughts on the task and a summary more than explaining every detail

Voting: Award a Gold, Silver, and Bronze (worth 3,2, and 1 points respectively) Medals to your three favorite entries. Any entrant that does not award all three Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (that's "Fool's Gold") worth -3 votes!

When submitting your entry: PLEASE USE THE FORM LINKED HERE.

  • Submissions: the 2nd through the 9th

    • Voting: Through the 16th. Votes will be through a form (link posted after submission period is ended).

    • Voting Format: Each person has 3 Medals (Gold, Silver, and Bronze - with values 3, 2, and 1 vote respectively) to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:

    • Entrants may not assign any Medals to their own entry!

    • Entrants must assign all 3 Medals.

    • An entrant who does not assign all 3 Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (-3 votes) as a penalty.

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

    • CRITIQUES: After voting has closed the entries will be posted for comments and critiques. Post constructive critiques and commentary about the entries to this Challenge in the Critiques Thread.

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

Enjoy, and good luck!

-Rich and Mindspike

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 1 - Royal Progress

In this game, players represent powerful nobles ruling their own fiefdoms under a single king.

At the start of play, each player draws a card with one of four victory conditions which applies to them: have a certain number of knights ("the general") or a certain amount of gold ("the treasurer"), or the last player with any knights on the board("the conquerer"), or to occupy the same square as the king for five consecutive turns ("the councillor").

The square board has a track (the royal progress) around the outside perimeter, with track branches running from center of each side towards the center of the board (the capital), and forming a cross dividing the board into four quarters. A king pawn moves clockwise around the track according to the roll of a royal die once per round, moving inwards towards if he lands on the branch square, and leaving the capital from the path 90 degrees clockwise from that by which he entered. In each quarter is a fiefdom for one player - a grid on which one player may place tiles representing their castle, farms, mines, villages, etc. Players roll as many dice as there are knights in their castle.They must devote at least one die each turn to moving their pawn, before taking any other actions. They may then assign the remaining dice to different actions as they see fit, eg assigning a die that rolled 5 to a farm or mine allows the player to draw five resource cards, including gold. Resources are needed to place extra tiles. Villages allow players to draw military cards. There are several event squares on the track (famine - roll one less die; taxes, chose one die and discard it for this turn, grand tourney between all players, and so on). Some are activated when the king pawn lands on them, others by the players's pawns. There are also a number of track squares which cause players to exchange victory conditions.If a player shares a track square with the king, they may roll and use an extra "audience die" in that turn. If two players occupy the same track square, they hold a tourney. Players may attack another's fiefdoms by playing a knight onto a tile in an enemy fiefdom, blocking its use by its owner. The enemy knight may be attacked by another knight to remove the threat. If the invader is not attacked within a turn, then the tile is removed from the fiefdom, and the invading knight returned to his castle. All combat including tourneys are decided by involved players playing a trick of military cards. Losing the trick also loses a player their knight. If the knight on the track loses a tourney, a knight from the castle is removed if there is one. Certain combinations of military cards and gold can be exchanged for an extra knight.

The winner is the first to fulfil their victory condition.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 2 - Cogsfeld

The invention of gears has caused rapid change and conflict among the city states of Cogsfeld.

Gameplay revolves around a large central gear surrounded by four smaller gears, which move one position per round. Players control a dial situated between two of the smaller gears (not linked to the gears) and a set of dice in six colours. The dice sit on the smaller gears and dials, making them move during gameplay.

Each turn players play one coloured action tile. Available actions are dictated by the position and value of the die of the same colour. Tiles are either played immediately as a basic action or allocated to a future bonus or scoring action.

Players must carefully time their basic and bonus actions with the movement of the gears in order to maximize scoring opportunities when they line up. Throughout the game players place small coloured tokens in numbered spaces around the gears and dials (eg a yellow tile will let you place a yellow token on a space with the same number as the yellow die). The action tiles have coloured, scoring icons on each face. When allocated as a scoring action, tiles are placed between the dial and a gear. The scoring tile is activated if there is a token on both sides of the tile matching the colours of the scoring icons. Players must choose carefully how to align the tile when placing it.

The basic actions and bonus actions allow players to move their dial, manipulate the tokens and dice, setup action tiles for future turns, collect tiles to make sets, and variously manipulate the game state.

When a tile is allocated to a bonus action it is placed on a gear. The longer it is left on, the greater the bonus action it awards.

Five scoring actions award points relative to the game state for things like the value of dice or sets collected. There are two scoring tracks, economic and military. The tiles are two sided. One side for economic and one for military. Whenever a tile is used, players will earn points or pay points from the track that was face up. Points on both tracks are currency, so they move up and down. The final score is the lower of the two.

The sixth scoring action is conflict which involves all players. Everyone uses a die to secretly choose how to determine their conflict total. The total starts with the military scores and the choice is to add to it by using the action dice or by paying some economic score. The player with the highest conflict total becomes starting player and scores the points shown by the conflict marker (set by the main gear). The lowest conflict total loses half those points.

After each round, in reverse turn order, players draft a new tile from the board by paying the difference between the numbered space linked to the tile and the value of the player's die of the same colour.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 3 - Common enemy

The kings have always hated each other and would like nothing more than to destroy the other's castles. But their castles are too strong to be destroyed by one king alone so they will now work together...for a while.

A Castle Defence game where players take turns defending and all other players cooperate as attackers. Drafting, dice rolling and simultaneous action selection in a 2-6 player game (4p described).

116 Cards (96 units, 8 leaders, 8 events, 6 castles,
108 castle pieces
20 damage tokens
30 dice

The game is played over two years and all castles are attacked once per year. Cards are drafted before the first attack each year and between castle attacks to replace used cards.

Deal 6 cards to each player, players pick one and pass the others on to the next player, repeat 5 times and discard the last card.

The Defender then draws 2 extra cards so that he have 7 and attackers 5 cards.
Attackers play one card each cooperating
Defender plays 2 cards
Attackers and defenders play cards simultaneously, attacker 1 and defender 2
Battle end

After the battle end, 2 new cards are drafted (from 3) and the new defender gets 2 extra cards. Battle then take place in the same way until all castles have been attacked. Then all remaining cards are discarded and a new draft is done.

Cards are units and spells with attack dice, hp and special bonuses. Cards can be used in one part of the battle (air, sea or ground).

Combat is played over two rounds in each attack. Surviving units from the first round remain in second round.
Combat is resolved first in air, then sea and finally ground.
Attackers roll all dice and add up their individual hits and blocks, as does the Defender.
The Defender assign damage, from attackers one at a time. The Defender choose a friendly unit to assign damage to. If damage equals or exceed the health of the unit the unit is destroyed and the destroyer gets the card for VP at the end of the game. Excess damage is assigned to a new unit.
If damage is lower than health, damage tokens are added to the unit.
Damage assigned to the castle destroy castle parts, they are also saved for VP. If all castle parts are destroyed in one part of the castle the castle is destroyed.
Attacker then assigns damage in the same way. Defender also save killed units as VP.

Game end
The game ends after all castles have been attacked twice, or once if at least one castle was destroyed in the first year. The winner is the player with a standing castle and the most VP.

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