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[GDS] February 2011 - Mythic Dice - Feedback here

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nosissies
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Joined: 07/26/2008

Mythic Dice

By Tom Kiehl (nosissies) A dice game for 2-10

Capture mythical creatures from various cultures to protect your dice and gain you favor (and points), release them to do your bidding or poach them for unique artifacts.

Components

-40 8 sided dice -18 double sided creature/artifact cards

Setup

  • Deal dice to each player, remaining dice go to a pool
  • 2 players: 10 dice each
  • 3,4 players: 8 dice each
  • 5,6 players: 6 dice each -7,8 players: 5 dice each -9,10 players: 4 dice each
  • Everyone rolls their dice to get their starting "hand"
  • Shuffle creature cards and spread them in the middle of the playing area, any visible artifacts should be turned to show the creature side of the card. Only creatures are ever available in this pool of cards.
  • The player whose hand of dice is the lowest total is deemed the start player, if tied the person who is most likely to be a descendant of the gods goes first.

Playing the Game

Each turn in the game has three phases. These are repeated ad-nausium until someone meet the conditions for winning. - 1: Capture phase - 2: Turn phase, A player's turn - 3: Decay Phase

1: Capture Phase

While play progresses clockwise, this phase runs counter clockwise. Starting to the right of the active player and progressing counter clockwise, each player may choose to capture a free creature. A creature may be captured if the numbers showing on the creature match free dice in the player's hand. The player places the creature card in front of them and places the free dice used to capture that creature on top of that card. These dice are now "protected."

2: Turn Phase (one player's turn)

As the active player you may choose one of the following actions - ROLL: Roll half(rounded up) of their free dice. (ie if you have three free dice, you must roll two.) - RELEASE: Release one of your captured creatures back to the center of the table. - When you do this you can take the special ability of that creature. - You must roll any of the dice which were previously protected by that creature before adding them back to your hand. - If this is not a poachable creature, turn the card over when releasing back to the pool. - POACH/POACH ACTION: Some of the creatures will yield special items when poached. - You may choose to poach a creature which you have captured in order to use the unique action of the item. - When you poach a creature, one of the dice which that creature was protecting is returned to the dice pool. The other dice are returned to your hand. - Keep the poached item in front of you, you may use this action on future turns as long as you have it.

3: Decay Phase, After a player's turn

  • Every player must choose one of their free dice and decrement it by 1.
  • You may not decrement a die showing a 1.
  • After the next capture phase, play progresses clockwise.

Do it again:

  • New active player, progressing to the left (clockwise)
  • Go back to capture phase. Previously active player will get to capture first. SIDEBAR: On your turn, everyone else captures, you capture, you take your turn, everyone decays, you capture, everyone else captures, next person takes their turn.

Winning the game

A player wins if she has accumulated enough victory points at the end of her turn (Turn Phase). Points scaled to generally require a winning player to end game with more dice than they started with. - 2 players: 36 points - 3,4 players: 28 points - 5,6 players: 20 points - 7,8 players: 18 points - 9,10 players: 14 points

Sample Cards

  • Unicorn, capture with two 7's, worth 7 vp's. Release: co-opt an action taken by another player. Poach: for its horn (player may decrease or increase during decline phase). (7 creatures are set up like this, occupying 7 of 18 cards)
  • Kraken, capture with 6 & 8, worth 7 vp's. Release: force every player to return a free die to the pool. (Not poachable, double-sided creature card)
  • Cerberus, requires three dice, 4, 5 and anything. Worth vp's equivalent to the third die. Release: Convert an opponent's free dice to 1's. (6 three die creatures)
  • Phoenix, two 1's and anything. Vp's = third die. Release: boost the value of the protected dice. Poach: feather allows you to change the value of a single die during the capture phase.

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nosissies
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Joined: 07/26/2008
thoughts?

Hey folks,
I'd love to get your feedback on this one. Of course, those of you attending Spielbany won't have as much of a choice as I'll be dragging it along with me.

peace,
Tom

kos
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Joined: 01/17/2011
Mythic Dice

During the first round voting in the Feb GDS, I voted primarily based on two considerations, as well as my general impression of the rules:
1) Did the entry meet the requirements?
2) Did the theme interest me?

I was on the fence as to whether the theme was enough to capture my attention, but the somewhat complicated rules turned me off. Given the request for a "quick playing, light game", I felt that this game would be difficult to explain quickly to new players so it didn't get my vote. Nevertheless, I have gone through the rules again today to offer my critique.

Good
- I like the use of the double-sided cards as both animals and the poachable items. This is both clever and intuitive to play.
- I like the cards shown in the illustrations and appreciate the effort you have put into creating a prototype.
- I like that the player can choose to "spend" their victory points to use special actions. This creates a viable choice between holding on to the creatures you have vs releasing them to try to get better ones.
- I like the way that there is a built in "negative feedback" mechanism to reign in a runaway leader, because the more creatures they capture the less dice they have left over to capture more.

Suggestions for improvement
- The capture phase followed by the turn phase was a bit hard to understand at first, and this is the part which I feel may be hard to explain to new players to get into the game.
- I'm not sure how much value the decay phase adds to the game, compared with the amount of "fiddliness" which it adds. It doesn't seem to be a core mechanic and it also doesn't seem to be closely tied to the theme.
- Along the same lines, even the core game mechanic does not seem to be closely tied to the theme, so the game overall has the feeling of an abstract game with a theme pasted on (much like some of the euro games coming out recently -- but many of those are very successful, so it's not necessarily a deal breaker).
- The "Winning the game" section indicates that the winning player will end the game with more dice than they started with, but it is unclear from the rules how they would gain more dice. I can only assume that there are special abilities to do this.

Well done on your submission to the competition. I wish you all the best.

Regards,
kos

mdkiehl
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Joined: 12/10/2010
Simple enough

Looks good and feels like a natural mechanic. I'm looking forward to playing it at Spielbany.

-Matthew Kiehl

http://mdkiehl.wordpress.com

nosissies
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Joined: 07/26/2008
thanks....

Kos, you make many of the same points I would make about the game myself. I'll respond to some of them here.

As for the positives, you clearly picked up on some of the factors I was trying to design in.

I was hoping the decay would fit on that positive side too as that was intended to force people to move and make sure that higher die values were more rare than lower values. Though I see your point that it is pretty abstract.

One advantage I thought of the game was that it could easily be easily rethemed. The cards could all be pirates for that matter. I went with the somewhat overused mythical creatures because I thought it would be a little easier to come up with special abilities which were at least somewhat related to the creatures themselves.

As for the capture phase, that was just to bring order to what was originally effectively a simultaneous action. I originally was thinking that anyone could capture any creature in the pool at any time during the game. I dropped that as it seemed like it would be too chaotic, but I may test it both ways to see how it compares.

Yes, in order to get more dice you would have to capture and release the right creatures.

I imagine the game probably plays a bit more simply than my instructions imply. I guess I'll have to figure out how to describe it better. Of course, that is an advantage in the GDS to be able to use fewer words to describe the rules because you can assume a certain amount of understanding on the part of the audience.

The only problem I have now is to come up with enough useful abilities to assign to each creature, and to have those abilities scale along with the "value" of each creature. I'm happy to accept suggestions on these actions :-)

Thanks again for taking the time to let me know what you thought.

peace,
Tom

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