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[GDS] February 2012 "Love Conquers All"

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sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

January 2012 Game Design Showdown - "Back 2 Basics"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

We have a winner!
This month's winner, with 8 votes, is Valentine's Day Massacre!

It was a close heat for 2nd, with Chocolate Exchange coming out 1 point ahead of The legend of St Valentine.

And bringing up the rear was Pitching Woo over Love Me True, also by 1 vote.

Thanks for participating! I'll open up the critique thread now...

February GDS:

The move back towards the roots of the Showdown... short blurbs rather than full rules and images for the game entries... seemed to work out nicely last month, so let's keep that up. This time we'll go with a 300 word limit.

The challenge will be open for entries for a week, but I do not expect anybody to spend a week working on their entry. Rather the 1 week entry window should give everyone a chance to see the challenge and send an entry at their convenience.

Main Design Requirements:

  • Theme Restriction: Valentine's Day.
    February is best known for Valentine's Day, a holiday honoring an early Christian martyr named Saint Valentine. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards known as "valentines". The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. This month's showdown challenges you to use some part of the history or tradition of Valentines Day as the theme of a game! Here's a link to Wikipedia for more info, in case you're interested.

  • Mechanical Restriction: Two different play modes.
    This months' game must be not only playable both 2-player and multiplayer, but rather than "scale well" (here meaning providing a similar game experience across all player counts), it must provide a significantly different play experience between 2-player and multiplayer games.

  • Word Limit: 300 words.

  • Submissions: The 1st of the month through the 8th.
  • Voting: Through the 15th. PM your votes to sedjtroll.
  • Voting Format: Each person has 6 votes to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:
    • You may not assign any votes to your own entry!
    • You may not assign more than 3 votes to any single entry.
    • You need not assign all 6 votes.
  • Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge were 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, especially the details around the word count and graphics limits, visit the GDS Wiki Page.

Enjoy, and good luck!

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #1 - Valentine’s Day Massacre

Valentine’s Day Massacre – A fun way to settle family disputes. 2-5 Players

It’s Valentine’s Day, 1929 all over again! Only this time, there are up to 3 Mobster Families, Molls and Coppers. Choose your side and see if you can rewrite history or if it is truly meant to be a bloody day in history?


There is a board consisting of Ten Places in downtown Chicago which players use cards to maneuver between. Visit an enemy hideout to riddle them with bullets, bail your crew out of Jail, Rob the Bank, Gamble your earnings, or purchase Flowers, Fish or Chocolates.

Multiple Players:

In a 2 player game, it is Mobster versus Mobster. Add a 3rd Player to represent the Molls, a 4th to play the Cops and a 5th for another Mobster family. The goal for each role in the game is different: Mobsters want to wipe out opposing families, Molls want to protect Mobsters from getting whacked and Coppers want to arrest everyone else so that decent honest law abiding citizens can sleep at night.


Players simultaneously reveal their next intended location with cards drawn from a common deck. You cannot play a card which someone is currently occupying. If Players go to separate locations, everyone can go about their business peaceably. If 2 or More players go to the same location, Dice are rolled to determine the outcome. Molls can convert Mobsters with Chocolates.


When there are no more Mobsters in the 4 hideouts, the game ends. For Mobsters, just filling people with bullets is not enough. You also need a Fish or Flower token to send a message that the enemy is “sleeping with the fishes” or “pushing up daisies.” Coppers score for everyone in Jail. Molls score for protected Mobsters.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #2 - The Legend of St Valentine

6 sets of 10 deed cards with Risk = 1-10, Fame = Risk+1-4 5 Warning tokens 1 D10

2-player: I am Valentine!

Each Valentine strives to be the one remembered as the origin of the story. They perform actions to get Fame points but major deeds are more likely to anger the “authorities” and get your Valentine executed.

Each has a special ability:
ValentineAD197 of Terni: Draws one card every turn
ValentineAD269 of Rome: Fame+1 if ValentineAD197 has the same card in play

Each turn, a player must perform one action:

  • Draw 3 cards
  • Play card
  • Give 2 cards to opponent to draw 6 cards
  • Remove one warning token

To play a card, you must discard cards whose combined Fame is greater than the Fame of the card being played. When a card is played, roll D10. If result is below the risk level, the player gets a warning token. Once a player has three tokens, he is executed as a martyr. The other player gets two additional turns and the game ends. Whoever has the most Fame is the winner.

3-6 players: The Legend of St Valentine

Players compete to retell the story of Saint Valentine. All 60 cards are dealt; players select 3 cards and pass the rest to the left.
On turn 1, players may only play a Risk 1 card. Risk 2 cards are played on turn 2, etc. If a player doesn’t have a card of the corresponding level, he must play a card face down which will count as -1 Fame.
At the end of each turn, players select one card from their new hand and pass the rest to the left. The game ends when all players have played 10 cards. Whoever has the most Fame is the winner.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #3 - Chocolate Exchange

Chocolate Exchange

A casual trick-taking card game on the Japanese custom of exchanging dark and white chocolates. Give chocolates and collect sets to win!

2 – 6 players
20 - 40 minutes


48 Cards
There are two sets of cards in this game, dark chocolate and white chocolate that are numbered from 1 to 12 with two copies each.


Shuffle cards and distribute six cards to each player to form hand. Place the remainder of the cards in the center of the play area as the chocolate store.

Each turn you must either:

  • Give a card to any other player. That target player must then return a card of a different type AND of a higher number. Otherwise they draw a chocolate from the store
  • Discard and reveal a set of three cards of the same type with contiguous numbers.

Game continues until a player exhausts their hand, whereby that player is the winner. If the store is exhausted, player with the smallest hand wins.

Two Player Game

Divide cards into the two types, one for each player. Shuffle and reveal the top four cards from each deck and place them face up in the middle of the play area. Each player draws a hand of 5 cards.

Each turn:

  • match a face up opponent card(number) with one of your own and discard both. Draw a card from your deck to replace opponent’s card.
  • otherwise draw a card from either deck or opponent’s hand and place it in your hand.

Ends if all face up cards are of the same type, whereby that chocolate is the winner. If both the decks are exhausted the chocolate type with the most face up cards wins. On a draw, the player with the smallest hand wins.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #4 - Pitching Woo!

Pitching Woo!

decks (People, Desires, Actions),
board (calendar - Jan1-Feb14),
“heart” tokens,

Deal players 1 Man, 1 Woman, 5 Actions.

Roll die, move across calendar – some spaces have hearts. Collect number of hearts passed that turn, doubling hearts in spaces landed on exactly (passing a “1” and “2” gets 3 tokens – passing a “1”, landing on “2” gets 5).

“Actions” have “allure” value and “desires” have “excitement” value.
Players must match their “action” cards’ “allure” to their sweetheart’s “desire” cards’ “excitement” by type (candy, flowers, romantic dinner, etc...).

Play any number of actions, totaling allure by type.
Add any number of hearts to each card (hearts on an action add to its “allure”)

For each “action” type played, flip a “desire” card.
Any “actions” that don’t match types of “desires” flipped are discarded (including added hearts).
To win a desire card, an action type’s total allure (all cards plus added hearts) must at least equal that desire’s excitement. You choose which desire to take if multiple desires of a certain type are flipped.
Desires not won stay for following round.
Discard all played actions and all hearts.
Draw back up to 5 actions.

Desires net victory points (VP). 100 VP wins. If nobody wins by Valentine’s Day (the 45th boardspace), the most VP wins.

2-Players compete for the same Sweetheart Both players roll, move, amass hearts, then secretly play actions and hearts.
Flip a desire for each action type.
Reveal actions.
Discard non-matching actions.
Player with highest allure for each matching type wins that desire.
For ties, both actions and the desire are discarded.
Otherwise rules are the same.

2PScoring – When both players reach Valentine’s Day, total all VP by desire type.
Player with the higher total for each type wins the difference in VP. The most VP wins.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #5 - Love Me True

Love Me True

A game of matching desires, and knowing your Valentine.

If more than 2 players:

Players have a small set of cards they place facedown by type in front of them that represent their secret Desires. These are Flowers, Jewelry, Hugs, and Chocolate. Players place gems on each type to represent how many points they want each Desire card of that type worth.

On their turn, a player will either:

  • Choose another player to be their Valentine; they may trade a Desire card with each other.
  • Move a gem from one Desire type to another.

After each player has had a turn, players each ask another player to Marry them. If already married, that player must discard a gem in to say "yes" to the new offer.

Players then score both their spouse’s and their own Desires according to their own gem placement.

Each round the last player becomes first player. There are a number of rounds equal to the number of players.

2 players

Here, you will not be making temporary Marriages as you are already a happy couple! Instead you’ll be trying to send the perfect Valentine, or at least better than your spouse’s.

Each player gets 7 cards and gems, then places the gems in piles to represent how their cards are distributed.

Each turn players will select another card to place face up.

On a turn, a player will name a type of Desire, the other player must hand over any of those cards (including face up ones) and the gems representing them. The other player may not name the same Desire. After each round, both players discard down/draw up to 7. Gems for discarded cards are banked.

After 6 rounds, the player with the most current and banked gems wins.

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