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[GDS] October 2011 "Rest In Peace"

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sedjtroll
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October 2011 Game Design Showdown - "Rest In Peace"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

The votes are in, and we have a winner!

The October installment of the Game Design Showdown is now over.

This month we had 10 entrants, but only 7 voters. I think it would be cool (and maybe even more fair) if each entrant took the time to vote on the entries. Please keep that in mind - if you expect other participants to read and vote on your entry, do them the favor of reading and voting on theirs.

This month's winner, with 7 votes, is Graveyard Shift by Ilta (Isaiah Tanenbaum)! A close second, with 5 votes, is Zombie Ball by dobnarr (Dave Dobson).

Grave Spotting, Attack of the really long game title, Dorn Bones, and Bone Pile each received 4 votes. Good job everyone! The Critiques Thread is now open for business!

Main Design Requirements:

  • Theme (or Setting) Restriction: Final resting place (or... "Dying to get in").
    In honor of Halloween, this month's games should be about or set in a final resting place - mortuaries, graveyards, catacombs, shallow graves, whatever you like.

  • Mechanics Restriction: "Dorn tower" or "Mancala".
    A neat mechanism I haven't seen used in a while is the "Dorn tower" - a mechanism used by Rudiger Dorn in several of his games: Genoa, Louis XIV and Goa to name a few. This mechanism is pretty similar to the main mechanism in Mancala. For a better description of this mechanism you may want to check out reviews of those games if you're not already familiar with them.


  • Submissions: Saturday the 1st through Saturday the 8th.
  • Voting: Through Saturday 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!
-Seth

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Entry #1 - Charon’s quadrate lake

Charon’s quadrate lake

You all have just died at the same car accident. Your bodies will be buried on the local cemetery and your families mourn for you. But this is not the end. Your souls are drawn to some sort of a temporary place. You are wondering, what is it, does this look like heaven? “No, but you are very close” says a person appearing ahead of you. “Follow me into my ship, I’ll get you over the lake, if you pay well.” A lake appears. Well, it doesn’t look much like a lake, it’s a quadrate with 10x10 fields inside. And on the other end of the lake, there you would expect stairs to the heaven. But no, it’s an elevator. Charon is playing a game with your life.

Game parts

  1. 10x10 squares board
  2. 25 various quadrates 2x2 (randomly coloured), there are seven colours of the quadrates, for each deadly sin is reserved one.
  3. 1 ship token (representing Charon’s ship with the players in it)
  4. 30 tokens of path (arrows)
  5. 5 coloured tokens for each player to bid
  6. 60 uncoloured tokens (representing good achievements of each player)
  7. 6 cards with a sin on their front side (one for each sin -wrath, greed, pride, lust, envy , and gluttony) – sloth is taken out.

Game flow:

Preparing phase:

The quadrates (2x2) are laid randomly on the greater board, creating a colourful field. The ship is laid on one corner, in the other corner will be the elevator field (printed on one of the quadrates). Each player chooses a colour of the coloured tokens, takes an equal part of the uncoloured tokens and a card of a sin (for 3 players: two cards), looks at it and hides it.

Progressive phase:

Players are taking turns. In each turn, one player is made the captain, while the others do their bid on the adjacent fields (except the following one), meaning how much of their tokens are they willing to give the captain, if he/she moves the ship on that field. Then, the captain decides, where he would like to go and the players give him as many tokens as they have offered. The coloured tokens belong to the player and cannot be given, it’s just for counting. After the ship has moved, an arrow token is laid on the previous field, showing the way. Why to bid? If the ship steps on the field of your chosen sin (card), you fall into suffering, until it steps on it again. Then, your soul is free again. Exception: The sin of sloth has a grey colour. When entered, every bidding player changes his state to the opposite. Added rule: The Captain can each turn turn a single quadrate (except to those, where are the ship and the elevator) in one way, if he pays one of his coloured tokens, without a chance to use it anymore. This phase continues, until the ship gets to the elevator or until you run out of power (arrow tokens).

Repetitive phase:

The ship is laid back on the starting field and goes the way as arrows indicate, but now the cards are revealed and at each step is getting known, who fell into suffering or have escaped them. This can be counted with different sides of the coloured tokens.

Winning conditions:

Who is on the elevator field out of suffering and with most achievement tokens, wins the game. If the ship hasn’t reached the elevator, the game is lost for everyone. If all players are suffering at the end, again, there is no winner (Charon had fun and your destiny will be going to the hell, you have obviously sinned too much).

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Entry #2 - Zombie Shuffle

Zombie Shuffle

Zombie Shuffle is played on a 4 x 4 grid. Each of the grid slots is a cup, like Mancala.

Number of Players: 2-4

Object:

Build complete zombies from zombie parts, trying to match the colors of zombie parts for maximum points.

Ending the Game:

The game ends when 6 zombies have been built

Contents:

4x4 grid board.
Sack with ‘body bag’ written on the side
40 zombie parts in various colors
10 Tombstone markers that fin in the cups of the board.

There are many zombie parts in the graveyard waiting to be assembled.
Zombie parts:

  • Heads
  • Torsos
  • Arm sets
  • Leg Sets

Zombie Part Colors:

  • Black
  • White
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Rainbow (Wild)

There are two zombie parts in every color, for 40 pieces total for 10 potential zombies.

Setup:

At the start of the game place 2 random zombie pieces in each of the 16 pockets on the board, keep the rest in the body bag.
The last player to have seen a zombie movie goes first.
To move: Reach inside the body bag and pull a zombie piece out of the sack. Then select a pocket on the board that contains any zombie part with the same color. Take all of the parts from that pocket. If there are no parts in the zombie bag (Such as the 9th turn with no completed zombies), the player gets no extra piece, but can choose any pocket to select his zombie pieces.

Move in any orthogonal direction (up, down, left, or right), dropping one piece in each cup in a line away from the pocket you just emptied (Like Mancala). If you reach a board edge and still have pieces, begin dropping pieces on the opposite side. (Like Pac-man looping around the board).
The next player then goes, following the same rules. Play continues in this fashion until a cup has enough pieces for a completed zombie.
Once a zombie is completed with one set of arms, one set of legs, a head and a torso do the following:

  1. Score the zombie for the player. (See below for scoring)
  2. Any leftover parts in the cup are placed back in the Body Bag. (If the cup had more than the 4 parts needed to make the zombie)
  3. Pull out the completed zombie and keep it on the table in front of you
  4. Place a Tombstone over the cup hole. This hole is skipped from now on when dropping body parts.

Winning:

Scoring is as follows:
First player to complete 3 zombies - 4 points
Points per Zombie:

  • 1 Color match = 0 point
  • 2 Color Matches = 1 points
  • 3 color matches = 2 points
  • 4 color matches = 5 points
  • No color Matches = 3 points

A color match is defined as any zombie pieces color matching any other color on the same zombie (Such as arms and legs both black)

User Interface:

I’d originally envisioned the zombie bits being like lego people that you snap together. Then I thought it would be a pain to untangle ones from the body bag or a cup. So instead they’d be double-sided colored chips with the image of the body part printed on both sides, for identification ease.

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Entry #3 - Grave Spotting

Grave Spotting

*The world famous cemetery, the Pere Lachaise in Paris, is undergoing some renovations. A major attraction for tourists visiting the French capital, the city council has decided to make this landmark even better. Contractors and designers have flocked to Paris hoping to secure this prestigious project. To this end, each company is given a small sector of the Pere Lachaise cemetery to showcase their design ideas and outshine their competitors. *

As the famous dead are removed from their place of rest and moved to their new abodes, players vie for the ones who will fit best in their designs. Not only they have to secure the graves they want but also watch out for commoners who would love to be buried amongst royalty and renowned artists. The race is on to complete your sector and show that you have created the most appealing arrangement of final resting places.

Objective

Players must accumulate the most Appeal points by obtaining “valuable” graves from famous people and fulfilling their Cemetery Design cards for additional points.

Setup

Separate the 16 starter Cemetery Design cards from the rest and deal 3 cards to each player. Players must choose at least two cards to keep. All leftover starter Design cards are then shuffled with the 20 regular Cemetery Design cards to form the Design draw pile. Shuffle all the 100 Grave cards to form the Grave draw pile and place it in the middle of the table. Each player has a tableau, a 3x3 grid, in front of them that represents their sector of the cemetery where they will place Grave cards. Variant: for a longer game, players can start with a 3x4 or 4x4 sector.

Card Types

Grave Spotting uses two different types of cards. Cemetery Design cards give players bonus points for completing specific arrangements of graves and Grave cards represent the graves of famous people currently buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Cemetery Design cards

Cemetery Design cards (starter or regular) represent arrangements of graves that the players attempt to match by the end of the game for additional Appeal points. Not delivering on your assigned designs will subtract their value from your final total. Some designs consider the position of specific types of graves in your sector (i.e. a row of three Nobility graves or one Politician framed by two Military graves) and others require a certain number of grave types within your sector (i.e. at least five Scientists or no more than three French graves).

Graves Cards

The graves being moved around the Pere Lachaise belong either to one of five types of famous persons (Artists, Nobility, Military, Scientists and Politician) or the loathed Commoners whose graves take up precious space in your sector.

While Commoner cards only count as negative points, the other types generally grant a special effect when placed into a player’s tableau. The list below gives some examples of the different abilities players can expect from the different types:

Artists : Rearrange cards (e.g. Move up to four cards) Nobility : Draw grave cards (e.g. Look at the top five cards of the draw pile and choose one to keep) Military : Destroy cards (e.g. Destroy all commoners in your tableau) Scientist : Draw mission cards (e.g. Draw and discard one mission card) Politicians : Manipulate and steal cards (e.g. Randomly swap a grave card with another player)

Some cards can belong to more than one type and, as such, can be used to complete multiple designs.

Gameplay

1. Selecting graves (the Mancala factor)

The first player draws a number of Grave cards equal to the number of players. He selects a card to keep for himself and, without changing the order, deals out the card(s) in front of that card, clockwise, starting with the player to his left. All Grave cards situated after the selected card are discarded. Repeat this phase for each player until all players have drawn and dealt cards (if any).

*Example: In a four player game (Andrew (First player), Bob, Chris and Dave), it is Bob’s turn to draw four cards. He wants the third card so he deals the first to Chris, the second to Dave and keeps the third, discarding the last card. It is now Chris’ turn to draw four cards. *

2. Grave Moving

Starting with the First Player, play proceeds clockwise and each player may place one Grave card in their tableau. Special abilities on cards played are resolved as the card is placed. Commoner Grave cards are placed in another player’s tableau. The Grave Moving phase ends when one player has ran out of grave cards or when all players have declined playing a card. The First Player marker is passed to the left and a new Selecting Graves phase starts.

End game

When one player completes his tableau, the game ends. Players reveal their Cemetery Design cards and get awarded additional Appeal points for each design completed. Each design not completed counts against a player’s final score. The player with the most Appeal points in his sector wins.

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Entry #4 - Attack of the Mutant Moss from Outer Space!

Attack of the Mutant Moss from Outer Space!

Oh no! An alien pod crashed in the middle of a cemetery, unleashing sinister space moss sealed within. Luckily, a gang of grave robbers happened to be on the scene. Can the grave robbers kill the moss’ vital splooge gland before the moss spreads outside the cemetery and terrorizes the city? Or will they be overcome by the fearsome zombies it creates?

Components:
• 1 game board (pictured)
• 50 green moss cubes
• 1 purple splooge gland token
• 10 grey zombie pawns
• 10 black open grave cubes
• 4 player pawns (different colors)
• 3 dice
• 1 red flamethrower cube
• 3 orange fuel tank cubes

This game is played with two teams. It’s best if each team has the same number of players. One team controls the moss and the zombies. The moss team wins if a moss cube gets on the space where there’s a hole in the fence. The other team plays the grave robbers battling the moss. The robbers win if they destroy all of the moss’ splooge glands. Players may freely confer with teammates in public and in secret.

Setup:
The moss team puts a splooge gland on the spaceship icon on the board. In turn order, each robber chooses a pawn and places it on one of the starred starting spaces. A robber puts the flamethrower cube on the flamethrower space and the fuel tanks on the fuel tank spaces. Turns alternate moss-robber-moss robber until each player has had one turn, then the cycle repeats. Note that a moss player must go first.

Moss player’s turn:

• Grow the moss. The moss player takes 3 moss cubes (6 if it’s the first round of the game). If there are not enough cubes in the supply, the player can remove moss cubes from the board to get enough, if they wish.

Then the moss player places the first cube in a space adjacent to any moss cube on the board. Each cube after that must be placed adjacent to the last cube placed (that is, the second must be adjacent to the first, the third adjacent to the second, etc.)

If there is a moss cube on the open gateway space, the moss wins.

• Produce zombies. If there moss cubes on tombstone spaces, the moss player can make zombies. To make a zombie, they remove the moss counter from the tombstone, replace it with an empty grave marker, and put a zombie in an empty space adjacent to the tombstone. Note that you cannot put moss cubes on top of open grave markers and, thus, each grave can only produce one zombie per game.

• Move zombies. The moss player can move each zombie up to 2 spaces. Zombis can move through and share spaces with moss. If a zombie moves next to a robber, it attacks the robber. The robber rolls 2 dice and picks the highest one, and the moss rolls one die. Compare the rolls. If the robber picked higher, the zombie’s attack failed. If the moss won, the robber is knocked out and skips their next two turns.

• Move splooge. The moss player may exchange the splooge token with an adjacent moss cube.

Robber’s turn:

During their turn, each robber may:

• Move their own token up to 4 spaces.

• Attack adjacent moss. Up to 3 times during their turn, the robber can remove a moss cube adjacent to them.

• Attack splooge. The robber can attack splooge just like moss cubes. If the moss has no more splooge glands, the moss team loses the game.

• Kill zombies. To do this, at least 2 robbers must be adjacent to the same zombie. Follow the procedure under zombie attacks twice. Robbers aren’t stunned on a loss. If the robbers won both times, the zombie is removed from the board.

• Pick up flamethrower or fuel tank. If a robber is adjacent to the flamethrower cube or a fuel tank cube they can pick up the cube and put it in front of them.

• Use flamethrower. A robber with a flamethrower cube and one or more fuel tank cubes can lose a tank permanently to burn moss. They start by burning moss adjacent to them, then moss adjacent to that moss, then moss adjacent to that moss and so on until 10 moss cubes have been burnt. Sploge can’t be burnt.

If a robber ends their turn adjacent to moss, the moss’ toxic spores sicken them. A sickened robber can only move 3 spaces and can only attack 1 moss during their next turn.

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Entry #5 - Zombie Ball

Zombie Ball!

Object:

The first to score five goals wins!

Components:

  • Skull Bonus Board with 3 markers
  • 60 Action Cards
  • 12 creature markers per team
  • Ball token
  • Arena boards

Setup:

Each player chooses a color and takes their 12 creature markers. Shuffle the Action Cards and deal five to each player. Players each choose one starting creature and place it on their crypts. Place the ball token in the marked center space. The player nearest to mortality starts; play proceeds clockwise.

Creatures:

There are three types of creatures – skeletons, zombies, and vampires. Creatures have two attributes: strength and speed. Speed determines how many spaces creatures can move each turn. Strength determines how they interact with other creatures. Skeletons are fast but easily destroyed; zombies are slow but strong; vampires are balanced.

Game Play:

Step 1: Choose Bonuses

The Skull Bonus board has nine sections arranged in a circle. Each section applies to one type of creatures. The sections either give bonuses or indicate which creature a player may summon from his or her crypt. You may choose any bonus space to start with by placing a marker on it, and then you mark the next two bonus spaces (Mancala style) going clockwise around the board. One of your spaces will indicate the creature you summon this turn; the other two will give bonuses to strength or speed for a certain creature type. These bonuses only apply to your creatures (not to other teams). They last for your whole turn.

Step 2: Summon New Creature

Place one of your unused creatures of the type you chose on the Skull Bonus Board on your crypt space. You can only have four of each creature type. If you already have four in play, you cannot summon any creatures this turn.

Step 3: Move and play action cards

Your creatures may each move a number of spaces up to their speed rating. They may not pass through other creatures during movement. You may play action cards at any time. If the ball is loose and your creature enters the space containing the ball, you may pick up the ball and carry it. Place the ball token on top of your creature marker. The ball carrier may hand the ball to any adjacent creature. If your creature is prone (from a tackle), it may only stand up this turn – no movement or action is allowed.

Destroying enemy creatures

You can destroy other players’ creatures by moving your creatures onto them. If your creature has more strength (including the skull bonus), the enemy creature is destroyed and removed from the board. If the creatures’ strengths are equal, both creatures are destroyed. You may gang up to destroy an enemy creature by moving more than one creature onto the enemy’s space (e.g. two vampires can take out a zombie). This is the only time multiple creatures may occupy the same space. Your creatures cannot continue moving after destroying a creature. If you destroy the ball carrier, the ball is knocked loose, moving one square in the direction your creature was moving. If this is blocked by a wall, the ball does not move. If the ball ends up on a creature, it may pick up the ball immediately.

Action cards

Passing (skeletons, range 2-5). If your skeleton has the ball, it may pass to any other creature within the indicated range. The new creature becomes the ball carrier. You may also use a pass card to throw the ball to an empty space or into the goal. Tackling (zombies, range 1-3). Your zombie may tackle any creature within range. Move your zombie next to the creature you are tackling along the shortest path possible. Flip the other creature over to indicate that it is prone. Your zombie may not move further after tackling. If the tackled creature was carrying the ball, it is knocked loose as described above. You can also play tackles to interrupt other player’s turns. Control (vampires, range 1-4). Your vampire takes control of one creature within range and moves it up to its normal speed (no skull bonus). You cannot make it destroy another creature or be destroyed. You may play action cards for the controlled creature. Bat Flight (vampires) – you may move any number of squares in a straight line, passing over other creatures. You may not carry the ball as a bat.

Other special action cards have effects indicated on the card.

Step 4: Draw an Action Card

If you have fewer than five action cards, you may draw one.

Scoring a goal:

You score a point any time the ball enters the goal matching your color, whether it is carried or loose. Place the ball back on the starting square and continue play. Five goals wins!

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Entry #6 - A Slab to Call My Own

A Slab to Call My Own

Two Gravekeepers are in charge of a stately old cemetery. All is well, until one full moon the dead begin digging themselves out of their graves and wandering the cemetery in a most disorderly fashion! Determined to keep the restless dead firmly where they belong, the Gravekeepers being herding the walking dead back into their mausoleums. Sure, day shift will be in tomorrow to go about burying the ones that are still wandering free, but a respectable Gravekeeper’s got to make sure that he clocks out with the same number of bodies in the mausoleum as were there when he arrived! As for that other fellow across the hill … well, someone’s got to house the extras!

The two Gravekeepers take turns herding walking dead around the cemetery, shuffling them between the tombstones and the mausoleums. Fortunately, walking dead aren’t too bright, and tend to mill about where you put them, whether it’s someone else’s slab, the burial yard, or one of those tombs over the hill. The first Gravekeeper to end his turn with the correct number of bodies in each of his mausoleums can slam shut the doors and win the game!

Components

2x Gravekeepers 42x Walking Dead 3x Burial Yards 2x 2-Body Mausoleums 2x 3-Body Mausoleums 2x 4-Body Mausoleums 2x 5-Body Mausoleums

Setup

  1. Lay the three Burial Yards in a row in the middle of the board.
  2. Place 5 Walking Dead each in 2 of the Burial Yards.
  3. Each player selects 4 Mausoleums and lays them in a row on his side of the board.
  4. Place 4 Walking Dead in each Mausoleum.
  5. Each player places one Gravekeeper in one of his own Mausoleums.

Play Sequence

  1. Move your Gravekeeper to a Mausoleum.
  2. Move all the Walking Dead out of that Mausoleum and into the empty Burial Yard.
  3. Select one of the other Burial Yards and distribute all of the Walking Dead any way you want between your own Mausoleums and the Mausoleum directly opposite your own Gravekeeper.
  4. When a Walking Dead is placed into a Mausoleum, the very next Walking Dead must be placed into a different Mausoleum. (No 2-in-a-row placements.)
  5. If the opponent’s Mausoleum is guarded by his Gravekeeper, you may not place any Walking Dead into it.
  6. When all Walking Dead have been placed, the player’s turn ends.
  7. If at the end of any turn, all of a player’s Mausoleums have exactly the correct number of Walking Dead in them, that player wins the game.
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Entry #7 - Lurch

Lurch: A zombie brawling game for up to six players

by Dan Lepage

Components:

The board:

~100 zombie tokens and one Crystal Brain per player
Six additional unique Artifact tokens
A deck of spell cards

Setup

Choose one of the six Lairs (in blue on the board); take one Artifact token and three Spell cards. Distribute your Artifact, Crystal Brain, and 10 Zombie tokens however you want in your Lair.

You start with 8 health.

One Turn

  1. Place two Zombie tokens in your Lair
  2. Take up to three Actions, each of which is moving a stack of zombies, throwing an Artifact, or casting a spell
  3. Resolve combat
  4. Draw a card

Moving Zombies

Mindless, lurching corpses form the backbone of your army; although their rotting musculature limits their speed, groups of zombies can push each other forwards, increasing their range.

A stack is the set of all Zombies owned by one player in a single hex.

You can move a stack any number of spaces in any direction, leaving one zombie behind on each hex you pass through.

You may not move the same stack of zombies twice in one turn.

Black hexes are walls, and cannot be passed. All other hexes are normal.

Moving Artifacts

The Crystal Brains and extra Artifact tokens are all Artifacts. These can't move alone, but get carried by zombies. On your turn, your Zombies can pick up uncarried Artifacts in the same hex. When you move a stack of Zombies, you keep the artifact with the stack or leave it with one of the pushing zombies left behind.

A stack can throw an artifact in any direction; the artifact moves in that direction until it enters a hex containing a zombie or can't move further (whereupon it stops).

Note that the non-Brain Artifacts are identical apart from whatever Enchantments are on them (see below).

Brains & Spells

No self-respecting necromancer would risk death by directly joining a brawl, so you oversee your fight through a crystal brain carried by your minions. From this brain you can cast spells by draining the magic that animates your Zombies.

Each spell card has a cost; you cast it by revealing it and paying its cost. Typically the cost is a number of your zombies you must sacrifice. These zombies can come from the hex containing your Brain or any adjacent hex.

Rituals are spells that have a specific effect and then are discarded; Enchantments are spells that are attached to Artifacts and imbue them with special powers.

Unless the card specifies otherwise, Rituals can only target things that are at most three hexes away from your Brain. Likewise, you can only cast Enchantments on Artifacts within three hexes of your Brain, and then only on Artifacts carried by your Zombies.
Once an Enchantment is on an Artifact, the Enchantment will work for whoever owns the Zombies currently holding that Artifact.

Combat

At the end of your turn, your zombies fight with the enemy zombies, albeit somewhat slowly.

For each hex containing both your Zombies and enemy Zombies, choose one of the enemy stacks; your stack and that stack each take one damage.

For each damage a stack takes, one zombie in it is destroyed.

A Crystal Brain with no friendly zombies in the same hex counts as a stack for combat; damaging it removes Health from its player.

Winning and Losing

A player with <=0 Health loses. A player wins when all other players have lost.

Example Spells - Rituals

  • Grim Harvest - costs 4 zombies: Draw three cards.
  • Fireball - 3 zombies: Deal 3 damage to any stack and push it one hex away from you.
  • A Farewell to Arms - 3 Zombies: all Zombies in the target hex drop any Artifacts they are carrying.
  • Dispel - 2 Zombies: Remove two Enchantments from a single Artifact.

Example Spells - Enchantments

  • Corpse Reaping - 5 Zombies: When a stack holding this Artifact destroys an enemy Zombie in combat, place one Zombie in your Lair.

  • Spikes - 4 Zombies: When you throw this Artifact and it enters a hex containing stacks of Zombies, it deals one damage to each of those stacks. If the hex is then empty, the Artifact keeps moving as though it had not encountered Zombies.

  • Aura of Cooperation - 6 Zombies: When you move a stack that holds this Artifact, you may choose to leave two Zombies instead of one on the hexes you move through.

Variant: MacGuffinBall

Start with one additional Artifact token, called the MacGuffin, on the red hex in the center of the board. Each player stars with only 4 health. Gameplay is normal, except that 1) Crystal Brains don't participate in combat, and 2) Whenever a player carries the MacGuffin into their own Lair, every other player loses 1 Health immediately and the MacGuffin returns to the center of the board.

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Entry #8 - Dorn Bones

Dorn Bones

The dead gather their bones to take a walk and be the one to collect the most treasures.

Game components

The game board is modular with some open places, some narrow passages and some fragile bridges.
Scattered around the board is skeleton parts and treasures. Pieces move on a square grid.
The skeletons are represented by round discs (a Dorn tower). Black discs are feet, grey discs are torso, white discs are arms and a special piece is the head.
Treasures is represented by different colored discs.
Cards to determine locations on the board.

Gameplay

Moving

Players start out with a head. A head can roll, but only 1 space each turn. A head needs to find a torso to be able to get more skeleton parts. A head with a torso can move 2 spaces each turn. With 1 foot the player rolls 1d6 and move whatever he rolls. With 2 feet the player roll 2d6 to move whatever he rolls. Feet are placed at the bottom of the stack.
With arms the player may carry items (other skeleton parts or treasures). The carried item (disc) is stacked below the arm-disc. The arms discs are stacked above the torso.

Attacking

A player may attack another player by walking into him. An attacked player falls apart and backwards the number of spaces remaining of the attackers move (move the attacked player, leaving one disc on each space). A player may attack another player by throwing an item at him. An attack throw costs 1 move (1 eye of a die). Roll 1d6, if the number is equal to or greater than the distance then it is a hit. A player hit by a throw always falls down the entire way (move backwards until the head is alone in a space).
When a player is attacked the other player tries to scatter or run away with their parts or treasures before that player builds up again.
An attacked player whose head falls off an edge or into a hole on a bridge has to start over at another position of the board. Draw a card to determine where.

Goal

Players carry their treasures back to their coffin and try to be the first to collect 4 treasures of the same color.

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Entry #9 - Graveyard Shift

Graveyard Shift

A game for two players

Igor! Igor! Come here quickly! I am desirous of choice materials for my latest… creation. Scuttle at once to the village cemetery and fetch me some spare parts. And if you see any other assistants shambling about, do what you can to interfere with their efforts. I shall be the first to prove that death… is temporary! Muahaha! Ahahahahaha! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Objective

Steer your cart through the graveyard, collecting the four body parts your master needs for his experiment. Be careful! Not only will parts fall off the rickety cart, but if another minion gets the drop on you he’ll make off with everything you’ve collected!

Components

  • Game board: a 4x4 grid showing village cemetery; middle four squares have two-person mausoleums; corners (the entrances/exits) show cemetery gates with no graves
  • 2 player pawns (Igor with body cart); one beige, one black
  • 16 stackable, color-coded body part tokens (4 green brains, 4 red hearts, 4 tan chests, and 4 gray pairs of legs)

Setup

  1. Take two of each kind of body part, shuffle them, stack them randomly, two each, in the center “mausoleum” squares
  2. Place the remaining eight body parts in the non-corner “grave” squares randomly, one per square
  3. The player with the best reading of “yes, master” goes first, taking a pawn and placing it on the entrance (corner) of his choice
  4. The second player places the pawn on a different entrance

Gameplay

Movement

Players take turns moving their pawns, as follows:

  • If your pawn is off the map, place him on the entrance of your choice.
  • If your pawn is on a square with no body parts, move him one square in any orthogonal (N/E/S/W) direction.
  • If your pawn is on a square with one body part, move him and the part one square.
  • If your pawn is on a square with multiple body parts, move him one space for each body part in the stack. As you move, drop the bottom part on each square you leave after the first, until you hit the edge of the board, or are down to one part.

Attacking

If you end your turn on the same location as another pawn, place your pawn and body part (if any) on top of his stack (if any) and take another turn immediately!

Delivery

If you end your turn with a stack or single body part on any of the four entrances, deliver it to your master by removing it and your pawn from the board.

Your master takes ONE of the body parts (that he hasn’t already collected). Place it in front of you. Any other parts are placed back on the board, alternating between the other player and yourself until they’ve all been replaced. They can go on any legal spot, as per the original set-up. Keep your pawn off the map until your next turn, when you can place him at any entrance.

If your scientist has already collected all the body parts in your stack, replace them as above but do not remove your pawn.

Game End / Winner

As soon as any player has collected all four body parts, he wins! Soon, the world will know of your master’s power and knowledge, and they will tremble before his might! But first, there’s some fluids that need mopping up in the laboratory. See to that, will you?

Notes

  • Because rounds are very quick, it’s recommended that all loyal minions play three rounds.
  • If you want to get the drop on someone, you’ll have to think at least two moves ahead – where are they likely to go?
  • Planning ahead is also important after delivery -- make sure you have a plan to get from the corners to the parts-heavy mausoleums in the center of the board, and back!
sedjtroll
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Entry #10 - Bone Pile

Bone Pile

You and your associates have been given the task of moving the remains from the local cemetery to a new location, but due to laziness, incompetence, and a general lack of morals, the contents have “shifted” during shipping and you’re left with a big pile of bones. The families of the deceased have learned of your bungle and have agreed not to press charges against the first person to sort and put to rest the bones of their family members. Of course, being an unscrupulous lot, you’ve agreed that “mostly right” is good enough…

Goal

  • Be the first player to complete five skeletons in your color.

Parts

  • 20 Open Grave Cards
  • 16 Closed Grave Cards (4 in each player color)
  • 120 Bone Tokens (5 Skulls, 5 Bodies, 5 Right Arms, 5 Left Arms, 5 Right Legs, and 5 Left Legs in each player color.)
  • Cloth Bag

Gameplay

Setup

  • Place the 20 Open Grave cards in a circle in the middle of the table.
  • Put the Bone Tokens in the cloth bag and place the bag in the middle of the circle.
  • Give each player all the Closed Grave cards of their color (2 colors each for a 2 player game)

Rules

During a player’s turn they may do one of the following things:

  1. Draw 6 Bone Tokens from the bag blindly and then choose an open grave. Then, proceed either clockwise or counterclockwise without switching direction, place one bone token in each open grave.

  2. Choose an open grave with at least one bone token in his/her color and remove all the bone tokens. Then, starting with an adjacent open grave proceed clockwise or counterclockwise away from the emptied grave, place one bone token in each open grave.

Token placement restrictions:

  • A grave may not contain more than one of each type of bone token.
  • If a there are no legal bone tokens in a player’s hand to place in an open grave, that grave is skipped and placement continues with the next grave.

  • A player may not choose to skip a grave if they have a token in his/her hand that could be placed in it.

  • Closed graves are skipped during placement.

  • Tokens cannot be removed from a closed grave.

Closing a Grave:

When a grave contains one of each type of bone token, it is then closed. The player who has the most bone tokens of his/her color places a closed grave card on top of that grave. If players are tied for the most bone tokens, the owner of the skull token chooses which of the tied players claims the grave.

End of Game:

The game ends as soon as one player has 5 closed graves in his/her color. (5 in either color for a 2 player game)

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