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Lucky Stars - Playtest with Modifications

27 April 2014

Played a three-player test session today and tried out a few modifications to the base rules. Results were satisfactory and I'm sticking with the changes for the time being.

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Three players, 13 card spaces open

FINAL SCORES
green 64
yel 176
red 155

Guests:
Stage 1 = Theodore Beech (#1)
Stage 2 = Doris Deloitte (#7)
Stage 3 = Mae Thorogood (#11)

MAJOR CHANGES

  • Dice placement. Think of the spaces like hours on a clock. Turn 1 is 1 die, turn 2 is 2 dice, turn 3 is 3 dice, etc. all the way to turn 12 which is 12 dice. By game end, players are buying back dice at the beginning of every turn, and chips are moving frequently between players and the bank.
  • Card replenishment. If a row or column on the game board is ever empty at the end of a player's turn (the spaces have no cards and only chips on them), move the chips to the JACKPOT area and place a new card on the now-empty spaces. I like this a LOT. It adds more chances for points to the board - keeping emphasis on the cards instead of the two Plan B spaces (JACKPOT and ODDS N ENDS).

OTHER NOTES

  • I'm curious about the major loser, green. Why is it their score was so low, particularly when the other two players scored far beyond 100? However, it's very possible I placed cards incorrectly. It's difficult to keep track of the cards for a three-player game when I'm testing solo... To sum up, I'll have to test this again before I revamp the card placement system again.
  • Alternative dice placement numbers (to keep things a bit more under control): 2, 3, 4, 5, score, 3, 4, 5, 6, score, 4, 5, 6, 7, score. I do like the "hours of the clock" connection, as it's like the day progresses and gambling and games ramps up the later into the evening the players go.
  • I was thinking that I would need to have some markings on the cards for "stage 1" or "stage 2" or "stage 3" to make for appropriate placement relative to the number of dice allowed, but it didn't seem like that big a deal. It's worth noting that the only cards remaining on the board at the end of the game were six-of-a-kind (one of which was there since the beginning of stage 1). They're still tough to pick up, considering that even though the player uses a handful of dice they will still likely build the set from one turn to the next and there's no guarantee that the numbers will come up again.
  • With these rules changes, it's more likely now that the game will be playable with 1 to 4 players. Some special considerations will be needed for the Special Guests regarding solo play, but I'll deal with those at another time. I may still consider an expansion for up to 6 players, including additional dice, coins, and Special Guests, like a "deluxe add-on" or expansion kit.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I acknowledge that little of this will make sense to the outside observer right now. Additional information and assets for LUCKY STARS will be appearing in the Game Journal section soon.

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gamejournal | by Dr. Radut