Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.
1st place, with 12 votes: Busy Bees by Lokinervio.
2nd place, with 11 votes: Tulpen Mania by Richard James and Brad Phillips.
3rd place, with 8 votes: Diced Veggies by bhazzard.
4th place, with 6 votes: Birds of Pair O' Dice by Loonoly and Spring Planting by Chip Alexandra.
5th place, with 4 votes: Spring into Action by Empires and Springtime for Dinos by Ron Krause
Congrats to the winners, and thanks for playing! Watch for the next GDS to go up Thursday June 30th (I'm leaving town, and want to make sure I post it before I go).
And now, to the Critiques Thread!
Theme Restriction: Springtime
There's something special about this time of year - weather gets nice, everything in nature blossoms, school lets out... Maybe that's why there are so many phrases and cliches that use the word "Spring" in them: spring cleaning, spring chicken, spring has sprung, etc. This month's Game Design Showdown celebrates the spring season by using Springtime as a theme restriction.
Mechanics Restriction: Dice drafting
There have been a number of popular euro games recently that employ some unique or creative way to use dice. 2 examples are Macao and Troyes, each of which involve choosing a subset of a larger pool of dice that had been rolled in order to "do stuff" or "get stuff." This month's showdown challenges you to find a clever way to use a dice drafting mechanism.
Component Restriction: Dice, duh! Any dice drafting mechanic restriction of course comes with a dice-as-components restriction as well. To be more specific, let's say there must be at least 3 different types of dice in the game. That could be different sizes, or different faces on the same sized die (but they would have to have different distributions too or that's not different!)
Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge were handled on the Comments Thread.
Enjoy, and good luck!
It's Holland, 1636. The center of world trade and tulips are hot. The nobility just can't get enough of these Turkish gems and any moment now, tulips are going to explode across Europe. At least, that’s what you think.
As a well connected merchant, it's time to secure your share of the fortune that awaits. But the spring selling season is still months away, and the rarest tulips need to be planted now. So if you hope to sell out in the coming season, you will have to secure your stock of flowers in the recently invented tulip futures market.
Over a series of weeks, you will bid against your rivals for first pick among the batches of tulips available and hope that they contain the right breeds to create the exotic flowers your customers demand. Bid carefully though and plan accordingly, because with so much hype in the market place, prices are prone to bubble out of control at any time. Welcome to TulpenMania.
Earn the most money by the time the tulip craze collapses.
At the beginning of each week (round), roll the number and type of tulip dice listed on the futures contract card at the end of the line. Then determine the turn order for the week based upon the bid tokens on top of it. Play proceeds from the player with the most bid tokens to the player with the least. If you have no bid tokens on the futures contract, you go last and you may only place bids on your turn. Once everyone has taken a turn, discard the current futures contract and place the top (face-up) card of the futures contract draw pile at the beginning of the line of contracts. Then, turn over the next card of the futures draw pile and advance the futures contracts. Then a new week begins. If the futures draw pile is ever empty, shuffle all the discarded futures cards and form a new draw pile.
When it is your turn, first you may place up to five or your bid tokens on any combination of the three non-mature futures contract cards in play provided that the total number of bid tokens you have on any card is different than the number of bid tokens on that card of each other player. You may place less tokens than the highest bid, you just may not place the same number of tokens as another player. Then, you must choose to either pay 1k guilder to each other player with bid tokens on the current futures contract card for each bid token that player has on the card, or end your turn. If you pay for your bid, you may perform any and/or all of the following actions (once each) in any order. Regardless of whether you pay or not, reclaim your bid tokens from the card.
If there are ever ten or more cards in the market history pile after a sale of tulips, discard all the cards in the market history pile and start a fresh one.
Keep performing weeks of bidding, planting, selling and looking for new customers until either a futures contract matures and there are no bid tokens on it or the exotic tulip draw pile runs out of cards. At the end of the following week, the game ends. Count up the guilders you have collected. The player with the most wins.
During the first week, skip all actions except bidding on futures. Starting with the player with the largest flower garden, in clockwise order, each player gets one turn to place up to ten bid tokens on any of the futures contracts in play. Then play as normal.
Exotic tulip cards require anywhere between 2 and 4 types of regular tulips to plant and each has a different diminishing value in the market. The rarity also influences their prevalence in each stage of the draw pile. More rare tulips are generally found in the more expensive stages. There are a total of 8 different exotic tulips:
|Title||Requirements||Market Value||Guilder Cost|
Tulip futures cards provide anywhere between 6 and 12 dice to the pool. At the end of each week, all used and unused tulip dice are returned to pool so that there are always enough dice for the futures roll. Each of the 24 tulip futures cards is different.
Spring into Action! 2-5 players, 45 minute games
Its spring… and it’s the season for making action movies! Your boss has given you and your fellow movie producers’ secret film ideas to put together the greatest action movie ever! You have the whole equipment and filming area available to you to help make the movie; the only problem is your opponents are trying to get better actors, props, and stunts before you!
• 20 small Red Stunt dice (6 sides)
• 20 small Green Prop dice (6 sides)
• 20 small Blue Actor dice (6 sides)
• 4 normal White Action dice (8 sides)
• 1 Filming Area Board
• 15 Movie Objective Cards
• 60 Money tokens/cards
• Colored player markers
Lay the board on the table. Place all 64 dice off to the side of the board. Shuffle the Objective cards and give each player 1 card and 3 money tokens. Give each player a set of colored player markers. Set the remaining cards and tokens off to the side of the board. Randomly determine the first player.
The first player rolls all four action dice. The results determine what you can do this turn.
Rent – (4 sides) Take 1 Equipment dice. The first one you take is free. Each additional dice you take will cost 1 money token.
Loan – (2 sides) Take 1 money token
Sabotage – (1 side) Take an opponent’s dice from off a set location and remove it from the game.
Steal - (1 side) Take 2 money tokens from an opponent or change an opponent’s dice to your dice. You must keep the same side and location.
After the player rolls his action dice, he rolls all of the Equipment dice he took and after resolving their effects, places them on set locations of his choice, along with a colored player marker to note the difference between his and other player’s dice. Only empty set locations can be chosen. The following results for each type of dice are:
Explosion: Remove an unused Equipment dice of your choice from the game.
Police Chase: An opponent of your choice skips his next turn unless he pays 2 money tokens to the bank
High Jump: Reroll any Equipment dice of your choice that you rolled this turn.
Martial Arts: An opponent of your choice rolls one less Action die next turn
Epic Battle: You and an opponent both roll an action dice: If you roll a Rent, take a money token from that opponent. If he rolls a Rent, he takes a money token from you. If you both or neither of you rolls a Rent, nothing happens.
Blank: Remove this dice from the game.
Weapon: If placed in the War-Torn Battlefield, remove one Actor dice in the War-Torn Battlefield.
Fist: If placed in the Ancient Ninja Dojo, take a Stunt dice for free and roll it. It must be placed in the Ancient Ninja Dojo. Remove it from the game if it cannot be placed in the Ancient Ninja Dojo.
Sports Car: If placed in the Downtown Highway, place each other Prop dice on the Downtown Highway (except yours) back into the pool of dice.
Robot: If placed on the Galactic Starship, gain 1 money token for each Robot on the Galactic Starship.
Gadget: If placed in the Military Base, no other dice may be placed into the Military Base by other players until your next turn.
Warrior- Roll an extra action dice if you roll two of the same Equipment dice
Criminal- gain 1 money token for each Explosion, Weapon, Fist, or Police Chase you roll this turn.
Spy- An opponent cannot place Equipment dice next turn. They gain 1 money token for each equipment dice they would have placed.
Alien: Switch one your dice with an opponent’s dice.
Ninja: Take any Equipment dice and roll it. If you roll a blank, remove this Ninja and that dice from the game. Otherwise, place that die in this set.
Set Locations (8 spots for dice in each)
Ancient Ninja Dojo, Galactic Starship, Military Base, Downtown Highway, War-Torn Battlefield
The game ends when either all sets have been filled by dice or all the Equipment dice are gone.
Each player receives points based on how well they completed their objective. Receive 3 points for each correct Equipment dice rolled as well as your dice that have been placed into your set. Your objective may give you extra points based on some Equipment dice (Ex: You get an additional point for each Sports Car prop you have on the board). You also gain 1 point for each money token you have. The player with the most points wins! If there is a tie, whoever has more money wins.
3-5 players 20+ minutes
"Do you see it?"
"Over there on the oak tree."
"Ah, the first Robin of Spring!"
Welcome to Birds of Pair o' Dice. Players take the role of bird watchers in a race to be the first bird watcher to sight each bird as it returns in the Spring.
5 player boards (1 for each player)
40 dice (5 colors - red, blue, green, black, and white)
- 2 of each of the following types in each color: d6, d8, d10, and d12
25 track markers (translucent bingo chips)
1 privilege token
Each player takes one set of dice of any one color and a player board. Place a track marker on the 0 space for each bird track and one on the 5 space of the influence track. Players will place their d6s on the right hand side of their board to indicate that these are their currently available dice. The remaining dice will be placed on the left hand side of their board as stock (these dice will be available for purchase as the game progresses).
Randomly select a single player to start with the privilege token before the first round. That player places the privilege token in the spot indicated on their player board.
The game is played in rounds. During each round players will perform the following steps:
1. Determine who has privilege.
2. Roll dice and form pools.
3. Use dice.
If a player has the privilege token on their player board then they will have privilege during the current round. If no player has the privilege token on their board, then the player with the most influence gains the privilege token and it goes in front of their board. If there is a tie for most influence, then the privilege token stays in control of the player who currently has it in front of their board.
Simultaneously, all players will roll their colored dice. Dice are then placed in the center of the table organized into groups by type (all d6s together, all d8s together, etc.). This forms the dice pools from which dice may be used.
When selecting dice players must observe the following rules:
- At least one of the dice must belong to the player using the dice. If a player has no dice left in any of the pools, that player is done for the current round and is skipped.
- Dice are always paired by type (d6s with d6s, d8s with d8s, etc...).
- When using someone else's dice you must pay them an amount of influence equal to the value of the die used and you must pay before selecting their die.
Starting with the player with the privilege token and proceeding clockwise, each player will select dice to perform one of 2 actions depending on the values of the dice chosen. These actions are:
Gain and Spend Influence: To gain influence you must select a pair of dice where both dice are either even or odd in value. Once selected the player calculates their increase in influence by adding the values together and dividing by 2 (i.e. a 4 and a 2 would be worth 3). If the pair of dice are doubles then the gained influence is also doubled (i.e. double 4s are worth 8 not 4). Once the player has determined their influence they may (but are not required to) spend their influence in one of two ways. They may purchase a new set of dice by spending an amount of influence equal to the maximum sum of the pair (i.e. to purchase the d8s a player must spend 16 influence). Or they may spend all of their influence to purchase the privelege token and place it on their board (Note: Be careful! Other players can still buy it off your board later in the round).
Move a marker along a bird track: To move along the bird tracks the player must make a pair of the appropriate type of dice for the track where one die is even and the other is odd. Once an even-odd pair is selected, the player moves the marker on the appropriate track a number of spaces equal to the lower of the 2 values in the pair (For instance, with a pair of 2 and 5 the marker will be moved 2 spaces).
The game ends immediately when one player's markers have all reached the end of each bird track. That player is declared as the winner.
You are a farmer and spring is the time for planting crops. Time is short and the first farmer to plant 10 of each of the five crops (corn, wheat, potatoes, rice and sunflower) wins the game. Dice represent planting machines showing crops planted and downtime. There are five types of dice, different in terms of turns it can be used, cost in terms of resources to maintain, productivity vs. downtime and mix of planted crops. Using the right combination of three dice at the right time will increase chances to be the first to finish planting and win the game.
Five types of dice, each representing a planting machine.
Usage tracks for each die, showing 8-12 boxes (rounds dice can be used, maintenance cost (e.g -1), output (x0 no production, x2 twice the production). For example The high throughput dice has 12 squares (12 rounds), maintenance cost (any resource) in rounds 3,6,9,12. It also shows no production (x0) in rounds 1,2 and 4 and double the production (x2) in rounds 10,11,12,13 There are markers for each die showing progress on the dice track.
There are crop scoring track for each player with 5 lanes of 15 squares and 5 markers showing resources gained and spent, and measuring progress towards victory.
Each player takes the three standard dice, three dice tracks and markers placed on start. Also take the scoring track with markers at 0 for each of the five resources. All the other dice are placed in the middle in a common pool
The player that has most recently been on a farm rolls the three standard dice. There are 3 actions to be performed
Turn ends and the next player follows.
First player to plant 10 crops of each kind wins the game.
Dice have a different cost-output profile and can be used for a specific purpose:
While luck is an important factor, with a high number of rolls a skilful choice of the three rolled dice can give you the edge.
Babbling brooks, dew-laden valleys, fawns bounding in the glen - Spring has arrived in the Meadow! It’s time for you and your fellow Bees to amass a delicious store of pollen in your Hive to raise this year’s little ones. But who can build their Hive the quickest?
Race to complete your Hive by taking turns Collecting Pollen from the Flowers in the Meadow.
Roll Location dice four times, to set Meadow starting locations of all Bees and one open space, then randomly place the remaining 60 Flower dice on squares in the Meadow. Place the two Busy-Bee dice with the “3 Bee” face up, and give each player a Hive board.
A player wins when their Hive has all spaces filled, and each side has one of each Flower type.
On each player’s turn, that player rolls their Drafting dice, then chooses if they want to re-roll all, any or none of them once more. Then they must choose one play (if possible) from the result.
If no play is possible, they become an “Idle Bee” for that turn, and their opponent may initiate a Bee-Battle if they wish (described below).
[Descriptions of the play types are given below.] Triples (3 of a kind) allow Busy-Bee to choose ONE play:
Doubles (2 of a kind) allow Busy-Bee to choose ONE play:
Singles (1 of a kind):
Hive Attack: The attacking player selects one Flower from their opponent’s Hive and places it back in the Meadow, on any vacant square.
Replant a Flower: Change any one Flower die in the Meadow to a different Flower type.
Fly a Bee: Roll the Flying die and the Location dice. First, swap the Drone with whatever is currently in the square marked by the Location dice, then move any Bee (even the Drone) along as many open squares (horizontally, vertically or a combination) as there are honeycombs on the Flying die. If any Busy Bee ever ends a turn orthogonally adjacent to the Drone, roll the Location dice and swap whatever is in that space with the Busy Bee.
Collect Pollen: Take one Flower die in any diagonally or orthogonally adjacent Meadow square that matches any one Drafted die. Place the Flower in any open square in your Hive.
If your Hive is full, you must remove one die from your Hive first, then place the collected Meadow Flower in its place - then place the removed Flower die back on the Meadow in any open location.
There are three types of Bee-Battles:
Automatic Battle: Occurs whenever a turn ends with both Busy-Bee dice in orthogonally adjacent Meadow squares.
Optional Battle: Player may initiate a Bee Battle against their opponent’s Idle Bee.
Wild Battle: If on a player’s turn, after their Draft, they decide that they don’t like any of the playing options available or do not wish to become an Idle Bee, they may spend one of their Wild Battles. That player then rotates their Busy-Bee to denote that they have one fewer Wild Battles available (once they reach zero, they may not use another Wild Battle for the rest of the game). Then, a Bee-Battle ensues!
Both players Draft their dice. The player with the most matching Flowers on their dice is the victor. If tied, re-Draft until a victor is declared. Victor Rolls the Bee-Battle die once. If the victor rolls:
If, after the Bee-Battle is resolved, the two Busy-Bee dice are still adjacent, another Bee-Battle ensues, until the Busy-Bee dice are no longer adjacent.
It's springtime in the Late Cretaceous period and love is in the air, dinosaur love that is, but as always it's only the chosen few who will pass on their genes. Players take on the role of dinosaurs trying to ensure that their gene line survives by scoring the most during springtime.
Hand out equal number of predator/prey and gene dice to each player.
Randomly mix all tokens so their point value is face down. Separate them into the hunting grounds (prey) and herd (mate).
Designate one player as the "Head of Herd" (HoH) giving them the mate die.
Players attempt to hunt the best prey to help woo potential mates. During this phase the HoH always chooses who wins in the event of a tied roll.
All players roll their predator/prey dice. The player with the most predator results goes first, then the next highest, etc. On their turn, players randomly select tokens from the hunting grounds. The first player to choose takes tokens equal to the number of players plus one. Each consecutive player subtracts one from the last number (i.e., three player game: first player draws four, second draws three)
Selecting tokens occurs as follows: Determine the number of tokens to take. Without showing the other players, draw them from the hunting ground. Choose one token and place the rest back ensuring no players can determine their values. Last, flip over your catch proudly displaying what a great hunter you are. Prey tokens can be used later to boost gene dice or for scoring at the end of the game.
Players attempt to display the best genetic traits in order to attract a mate. Remember, a mate is looking for a particular genetic type. The more points a dinosaur has in a trait the more likely it is to get a mate. Of course you can only score one mate per round.
Starting with the HoH, each player rolls their gene dice. This gives each player a starting gene pool. Each gene die contains one "wildcard". This can be used to represent any trait on the die, but must be declared by the end of gene pool discovery. Once all players have rolled their pools, the player on the right of the HoH, moving counter-clockwise, can reroll any dice. Players are trying to get higher scores in at least one trait in hopes of securing a mate.
The HoH draws one mate token from the herd equal to the number of players in the game. If there are not enough then draw the remaining. Next, the HoH rolls the mating die for the first mate. The result displays what trait that mate is interested in. The player with the highest matching trait for that result becomes the potential mate. (i.e., the die result is "strength", the player with the highest strength in their gene pool is selected.)
Players now get an opportunity to show they are a better potential mate. Only non-mated dinosaurs participate. Before the selected player takes the mate token, or if the selected player already has one, other players may play prey tokens to boost their trait value. Starting with the player on the right of the selected player, each player may choose any number of their prey tokens to boost the desired trait, used tokens will be returned to the hunting grounds. The value of the prey token is added to that players desired trait value. The original selected mate may play prey tokens should they choose, if they have not scored a mate this round. Once all prey tokens are played, the player with the highest number in the desired trait demonstrates true dominance and wins the mate. A mate token will not choose a mate if there is a tie between dinosaurs or the highest desired trait is held by a dinosaur that mated this round, retun it to the herd.
The winner flips over the token displaying its value and places it near them. The HoH then rolls for the next mate.
The player to the right of the HoH becomes the new HoH and takes the mate die. Play resumes in the hunting phase and continues until all mates are collected.
The player with the highest score (prey + mate tokens = score) is the most successful dinosaur, ensuring their genes pass on to the next generation.
It's Springtime again and every week, the farmer's market is bustling. Diced Veggies is a game of dice-drafting and set collection for 3-5 players. Players will be competing to grow the best garden and turn their produce into fresh green cash. The player with the most profit will win the game.
The game is played over the 3 months of Spring with 12 rounds consisting of one week each. To start each player should be given a drafting tray, 5 crop dice, 4 labor dice, and 5 coins.
In each week, players will: - Draft seeds and laborers - Grow their crops - Sell their harvest at the market
At the beginning of each month, players will roll all of their dice.
Each player will choose a die and put it into their tray without changing the face up side.
Once all players have selected a die, everyone will pass the tray to their left.
Each player will now choose a die in front of them and put it in the tray in front of them without changing the face up side.
Once all players have selected a die to put into their opponent's tray, everyone will pass to the right, so that they have their original tray in front of them.
They will select another die for themselves and then pass to the right again, so that the opponent on the other side of them can choose a die for their tray.
This will continue back and forth on either side of each player until the trays are full (9 slots). So each player will have drafted 5 dice for themselves, and given 2 dice to each of their neighbors.
Each player has a garden grid with 9 spaces. 1 plant can be grown in each of the 9 spaces. Players will take turns Planting seeds, and Growing and Harvesting plants.
Players may plant up to one seed of each type into any open spot in their garden, but must discard a matching crop die to do so. Alternatively, if they have a Planter die, they can pay 1 coin for each crop type of their choice to plant unlimited seeds of that type, but still must discard a matching crop die from their drafting tray for each seed they want to plant.
On a player's garden grid, Planted seed tokens of the appropriate type are placed to represent the planted crop types.
Players may grow up to one plant of each type of seed planted in their garden, but must discard a matching crop die to do so. Alternatively, if they have a Grower die, they can pay 1 coin for each crop type of their choice to grow unlimited plants of that type, but still must discard a matching crop die from their drafting tray for each plant they want to grow.
On a player's garden grid, Planted seeds tokens are replaced with Grown plant tokens to represent grown plant types.
Players may harvest up to one of each grown plant type in their garden, but must discard a matching crop die to do so. Alternatively, if they have a Harvester die, they can pay 1 coin for each crop type of their choice to harvest unlimited plants of that type, but must remove a matching crop die from their drafting tray for each plant they want to harvest.
On a players garden grid, Grown plant tokens are removed and set aside for the Selling crops phase.
The weather dice is rolled, if the result is a 3 or a 6, then the market is rained out and no sales are made. Any harvested crops are lost.
Players may sell crops in up to two lots, with the following possible combinations:
If the player has any Seller dice, they may use them to stand in as a crop die of their choice, but they must pay 1 coin for each Seller they use.
Any harvested plants that are not sold, go bad and the tokens are discarded.
Whoever has the most coins at the end of three months is the winner.