Bull riding rules from Wiki:
"Judges award points based on several key aspects of the ride. Judges look for constant control and rhythm in the rider in matching his movements with the bull. Points are usually deducted if a rider is constantly off balance. For points actually to be awarded the rider must stay mounted for a minimum of 8 seconds, and he is scored only for actions during those 8 seconds. The ability to control the bull well allows riders to gain extra style points. These are often gained by spurring the animal."
-What I have in mind for a basic turn structure is that during a player's turn, he is riding a bucking bull while other players take the role of the bull and play cards to knock him off. So the player whose turn it is plays a card, player A plays a card (trying to knock him off), turn player plays a card in response, player B plays a card, etc. If the player whose turn it is lasts 8 turns (each turn a second), they are awarded points.
-I have in mind 5 suits corresponding to 5 different tracks on the board. The 5 tracks have an intersection point and branch out from there. The intersection point has a value of 0. The 5 tracks have values from, say, 1-10.
-Players have hand of 5. Cards will have movement points on them that move a bull along these tracks.
-Player A will play a card that says move bull +4 on blue track. Turn player responds with -2 on blue track, draws new card. Player B plays +5 on blue track, draws new card. Turn player doesn't have any blue and discards, etc. Maybe non-turn players can play two cards if they bring bull back to space 0, e.g., player A plays -2 blue, +5 green.
-Turn player will get kicked off bull if bull moves past past space 10 on any track. If survives 8 turns, is awarded points.
-Not sure how to score points. Maybe 5 minimum for lasting full ride and style points for a max of another 5? How would style points be awarded? Maybe turn player cards could be + and - and they could push their luck and play + cards to get closer to end of track?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts and/or suggestions.
I like this idea! It seems simple enough, yet could have a good amount of substance. I like the theming too.
One idea - you mention that in real bull riding, rhythm is important in the scoring. Is there any way you could work in rhythm, or patterns into the game? one thing I'm thinking of is when the turn player gets to play his/her cards (to try and move back on the track and away from the end), maybe if they play a pattern of cards they get extra "style"points? For instance, player A plays a +4 on blue track, turn player plays -2 blue, player B plays +5 blue, turn player plays -2 again, player C plays +3 blue, turn player could play something better but plays -2 a third time, earning the "triple style" award. Something like that? Or maybe the turn player has two -2 blues and one -2 green. He plays the -2 blues (which help him move back on the blue track) but for the third play, plays -2 green (which doesn't help him move). But he does earn the triple award. He sacrifices some comfort room on the board for style points instead.
Another idea would maybe be to have character cards that the bull rider chooses from. And then each character could have some special "move" or "style" that earns extra points. For instance, one character could earn an extra 3 points every time he pulls off the "double step" move (which could be something like "move forward 1 space on one turn, then back 2 spaces on the consecutive turn".) This way, the bull rider tries to pull off back and forth moves without themselves falling off the edge. And at the same time, the other players are trying to push them off the edge and also sabotage the "special moves" the rider is trying to pull off. These don't have to be character cards, they could just be special-moves cards that require fullfilling.
Those are some really good ideas. I'm leaning towards the 2nd suggestion so that each round someone can ride a different bull requiring a unique manuever for style points.
The distribution of numbers is going to be the tricky part.
I'm wondering if the turn player cards should have a higher distribution of negative numbers compared to the other players who have more positive numbers or if they all should be the same. I guess it depends how often I want the rider to fall off. Maybe 50% of the time?
Would it work to have all cards positive, but when the Turn Player plays them they reduce the tracks instead of increasing them? This halves the number of cards you need in the deck.
I like the idea of style points for creating patterns of movement. The cards could be played face up in a row (instead of into a pile), and then you score points based on the combos you produce. It's a bit like trying to produce a poker hand with your opponents playing half the cards.
Quick Step: Two adjacent cards of the same color OR number. (1 point)
Perfect Rhythm: Two adjacent cards of the same color and number. (2 points)
Jack of All Trades: A sequence of 4 cards has one of each color. (3 points)
Rising Tempo: A sequence of 4 cards in a "straight" (e.g 1-2-3-4) (3 points)
Just thinking out loud, what if the Turn Player has the option to play his cards face down? Face down cards don't reduce the tracks until the end of the ride (assuming that he makes it to the end). The advantage of playing face down would be so your opponents can't mess with your style combos as easily, but the disadvantage is that you risk being thrown off the bull before you finish.
The paragraph above is an attempt at a push your luck mechanic. It seems a push your luck mechanic would suit the theme because rider can choose how hard to spur the bull. Another way to implement such a mechanic would be to let the rider play one card as a negative and then any number of positive cards, which he would do to try to get more style combos but with the added danger of increasing the tracks.
Some more excellent ideas and I like the idea of the turn player playing face up so other players can observe riders working towards goals and trying to impede goals.
Yeah, I think you are right about simplifying cards movement and allowing all players to choose positive or negative movement.
Any thoughts on distribution of numbers on cards? If the tracks are 1-10, should the cards be 2-5?
Also, I'm wondering if players should be able to play two cards instead of one if they are able to change tracks. I'm just worried about the bull stagnating on one track. So let's say the bull is on space two of the green track. Bull controlling player has a 2 green, and 5 yellow in their hand. Bull controlling player plays both cards to switch bull from green space 2 to yellow space 5. This could be more dynamic as far as moving and messing with bull riding player's ability to perform style combo's.
Changing tracks is a nice idea, but it might benefit from a closer link (in respect to played cards).
Player is on space 2 of the green track
Player has 2 green and 5 yellow in hand
Player uses 2 green to intiiate track switch and then 5 yellow for new track movement. Player ends up on yellow 3 ( 5 - 2 )
Player can only switch if they have a 2 green and a direct follow on card.
Player attempts to use 2 green, but cant switch because they only have a 5 yellow. To switch a player would need a 2 green and either a 1 yellow or a 3 yellow.
Option 1 is interesting, but I worry that it would be very tough for the rider to finish the ride. With 1-5 valued cards and 10 spaces on each track, it would take at least three bull player turns to buck the rider off starting on space 0. Only two if anything higher than 0. It seems like you need a buffer between the highest number on the track and highest value of the cards but I'll have to play and find out and will certainly keep option 1 in mind if things don't pan out.
Some more on how bull riding is scored:
"The ride is scored from 0–100 points. Both the rider and the bull are awarded points. There are usually two judges, each judge scoring the bull from 0–50 points, and the rider from 0–50 points. The combined point totals from both judges make up the final score for the ride. Scores of zero are quite common as many riders lose control of the animal almost immediately after the bull leaves the bucking chute. Many experienced professionals are able to earn scores of 75 or more. Scores above 80 are considered excellent, and a score in the 90s exceptional."
So it looks like the bull itself is scored as well.
It seems like the best way to handle this is to have everyone scoring points on each turn. The bull rider will try to accomplish certain moves for bonus points (as well as lasting 8 turns), and the players controlling the bull will have to score points to knock the player off. If they score high points but don't knock the rider off, the rider will get a high score.
Now I'm not sure how much thematic sense it makes for the bull players to knock the bull rider out of bounds to make him fall off.
It seems more thematic for those controlling the bull to pull off moves like the bull rider.
So maybe the rider is trying to get bonus points but playing a full house as well as the bull players except they need a certain combo to knock the bull rider off.
Any thoughts on card movement and space structure on the board? Should the spaces have certain colors spread around randomly and cards have to be played to move around? Could colored dice be rolled to move on the colored spaces?
for some reason ever time i read this i think it should have some sort of mechanic for running away from the bull once it knocks you off. maybe you could have escape cards and if you get too much damage done you can loose a turn or something. might be interesting to incorporate.
I would love to incorporate clowns somehow. :-)
Ok, change of direction time.
I recently played "Escape: The Curse of the Temple", which was a lot of frantic fun and thought the fast pace rolling of dice would work well for bull riding.
What if the player whose turn it is has to roll a batch of dice eight times trying to a) last the entire bull ride and b) score "style" points?
The other players have, say, 3-5 dice each and they knock the turn player off if they collectively roll, re-roll and "lock" one side of the die, e.g., if everyone re-rolls until their 6's are locked, the rider falls off the bull and scores 0 points.
If the player whose turn it is observes that other players are locking their dice quickly, the turn player can roll more quickly to finish the ride to score base points (50) instead of taking more time to roll for combinations for a max score of 100. If they aren't locking quickly, the turn player can slow down and try to roll the combinations necessary for additional style points.
1. Is this too simple?
2. Are there any other games like this?
3. Is not having a board and bull piece that moves around a big minus, and if so, can you think of a way to incorporate that?
i like it.
maybe you could have one person rolling for the bull. Once the bull rolls enough to knock you off, everyone tries to roll enough to keep the bull distracted while you run away.