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Assassin-style game

6 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/20/2016


I know it's not really a board game, but I'd love some feedback on a game I've been working on. It's designed to be played with a large group of people (15+) over a long time (a week +) My friends and I have done one playtest with 24 people over 3 weeks.

So I had a bunch of 6 puzzle piece kind of things that would fit together to make a cube. Starting the game, I gave one piece in secret to six people. I sent the 24 of us off with the following rules:

-Keep any pieces you have on your person
-Anyone with at least one piece can 'challenge' another player. (Saying 'I challenge ')
-If the challenged player has any pieces, they must give them all to the challenger.
-Otherwise, the challenger must give all their pieces to the challenged player.

The game worked pretty well, and several strategies emerged. Many people formed alliances, where someone who was revealed to have pieces would tranfer them to someone with none for safekeeping.

Many people spread misinformation about who had pieces and how many, (eg so-and-so has 5 pieces) to try and bait people into believing there were only two players left, and lose their pieces in challenges.

However, it did tend to stagnate a little bit. People talked about it a lot but didn't do a lot of challenging after the first week. Or maybe they did, and I just didn't see them. Who knows.

In the end, it worked well as a fun game about trust, lying, and information. What do you guys think? Questions? Comments? Advice?

Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015
sounds clandestine

I like the idea, but I would love to know a few things.

how do you win/lose the game and is that possible?

is there any way to get pieces apart from challanging people for them?

what do these pieces represent in terms of the game?

you are dealing with a large group; can you eliminate players?
also what happens if somebody finds a more pressing matter which requires there attention and can't play, does the game fall apart or do you continue without that player?
if so, what happens to their pieces?

can players 'fake' leaving the game in order to avoid being challanged and the re-emerge at some point?

Some suggestions:
you have multiple types of pieces and only one player (who starts with no pieces[?]!) knows which ones are the 'real' pieces. That player must keep his/her identity secret since the knowledge is more valuable than the pieces until people know which are real and which are not, then the game would continue as you described it.

Poker players and fans of survior might be good at this game.

Joined: 03/02/2014
With those odds, it seems

With those odds, it seems like it would be hard to get the ball rolling. After all, if I have a piece and challenge someone at random, there is only 5/23 chance of being successful, but a 18/23 chance of losing my piece.

I could see some great opportunities for subterfuge, however. If I started with no piece, then my strategy would be to wait until I think I am being covertly observed, then go to any friend who is playing and ask him to pretend to hand me something. (There was no challenge -- it just looks like a successful one.) If my friend does have a piece, then it certainly behooves him to pretend to give it up. If he doesn't, it's still probably worth it, just for the entertainment value.

I do think that there needs to be a way for people to be eliminated, and a publicly-available list of who is still in. Perhaps you add the rule that someone without any pieces is also allowed to challenge others, but his penalty if he challenges someone without a piece is that he is out of the game. (You would also have to add the rule that once someone takes someone's pieces, the person who lost it is not allowed to challenge back for some fixed amount of time, say, 12 hours.)

It does sound interesting.

Joined: 02/20/2016

Thanks for your comments!

I totally forgot to mention that the aim is to collect all of the pieces. If you have all of them, you win. There possibly could be a prize, shareable by the winner in the way they choose.

Players leaving: I think that players should be allowed to leave, if they give their pieces to someone else. If they can't do that, then I guess they'd have to inform the people running the game that they'd be playing with one less piece. Either that or the gamerunners randomly give someone a new piece. I think leaving should be permanent to prevent fuckery.

In all of these cases, there has to be a list of all the players which is easily accessible and updateable.

This list could also be used to keep track of elimination, ie cross off names as people are knocked out.

I like Zag's idea of a pieceless challenge a lot, at the risk of being eliminated. However I'm not sure about the time restriction. Perhaps a rephrasing:
"You can only make a pieceless challenge if you haven't had any pieces in your possession for X amount of time/ since last midnight"
This makes it so people losing their pieces still have to wait to get back in the game, but if they get a piece some other way before then, they can get right back.

In terms of getting the ball rolling, MC's idea of giving the players more information looks great, but I don't know about giving it all to one player, and instead give a little bit of info to everyone.

Here's my idea: at regular intervals, everyone gets together. Everyone writes down their name and the number of pieces they have on some paper. The papers are shuffled and one given to each player. This gives:

-more tools for the people with no pieces to play with
-concrete opportunities for misinformation and lying
-more information for people to trade
-an event after which a ton of action will probably happen

Is this too much information to give?
Should there be a buffer of time between when the papers are written and when they're distributed?
Is the downside of being exposed as a pieceholder worth the upside of gaining more pieces? (In the case of a very public challenge)
Should the pieceless challenge ability be revoked for a while in the wake of this incident?

Joined: 03/02/2014
Fletch wrote:I totally forgot

Fletch wrote:
I totally forgot to mention that the aim is to collect all of the pieces. If you have all of them, you win. There possibly could be a prize, shareable by the winner in the way they choose.

No, that was clear. The problem, though, is that if I have one piece, there is little incentive to challenge anyone, especially early in the game. If I'm right, all that means is I have two pieces, which is still a long way from winning. If I'm wrong, I lose my piece. Without the pieceless challenge, this is pretty disastrous. Even with it, doing a pieceless challenge is pretty scary unless I'm pretty sure my target has a piece.

Here's another idea: In addition to the 6 trophy pieces, add a few jail pieces. If you have a jail piece (whether or not you have trophy pieces), you are not allowed to challenge anyone else. If someone challenges you when you have a jail piece, you don't have to give up your trophy pieces, you give them the jail piece, instead. (Or, if you only have the jail piece, you give it to them and they do not have to give up their trophy pieces.) So having it gives you some measure of protection, but also keeps you from improving.

However, there has to be some way to get the jail pieces out of circulation as the game gets down to fewer people. Maybe each jail piece travels with a list of names. When you get one, you add your name to its list. If you ever get that one again, you retire the piece.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
My thoughts on the game

Instead of just "pieces", I would make like a shard or something with an image of a common item.


Well the idea is if I have a GUN, I can take out any player from the game. But I can only do so once in the game. But I could TRADE the GUN for another item which I may use.

Something like that.

If I have BRIEFCASE, I can make a DEAL with another player: "You and I are going to win this game."


It's simple, you have a BOX at one (1) location in which you write notes on. For example: John used the GUN to kill Ali. Put that in the box and you know that John used the GUN already and therefore he can trade it to someone else.

Something like that... And at the END of the game, you read the notes to make sure that nobody cheated. If they did, they are eliminated from the end game and you continue to "compute" the winner based on their actions.

Another item: a medical needle (Injection).

What does it do? It puts you to sleep allow the player who used it to STEAL all your pieces...

This ALL sounds to me more like an "ASSASSIN-style" game than what you had originally stated with just pieces.

JewellGames's picture
Joined: 06/03/2012
Another idea

I have a slightly different idea but there is no real elimination with this so perhaps that goes against this style of game but I feel like it keeps everyone engaged at all times. Perhaps its defined as a "tag" style of game instead. Let me know if anyone would like to collaborate on it together.

1) The game starts with everyone drawing X cards (5 is the default) from a mission deck.

A few example of missions are:
-Assassinate (or tag) a player in a lockeroom/bathroom.
-Assassinate (or tag) a player wearing something red.
-Assassinate (or tag) a player with a utensil (fork,pencil,etc.) in their hand.

2) Set a time that the assassinations will begin (an hour later, a day later, etc.) to give people a chance to disperse and prepare. You can also set a time that assassinations will end (see object of the game below).

3) Keep your mission cards on you at all times! Anytime you successfully complete one of your missions, give that card to the person you assassinated.

4) The object of the game is to be the first person to get rid of all mission cards they possess. Or, if you set an end time, the player(s) with the least number of cards at that time win the game.

Also. with this game you could even have teams where a team gets X cards and you split them up however you want as a group. The first team to get rid of all mission cards they possess as a team or the team with the least number of cards at the end time win the game together.

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