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Bankokian Dominoes

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Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015

This game was meant to be fast, simple and loud.
It is designed to be played with a group of ideally 6-8 people (or more) and can include kids and adults.
There are 2 sets of cards; the trading and the objectives and 2 “markets”; the open and the illicit.
The idea is that there are turns but a lot of action should take place outside the turns and during
other people's turns.
The basic mechanic for a legitimate trade is based on domino tiles, each player is dealt a few and can hold a set number in their hand at any given time. There are resources on the tiles, but they are silly and random, for example you might get one with 5 cabbages/3 underpants or 2 pistols/6 balloons. The set of tiles/cards should be one you can use to play a domino-like game with. There is a huge pile of tiny representations of the resources, this is referred to as “the bank”.
Each player has a pile of the tokens represented on their domino-like tiles/cards however they are not required to show these to other players. I'm not entirely sure how the bit about the player's pile and the dominoes works, need help on this one.

The laws are simple, but cheating is sort of part of the game, if any player catches another cheating then the player must put all their resources back into the bank and return all their trading tiles to the middle of the table. The laws are:

Don't steal from “the bank”.
Objective cards may not be traded between players.
Don't steal from other players' piles of resources.
Don't “hold out” when you have the resources.
Trading is compulsory provided the correct domino is played.
Keep all your resources visible to all players
Announce every transaction so that all players can hear what's going on.

The basic mechanic for a trade is this: in turn a player offers another a domino, the other can not refuse the trade. The trading cards are kept hidden but the piles of resources are displayed openly, so you know which resources the other player has. Going with the example of player A offering player B the domino-like tile/card 3 wagon wheels/ 2 fish, the player must exchange the wagon wheels for the fish if they have them. If player B does not have 3 wagon wheels then player A must pay the 2 fish into “the bank” and return the domino to the table taking another one. Player B can not refuse to trade or negotiate the terms of the trade but if player is unhappy with the trade for whatever reason (such as needing 8 wagon wheels to complete an objective), player B can reverse the tile so that instead of giving 2 fish for 3 wagon wheels, player A must now give 3 wagon wheels for 2 fish. Player A can not turn the domino back but if player A does not have 3 wagon wheels to give, they may pay them out of “the bank”. In all other cases the trade is forfeit an player A must return the number of resources facing him/her to the bank (remember that player A's resources are visible to everyone) . The whole trade must be announced so that everyone can see that it is legitimate, so in the example given, player A must say “Player B, I'm trading 2 of my Fish for 3 of your wagon wheels” and then player B would say “I don't like that, I'm reversing the transaction”. Whereupon player A would declare “I don't have enough wagon wheels, I only have 1, the rest will have to come out of the bank”. Remember that it is only in a reversed transaction that the player who is short gets to use the bank's resources.
Once a player has enough resources to complete an objective (it doesn't matter how they were obtained!) they put the objective card face up on a pile next to them and show everyone that they have the required resources before paying them into the bank. It doesn't matter when a player declares an objective, the only thing you can “catch them out on” is not having all the necessary resources. At the end of a certain number of turns or a certain amount of time the player with the most completed objectives wins.

Objective cards can be traded, but if players are caught doing this they must return all their resources to the bank pile and return all their trading cards. They can take the required number more in the next turn but they can't do anything until they have a turn again. No agreements which take place “off/under the table” are valid, so you can cheat people broken on these illicit transactions and they can't complain. If they do then they will be admitting to having cheated (and have to pay everything back) while you could deny all knowledge of this cheaty transaction. So if somebody cheats you on your cheating, you must make sure that you're both caught!

In the insuring chaos, loud denials and arguments which follow, clever players will use this distraction to trade objective cards or maybe swipe some resources!

Summary of the game so far:

You get a set number of objective cards and a set number of domino-like cards, when you use one you must get another from the pile.

You can trade with other players in your turn but only according to what appears on the domino-like cards. If you didn't check their (open) resource pile and asked for something they don't have, you must pay what's on your side of the card/tile into the bank.

If they person you're trading with doesn't like the transaction, they can reverse it.

If the transaction is reversed and you don't have the resources you were originally trading for, then you may pay the deficit out of the bank.

As soon as you have the resources to fulfil an objective, you first show them to everybody, pay them into the bank and then put the objective card face up on your completed objectives pile. You can only prevent players from doing this if they don't have the right number of resources, how they obtained them doesn't count. You then take a new objective card.

The player with the most completed objectives wins.

It's not supposed to be fair.

There are a lot of things I'm not sure of and need help with such as

How you get more resources, legitimately, from the bank other than in reversed transactions

Should players start the game by being dealt a hand of transaction dominoes and then cashing them all in at the bank? Can they ever cash dominoes in at the bank at some later stage?

I had this crazy idea for a roulette wheel which each player would spin, there would be all the types of resources represented around the rim. When the player got a type of resource, say umbrellas, they would then place one of their domino-like tiles there if they had one with any umbrellas on the edge of the wheel and claim the resource on the other side. So if the wheel points to umbrellas and they play the 5 umbrellas/3 fish card/tile, they can claim 3 fish from the bank...
I'm not sure when/ how often this should happen if at all.

I also had this idea that the resource cards should show some really strange abominations or -um “art objects” with diagram illustrations of how many cabbages, pistols and underpants were involved in the construction and where they all went, but I don't think that would add anything in the game, just perhaps make it more bizarre.

Then of course any ideas to make the game more fun, louder, simpler and faster are welcome.
Also any to prevent the game from degenerating into a brawl.

Can anyone suggest which resources should feature?

Also, I'm keen on providing 2 games in one, where people could also play a domino-like game with the trading tiles, however in regular dominoes, there are either numbers or pictures on the tiles/cards. So you can have “6/4” or “underpants/golf clubs” but not “6 underpants/4 golf clubs”. How could the domino-like game work?

Finally, I must state that I accept no responsibility for injury, damage to property, ruined marriages, broken families, broken friendships, deaths or other things related to people playing this game!

Joined: 08/21/2015
To claim resources from the

To claim resources from the bank, you could have special dominoes - maybe blank on one side and with a number of resources on the other, or with the same type of goods but different numbers on each side. Possibly these could only be used with the bank, or they could also let you steal from another player.

Or you could announce completed goals, which would allow you to claim a reward for them (different for each goal card), by placing the card face up on the table before you, where it would be (relatively) safe from theft, but where everyone could see it (and how close you are to victory).

Otherwise there could be some special tiles or cards with "bank trade" on it, which you have to play along with another tile to trade with the bank.

Regarding the more conventional domino-like game, it would probably be a lot like card dominoes (which I invented long ago, before discovering that it already existed). In that you can either match suit or number of the card. So it should work fine.

Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015
fish bonds

Of the ideas provided I like the 'blank trade' one best.
I think I'd like to keep a set of dominoes as usual though - perhaps along with objective cards there could be cards which can be redemed for a certain number of resoruces.
It would be tempting to cash all these in, but trully cunning players would hoard them (even if this meant they'd have fewer options regarding their objectives) because these would mean you can get resources which you don't have to "declare" by having them in your pile for all to see.

A card might look like an ordinary objective card but instead of an objective you can complete it would have "take 23 fish out of the bank" printed on it. You might have no fish in your pile and so other players wouldn't play the 6 fish/1 baloon tile for example, but you know that you can complete just about any objective which requires fish if you keep that tile.

On the other hand the next objective card you could have drawn, had you cashed in the fish card, would have been one which required 1 anvil and 1 baloon to complete and you had those in your pile...

Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015
so many!

I've run into a slight hitch in developing the game to the point where I can play test it.
I didn't realise how many dominoes I'd need to make!

I've taken out all the blank ones and all the colour|same colour ones because this wouldn't work with trade, however I still have a lot of dominoes to make.
Instead of different resorces with models and pictures (which I still hope to include in the fished game) I've take the lazy approach and used different colours + the corresponding colour counter.

I can't see how many counters I'd need to make it intersting but playable until I have the dominoes and that could take a while.

Joined: 01/17/2011
Component count

I think your component count is going to run very high, which could make it cost prohibitive given that this would be aimed at the "filler game" market.

Nevertheless, the concept sounds good and I'm sure you can come up with some way to keep the essence while reducing the production cost.

On the subject of getting resources, two possibilities I thought of were:
1. At the start of your turn, draw 1 of any resource. (Of course, nimble players might accidentally get more than 1.)
2. If the initial player does not have the resources for the trade, take the excess from the bank (just like a reversed trade). This would make a positive economy, but there's still an incentive to select something that the target has in hand because it hurts them more.

You may need to rule that to be convicted of cheating you need half+1 of the players to declare you guilty.

Happy gaming,

Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015
thanks kos!

I really like your suggestions especially the one about drawing a resoruce and the kangaroo court. I think you have embraced the spirit of the game.

I'm kind of sturggling with the component count thing as you've pointed out. I can work with fewer (say 4) resources which would limit the number of dominoes as well as the number of resource tokens - for testing purposes this would be ok, but I think that the game would be at its best if there were 6 - that way we can have a lot more diversity in terms of objective cards and a more fluid 'market'. More than 6 would make the game impossibly unwieldy.

I'm also still suck on my silly idea of the roulette wheel, perhaps we can have the 1 resource drawn per turn determined by this, but in practical terms, if we use this a D6 would also work as well for this puprpose.

I'll try it out at some point with only 4 rources and that nifty D4 my brother got me for christmas. If it works like that I'll try it with 5 then 6 and then perhaps 7 although I think that over 6 is a suicide mission.

Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015
summary of game so far:

over 4 player compete to see who can fulfil the most ojbective cards in a set number of turns (or unitl the objective cards run out).

There is a huge pile of tokens in the middle called 'the bank'

at the begning of each turn players draw one random token from the bank.

there may also be cards which can be "cashed in" for a lot of a certian number of tokens which are hidden in amongst the obective cards.

Players use domino-like tiles to force a trade with other players, the trade is compulsory and the resource piles are supposed to be kept in view of everyone.

if the trade is not favorable to one of the players it can be inverted so that the players excahnge resources the other way.

If the player tries to make a trade when the person they are trying to trade with doesn't have the resources then they have to pay 'their end' into the bank and the other player has to pay nothing to anyone; unless the trade has been inverted in which case the player who played the trade tile can pay the deficit from the bank.

If you are caught cheating you have to pay in all your resource tokens and return all your objective cards (including the ones you can cash in for resources) and take more in your next turn.

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