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Frogs & Logs (working title)

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BHFuturist's picture
Joined: 11/01/2008

"Frogs & Logs" (working title)

An area control, worker placement, and lite strategy game for two to four players.

Game Inventory
1 Game Board
32 Frog Tokens in 4 Colors (8 Each)
1 Deck (25 Event Cards)

Each player selects a set of colored frog tokens and places them in front of them on the table. Place the game board between the players where everyone can reach it. Shuffle the event deck and place it on the designated spot on the board. Start by shuffling and drawing 5 cards from the event deck. Place these five cards face down in a line at one edge of the game board. Place the rest of the event deck away for another game (they will not be used this game). Decided who will go first using any agreed upon “random” method. Players will take turns clockwise.

Game Board
5 large lily pads in the middle of the board each with 4 spaces for frog tokens. Four of the lily pads are marked as 3 victory point (VP) and the fifth “center” lily pad marked 5 VPs. 4 Logs, one along each edge of the square game board, each with 4 spaces for frog tokens. Each lily pad and log will have one special power listed as icons or text. 36 total frog spaces on the board.

During the first round of turns, each player will place one of their frog tokens on any lily pad or log space. At the start of every turn after the first round if a player starts their turn in control of a lily pad or log they can choose to activate the power of each controlled location by following that power's instructions. After power activation, each turn a player may only place one frog on a lily pad or log space, this will end their turn. Lily pads may hold up to four frog tokens if at any time there are more than two colors of frog tokens on a lily pad or a player places a fifth frog token on a lily pad, the lily pad collapses and all of the frog tokens return to the players. Each time a lily pad collapses draw an event card and follow the instructions on that card. The player who triggered the event keeps the card as a victory point token.

    Note: Control of a lily pad or log is given to the player that has the most frogs in that location at the start of any turn but only the active player can use a power.

Play continues as listed above until one of the following Game Ending events happen:

    - A player starts their turn with no frog tokens to play.
    - A player collapses a lily pad and there are no event cards left to read.
    - Four frogs are on the center lily pad without collapsing the lily pad.

Game End & Scoring
At this point, all remaining players, except the player who ended the game, may take one final turn before the game ends and the game is scored. Victory points are scored for the following based on the “end state” of the board after the last player has completed their turn:

    5 VP for control of the center lily pad
    3 VP for control of any of the 4 other lily pads
    2 VP for control of a log
    1 VP for each frog a non-controlling player has on a log
    1 VP for each frog a non-controlling player has on the center lily pad
    1 VP for each frog a player has “not in play” (on the board)
    1 VP for each event card triggered by the player

The player with the most victory points is the winner. If there is a tie, check the following secondary win conditions in order, only for the players involved in the tie:

    1. The player who controls the center lily pad is the winner.
    2. The player with the most event cards is the winner
    3. The player who controlled the most logs is the winner
    4. The player with the most frogs not in play is the winner
    5. The player with the most frogs on lily pads is the winner

If there is still a tie either crown both players joint winners or flip a coin to see who wins!


To do list

  • Develop the 9 special actions for the 5 lily pads and 4 logs.
  • Develop the 25 events for the event deck
  • Build the "no art" Alpha Prototype
  • Playtest
  • Work balance issues

Things that could be added

  • One “king” frog for each player that counts as two frogs only for control but only takes up one space on the game board.
  • 8 Variable player powers in the form of “Role Cards” that are randomly drawn at the start of the game. (a one use per game action card)
  • Make a small deck of 15 lily pads & deck of 12 Logs and skip the game board (still only use just 5 lily pads & 4 logs per game)

This game is a "work-in-progress" that is intended as an introductory game into the worlds of area control and worker placement for less experienced or younger players (that I hope is still fun for the pros). This idea sprang up out of the articles I was trying to write about area control.

    I would love to hear any feedback on the overall idea for the game or suggestions for the “to do list” items. Thanks in advance and Happy New Year 2017!


Gabe's picture
Joined: 09/11/2014
Sounds like a light,

Sounds like a light, interesting game.

There's a game that came out a while back called "Bullfrogs" that's a little similar to this. Check it out:

BHFuturist's picture
Joined: 11/01/2008
So cool!

Gabe wrote:
There's a game that came out a while back called "Bullfrogs" that's a little similar to this. Check it out:

This is something that I love about board game design, the same theme, and even the same mechanics and components can be used in different ways (through differences in the rules and methods used) to make two totally unique games.

I think something like this could be a fun "Game Design Showdown" someday. Having all the designers use the same theme and components and mechanics and see what sort of games pop-out of their creativity!


BHFuturist's picture
Joined: 11/01/2008
The Logs

I am toying with the idea of making the "Logs" more like "action selection" and less a "control area" the way the lily pads are.

When a player places a frog on a log, that frog is locked in place (for the rest of the game) and the player "activates" the power of that log, at that time. This would also remove "Logs" and the "frogs on logs" from end game scoring rules.

This would make the logs "one time powers" at the cost of a frog. Also, making the logs "first come, first served" with a maximum of four uses per game.

What do you all think about that?


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