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[WIP] Bletchley

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Joined: 09/16/2013

Currently working on a few ideas, but this is the most recent.
It is on the way to its first prototype, but would appreciate any feedback first.

Title: Bletchley

Theme: Hidden message/ciphers and codes

30 Enigma cards (5 cards for each value 1-6)
30 Cipher cards (3 cards for each cipher, of values 1-10)
Per player: 1 Player board, featuring a scoring track around the outside, 8 numbered spaces for Alphabet cards, and a letter track containing spaces from 4 to 8.
2 Player markers
60 Alphabet cards (2 of each consonant, 3 of 'O' and 'U', and 4 of 'A', 'E' and 'I'.

Each player chooses a colour, and takes their player board, player markers and alphabet deck.
They choose a word between 4 and 8 letters long. They tell the other players the length but NOT the word. They place a player marker on the letter track to indicate the length of their word, and the other marker on space 0 of their scoring track.
The player then takes the letters used to spell their word from the Alphabet deck into their hand. Duplicate letters require duplicate cards: for example, the word 'street' requires 2 'E' cards, 1 'R' card, 1 'S' card and 2 'T' cards.
The players shuffle the Enigma cards and the Cipher cards to form a deck.
The players choose a starting player. Each player turns cards from the deck face-up until they have at least 2 Enigma cards and 2 Cipher cards. These cards are then taken into their hand, along with their current Alphabet cards.

On each turn, a player can make ONE of the following TWO actions:
1. Encode a part of their own secret message
2. Attempt to decode another player's secret message

At the end of their turn, if a player has less than 5 cards, they draw cards so that they have 5 in their hand (excluding Alphabet cards).

1. Encode a part of their own secret message
A player plays an Alphabet card from their hand face-down onto their player board. The player must play it in the correct position - if it is the 4th letter of the word, it must be played in position 4. If the word has duplicate letters, the player may choose which position to play the letter in.
The player also plays a Cipher card, face-up, on top of their Alphabet card.
This Cipher card encodes the Alphabet card, preventing other players from seeing it.
If this is the last card of a word, the word is scored - see 'Scoring'.

2. Attempt to decode another player's secret message
A player may play Enigma cards from their hand to decode another player's card. To do so, they choose an Alphabet card on another player's player board. They then discard from their hand Enigma cards, the sum of whose value is equal to or greater than the value on the Cipher card which protects that letter.
If they are able to and choose to do that using only cards from their hand, they look at the Alphabet card beneath on their own and place it back on the player board.
If they are unable to do this only with cards from their hand, or choose not to, then they may ask other players for help. To do this, the player discards Enigma cards, and THEN asks for help. Other players may then discard Enigma cards to increase the total - in this case, all players who have discarded Enigma cards get to see the Alphabet card.
In the event of more than one player offering help, the active player may choose whose help to accept.
If no-one offers help, the active player does have the opportunity to play extra Enigma cards from their hand if they have them. They may not change the target Alphabet card, and they may not withdraw their attempted decode. If they are unable to play extra cards, the Enigma cards are discarded anyway and the Alphabet card is not looked at.

If a player forgets an Alphabet card they have already seen, they MAY NOT look again unless they play Enigma cards on a turn in this way.

Instead of decoding an individual letter, a player may attempt to guess a player's word for a cost of Enigma cards up to a value of 3. In this case, they declare out loud the player whose word they are guessing, and then they make their guess. If they are correct, the word is scored - see 'Scoring'. If they are incorrect, they are informed of this, and their turn is over.

A word is scored when it is guessed correctly by another player, or when all alphabet cards for that word have been played.
When a player guesses another player's word, the player who has guessed correctly scores points. The number of points they score is equal to the number of letters in the word, plus a bonus of the number of Alphabet cards not yet played.
For example, if a player correctly guesses a 7 letter word when 4 of the 7 letters are on that player's board, they will score 10 points - 7 for the letters in the word, and 3 for the letters not yet played.
When a player plays their last Alphabet card and a Cipher card on top of it, they score twice the number of letters in the word; 8 points for a 4 letter word, 10 points for a 5 letter word and so on.
When a player scores points, their player marker is immediately moved around the score track on their player board.

When a word is scored, the player who played that word (whether they or another player scored for the word) discards the Cipher cards used into the discard pile. Their Alphabet cards are placed below their player board, in a row spelling out the word. If the word was guessed by another player and there are Alphabet cards in the player's hand which have not been played, they are placed below the board as well to complete the word.
They then select a new word, ensuring that they have the correct Alphabet cards in their deck to play that word. The relevant Alphabet cards are taken into their hand alongside any Enigma and Cipher cards already in the hand.

Game end:
The game ends when any player has 20 or more Alphabet cards in the words BELOW their player board.
The player who OWNS the last word gets a bonus of 5 points, as does the player who SCORED the word. If the player who owns the word scores the word, they get both sets of bonus points, giving a total of 10 points.
The person with the most points wins.

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