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Simple Board Game

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wonderwhy
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Joined: 02/23/2013

Hello,

A few years back I created a board game that my son and daughter and I have been playing. At the time checkers seemed too simple and chess just a little too hard for my son. I was planning on creating as a mobile app (I've created several mobile apps) but thought I'd get some feedback from some neutral folks - my kids are a little biased for me ;-).

I've been calling the game BashMate which is an anagram of my last name. The context for the game is Rock/Paper/Scissors. There are four types of pieces (R/P/S) including a "Goat" piece which acts like a king as in chess. The pieces are set up on each side of the board and can move in specific ways with each piece beating and removing opponent pieces with the object of trapping or beating the opponents Goat piece.

I've attached a PDF that I created several weeks back as a handout to get people to play and provide feedback with. It is 3 pages and includes the game board, pieces and instructions. Feedback on this is appreciated as well. I may have oversimplified the instructions.

Thanks and regards,

WW

Steve
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Joined: 07/29/2008
Comments on Game Instructions

Thanks for allowing us to read your game rules. While I haven't performed a playthrough yet, I did read the rules. Here are my thoughts:

* Your graphics are completely adequate for explanation of the rules and better then anything I could produce. It looks professional.

* I had some initial confusion with part of Simple Rule #2 - "All pieces beat the Goat and the Goat beats all pieces." I eventually figured out that it must have meant that whoever strikes first in a confrontation of Goat vs. Whomever wins.

* The game relies upon players to set up their sides in secret. With the board being an 8x8 checkerboard, perhaps the board could be split into two chunks of 4x8, each side turning their back on the other, taking their part of the board, populating the board, and then bringing it back. The stated option, placing up a divider, is fairly feasible as well although a printed divider wasn't available with the rules. One possibility is using a sturdy hardcover book, placed on it's edge, as a divider. Another possibility, without the use of a divider, is to have players alternate turns placing an opponent's piece onto the board - Essentially allowing your opponent to create your initial side while you create theirs.

* While only performing a read through, I was initially uncertain of how a Goat could be trapped, given that the Goat could defeat any piece as long as it has the initiative. I'm guessing that "trapped" is just another way of saying "checkmate" - The Goat could make a move but the opponent's next move would capture the Goat. Was that correct?

Again, thank you for giving us the opportunity of allowing us to read the rules.

wonderwhy
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Joined: 02/23/2013
Thanks!

Appreciate you taking a look.

"I'm guessing that "trapped" is just another way of saying "checkmate" - The Goat could make a move but the opponent's next move would capture the Goat. Was that correct?" -- Exactly.

"The game relies upon players to set up their sides in secret...." -- Yes. For the mobile app this isn't an issue. If playing face to face, there are a set of buttons where a user sets up; clicks done and the next player sets up and clicks done. Then a start button displays all pieces and the game is played. For a physical board game we've been using a standard checker/chess board and using the box cover as a divider. The PDF I attached is a miniaturized version of the game.

"I had some initial confusion with part of Simple Rule #2..." --Hmmm...I need to work on this. In the Game Play section of the instructions I have a graphic that shows Rock/Paper/Scissors with the Goat. I think I need to improve this graphic. These are actually screen shots from an animated show I put together explaining the rules. In the animation the paper beats rock, the rock beats scissors, the scissors beats paper as shown by the arrows and then I have all pieces beating the Goat and then the Goat beating all pieces. Maybe I should add arrows to indicate this to the static instructions.

I guess the biggest concern I had with the instructions was the explanation of how the pieces could move to an adjacent square when they reach the opponents side of the board. This allows you to switch the color squares that a piece moves in. Noticed in early game play you could have all your pieces left on the board on white and not be able to beat any pieces on black and vice versa. Adding this rule allowed pieces to change as well as introduce some interesting tactical game play.

Thanks again for taking a look and please let me know your thoughts after you've had a chance to play.

WW

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
The only thing that bothers me...

Is the switching colors at the opposite end of the board.

To me it looks like a *patch* (If you are developer you should understand what I mean).

Since one player is the aggressor and the other player is the defender (depending who starts first), you could have a rule that any piece (except the Goat) can switch colors - but it takes 2 turns to do so.

What this does is effectively for an aggressor to switch roles and become the defender (because of the 2 turn rule).

Not sure if this would break your game and the remaining mechanics - but maybe you might want to consider it and play test it with your family to see if it works out.

I'm just saying "If you have a *slide* rule for the hiccup of being unable to beat tokens because they are on the opposite color, why wait until they reach the other side of the board." I would suggest to do it whenever at the cost of 2 turns.

It is also easy to do: first you move halfway on the next tile (1st turn), then you move onto the next tile (2nd turn). That way you can keep track when any player decides to switch color... [And a switch can be made by either player at any time...]

wonderwhy
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Joined: 02/23/2013
!!!!

Epiphany moment....years ago when my son and I started to play we noticed in either the first or second game we played that depending on how the pieces were set up and during game play that the "bug" was not being able to take another piece or get the Goat because its in another colored square...hence the introduction of that rule.

Now the epiphany moment; especially for someone like me who tends to try to simplify things as much as possible, was that this rule was a quick fix but probably was not the best fix. Made the game more complex rather than simpler.

I'm going to try to play a few games removing the 1 space slide on the opponents side of the board with -
Any piece can move 1 or 2 spaces during a turn. I think to offset or try to balance game play I'm going to test the ability of the Goat to castle as well.

So new rules I'm going to try testing and playing -
1 – Each player sets up their pieces in any square in any order on the first 3 rows of their side of the board.
2 –Rock beats Scissors, Scissors beats Paper, Paper beats Rock. All pieces can beat the Goat and the Goat can beat all pieces.
3 – All pieces can move 1 or 2 squares in any direction. Pieces can jump over friendly and opponent pieces. Only one piece can move during any given turn.
4 – The Goat can "Castle" (trade places with) any friendly piece.

I'll update the PDF attached to the original posting with the new rules after playing this weekend to see if they work well.

Thanks for looking and getting me to think differently.

Regards,
WW

wonderwhy
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Joined: 02/23/2013
Update Rules and PDF

wonderwhy wrote:
Epiphany moment....years ago when my son and I started to play we noticed in either the first or second game we played that depending on how the pieces were set up and during game play that the "bug" was not being able to take another piece or get the Goat because its in another colored square...hence the introduction of that rule.

Now the epiphany moment; especially for someone like me who tends to try to simplify things as much as possible, was that this rule was a quick fix but probably was not the best fix. Made the game more complex rather than simpler.

I'm going to try to play a few games removing the 1 space slide on the opponents side of the board with -
Any piece can move 1 or 2 spaces during a turn. I think to offset or try to balance game play I'm going to test the ability of the Goat to castle as well.

So new rules I'm going to try testing and playing -
1 – Each player sets up their pieces in any square in any order on the first 3 rows of their side of the board.
2 –Rock beats Scissors, Scissors beats Paper, Paper beats Rock. All pieces can beat the Goat and the Goat can beat all pieces.
3 – All pieces can move 1 or 2 squares in any direction. Pieces can jump over friendly and opponent pieces. Only one piece can move during any given turn.
4 – The Goat can "Castle" (trade places with) any friendly piece.

I'll update the PDF attached to the original posting with the new rules after playing this weekend to see if they work well.

Thanks for looking and getting me to think differently.

Regards,
WW

Played several games with my daughter with the new rules. Although the altered rules changed the style of play on the opponents side of the board, game play is much simpler. My daughter quickly came to like the castling capability over the "slide" rule.

Updated PDF to the original posting.

kos
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Joined: 01/17/2011
Looks nice

The game looks quite simple to learn and understand, with potential for strategy.

In the rules, is the "castle" rule intended to be used only with a friendly piece which the Goat moves onto? I assume that was the intended usage, but as written the rule could be used to teleport across to the far side of the board.

In place of secret setup in a face-to-face game, if you use tokens that are blank on the back the players could take turns placing their pieces face down, and then at the end of setup flip them all face up. That alleviates the need for a divider.

Regards,
kos

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Fantastic idea

kos wrote:
In place of secret setup in a face-to-face game, if you use tokens that are blank on the back the players could take turns placing their pieces face down, and then at the end of setup flip them all face up. That alleviates the need for a divider.

That's a great idea Kos... Allows both players the time to setup without disclosing their own setup. But you don't need to take turns because each player can only setup their own side of the board. No divider and no turns to setup.

wonderwhy
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Joined: 02/23/2013
Amazing advice and nice catch!

Updating the PDF to include and hopefully make clearer.

The feedback I've received so far is excellent and I deeply appreciate it.

Played several more games with my daughter. Now that she's adapted to the new rules she's back to kicking my butt.

KrisW
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Joined: 01/15/2013
Elegant!

This is an elegant game, I like it. I'm going to try it out with some chess playing friends tonight.

- KrisW

wonderwhy
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Joined: 02/23/2013
Thanks!

KrisW wrote:
This is an elegant game, I like it. I'm going to try it out with some chess playing friends tonight.

- KrisW

Thanks Kris!

Please, please let me know your thoughts after you've had a chance to check it out.

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