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Wind Up: Prototype Rules

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DrFro's picture
Joined: 10/27/2014

Greetings! Over the past month, I have been developing the prototype for a new game that I am tentatively titling "Wind Up." I have play-tested this with my wife and several friends a number of times now, and believe I may be on to something here! I have refined the prototype rules based upon those games, and am posting them here for everyone to take a look - feedback is most welcome! My prototype deck is still in its very "dirty" stage (hand drawn cards!) - it is my goal to have a basic PnP of the game ready in a couple weeks, barring any new setbacks (of which there have been quite a few already!). So, please read and let me know your thoughts!

- Ken (aka DrFro)

2-4 players
Ages 10+
30 - 45 minutes

In WIND-UP, two to four players will compete with one another building fabulous clockwork machines. Players will install parts with iron, hire assistants with gold, and power their machines to produce more iron, more gold, and prisms. The catch? All of the parts are wind-up machines and require constant maintenance to prevent them from either winding-down or stopping altogether! Victory points are obtained by producing prisms and gold, having working parts at the end of the game, having parts aligned in runs or sets, or by installing purely decorative parts with no function whatsoever. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins!

Components: 24 gear cards
51 part cards
12 generators
12 iron smelters
9 gold processors
9 prism crafters
9 decorations
7 winder cards
17 worker cards
4 hard restart cards
1 first player card
30 gold tokens
20 (1) gold pieces
12 (2) gold pieces
8 (5) gold pieces
50 iron tokens
30 prism tokens

Part Card Description:

Each part card produces a type of resource (energy, iron, gold, prisms, or victory points). The amount the card produces or how efficiently it produces depends on two factors: the gear size of the part (larger=better), as well as the side of the card currently facing up. The sides are color coded, with the green top side producing the most, the yellow left side producing at a slightly worse rate, the orange bottom side even less, and the red right side (stopped position) not producing at all! Part cards will turn throughout the course of play, and it is each player's job to keep parts wound up so that they continue to produce efficiently!

Gear size: the center number on part cards, as well as the number(s) on gear cards. Gear numbers on part cards are also victory points at the end of the game.

Start position: The top (green) side of a part card. The most productive side of the part.

Stopped position: The right (red) side of a part card. Cards in stopped can not be unwound further, do not produce resources, and are worth zero points at the end of the game. This does not effect set bonuses (see Game End and Scoring).

Setup: 1. If playing a 3-player game, remove all cards marked "4" in the lower-left corner. If playing a 2-player game, remove all cards marked "3" and "4" in the lower-left corner.

2. Give each player a size 3 generator and a size 3 iron smelter. Each player places these on the table in front of them in their play area, next to each other in starting position (green side up). Players may choose to have them aligned left-to-right, or top-to-bottom (see "Playing the game: Play Area").

3. Create stacks for all remaining parts (generators, iron smelters, gold processors, prism crafters, and decorations) in order of lowest to highest gear size, face up (i.e. all stacks except for the generators and iron smelters will have their a size 3 part on the top; the generators and iron smelters will have a size 4 part on the top). Place these in a common area in the middle of the table, in reach of all players.

4. Create a stack of Winder cards, in order of cheapest to most expensive (the "1 time" winder will be on top). Set this stack next to the part stacks in the common area.

5. Shuffle the remaining worker cards. Deal one worker to each player. Then, deal three more workers face up in the common area and place the remaining workers in a stack next to them, face down.

6. Shuffle the gear cards. Place them in a stack face down in the common area.

7. Give three gold pieces and two iron tokens to all players. Place remaining gold, iron, and prisms in the common area.

8. Place the Hard Restart cards in a stack face-up in the common area.

9. Determine who starts first by any means of your choice. In a three or four player game, hand the starting player the "first player" card.

Playing the game: The Play Area:

Players will install part cards on an imaginary 3x3 grid. All newly installed part cards begin in start position - green side up. Newly installed parts must touch existing parts either left-to-right, or top-to-bottom. Newly installed parts cannot be placed in a way that would break the 3x3 grid. Diagonal parts do not touch. Newly installed parts may replace existing parts. When replacing existing parts, remove the old part from the game and install the new one in its place in start position.

All worker cards are placed to the side of the player's machine. These cards do not occupy space on the 3x3 grid.

Playing the game: Overview:

The game will take place over twelve rounds of play. A round is defined as one turn for each player. In each round, two gear cards will be drawn. These cards will unwind cards installed in all player's machines. Depending on how a player's machine is configured, additional parts may also unwind. (See Resolving Gear Cards)

• In a three and four player game, the "first player" draws two gear cards and then assigns these cards to any two players. These gear cards will resolve at the beginning of that player's turn. If the "first player" assigns a gear card to him or herself, the card resolves immediately.

• In a two-player game, each player draws one gear card and resolves it at the beginning of their turn.

On a player's turn, the player may use a Winder and/or pay iron to wind up parts that have unwound. One iron will pay for one counter-clockwise turn of one card; a player may do this as many times as they want (i.e. if a player spends three iron, the player may turn one card three times, three cards one time, or two cards - one of them once, the other twice). The counter-clockwise turns from a winder are always free.

Once all winding has been completed, the player may then produce resources by calculating how much available energy is being generated by generator parts and then using that energy to produce iron, gold, or prisms at the costs listed on the SIDE FACING UP for each of their respective parts. The cost to produce is shown on each side as:

cost of energy -> # of resources produced (maximum production/turn)

The green side of each card will always be the most efficient side for that card. The yellow side and orange side are progressively worse, with the red side representing a stopped position (no production). Turning the card clockwise will unwind the card to a weaker side; turning the card counter-clockwise will wind the card to a better side.

After production, a player may then purchase and install one part card (using iron) and/or hire one worker (using gold). A player will install their part on their three-by-three grid (see Playing the Game: The Play Area), and place newly hired workers next to their play area. Newly hired workers are not available for use until the player's next turn. If a player hired a worker other than a Winder, a new worker is drawn from the available worker deck and placed face-up in the common area. After installing parts and hiring workers, the player's turn ends.

Alternatively, after production a player may instead take a hard restart card which immediately ends their turn. A player who takes a hard restart may not purchase any parts or hire workers. At the beginning of their next turn, before resolving gear cards, the player will turn all non-decoration parts to their start position, and all decoration parts to their stopped position.

Many workers have abilities that can be used throughout the player's turn. Players may use these abilities when appropriate, as dictated by the individual worker card.

A note on Gold: Gold pieces are versatile. At any time during a players turn, a player may use one gold piece as one iron token.

Playing the game: Resolving Gear Cards:

Gear cards will have either one or two gear size numbers (3 through 8) on them. To resolve the gear card, all players must turn each part card with that gear size clockwise. ADDITIONALLY, any parts adjacent (horizontal or vertical) to a part that turned that has a smaller gear size will also turn (i.e. a 4 will turn a 3, a 6 will turn a 4, but a 3 will not turn a 5, a 4 will not turn another 4). This can trigger chain-reactions, as parts with higher numbers turn parts with smaller numbers, which in turn turns parts with smaller numbers yet (i.e. a 6 turns a 5, then the 5 turns a 4)! Each part can only turn a maximum of one time per gear card resolution, regardless of the number of larger parts adjacent to it. A stopped part card does not unwind further, and does not trigger chain reactions. Once resolved, discard the gear card.

Playing the game: Sequence of Play:

1. Round start: In a three or four player game: The first player draws two gear cards and assigns them to two different players. The first player is now the active player.

2. Turn start: If the active player took a hard restart on the previous turn, the player resolves the hard restart now.

3. In a three or four player game: If the active player has been assigned a gear card, that card resolves now. In a two player game: The active player draws a gear card and resolves it.

4. The active player winds their machine by using a Winder (for free, up to the number marked on the card), or by paying one iron to turn one card one time counter-clockwise. This may be done multiple times (as always, gold may also be used as iron).

5. The active player produces resources by totaling the amount of available energy and then choosing which resources are produced. The energy available is the sum of upward facing sides of all generator cards currently installed. A player may produce multiple times with the same part, up to the maximum available production for that part (the number in parentheses). For parts that produce more than one good each time, the number in parentheses refers to the maximum available production, not the number of times the player may activate that part.

6. The active player may purchase and install one part and/or hire one worker. The cost for parts and workers are printed in the upper-right corner of the card. If a worker other than a Winder is hired, a new worker is drawn from the available worker deck and placed face up in the common area. Alternatively, the active player may take a hard restart card.

7. Check for game end: if all gear cards have been played and discarded, the game has ended. Proceed to scoring.

8. In a two-player game: Play passes to the other player, who is the new active player. Repeat, starting with step 2. In a three or four player game: If this was the last player for the round, the first player card passes clockwise to the next player and a new round begins. Return to Step 1. Otherwise, play passes clockwise to the next player, who is the new active player. Repeat, starting with step 2.

Game End and Scoring:

Players will score victory points in the following manner:

Gear Sizes: Players will score victory points based upon the size of the gears in their machine. The player totals all gear sizes for their installed parts. A stopped part is worth ZERO points. Larger gears = more points!

Part Sets: Players will score victory points through part sets, either horizontally or vertically oriented. Players will examine each row and column of their machine for sets. Risky, but rewarding!
A run of three (i.e. 4-5-6, 7-6-5, etc.) in any one direction will score 5 points, up to a maximum of 30 points.
An unordered run of three (i.e. 5-6-4) will score 3 points.
A three-of-a-kind (i.e. 5-5-5) will score 2 points.
Note: a stopped part will still contribute to a set.

Prisms: Players will score victory points by manufacturing prisms. Each prism produced is worth 2 victory points. In addition, the player who produced the most prisms scores an additional 12 victory points. If two or more players are tied, the points are split amongst the players (6 points each for a two-player tie, 4 points each for a three-player tie, and 3-points each for a four-player tie)

Gold: Players will score 1 victory point for each gold piece.

Decorative parts: Players will score victory points equal to the number printed on the upward facing side of an installed decorative part. Stopped decorative parts score ZERO points.

The player with the most victory points wins! In the case of a tie, the player with the most gold wins. If the players are still tied, the player with the highest value decorative part wins. If the players are still tied, then the players enjoy a shared victory.

Part Card Descriptions:

Generators: Generators provide energy, which is used for production by Iron Smelters, Gold Processors, and Prism Crafters. IMPORTANT NOTE: A player may only have TWO GENERATORS at any time in their machine. If a player purchases a third generator, the player must replace one of their existing generators with the new generator.

Iron Smelters: Iron Smelters produce iron. Iron is used to build new parts and to wind parts.

Gold Processors: Gold Processors produce gold. Gold is used to hire all workers. Gold is often used to pay already hired workers to execute their abilities. Gold may be used as an iron. Gold is worth 1 VP at the end of the game.

Prism Crafters: Prism Crafters produce prisms. Prisms are worth 2 VP at the end of the game. The player with the most Prisms scores bonus points (see Game End and Scoring). Some workers add additional versatility to Prisms.

Worker Card Descriptions (note: descriptions in [brackets] are to denote different types of each worker):

Winders (x7): Winders give the player the ability to wind parts in his or her machine for free, up to a number of times printed on the card. In addition, if a machine is "fully wound" at the beginning of the player's turn (i.e. all parts are in their green position), the player may OVERWIND one part (regardless of the number of winds available. This part can produce one more than its normal amount (i.e. a generator that would produce four energy produces five, an iron smelter than can normal max out at two iron could produce three). At the end of the player's turn, that card unwinds one time (usually to its yellow side).

Saboteur (x2): Once per turn, a player may pay gold (amount listed on the card) to unwind an opponent's part. [1g -> 1 unwind]; [2g -> 3 unwinds (different parts)]

Tuner (x2): Before drawing gear cards, a player may look at the top two cards of the deck. The player places one card on the bottom of the deck, and places the other on the top.

Thief (x2): May steal resources from a player with more of that kind of resource than you. [Steal one gold]; [Pay 3g -> Steal one prism]

Merchant (x2): May exchange resources up to two times a turn. [2 iron -> 1 gold]; [1 gold -> 2 iron]

Recycler (x2): May exchange prisms once a turn for resources. [1 prism -> 1 gold
and 1 iron]; [2 prisms -. 3 gold and 1 iron]

Power Salesman (x2): May exchange resources once a turn for energy. [1 iron -> 2 energy]; [1 gold -> 3 energy]

Jammer (x2): Prevents gear cards from turning your parts. [1g -> Force opponent to place gear card on the bottom of the deck and draw a new one. One time a turn.]; [Stop gears: No effect from gear cards this turn. Once used, discard this worker.]

Alchemists (x2): May exchange resources for prisms, one time a turn. [4 iron -> 1 prism]; [2 gold - > 1 prism]

Vandal (x1): Once per turn, may pay 2 gold to destroy one prism (may only be used on a player with more prisms than you).

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