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[WIP, PnP] Entropy - Chemistry, Chaos and Strategy - looking for playtesters

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ljdp's picture
Joined: 07/04/2012

Entropy Entropy is a board game about manufacturing chemical compounds. You control robots at a microscopic scale in a reactor that is decaying into chaos.

Your purpose is to collect elements and bond them into molecules to earn rewards. The chemical battleground takes place on a grid of nano-machines, each serving a different purpose. As you control your nanobots the grid is increasingly decaying bringing you closer to your opponents while whittling down the supply of resources.

To be clear, this game is certainly inspired by the wonderful yet dangerously addictive puzzle game SpaceChem. It is also inspired by one of my previously published games Molecularama.

The playing board is a 7x7 grid of square tiles, each game is different and new strategies will be required. Players have 4┬Ás (microseconds, the currency in this game) each turn they can use to for actions. You can spend time on moving your nanobots, activating abilities from the tiles you occupy, pushing adjacent nanobots onto tiles with negative effects and replicating your nanobots. There are tiles that supply you with elements, the bond tile allows you to bond elements into molecules, the un-bond tile lets you un-bond molecules back into elements (this is useful because you can hold a limited number of elements but an unlimited number of molecules, you'll need to bond and un-bond in order to make more complex molecules). At the end of the round each player removes an unoccupied tile from the edge of the grid, creating conflict and tension as the grid becomes smaller and smaller.

Some Tiles Some of the tiles. There are currently 38 unique tiles

Print and Play: The Print and Play PDF has 11 A4 pages that contain: - 72 tiles. - 72 element tokens. - 24 molecule tokens.

You'll need some unique tokens/pawns for each player to represent the nanobots. Each player should have 12 nanobots. You'll also need some standard poker cards and a bag (like a scrabble bag) to randomise tile draws. Entropy - Print and Play PDF
Radioactive Expansion - Print and Play PDF

The rules are available and I've also made a Vassal module that allows you to test the game on your PC/Mac. Vassal.

View Rules (PDF 600kb).
Download Entropy Vassal module (1.1mb).

If you have read the rules (or even skimmed through it) and/or played it using vassal please let me know in this thread. All feedback, positive or negative, will be appreciated.

Even if you haven't read the rules I have a few questions.
- Does the idea intrigue you?
- Are you turned off by the theme of chemistry?
- Does it seem complicated at a glance?
- Would you kickstart it?
- If you would kickstart it, what rewards would you like to see?

ljdp's picture
Joined: 07/04/2012
Radioactive expansion.

After some more playtests i'm starting to move towards simplifying the game. I've changes the rules hoping to reduce complexity and add depth. Now only one nanobot can be on any tile, this really simplifies the rules for moving, pushing and annihilating.

Removing tiles from the edge of the grid each round helps keep the game moving forward and creates a linear rise of tension. I wanted to vary the tension and pace of the game. An expansion named "Radioactive" addresses this.

Radioactive Expansion: The radioactive expansion adds radioactive elements worth lots of points, however they have a chance of decaying into lesser elements and even into elements that give you negative points! Players might wait till late game to collect radioactive elements, however there are only four of them to collect and once its gone, its gone. This expansion also adds several new tiles.


When you draw a radioactive element you place a paperclip over the 16, when the element radioactively decays you move the paperclip down. You can use the radioactive waste tile to remove the element however once it decays into lead it is stuck in your hand giving negative points and valuable hand space.

This expansion adds more push-your-luck mechanics for those who like that playstyle, (player's can use the half-life tile to try and counter this strategy).

A few new tiles give a boost to tension and pace:

tile1 Decay Chain: When this tile decays, adjacent tiles also decay. If there is decay chain adjacent then that activates as well! You might want to use a shift tile to shift these apart.

tile2 Chaos: When this tile decays, roll a D6. Decay x more tiles where x is the roll. The player who caused this tile to decay chooses which extra tiles to decay.

I've also made a few changes to molecules to simulate supply and demand. In a pile of molecules the points they earn diminish. For example in a pile of water molecules, the top card is worth 6 points, the card below is worth 4, below that it is worth 2. Players are rewarded for building them quickly.

I've created this as an expansion as the base game already has quite a lot of components, what is you opinion on this? Would you prefer this to be included in the base game?

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