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Robinson Crusoe Competitive Variant

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Archimedes42's picture
Joined: 10/15/2014

Hey Everybody. This is the first time that I've ever actually posted something here on BGDF, although I've been browsing around for two or three years.

Robinson Crusoe is one of my favourite board games of all time, and I usually simply play it solo. However, a few days ago I had an idea for a competitive variant. This idea is still in its early stages, but I have a few mechanics that I think would add a whole new level to Robinson:

Every player plays for himself. Essentially, if one player dies, than the other players don't lose, they simply carry on playing. Only one player can win: he must somehow eliminate all the other players, and then complete the objective on the scenario card, to escape the island, alone. However, if the survivors don't work together at least a little bit, then they will most likely all die, and lose the game together. Therefor, quite a bit of the game will be cooperative, however, there will always be tension, as well as heated negotiations as to who gains certain resources, who does certain actions, who should take the brunt of an event or weather, or even who should be sacrifice for the good of the others.

Before every round, all of the survivors negotiate, and then vote for who should be the 'first player.' (This will usually be the player who contributed the most in the last round, as players cannot vote for themselves.) Of course, players are allowed to bribe others to vote for them, with food, items, favours, and promises. The first player is allowed to take his actions first, and is also given control of friday and the dog. The first player also can choose who gains or loses determination during the morale phase.

At the beginning of the game, each player gets one starting item, which is only available to him. Also, any resources, items, or determination that he gathers go onto his character card, and only he can use them. (If an item says to raise the weapon strength, than the weapon strength is raised as usual, and this would help all players.) Players can give and trade resources, or items (but not determination) at any time. If a player builds an invention, then the effects of that invention are available to all players.

During the action phase, players can take an extra action, called 'fight'. This would entail placing three action pawns on another players character card (the one that you wish to attack.) You would then role the brown dice to determine the results of the fight. Any injuries or question marks indicate wounds that the attacked player must immediately suffer. If there is a victory, then the attacker also gets to steal a maximum of two resources, and one item from the attacked player. If no success is rolled, then the attacker fails in the attack: The defender receives no wounds, the attacker receives one, and the attacker cannot steal anything from the defender. Items that give a temporary boost in weapon strength would allow you to cancel a wound for every '+1'. If there are more '+1's than wounds that you received, you can also change the outcome of the victory die to whatever you wish. (These items must be played before the dice are rolled!)

During the action planning phase, players may negotiate with each other to do certain actions. During the action phase, players place their pawns in the order that the first player chooses. (Again, survivors may bribe the first player to give them a better position in player order.) If an action requires more than one action pawn, then players, may send a combination of their different pawns to do the job. However, the first player will decide who is leading the action. (Bribery is encouraged here, as well, of course.) The leader is the survivor who gains the benefits of the action, however, he is also the one who receives the wounds and adventures involved.

Anyways, I think that I have quite a promising idea for a competitive variant for Robinson Crusoe, however, I am a little worried about player elimination dragging down the fun factor. Any criticism, comments, or further ideas would be very appreciated. Thank you.

Joined: 03/27/2014
This would be a great post at

This would be a great post at BGG under the Variants tab.

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