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[GDS] APRIL 2014 "Fool me once..."

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

We have a winner!

Idol Flattery!

Congratulations to new participant, Koen Hendrix, for the winning entry.

It was extremely close - in fact the votes for first were tied, and had to go to the tie-breaker, the entry with the most Gold medals.

The top three entries are:

  • Idol Flattery by Koen Hendrix
  • Countdown D.C. by nazcagames
  • Yes, Peas! by Artichoke

See the critiques thread for a complete breakdown and the review schedule/process.

With 18 total entries this month, spread out your time reading them. That way you won't get tired of the puns in the titles, either.

Once you're ready to cast your votes, you can do so using the following link:


Remember that anyone can vote, not just the entrants. Votes are due by the end of Tuesday, April 15th.

Okay, no practical jokes. But lies? Oh yes, plenty of those.

Bluffing games come in a few flavors, from suspicion games like Werewolf, traitor games like Battlestar Galactica, and a good case can be made for some deduction games like White Chapel and Fury of Dracula.

But it's harder to come across bluffing games for only two players - at least, ones that don't look a lot like the Prisoner's Dilemma problem. For examples some that can be played with two, look at Raj, Hoity Toity, and Top Secret Spies. Note these examples are only for inspiration, not exact models of what you should design.

So here's your April Fool's day task, game designers:

Design a game for only two players that uses bluffing and mis-direction as a primary mechanic.

There are a couple changes to the competition this month:

First of all, submitting your entry and votes will now done with through a submission form. This is self-serving, since it greatly eases the processing time and vote calculations.

Submit your entries using this form

Secondly, starting this month the winner of the competition will have their entry immortalized in a special locked thread of "GDS Honors." Winners will have a week to clean up and lengthen their entry, make pictures, and generally make it presentable. THEN, a special guest reviewer will comment on the entry as listed in the GDS Honors thread.

For this first month, the special guest reviewer is Seth Jaffee, lead designer with Tasty Minstrel Games, designer of Eminent Domain, and BGDF'er.

Good luck, designers!

Now the details:

Word Limit: Standard 500 word

Voting: Award a Gold, Silver, and Bronze (worth 3,2, and 1 points respectively) Medals to your three favorite entries. Any entrant that does not award all three Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (that's "Fool's Gold") worth -3 votes!

When submitting your entry: PLEASE USE THE FORM LINKED HERE.

  • Submissions: Tuesday the 1st through to Tuesday the 8th.

  • Voting: Through the 15th. Votes will be through a form (link posted after submission period is ended).

  • Voting Format: Each person has 3 Medals (Gold, Silver, and Bronze - with values 3, 2, and 1 vote respectively) to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:

    • Entrants may not assign any Medals to their own entry!

    • Entrants must assign all 3 Medals.

    • An entrant who does not assign all 3 Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (-3 votes) as a penalty.

  • Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge are handled on the Comments Thread.

  • CRITIQUES: After voting has closed the entries will be posted for comments and critiques. Post constructive critiques and commentary about the entries to this Challenge in the [Critiques Thread].

  • GDS Details: For more details on how these Game Design Showdown Challenges work, visit the GDS Wiki Page.

Enjoy, and good luck!

-Rich and Mindspike

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#1 Go Go Gatherer

1 gatherer card
8 command cards
6 number cards
24 village cards
32 resource tokens – Ore, Wood, Herbs, Food

In Go Go Gatherer, both players are trying to direct the same gatherer to retrieve their village’s desired resources. The first player to gather all of their village’s desired resources or the player to gather the most of their village’s desired resources when a resource is depleted, wins!

Game Setup

  • Place the gatherer card in the center. Divide the 4 resources into separate piles and put a pile on each of the four sides of the gatherer.

  • Shuffle the village cards. Draw and place six village cards face up in a row. Each village displays a set of four desired resources.

  • Shuffle the number cards and have each player draw one without revealing it. The number drawn correlates with the position of a village in the row. (I.e. if the “2” was drawn, your village is the second from the left). Remove the unused village and number cards from the game.

  • Give both players each of the four command cards.

Game Play
Every turn, players will secretly place one of their command cards face down onto the gaming area. Then, they simultaneously reveal that command.

Commands are resolved in a particular order:

  1. “Stay Put” - gatherer doesn’t move.
  2. “Turn Left” / “Turn Right” - gatherer is rotated 90° per command.
  3. “Turn Around” - gatherer is rotated 180° per command.

After the commands are resolved, pick up your command card and put it back in your hand.

An arrow is displayed at the bottom of the gatherer card. Whichever resource pile the arrow is pointing to is the only available resource for that turn.

Players choose whether or not to take a resource token and place it an area directly in front of them called their resource row. When placing the tokens, the row should expand from left to right. If only one resource token remains, the player with the least resources in their row has priority. If both players have the same number of resources then neither player can take the last resource token that turn.

Game End
The game end’s when your village’s desired resources are gathered or any resource pile is depleted.

  • Resources must be gathered in the same order listed on the village card.

    Example: Your village desires Ore, Wood, Wood, Herbs. Your current resource row is [Wood], [Ore], [Herbs], & [Wood]. Your row’s first [Wood] token is ignored because Ore is your village’s first desired resource. But, your row’s [Ore] token and second [Wood] token fulfills your village’s first and second desired resources. Your row still needs another Wood and Herb token in that order to win.

  • When a resource pile is depleted the game immediately ends. Players reveal their village and whomever gathered the most of their village’s desired resources wins. For ties, the player with the least resources in their row wins.
richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#2 "Who's the fool now"

52 cards - 26 cards for both players with different colors on backsides:
25 cards with values "1-5"
1 card as the fool with value "3" but scoring value "-5"

Each player shuffles his deck and places 5 cards in front of him in a row face down without looking them.
Choose the starting player.

In his turn player must choose 1 of the 2 available actions:
1) Look at his card and comment it
2) compare the pair
Afterwards the cards what are taken from the rows are replaced with the new cards from the draw decks so that both players have 5 cards in front of them in a row.
The turn passes to the other player.

1) Looking at the card
Player may look any card in front of him and comment its value.
He may tell the truth or may lie about that.

Opponent may accuse him of lying and the card is immediately turned around:
a) If the player told a truth he gets the card and places it in front of him face up.
b) If the player told a lie the opponent gets the card and places it in front of him face up.

2) Comparing the pair
Player may choose one of his card and one of his opponent´s card and turns them around.
Player who has the card with higher value gets the opponent´s card and places it in front of him face up.
If the values are tied both cards are discarded.

If at least 1 of the 2 draw deck is exhausted and there are no cards to replace the taken cards the game ends immidiately.
Players add up the values of the face up cards in front of them and substract 5 points for each Fool card they have.
Player with the most points is the winner.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#3 Hidden War

Hidden War!
A fast, tricky game for two players.

Players: 2
Time: 5 minutes per game.
Pieces: Standard playing cards. Using only 2, 3, J, Q, K, A. Normal rankings, Aces high.

Similar to the kids game "War" except that players choose which card to play and they play them face down, declaring what card it is (possibly lying).

The object of the game is to win the 2's and the 3's, but not the Aces.

* Discard 4-10; they are not used. Separate the remaining cards by color, so one player has all the black cards, the other all the red.
* Play 12 tricks, alternating who is the Declarer.
* Resolve the "draws." For each draw a player has earned, he takes one card at random from his opponent's collected cards.
* Scoring: Each 2 or 3, +1 point. Each Ace, -1 point. Tiebreaker is most cards overall.

Each Trick
* Players each choose a card from their hands and place it face down in the middle of the table.
* The Declarer declares what his card is, possibly telling the truth.
* The other player takes one of three actions.
-- Challenge the declaration.
-- Claim something higher (possibly truthfully). Declarer then has a choice to concede the trick or challenge.
-- Claim something lower, conceding the trick. Declarer usually just takes both cards, but he has the option to challenge if he believes that the other player's card is an Ace.

Note that the non-declarer does NOT have the option of claiming the same rank, even if that is what his card really is. He must challenge, claim something higher, or claim something lower and concede.

Every claim can be challenged. When challenged, a player must turn up his card. If it is the card claimed, then he has won the challenge, otherwise the challenger wins the challenge. (Always one or the other is considered to 'win' the challenge.) The winner of the challenge may look at both cards and choose to take the trick or not. Whether or not he takes the trick, the winner has won one "draw." At the end of the hand, each player will steal from the opponent's collection as many cards as he has earned draws. He indicates the draw by moving one of his collected cards to the side.

Sample Challenges
As Declarer, Fred (playing a 3) claims K.
Barney (playing a 2) challenges Fred's claim. Fred shows the 3, so Barney takes the trick, setting one card aside to indicate he won a draw.

As Declarer, Fred (playing a J) claims J
Barney (playing an Ace) challenges Fred's claim. Fred shows the J, winning the challenge. He sees Barney's Ace so he gives the trick to Barney. Fred still earns a draw, so he puts aside one of the cards already in his collection to indicate it.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#4 Sheep or Cow

Sheep or cow


Two farmers, one keeping sheep, and one keeping cows, found a new location for their animals, but there is hardly any water. After talking to the locals each farmer heard about a location where water can be found. Without telling the other, they will try to put their animals close to that water.


  • Game board divided in regions, in each region six spots for animals
  • Animal spots are linked to close spots next to them (in the same and neighbour regions)
  • Tokens for sheep and cows
  • Tokens for dealers marked with unique letter
  • Action cards
  • Goal cards
  • Money


The goal cards specify one of the regions on the board. At the start of the game both players receive one goal card, which they look at secretly. The other goal cards are discarded.

Animals can drink from the water if they are in the region with water, or, if their spot is directly linked to a spot with an animal of the same type that can drink. A neighbour of that neighbour can also drink, and so on.

The first farmer with ten animals that can drink wins the game by revealing his goal card.


Randomly put the dealers on spots on the board. Dealers can share a spot with animals, but not with another dealer. Give the players starting money. Shuffle action cards and place them in a closed deck.

Game play

The active player takes an action card. He reveals some information (truth!) from the card and then offers the card for a price (minimum one, maximum all his own money). The other player can decide to buy the card for that price. If not, the active player must buy it for that price.

The player who buys the card pays and performs the action on the card.

Then the active player switches.

Action cards (two types)

Region card

  • Shows region and type of animal (cow or sheep)
  • Reveal either region of type of animal when selling
  • Money for the card is paid to the other player
  • Action place the animal in the region, if the region is full, an animal may be replaced

Dealer card

  • Shows letter of dealer and type of action (add animal or move dealer)
  • Reveal either letter or type of action when selling
  • Money for the card is paid to the bank
  • Before the action the bank pays money to the players for every animal in the region the dealer is in
  • Action 1 add an animal of choice in a spot next to the dealer. If no spots available, an animal may be replaced
  • Action 2 move the dealer to another spot

Mislead the other player by focussing on more than one region. Bluff by sheepishly offer a very important card for a low price, hoping the other cowardly leaves it for you. Even more fun, trick the other player in paying too much for a card.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#5 Rakshasha


Shape shifting Rakshasas take turns building an obstacle course for the other to run.


• 16 obstacle cards (four of each type) the builder will use to build the course. • 7 form cards: the Rakshasa and six other magic forms the runner will use to run the course. Each non-Rakshasa form has two powers to overcome obstacles. For example, the dragon form is flying (overcomes the wall) and strong (overcomes the boulder) but is neither aquatic (can’t overcome water) nor small (can’t overcome the narrow passage.) • Tokens

Setup and Play

The builder starts by playing a block of five obstacles with the first two face up and the next three face down. The runner then runs this block. The builder plays the second block of five obstacles with only the first face up, and the runner runs it. The builder’s third block is five face down obstacles (leaving a single obstacle in their hand,) and the runner runs it. The runner then turns around and runs all three blocks again in reverse order.

Each time the runner runs a block they pick a form to use face down. After the block is run, their form is placed face up beside the block and cannot be used again. After the course is run all of the forms except one will be face up.

After the runner has completed their run the players switch roles and play again. The player with the fewest tokens after both runs is the winner.

Running Blocks

When running a block the runner has the following choices for moving past obstacles:

• If the obstacle is face up they may claim to have the power to overcome it (e.g. flying to overcome the wall,) taking zero tokens, or they can take two tokens to skirt an obstacle they don’t have the power to overcome.

• If the obstacle is face down they may skirt the obstacle without flipping it and take two tokens, or they can flip the obstacle. If they flip the obstacle they may then claim to have the power to overcome it, taking zero tokens, or they can take three tokens to skirt the card.

• A runner skirting a face down obstacle may claim to be in Rakshasa form in order to look at, but not flip, the face down card and only take one token.


The runner may lie about having powers. The builder may challenge any claim and force them to reveal their form.

• If the runner was lying they take the tokens to skirt the obstacle plus two additional tokens. They must run the remainder of the block with their form card face up.

• If the runner was not lying, the builder takes two tokens and the runner may choose any form in their hand (including the one they were using) to continue their run.

After each obstacle is passed the builder may take one token to swap any face down obstacle currently on the board with one in their hand.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#6 Auction Showdown!

Place bids for Auction Items, and try to win items your character wants. Using a hidden bid system, players can mislead their opponent about what they are trying to win. Deduce your opponent’s goals based on bidding patterns, the revealed character cards, and outbid them to prevent them from getting what they want. Get what your character wants to win!


27 Auction Cards, broken down into... Type Cards ( Paintings, Sculptures, Jewelry) Age Cards (Modern, Post-CE, Ancient) Origin Cards (African, Asian, New World)

Bid Cards, with... Values of $0, $1, $3 and $5, equal numbers / amounts for each player

9 Character Cards, that… Detail a character and their wants, such as Jewelry, New World, or Modern

Set Up

Shuffle the Character Cards, deal one facedown (remaining hidden), and the remainder to each player. Each player chooses one card and places the remainder face down. The Character kept by each player determines end game scoring, and should be kept secret. Each player gets their Bid Cards.

The Auction Cards are divided into piles by Type, Age, and Origin, with each pile shuffled and placed face down.


The game is broken down into three Bidding Rounds, separated by two Intermissions.

Bidding Round - At the beginning of each Bidding Round, three Auction Items are defined. To define each Item, one Auction Card is revealed from each of the Type, Age and Origins piles, and arranged together face up. Once defined, an Item (composed of a Type, Age, and Origin card) cannot be changed.

Once the Items have been defined, players begin bidding, taking turns placing one Bid Card from their hand face down against any one of the displayed Items. Players alternate placing Bid Cards, and may add additional bids to the same item. Players must play a Bid Card or pass on their turn. Bid cards cannot be removed or moved once played.

When players agree bidding is over, Bid Cards are revealed, with the highest bid winning each Item. Bid Cards placed by the winner are removed. The loser’s Bid Cards (if any) are returned to their hand.

If the bids on an Item are tied, players may each choose to increase their bid by playing an additional Bid Card face down. These bids are revealed simultaneously, and added to their previous bids. This continues until one player has a higher bid, or until a player does not want to increase their bid.

If a player doesn't (or can’t) place an additional Bid Card, they lose the Bid. If neither players bid on an Item, the Item is removed from the play area, both players get their Bids back.

Intermission - Players reveal one Character Card (of their choice) from the pile they placed face down during set up.

Game End

The game ends after the final Bidding Round and all Auction Cards have been used to create Items. Character Cards are revealed, and used to calculate the points from won Items. The player with the most points wins.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#7 Odds and Evens

Odds and Evens


2 playing cards

22 tokens

10 dice

Set-up: Each player begins with 4 dice and 10 tokens. Playing cards are placed in the center between both players. One playing card is placed face up and the other face down. A token is placed on each, and 2 dice are placed on the face down card. The face up card will act as the Center Pile, and the face down card will act as the Bluff Pile.

Gameplay: On each player’s turn, they roll their 4 dice and keep the result hidden from their opponent. They then declare 1 of the 6 possible outcomes from their dice roll and take the resulting action:

An Even pair (22XX; 44XX; 66XX): Player moves 1 token from their pile to the Center Pile

An Odd pair (11XX; 33XX; 55XX): Opponent moves 1 token from the Center Pile to their own pile

A Straight (1234; 2345; 3456): Player moves 1 token from the Center Pile to the Bluff Pile or vice-versa

3/4 of a kind (any 3/4 dice share the same value): Opponent moves all tokens from the Center Pile to their own pile

2 Pairs (Pairs can be odd and/or even): Player moves one token from their pile directly to opponent’s pile

Nothing: Player passes and does nothing

As the dice roll is kept secret, layers may declare they rolled any of the above outcomes without actually having rolled them. Before any player takes an action (except pass), the opponent may challenge their dice roll. If they do, the player must reveal the dice. If the player’s declared outcome was correct, the player takes the action as intended and the opponent must choose to take all tokens from the Bluff Pile OR allow the player to take 1 die from the Bluff Pile* OR place 1 one of their dice in the Bluff Pile. If the player’s declared outcome was a bluff, the player does not take their action as intended and the player must choose to take all the tokens from the Bluff Pile OR allow their opponent to take 1 die from the Bluff Pile* OR place 1 of their dice in the Bluff Pile.

*Neither player can choose this option if there are no dice in the Bluff Pile.

Winning the Game: A player wins when they have gotten rid of all their tokens (moved them to the Center, Bluff Pile, and/or to opponent’s pile)

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#8 Dragon's Dojo

Dragon’s Dojo


Players are rival Ninjas fighting their final stealthy battle in a dark, mystical temple. Players use 2 bags of Tokens to secretly move their Ninja while creating cunning traps and distractions to confuse and lure their opponent into revealing themselves. Relics throughout the temple imbue even greater power, allowing more Tokens to be played per turn. The Ninja who successfully locates their opponents and lands a blow will claim immortal victory.


  • A 9x9 Square Grid Board
  • Standup Relic Icons with Bases (7 Blanks, 1 White Ninja & 1 Black Ninja)
  • Drawstring Bags (2 Black & 2 White)
  • 80 Movement/Distraction Tokens (20 of each per player)


Each player starts with: - 2 Relics – 1 blank and 1 featuring their color Ninja on the hidden side - 2 bags and all 40 Tokens in their Ninjas color

Tokens are double-sided. One side is common, while the other side indicates the type: either a footprint for Movement or smoke/trap for Distraction.

All Movement Tokens go in one bag, while Distraction Tokens go in the other. Which bag is which is kept secret. Players may move Tokens between their bags through sleight-of-hand, but they must start separated.


Turns have 3 parts: - Retrieve - Draw - Place

Initially, RETREIVE desired Relics from the board. Some Relics may remain on the board if desired. (In the first round, skip this step)

Next, DRAW 1 Token from either bag for each Relic Retrieved. Initially this will be 2 Tokens (2 Movement, 2 Distraction or 1 of each).

Finally, PLACE each Drawn Token in a square adjacent to, or on-top-of, any previously Placed Tokens. (In the first round, Tokens are Placed on, or adjacent to, the marked starting spaces). When a Token is Placed, it is laid facedown and a Retrieved Relic goes atop it. This marks the Tokens that have been Placed this turn.

Note: Movement Tokens are used to track your Ninja's ACTUAL movement. Movement Tokens are Placed serially with your secret Ninja Relic atop the last one.

Relic Locations

If ANY Token is Placed on a marked Relic location found in the corners or center of the board, that player may take the extra Relic and immediately use it to Draw and Place an extra Token.


To win, a Ninja must successfully attack their opponent. This can be done ONCE per turn by revealing the location of YOUR Ninja and flipping over a Token and Relic in one adjacent square. If the Relic is your opponent's Ninja, you have landed a blow and claimed victory. If not, the Token stays revealed and play continues.


If a revealed token is a trap, immediately discard a Relic to the closest empty Relic location (if any).


If a player Placed a Distraction Token on a Relic location to claim it, and this is later revealed, the attacking player takes the Relic from his opponent.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#9 Agents and Agitators

The City teeters on the edge of chaos. Once the heart of a powerful Empire its wealth has been squandered and power has waned. Radical Agitators secretly move through the City's impoverished districts stirring revolt and are hunted Imperial Agents loyal to the Palace.

• Board displaying the Palace and the City’s 18 districts. Each district has a unique combination of three symbols showing Economics (factory, slum, bourgeois), Ethnicity (local, refugee) and Geography (coast, flats, hills).
• 2 sets of 8 Clue cards (matching the district symbols)
• 4 Agitator cards
• 4 Spy cards
• 18 Revolt tokens (red meeples)
• 2 Soldiers (blue meeples)
• 3 dice

• Both players: takes a set of Clue cards.
• Radical: takes the Agitator cards.
• Imperial: take the Spy cards. Place the Soldiers onto the Palace

Round phases
1. District selection:
• Radical: Choose a district to agitate. Play one Agitator in front of you. Play the three Clues matching your chosen districts symbols face down. Turn one or two Clues face up. Collect the number of dice equal to the number of face up cards in front of you (including the Agitator and any Clues).
• Imperial: Play three Clues matching the district you think the Radical has chosen. Any Clues which match the Radical's face up Clues should be played face up. Play any remaining Clues face down.
• Imperial: Choose whether to attack the district using a Soldier to Raid or Spy to Infiltrate.

2. Imperial Attack:
• Raid
o Imperial: Move a Soldier from the Palace to the district being attacked. (Note: Raid can only be performed if a Soldier can reach the chosen district from the Palace without passing through a district in Revolt.)
o Both players: turn all Clues face up.

• Infiltrate
o Imperial: Play Spy next to your Clues. Turn one of your face down Clues face up.
o Radical: must turn a face down Clue face up.
o Imperial: either turn your final Clue face up (and force the Radical Player to do the same) or withdraw your Spy and return it to your hand.

If the Imperial Player has matched all of the Radical Player’s Clues, the Agitator is captured and removed from the game. Proceed to the Regrouping phase.
If the Imperial Player has guessed incorrectly or withdrawn the Spy proceed to the Revolt phase.

3. Revolt
• Radical: Return the Agitator to your hand. Roll the dice collected during District Selection. The district revolts if a 6 is rolled (place a red meeple).

4. Regroupment
• Any Spy in play is removed from the game.
• Any Soldier in play is returned to the Palace. If it can no longer reach the palace remove it from the game.

Continue playing rounds until:
• All 18 districts are in revolt (Radical victory)
• All Agitators are removed from play (Imperial victory)
• All Spies and Soldiers are removed from play (Radical victory)

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#10 Cunning and Conjecture

Cunning and Conjecture

“Cunning and Conjecture” is about trying to figure out winning conditions. Each player must try to stop their adversary from completing their winning conditions, while satisfying their own.

Each game comes with two decks of cards: - The playing deck consists of cards with varying color, shape and number. There are four of each (4x4x4=64) parameter.
- The second deck has all of the winning conditions. Winning conditions may be three; of a kind (eg. 3 red, 3 squares, etc) or a set (all different colors, shapes or numbers). There are 15 possible winning conditions.

How to Play 1. To start the game, each player draws three winning condition cards and four playing cards.
- The winning condition cards remain secret until the conditions are satisfied. If a player meets the requirements on one of these cards, they can flip the card to prove they completed it. When all three winning condition cards are satisfied, that player wins. - The four playing cards in each player’s hand are always shown face up, so the other player can see. This forces players to be crafty in misleading their opponent.

  1. On a players turn, they turn over two playing cards from the draw pile. They will decide who gets each card (ie. take both, take one and give one, give both).
    • When receiving a card, a player must make room for it in their hand by discarding one of their other cards. If a player receives both cards, they must discard two cards from their hand.

End of Game When a player has completed all three of their winning conditions, they win the game.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#11 Idol Flattery



Both players are Personal Assistants to the same celebrity diva, who is about to exit the posh hotel lobby. You’re both trying to flatter the celebrity with tall tales of how many paparazzi are waiting outside. Who of you will be exposed as a blatant liar first? Keep flattering!


18 cards containing Cameras [C], Journalists [J], Helicopters [H], or a combination thereof:

  • 6x No-one
  • 4x Photographer [C]
  • 1x Reporter [J]
  • 1x Camera Crew [CC]
  • 3x News Team [CJ]
  • 1x Live Broadcast Unit [CJJ]
  • 1x In-Depth Documentary Taskforce [CJJJ]
  • 1x Helicopter [CH]

5 Favour tokens.


The game is played in a series of Rounds, in which the players take Turns. At the end of each Round one player will have gained a Favour token. The first player to accumulate 3 Favour tokens wins.


At the start of every round, collect and shuffle all 18 cards.

Both players are dealt 2 cards. They look at these cards and place them face-down in the middle of the table. These cards in the middle of the table are called the ‘Crowd’ which consists of 4 face-down cards. Don’t pile the cards -- during the round they will need to be picked up and looked at individually.

Each player is then dealt 5 cards which they take in hand.

In the first round, the player who can come up with the best name for a celebrity diva starts. Later rounds are started by the player who won the last round. (Feel free to make up a new celebrity name each round.)


A player’s turn always consists of Peeking through the door, Peeking through the window, and Flattering, in that order.

  1. Peek through the door Look at one face-down card in the Crowd, and replace it either face-up or face-down.

  2. Peek through the window Add 0, 1 or 2 cards from your hand to the Crowd, face-down.

  3. Flatter Make a claim about the number of cameras, journalists and/or helicopters in the Crowd. A celebrity is not easily flattered, so the claim MUST be higher than your opponent’s previous claim. This means all numbers need to be equal or higher than in the previous claim. Example increasing claims: “1 camera”, “1 camera and 1 journalist”, “4 cameras and 1 journalist”, “6 cameras, 4 journalists and a helicopter!”. Present them with more dramatic flair if you want to :)

    Once the claim has been made, the other player must now either keep quiet and accept the claim, or cry foul and call you a liar. If they keep quiet and accept, the Round continues -- your turn simply ends and theirs starts. But should they cry foul and call you a liar, it’s time for a showdown! All the cards in the Crowd are revealed. If your claim was true, you gain a Favour token. If not, your opponent gains a Favour token. The Round is over.

    If someone has 3 Favour tokens, they win the game! (The other player is fired.) Otherwise, start a new Round.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
#12 Stranded!

Use deception and misdirection to be the first crash survivor to collect the required materials and escape from the deserted island.


4 Pawns
10 Terrain Hexes (each consist of 6 areas of varying terrain: Swamp, Jungle, Stream, Grove)
3 Terrain Voting Decks (5 cards: 1xSwamp/1xJungle/1xStream/1xGrove/1xBeach)
3 Action Voting Decks (9 cards: 3xMove/3xCollect/2xSabotage/1xBlank)
4 Goal cards
8 resource cards of each type (Vines/Wood/Food/Water)
Crash Site hex
Leader Tile


Construct the island by placing the crash site hex with all 4 pawns on it. Randomly arrange 6 terrain hexes around the crash site to form a large hexagonal island. The play area adjacent to the edge of the island is the beach. Give each player a terrain and action voting deck and one goal card. The goal card denotes the color of the pawn that player must save from the island to win and is kept secret from the opponent. The Leader Tile is given to the oldest player.


Initial movement: Players take turns moving different pawns off of the crash site to an adjacent area starting with the leader. Pawns may never occupy the same area or re-enter the crash site throughout the game.

Each game round consists of a voting and action phase.

Voting Phase: Each player chooses 2 action cards and a terrain from their voting decks and secretly places them in the voting pile. 2 additional action cards and a terrain are chosen randomly from the “island” deck. The terrain(s) with the majority of the votes become “active” and the action with the most votes is resolved this round. If there is a tie for majority action, the leader breaks the tie and passes the Leader Tile to the other player. Voting decks are not reconstructed until each player has only one card left in their decks.

Action Phase: The action is resolved on active terrains chosen in the voting phase.

Move: Move pawns on active terrains to an adjacent area (or the beach). The leader moves any pawn then players alternate moving pawns until all pawns have been moved exactly once.

Collect: Pawns on active terrains collect the resource associated with that terrain (Wood=Jungle, Vines=Swamp, Water=Stream, Food=Grove). The resource is placed face up on the collection mat of the pawn’s color. Pawns may only carry up to 6 resources at any time.

Sabotage: Pawns on active terrains discard one resource associated with any of the active terrains.

Special Action: Once per game, each player may swap their goal card with a random neutral goal OR force their opponent to do so. This action must be performed when in possession of the leader tile AND before any pawn reaches the beach.


Once all 4 resources have been collected, a pawn is allowed to move to the beach. Once there, the pawn must perform a successful “active beach/collect” action (build raft) followed by an “active beach/move” action (escape). If the pawn that escaped matches the goal of one of the players, that player wins.

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Joined: 12/26/2009
#13 Fight or Fleece

FIght or Fleece

The shepherds have taken their flocks. It’s dinner time for the wolves! Deceive the wolves and be the shepherd with the most sheep at the end of the game to win.

Before the Game


At the beginning of the game both players agree on a set number of turns to play before the game is over and the victor is declared. Victory is awarded to the player with the highest number of Sheep cards in his or her deck.

Game Contents and Setup

The game consists of two identical decks of 30 cards, each containing 1 Shepherd card, 6 Wolf cards, and 23 Sheep cards. The decks are shuffled before the game starts.


The first player draws a card from the deck, looks at it, and then places it face down in front of him on the table. The player can repeat this action up to two more times if he likes. Then it is the second player’s turn to do the same. At any point a player may yell “They’re coming to eat you,” becoming "the Carnivore." At this point the other player has three choices:

1. Rally the mob. The player who chooses to rally the mob reveals the face down cards in front of him. If he has one or more Wolves, but not the Shepherd among them, he awards all revealed Sheep cards to the Carnivore. Nom-nom. If he doesn’t have a Wolf or he has the Shepherd, the Carnivore awards him with a Sheep card from her deck for every revealed Sheep card.

2. Scatter the flock. The Carnivore reveals her face down cards. If she has a Wolf, her opponent awards her with a Sheep card from his deck for every revealed card. If she doesn’t, she awards all revealed Sheep cards to her opponent.

3. Let them feast. The surrendering player awards his opponent with all face down cards. The Carnivore may not look at those cards while shuffling them in her deck.

After the result of the choices is determined, the players shuffle the cards they are awarded and any remaining face down cards into their decks. Then the game starts again with the second player starting first.

The game continues until the agreed upon number of turns have passed or one of the players loses because he has no more Sheep cards in his deck. Taunting, buying drinks and eating lamb, where appropriate, is encouraged.

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Joined: 12/26/2009
#14 Countdown: D.C


Overview Washington, D.C. 13:48 Angry protestors are fast approaching Embassy Row. You just received information that two suspected bombers are among them. Your team’s the first to the scene. You must find the two bombers and stop them before they can carry out their plan. You don’t have much time… the countdown begins.

Components Game board – 12x12 grid (1” squares) 5 building tiles 2”x3” 2 Embassy tiles 1”x1” 20 red pawns [discs] (two of them have a ‘bomb’ icon underneath). 3 blue police pawns [discs].

Setup 1. Place the game board on the table. 2. Decide which player will play the police and which player will play the bomber. 3. Place the two Embassy tiles on the two corners of the game board closest to the police player. 4. The police player will place the 5 building tiles on the board. The buildings must be placed at least two spaces from the edge of the board and from each other. 5. Then the police player places his three blue police pawns anywhere on the board. 6. The bomber player then places the 20 red pawns on the half of the board furthest away from the embassy tiles. He/she may not place a red pawn adjacent to a blue police pawn. 7. The Game is ready to begin starting with the bomber player.

Objective Two of those 20 red pawns have the ‘bomb’ icon on the bottom and represent the two bombers. The bomber player’s objective is to have one of the bombers reach one of the two embassy tiles. The police player’s objective is to find both of the bombers before the bomber player can reach the embassy.

Gameplay The bomber player must bluff and misdirect the police player in order to sneak one of the bombers to the embassy.

On the bomber player’s turn, he/she has 6 movement points to spend to move his red pawns. Each space that a pawn moves cost one movement point. A single pawn may not move more than 4 spaces during a turn. So the bomber can for example move one pawn 4 spaces and another pawn 2 spaces, or move 6 pawns 1 space each, or 3 pawns 2 spaces each… you get the idea. Pawns may only move orthogonally (no diagonal movement) and may not move through buildings. Pawns may move through each other. You may not end your turn on another pawn. If one of the red pawns with the ‘bomb’ icon lands on an embassy, the bomber player wins.

On the police player’s turn, that player moves each of the three pawns up to 5 spaces each. These blue pawns may not move diagonally or through buildings. They may land on a red pawn to inspect it. When they do, it will end that pawn’s move. The red pawn is checked and if it has the bomber icon it’s removed from the game. If both bombers are removed from game, the police player wins.

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Joined: 12/26/2009
#15 Bluffer's Park

Bluffer’s Park

Components: 2 Summary Cards, 15 vote tokens, 16 cards. Each player starts with 3 cards and 2 vote tokens.

Bluffer’s Park is an expansive park and Lake Ontario’s premiere sandy beach situated at the feet of the majestic Scarborough Bluffs which have towered more than 20 stories high along 20 km of shoreline as an iconic Toronto landmark for centuries. One player represents a wealthy real estate tycoon planning on building a resort in Bluffer’s Park. The other player represents a local resident adamant against the project. City Council is about to have a final vote regarding the proposal. Each player must act quickly and decisively (but not necessarily honestly), gathering evidence and meeting with the councillors to try and secure enough votes.

Each turn you will either meet with a voter or do some legwork to gather evidence (represented by the cards) in your favour. Legwork allows you to draw one card, and if desired, discard up to two others (discards are always face down) and draw replacements. There are 3 types of cards: 5 that support building the resort (e.g. economic benefit projections), 5 against it (e.g. geological report projecting increased erosion), and 6 cards that either side can use (e.g. celebrity support). Each card has a Persuasiveness Rank between 1 and 5. You may not end a turn with more than 5 cards, so you must discard down to 5 cards if you go over.

When you meet with a councillor remember they are busy, so there’s only time to show one fact in your favour. Both parties keep close tabs on each other and keep showing up at each other’s meetings. Before going in, both sides work on each other to see what the other has. Both players place 1 card face down and must state what they played (but there’s no need for honesty here). You must name your card first unless you are trying to steal a vote token from your opponent. Each party must consider if they’re facing a bluff. Either side can choose to concede and draw 2 cards. Otherwise, both cards are revealed (and discarded). If one party thinks the other is bluffing they must call it before showing the cards. Whoever has the highest ranked card wins and gets 1 vote token or takes one from their opponent (tie goes to whoever named their card first). If anyone was caught bluffing, or miss called a bluff, they must either give 2 cards to their opposition or forfeit 1 vote token. If you bluffed successfully you draw 1 card.

You win if you have 11 vote tokens. You can try and win with 8-10 votes, but your opponent can appeal. If they appeal both sides reveal all their cards and add up their ranks. To win the appeal the trailing player must have the higher sum. If so, the leader forfeits 3 vote tokens and the game continues until one player gets 11 or survives an appeal with 8-10.

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Joined: 12/26/2009
#16 Trojan Piñata

Trojan Piñata

Two hellenistic polis fights with each other, they try to repeat the old Trojan Horse trick, but who could fall for that now?

2x Standard 52-cards deck
2x 6-sided dice

Win conditions
Successfully attack your opponent.
Summon Zeus by having 10 offering value, so he can destroy your opponent.

Shuffle the decks.
Each player puts the die on 2. That represents their stick power.
Second player gets a facedown card.


Your turn:

1. Look at the top three cards in the deck and put one on the discard pile.
Put one card in the trojan piñata and the last one you can choose between putting it face up on your field or adding it to the piñata . Then you can choose any number of face up or down cards you own and put them on the piñata. You can’t have monsters on your field.
2. You can destroy two equal soldiers, your stick power is now their power. Change the die to that number.
3. You can summon a God. You do it by destroying enough relics to pay their offering cost.
4. You can attack your opponent. Choose any number of cards.
5. Untap a soldier.

Your opponent can do:

1. Let the horse pass through. You get all the cards in the horse (in their original position). If there was a monster on the horse, you have to reveal it and it attacks you.
2. Let the horse in.
2.a. Hit the piñata with their stick. Relics are broken, and needs to defend the remaining attack minus the power of the stick.
2.b Open the horse. Gets any relic, it’s attacked.

In a direct attack you need to destroy your opponent wall first, it’s defense is 15.

When you are attacked, you can choose any of your soldiers, you have to complete equal or greater power than your opponent attack, all soldiers that fought are tapped.

When you attack, any soldier that participated in destroying the wall is tapped and returned to your city, if you lose the battle, all your soldiers in your opponent’s city are destroyed.

Hoplite[Ace]: Power equals to Hoplites on your side in the battle.
Archer[2]: Can be added to your city defenses(it adds 2 defense to your wall), face-up and sideways.
Spy[3]: When it is in a piñata on your opponent city, you can look at 2 facedown cards.
Gorgon[8] : Destroys the first soldier to fight against her.
Kerberus[10]: Take any card on the discard pile.
Relic1[J]: 1 offering value
Relic2[Q]: 1 offering value, unbreakable
Relic3[K]: 2 offering value

Zeus Cost 10. You win the game.
Athena Cost 5. Destroy your opponent’s wall(including archers).
Ares Cost 4. +15 power in this battle.
Hades Cost 2. Take a card from the discard pile and put it on your field.

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Joined: 12/26/2009
#17 Versus



Wagering, deception and luck turn simple components into a head-to-head battle of bluffing, brains, and something else that starts with B. It's just you Versus them.

Game Components

- 1 deck of 45 cards – each card has a value from 1-4 (approx. 5 - 4’s, 10 - 3’s, 15 - 2’s, 20 - 1’s)
- A screen for each player.

Game Play

Each player randomly draws one card to determine who deals; continue drawing in the event of a tie.

That person then shuffles all of the cards and deals six face down in the middle of the table in a 3x2 grid, with three cards specifically facing towards each player. Place the deck at the head of grid. For description purposes, the pair of cards closest to the deck will be described “Position 1”, the next pair away “Position 2”, and the farthest pair away “Position 3.”

Each player may then look at the three cards closest to them, without changing their position.

A full game will consist of three matches, with each match consisting of three rounds.

To start the round, the dealer then deals three cards face down to each player. Players look at their cards and then behind their screen place them face down in either “Position 1,” “Position 2,” or “Position 3.” Players may put as many or as few cards as they wish in any position. Once both players are set, the screens are removed and the cards are moved, face down, and placed on top of the card closest to them in the matching position so that both players can see how many cards have been played on which positions.

The second round follows the same way as the first, adding more cards to the center. After a third round of the same, the board is scored. Players turn face up all of the cards they have played and add up the values for each position. Whoever has the largest sum for each position wins both face down cards in that position; ties are decided by the player who used the fewest cards. Resolve all three positions and end the match - these cards are set aside and will be counted after all three matches to determine a winner.

Gather the used and remaining cards and shuffle them all together. Begin the next match by dealing another 3x2 grid.

After all three matches, the player with the most points wins.

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Joined: 12/26/2009
#18 Yes, Peas!

Yes, Peas!
Bluffing has never been so delicious!

Ugh! boiled peas and mushy potatoes for dinner when what you’d really like is a double cheeseburger. Or, equally maddening, how to get my husband/wife/child/friend to choose quinoa over chicken nuggets. Yes, peas! is a bluffing game that begs you to bury broccoli between burger buns or slip bacon into baba ganoush.

-veggie cards
-yummie cards
-recipe cards
-secret preference cards (e.g. dislikes peas and carrots, likes butter)
-“Dig in!” decision cards

Players (1) shop for ingredients, (2) set-the-table, (3) choose which meal to eat, and score points based on recipes and secret dining preferences. Players prepare meals in order to 1) complete their own recipe cards or 2) convince their opponent to eat meals containing unwanted ingredients. Players can see that a veggie/yummie is in a meal but can’t tell peas from peppers until digging in. Players collect “eaten” ingredient cards, and choose a “leftover” to sneak into future meals. But beware, what you dislike might be exactly what your opponent needs to savor her way to victory!

Each player takes 1 secret dining preference card, 3 recipes face-up, and draws 4 cards (2 veggies/yummies each) into her hand. Four veggie, three yummie, and two recipe cards are placed face-up from each deck.

Shopping phase
Players take recipes/veggies/yummies (1 face-down card from the deck or 2 cards from the face-up piles). Players alternate for two turns and then set-the-table.

Set-the-table phase
Players select 4 cards from their hand and place them face down. Then, each player chooses a “Dig in!” card to determine which meal they’d like to eat.

“Dig in!” phase
Players simultaneously reveal their “Dig in!” preferences. If the “neither” option is chosen, draw three cards from the veggie/yummie deck (e.g. 2 veggie cards and 1 yummie card or 3 yummie cards, etc.) into the player’s hand. If a player chooses her own or opponent’s meal, she collects those cards and places 3 into the “eaten” victory point pile and keeps one as a “leftover”. If she chooses her opponent’s meal, she also receives one recipe card from the face-down recipe deck. If both players choose the same meal, the person who set the ingredients for that meal loses. She cannot eat her own meal, but instead draws three cards from the veggie/yummie deck. Repeat these phases until the game ends after six courses.

Players score points for “eaten” veggies/yummies. They receive bonus points for completed recipes or double points for completing a recipe in one course, and receive or deduct points based on their secret dining preference card.

Scoring double points for completing a recipe in one course is huge. But beware, if an opponent sees you have just gotten the last ingredient to complete a recipe, she may try to eat it when you do! A good bluff is key to kick asparagus or stew!

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