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[GDS] FEBRUARY 2016 "The circle is now complete."

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

We have a winner!


by billarama

Massive participation this month! Let's go talk about it! Final point totals are posted in the critiques thread.

Entries are in!

Plenty of entries this month, with a huge range in themes to look over! Over the next week, please review the entries and track your votes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. It'll help to write some comments as you read them to remind you of them during the critique phase that follows voting.

When you submit your votes, use the form linked here. Please complete your voting by 17th of February.

Details on voting below.

As said by our favourite villain.

This month the GDS is taking a look at common feature of card games: card values.

Okay, that's pretty vague. In particular, the concept of rating cards from 1-10, where a higher number beats a lower number. Pretty standard. Now a lot of games want this nice order, but don't necessarily want 10's to be unbeatable. So what do they do? Often, it makes 1's the only card that can beat a 10.

Follow so far? There's a cycle there, but it's an arbitrary one since 1 doesn't actually follow 10.

The challenge for this month is: can you make a game where this cycle is natural? Where Lowest beats Highest, or "first beats last" because it really is a circle and it all starts again anyway?

To keep you focused, the materials are also restricted for this game. You can choose to use any 2 of the following 3 components in your description:

  • Board
  • Cards
  • Tiles

Other than that, you can take liberties with your design - just make this natural cycle of ordered dominance or succession the major mechanic in your game.

And now the details:

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Component restriction: Choose 2 of these 3:

  • Board
  • Cards
  • Tiles

Word Limit: Standard 500 word limit. Remember this is a pitch, so focus your thoughts on the task and a summary more than explaining every detail

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:__Monday the 1st through Monday 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 - Unite the Heland Clans

This two-player game has a board showing the map of Scotland with 16 major towns indicated, each with a bonus symbol and a space for a garrison card that is randomly assigned during setup, and which shows the number of English soldiers occupying that town and renown (VP) gained by defeating it.

The main card deck represents the four senior members of each of the eight clans. Each card shows the size of a clansman's forces and the name of the clan which his clan hates. Each clan hates only one other, and is hated by one other (different) clan. There is also a deck of ten gallowglass cards (mercenaries with no clan-emnity and equal small numbers of soldiers). Finally, there are eight fealty cards; one representing each clan.

Each player is dealt three clansman cards and two gallowglasses for his starting hand. In his turn, a player may besiege a city by playing onto up to three cards from his hand with the total number of troops greater than the garrison, but none of the clansmen played may hate each other. If his opponent does not relieve the city, the player may claim the fealty card of the clan of one of the clansmen he has just played and place it in front of him face up (not in his hand), unless another player has it. The clansmen cards are discarded, any gallowglasses played are returned to the gallowglass deck, the garrison card is placed in front of the player (to show VP), and the bonuses of the city are claimed. These are either: draw a gallowglass card, gain an extra renown point or return one of the just-discarded clansmen to your hand. Finally, the player may draw clansmen cards to make his hand up to five. A player with more than five cards in his hand must discard the excess. The discard pile is shuffled once the clansmen deck is depleted.

The non-turn player may relieve a besieged city by playing cards at most one less in number than his opponent played to besiege the town, provided all clansmen played hate at least one of the besieging clans. If the combined strength of these and the garrison exceed or equal the besieging force, the attack fails and all cards played are discarded, with no bonus awarded to either player. However, if the besieger has fealty cards for any of the clansmen played to relieve the city, he may play them, then those clansmen are discarded, and if his played cards are now stronger than the defense, he takes the city. The fealty cards played are returned to the fealty pool. The relieving player does not draw any cards, whether successful or not.

Play ends either when one player holds all the fealty cards, therefore claiming the Scottish crown and victory by uniting the clans, or when no towns have a garrison, in which case victory points, including one VP per fealty card, are added up to determine the winner.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
2 - Family Vacation

Everyone is making the decisions for 1 family as they go on their summer vacation. 1 Family card is drawn at the start of the game. The family will comprise of a dad, mom, teen, preteen, and infant. Each character has different likes/dislikes/interests and depending on where the family travels will determine the happiness of each of these characters.

Each player starts the game with 1 goal card. This is a card that awards you points for different things, often it will be points for the happiness of certain characters. To win the game you will want to make sure those members of the family are happy when the 7th day of their vacation rolls around and the game ends.

The meat of the game is played out with the proposal cards. Each player will start with 8 proposal cards. There are 3 main types of proposal cards. Destinations, Time, and Character.

On your turn, play a destination card coupled with a character to propose a new location for the family to go to. This should be a location that will benefit the character(s) on your goal card. If no player challenges your proposal you successfully go to that location.

If either the player to your right or left doesn't like the new proposal they can challenge by playing a character that trumps the original character (Challenge priority goes to player on right.) The heirarchy is as follows. Infant < preteen < teen < mom = dad < infant. The infant is only a trump when played directly after a parent card. All other characters trump everything below it. Parents cannot trump each other unless a parent is the one who started the proposal.

The original player can counter-challenge with a higher ranking character, but the screaming infant always wins, in which case the family stays put. At any point in the challenge anyone can throw in a time card. Based on the current location after the challenge, take the smile and sad faced tiles and place them next to the characters on the family card (the card’s a jumbo card) corresponding to how that character responds to the type of activity at the location the family is now at. For each time card you add an extra tile to each character, amplifying the effect

Once a player is down to 3 cards or less they can restock their hand of proposal cards up to 8.

On your turn you can choose to play only a character or location, but it only becomes a proposal once another player adds the other component. Or you can play only a time card to prolong the stay at the current location.

Time cards must be played in the following sequence (morning, afternoon, evening). If the last time card played was morning, the next time card must be afternoon. After going through a cycle, the group draws a day card. When the 7th day card is drawn the game ends.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
3 - "This is no moon!"

You are the Evil Star Knight wielding the power of SpaceMagics, who is placed by the Evil Space Wizard in control of the newly built DreadStar ©™.

And though the ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the SpaceMagics, that's exactly your task!

You have to charge the DreadStar's©™ SupaLazor, aim it at the nearby planet and fire the SupaLazor, all while protecting the DreadStar©™ from annoying Ж-wings and insurgent scum on board, who are trying to hinder you!

"This is no moon!" is a solo/coopetative game for 1+ players. Game’s owner is playing the Evil Star Knight, everybody in white clothes play the insurgent scum and everyone wearing black play the (evil)Space fleet officers. Others can choose. Players make turns in clockwise order, starting from the Game’s owner.

The game-board’s part representing a DreadStar©™ has 8 marked locations to place cards, arranged in a ring - these are "Hull slots" and one location in the middle, called a "Reactor slot".

Place 7 face-down cards and 1 face-up SupaLazor card on the hull slots before the game.

In front of the three of the 8 "Hull slots" there are 3 stacks of Ж-wing cards, with values 1-5. The planet is in front of the SupaLazor card.

Each turn each player draws 3 cards and plays one of them, on top of any of the hull slots or on the reactor slot. The cards have values 1-5.
Everybody knows that the DreadStar©™ can't move, but it can pivot real fast!

Each time a card is played, based on the number and direction of the arrow symbols on the card, the centre part of the board, representing the DreadStar©™, will rotate in a certain direction.

The Ж-wing card spots and the planet are not part of the rotating segment of the board and remain in place.

If after the DreadStar©™ is rotated, any of the Ж-wing cards ends up in front of the hull card with a lower value*, the hull card is discarded (If the card was face-down, it is instead revealed). Except the SupaLazor (it’s indestructible!).

If there are no hull cards left to remove/reveal for any hull slot, the DreadStar©™ is destroyed!

(And no, 1 does not beat 5. Because one circle is enough and it is quite complete as it is!).

If the hull card beats the Ж-wing card, the Ж-wing is discarded and a replacement is drawn after the next player turn.

Apart from placing a card on the hull slot, it can be placed on the Reactor slot (The DreadStar©™ is still rotated in this case!).
Once there are 3 cards on the Reactor slot, the SupaLazor is fully charged and ready to fire!

Aim the SupaLazor by rotating the DreadStar©™, so that the SupaLazor card ends up in front of the Planet to win the game if you are playing the cool guys, or try to destroy the DreadStar, if you are playing the insurgent scum!

May the SpaceMagics be with you!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
4 - Dark Mirror

You find yourself in a dark room. Cursed you look around and see 3 other unlucky souls. And of course, the Dark Mirror in front of you. The price must be paid. Only one can break the mirror and be free.

Dark Mirror is a competitive card deck game based around breaking the named Dark Mirror. Cards run from 1 through 10, with each card having a specific action to be played. The action for a "1" card is to take control of the Dark Mirror. The action for a "10" card is to shatter the Dark Mirror if you control it. So the purpose of the game is try and break the mirror when you have control of it and when you do not think another player can play a "1" to snatch is away from you, starting the cycle over again.

Play goes as follows;
1) Everyone draws 3 cards. Person with the lowest card starts with ownership of the Dark Mirror. In the event of a tie the person with second lowest, so on and so forth. If you can not break ties, reshuffle and re draw.

2)Person with the Dark Mirror plays a card and follows the action.

3) The person to their left can either draw a card or play another card that has a higher number on it. (If player 1 plays card # 4, then player two must play #5 or higher).

4) The exception to this rule is that anyone can play a #1 card, giving them ownership of the Dark Mirror and starting the process up again.

5) If a player manages to play a "10" card while they have ownership of the Dark Mirror, and the other players in succession can not get control of the Dark Mirror from him he shatters it and wins.

6) If all the cards in the deck are played through and no one can shatter the Dark Mirror, everyone loses.

The cards in the deck for draw are as follows:

1 - Madness: Take control of the Dark Mirror. Can be played at any point in the sequence.

2- Glutton: Draw 5 cards.

3- Greed: Steal a card from each player, their choice.

4- Dominance: Force the Dark Mirror on someone else, and steal 2 cards from them.

5- Obsession: Bind your soul to another player, and copy their next card played.

6- Plague: Force everyone to discard their highest card.

7- Fatten: Draw a card per player plus 2. Give each player a card from your hand, your choice.

8- Decimate: All players discard their hand and redraw to 3 cards, one at a time.

9- Covet: Prevent the Dark Mirror from being destroyed until it is your turn again.

10- Freedom: Destroy the Dark Mirror, if you can......

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
5 - Super Smashers

Super Smashers

For 2-8 players

30 minutes


50 cards (10 each of: Fire, Armour, Shrinking, Lasers, Strength)


Super smashers is a game about super-powered heroes from different warring dimensions, all trying to take control of the great technology, in a dramatic final free-for-all battle.


Each player draws 5 cards and keeps them secret

Choose a first player

Draw the top card of the deck as the Opening move, place it face-up in the Action pile


The current player player must either:

Counter! Discard a card into the Action pile which beats the current top card


Stagger! Discard any two cards into the Action pile

Play then continues clockwise to the next player

Once a player runs out of cards they are out of the game

Card seniority

Fire beats Armour and Shrinking

Armour beats Shrinking and Lasers

Shrinking beats Lasers and Strength

Lasers beat Strength and Fire

Strength beats Fire and Armour

Game end

The game ends when only one player has any cards left, they have won!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
6 - Zero Point

Zero Point Players: 2 (Variant for 3 or more) Object: To be the player with the highest score at the end of the game.


  • 6 cardboard “Point” tokens.
  • A larger “Player 1” token.
  • 54 card deck:
  • Four each of 1-9.
  • Sixteen “0"s.
  • Two optional “Point” cards.

Setup: Deal each player four piles of 5 cards each. Players do not look at these piles. After the cards have been dealt, remaining cards are placed in the middle of the table to be used as the draw pile. Each player is then given one “Point” token.

Gameplay: The game is played in 4 Rounds, consisting of 4 “Scores” each. At the beginning of each Round, without looking at the cards, players choose one of their four piles to use as their hand for that round.
For each Score, each player chooses a card from their hand and places it face down in front of them. When all have chosen, cards are revealed. Cards 1-9 are simply the value that they show. Players playing a 0 must draw the top card of the draw pile and place it either to the right or left of their card, creating a two digit number for their score. If a 0 is drawn, no further cards are drawn.

Player 1 may then take one action

  • Play a 0 card from their hand and place it anywhere in or around their current score.
  • Play a “Point” token (or card if used). The Point is played anywhere on an opponent’s score as a decimal point.

Player 2 may then take one of these same actions.

After both players have had a chance to take an action, compare the two scores using the current showing values, taking all zeroes and points into account. The Player with the highest value wins the Score and takes all played cards into their score pile. If the Score is a tie, all played cards are shuffled and placed under the draw pile. It may happen that a player may not have enough cards to play a card in the last Score of a Round. They are considered to have a value of zero and may not take any action.

If a player wins a Score without taking an action AND their total is 5 or less, they are awarded a Point token. A player may never have more than two Point tokens. For the following rounds, players take turns being “Player 1”.

End of the Game: After all four Rounds, players count up the cards in their score pile. Each card is worth their face value. Zeroes are worth zero. The player with the highest score wins. In the event of a tie, the winner is the player with the most zeroes in their score pile.

Playing with 3+: For 3 players, only deal 3 piles and play 3 Rounds. With more decks, the game can be scaled in multiples of 2 or 3 players.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
7 - The Waves of Fight

The Waves of Fight

Game takes place over 3 rounds. Each wave card determines the victory condition(s) (trump/suit/etc.).

60 Game Cards
20 Wave Cards
2 Player Reference Cards
1 Score Board
3 Markers Red
3 Markers Blue

1. Shuffle the deck of Game Cards
2. Establish 1st player
- Draw top card of Game Card Deck (lowest goes 1st)
- Place these cards in the middle of the deck.
2. Shuffle the Wave Cards
3. Deal 10 game cards to each player
4. Flip the top Wave Card over
5. Read the Wave card aloud to announce the conditions to meet.

You are ready to play.

-----Game Turn-----
At the same time, both players will complete the following actions:
1. Place a card face down (when completed)
2. Flip card face up
- If either/both players have cards left in their hand and want to play a different card, proceed to 1st step and repeat process. If not proceed to step 3.
- If one player stops, but the other continues to play cards, that player is done. They may not play additional cards after the new card is turned up.
3. Discard the wave card
4. Placing a colored marker of either the blue or red player on the score board in the appropriate wave marker.

-----Starting 2nd & 3rd Waves-----
After a wave:
1. Both players discard the remainder of their hands.
2. Draw a new hand of 10 cards.
3. Flip the top Wave Card over
4. Read the Wave card aloud to announce the conditions to meet.
5. Rotate 1st player (2nd player becomes 1st player)

-----Winning the game-----
Win 2 out of the 3 waves

-----Game Cards-----

Values / Suit
1-10 Hearts
1-10 Diamonds
1-10 Clubs
1-10 Spades

Qty / Use
5 Discard & Re-draw Wave Card
5 Change Numeric Value of Wave
5 Change Suit of Wave
5 Change Prevent Modification of current Wave Card *Instant/Remains in play*

-----Wave Cards-----
1- Lowest Heart Wins
2- Lowest Diamond Wins
3- Lowest Club Wins
4- Lowest Spade Wins
5- Highest Heart Wins
6- Highest Diamond Wins
7- Highest Club Wins
8- Highest Spade Wins
9- Highest Value Wins
10- Lowest Value Wins
11- 1's Win
12- 2's Win
13- 3's Win
14- 4's Win
15- 5's Win
16- 6's Win
17- 7's Win
18- 8's Win
19- 9's Win
20- 10's Win

Note: Both players can NOT win on the numeric value cards (i.e. 1's WIN). If both players play the same numeric value that wave is discarded, no cards are redrawn for hands and a new wave is drawn from the wave card pile.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
8 - Void


4 players

You play as Elemental Spirits, in a constant battle with each other. Spirits represent the creating force (the fifth element), forever changing and balancing the world. And by creating, also destroying. When elements disappear they leave a Void.

Cycle of dominance

Water extinguishes Fire

Fire consumes Air

Air erodes Earth

Earth absorbs Water


1 Board with 64 squares.

Tiles (Face / Flipped)

16 Water / Earth + X

16 Fire / Water + X

16 Air / Fire + X

16 Earth / Air + X


Choose an Elemental Spirit (printed on the board), take their tiles.


Score most points. Flipped and taken tiles counts as points.


Players take turn placing one of their tiles. Starting player’s first tile is placed on one of the middle four squares.

Then players always have to place their tiles adjacent to other tiles, sides and diagonals are considered adjacent. You can’t place a tile in between two tiles of the element dominating you. (Water can’t place a tile in between two Earth tiles.)

If you manage to flank tiles of the element you’re dominating, you flip those tiles. Think Othello rules when it comes to flanking!

You may flip any number of tiles in one or more rows in any number of directions at the same time - horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Just as long as the tiles are all of the dominated element. (Water may only flip Fire tiles.) If there’s a line of Water, Fire, Earth and Fire, and you place Water on the other end, you can’t flip the Fire, the Earth stops you from doing that.

Flipped tiles are marked with X. Next time that tile would be flipped, it is instead removed from the board, taken as points. Taken tiles can’t be placed or lost. (Flipped Fire becomes Water + X, it can then be flanked by Earth who takes it.) Now this space on the board is free to place tiles on again – a Void.

When all tiles have been placed, the game is over.


Tiles taken = 1 point.

Tiles of your element + X still on the board = 2 points.

The difference in points reflects that it’s harder to keep flipped tiles on the board because they may be taken by someone. While tiles you’ve taken are safe.

Note that tiles you’ve placed don’t count as points.


If you are playing Water, you want to flank Fire, but you also want to be near Air because Air can turn to Fire and be possible for you to take! At the same time you want to avoid Earth. It can be tricky to keep track of all upcoming possible moves, but that is what makes the game fun! It can be played as a casual game as it’s pretty clear at any given moment what moves are available on the board. But there’s lots of room for tactics when you try to stop opponents, think ahead and plan your moves. The game will change the more you play it.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
9 - Universe


- 100 Cards
- SUN tile
- 50 Hex Tiles
- 5 small circular tiles of each color - 5 colors


Build an ever expanding universe. Have the most VP at the end of the game.


Each players takes the small circular tiles of their color. Shuffle the cards and the other tiles. Place them both at the center of the table. Each player draws 5 cards from the card deck. Place 4 tiles from the tile deck face up at the center of the table. Place the SUN tile at the center of the table.


Players will follow the below turn sequence.
- Draw a card from the card deck.
- Take any tile from the row that has a circular tile of their color and replace it with a new tile from the tile deck.
- Play a single card from their hand. If the card has an effect, discard the card after the effect resolves. Otherwise, place the card below one of the four tiles on the table. The card MUST beat the card currently on top of any stack already present, otherwise make a new stack. (Nebula > Protostar > Red Giant > Supernova > Nebula) Place one of their circular tiles on the hex tile above the card they played.
- Place any amount of tiles they have into the "universe" and score accordingly.


Tiles score according to the icons on the tiles referenced below. A tile may have any variety of icons, including multiples of the same.

- Sun: Place a circular tile on this tile as it is placed. Score 1 VP for all STAR, MOON, PLANET, SUN and COMET icons currently on adjacent tile to this tile and any tiles placed adjacent later.
- Star: Score 1 VP for every STAR, MOON, PLANET, SUN and COMET icons on this and adjacent tiles.
- Planet: Score 1 VP for every PLANET icon and this and adjacent tiles.
- Moon: Score 2 VP for every PLANET icon on this tile and 1 VP for every PLANET icon on adjacent tiles.
- Comet: Score 5 VP minus 1 VP for each PLANET icon on this and adjacent tiles. Score can go negative.


The game is over when the last tile is added from the tile deck to the center of the table, (not the "universe".) The player with the most VP at this time wins!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
10 - Faerie War

The Summer Queen and the Winter King are locked in eternal battle. Supported by the Spring Princess and the Autumn Prince, the armies clash in the forest, using whatever terrain they can to their advantage – hilltops, old stone walls, and impassable rivers. Winter attacks Spring. Spring heals Summer. Summer attacks Autumn. Autumn heals Winter. The cycle continues without end. Unless you can prevail.

Players: 2 or 4. In two player games, one player controls two allied armies; in four player games, one person controls each army, working together for a joint win.

The board is a layout of hexes, with the appearance of three rivers converging in the middle. Each river has 1 bridge across it, effectively breaking the board into three sections. Hilltops and stonewall sections are unevenly dispersed throughout. Units are stacked tiles depending on FV. (Fae Vitality (FV) changes constantly. It represents the life force, attack force, and movement allowed for each creature. For Spring/Autumn creatures it also represents potential healing ability. As creatures are injured, their FV is reduced, reducing their ability to move, heal, or attack other creatures as effectively.)

Terrain Features:
Rivers – Running water is impassable. Only at bridges may units cross, attack, or heal.
Hilltops – No defensive effect. Add one to attacks for unit at summit.
Stonewalls – Passable. Defenders on the other side of a wall from an attack subtract one from damage.


Deployment Phase
Either Summer or Winter deploys first. Turns then progress seasonally. Place two units from that season’s army anywhere on the board. When all pieces are placed, whichever season did not deploy first (Summer or Winter) acts first.

Starting Strenths:
Spring/Autumn :
1 Princess/Prince, FV =4
5 Dryads/Imps, FV = 2
10 Sprites/Pixies, FV = 1

1 Queen/King, FV = 5
6 Nymphs/Dryads, FV = 3

Action Phase.
Select two units from your season’s army to act. Each may move once each turn and attack OR heal once each turn. That unit doesn’t have to use it’s full FV movement allotment.

Attacking: Select an attacking unit and a target unit in an adjacent hex. Take into account terrain bonuses. Reduce target FV by attacker FV, following these seasonal rules. Remove target unit when FV is 0. When a Winter/Summer unit attacks a Spring/Autumn unit, Spring/Autumn is the only unit reduced. If Winter /Summer attack each other, both are reduced by the opposing units FV. Autumn/Spring can never attack Summer/Winter. Autumn/Spring may heal Winter/Summer instead of attacking. If so, the Winter/Summer unit is increased by the FV of the Spring/Autumn unit, and the Spring/Autumn unit is not decreased. They need to be in adjacent hexes for healing, and they may not be healed above their starting FV. Royalty may never attack other royalty – they only assault their chief foes through their minions. If all minions are killed before either King or Queen falls, you tie. Protect royalty! The King/Queen units may not be attacked until the Prince or Princess of their supporters is killed.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
11 - Frontrunner

Two players compete as news media moguls in presidential primary season. There are lots of candidates, each with a unique vision for the country. Whatever. Your vision is lively competition in every news cycle that keeps eyes on your channel’s pundits. You will manipulate the media to keep the candidates sparring and the leaders changing. But there is one candidate who just won’t go away…

The game is played in a series of rounds, each of which winnows the field. Each round is made up of several “days” in which players each choose a candidate to dominate the media for that day. But the dynamics of who’s talking points are winning is always changing, and you want everyone to get airtime.

40 cards = 5 each of 8 candidates (7 regular candidates and 1 Frontrunner)
10 event cards
1 main stage board (to keep things organized)

Randomly choose one regular candidate to be an “undercard” and arrange one card representing each the other regular candidates in a circle, called the “main stage.” Shuffle the remainder of the deck, remove four cards at random, and deal the remaining cards to each player. Deal two event cards to each player and discard the rest.

Each player simultaneously reveals a card in hand representing which candidate they will feature for that news day. Resolve any card text and each player may play an event card. Then determine the winner of the day as follows:
1. If the cards are identical or both are undercards, they tie.
2. Frontrunner *trumps* any main stage candidate but loses to any undercard (just sharing media with Frontrunner is a victory!)
3. If two main stage candidates compete and they are adjacent in the main stage circle, the card furthest counterclockwise wins. It is a tie if they are not adjacent or there is an ambiguity (possible if more than one of a candidate’s card is on the circle).

If they tie, both cards are discarded for the round. Otherwise the winner chooses one card to add to her score pile and one to place on the main stage board, replacing one candidate card which is discarded. Frontrunner can never be placed on the main stage circle.

Play continues until one player has no candidate cards remaining, at which time the round ends and players score. For each candidate, award one point (two for Frontrunner) to whichever player has with the most cards in her score pile with that candidate, ignoring ties.

After the round, gather all candidate cards and remove all undercards. If four or more candidates remain, deal out the candidate cards evenly (any extra card goes to the last round’s loser), deal each player two new event cards, and play additional rounds with the following changes:
1. The main stage circle contains one less candidate than is in the game (not counting Frontrunner).
2. Each candidate scores +1 more than in the previous round.

The player with the highest total score after the last round wins.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
12 - Time of the Season

The seasons are vying for control of the globe. Each player is one of the four seasons and will use clever card play to emerge victorious.

1 x Deck playing cards
1 x Season board (four spaces – one for each season, in chronological order)
13 x Victory Tokens
4 x Season Tokens

Game Structure
A trick-taking game played over a series of rounds. At the end of each round, allocate round victory tokens to the winner of the round.

Starting Setup
Assign one season to each player and give that player the corresponding season token.

Deal all 52 cards to the four players. Players select three cards from their starting hands to set aside (face down) until the beginning of the next round. Each player will now have a hand of 10 cards to play with this round.

Place the wooden pawn on the “Winter” space of the season track. This track determines the trump suit for the round and the end of round point bonuses. The seasons and associated “trump” suits are as follows:
• Winter = Spades
• Spring = Hearts
• Summer = Diamonds
• Fall/Autumn = Clubs

The “Winter” player will lead the first trick – they will play a card from their hand. Each player, in clockwise order, will play one card from their hand. After all players have played a card from their hand, determine the winner of the trick.

If no “trump” suit was played, then the player who played the card of the highest number value wins the trick. Value order is as follows: Lowest – A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-K-Q-Highest. However, if a player (or multiple players) played a card of the “trump” suit (which will vary depending on the current season), the highest value “trump” card winds the trick. Ties result in the trick being set aside. The winner of the next trick takes these set aside cards from the previous trick. Won tricks are placed in face-down score piles in front of each player. The winning player begins the next trick.

End of Round
When all players have no cards left, the round ends. Players flip up their face-down piles of won tricks.

If a player has no cards of their suit:

That player(s) win the round automatically. That player receives one victory token.

Players total the cards in their score piles. Numbered cards are worth numerical value (Aces are worth one). Face cards are worth 10 points. Cards in the suit of the current season (i.e. spades in winter) are worth double their value.

When a player collects their fourth round victory token, the game is over and that player wins. If not, continue to a new round. Shuffle the score piles, deal out the cards to each player, advance the season pawn to the next season. Players pick up their cards set aside from the previous round and take them into their hands. They then set aside three new cards and begin the round.

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forum | by Dr. Radut