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GDS January 2010 Challenge: "Which way did he go?!?"

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Game Design Showdown

January 2010 Challenge - "Which way did he go?!?"


This Challenge has been completed.

Congratulations to the winner of this month's Game Design Showdown with 11 votes:

  • "Monster Island" by simons

Congratulations to the runners up as well with 7 votes each:

  • "Asteroid Mining" by Seo
  • "Cave of the Old Fat Dragon" by last month's winner Don Jon

CRITIQUES: Post constructive critiques and commentary about the entries to this Challenge in the Critiques Thread.


Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown are here: GDS details.

Main Design Requirements:

  • BOARD game: Many games nowadays don't use a central board. This challenge requires the use of a central board. You are to create a game where geography of the board matters.

  • Route Planning: A major concern in the game should be route planning. That is not to say it must be the only concern, but a significant part of the game should revolve around planning a route in some way, and therefore interacting with the geography on the board, which as we already know, matters.

  • Deduction: A deduction mechanism shall be present in some form in the game. It's your job to decide how or in what manner.


  • Submissions: Thursday, 7-January-2010 through Thursday, 14-January-2010 (approximately 4pm West Coast US time).
  • Voting: Friday, 15-January-2010 through Thursday, 21-January-2010. <- NOTE THE CHANGE (if you plan that far ahead)

Voting Format: Each person has 6 votes to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:

  • You may not assign any votes to your own entry!
  • You may not assign more than 3 votes to any single entry.
  • You need not assign all 6 votes.

Voting is now open!

Voting will close at 4pm MST, which I believe is 3pm on the West coast and 6pm on the East coast. Thursday afternoon I'll tabulate the results and post the winners!

  • CRITIQUES: Post constructive critiques and commentary about the entries to this Challenge in the Critiques Thread

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

GDS Details: For more details on how these Game Design Showdown Challenges work, especially the details around the word count and graphics limits, visit the GDS Wiki Page.

Enjoy!

-Seth

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Entry #1 - Rainbow's End by Mrraow - 1 vote

Rainbow's End

By quick travel and low cunning, you have made it to the end of the rainbow, but where is the pot of gold?

Requirements

  • Board
  • rainbowgold
  • Pencil & paper
  • Trap counters

One player is the leprechaun. The other is the hunter.

At the start of the game, the leprechaun writes down his location on the map - he is, of course, invisible. He then announces what colour he is standing on.

The hunter then places a trap on the board in any location at the edge of the board.

Each subsequent turn consists of:

  • The leprechaun (who has short legs) moves one space orthogonally by writing his new location down, and announces his new colour. He cannot return to a space he has already visited.
  • The hunter has longer legs, and moves by placing a trap next to any trap that he has already placed (orthogonally OR diagonally).

The round ends when:

  • the leprechaun is forced to move onto the hunter's trap
  • the hunter places a trap on the leprechaun's space
  • the leprechaun has no legal moves

The leprechaun scores 1 point for each trap placed, and the players reverse their roles. Highest score after two rounds wins.

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Entry #2 - Asteroid Mining by Seo - 7 votes

Asteroid Mining

2-5 players

Components

Components

  • Board. A section of the asteroid belt with paths orbiting and linking 10 asteroids and a space base at the centre.
  • 50 Resource tiles in three sets with diferent backs and different ratios of the four available resources (Water, Diamonds, Iron, Energite):
  • Set A: 2xWater, 4xDiamonds, 8xIron, 6xEnergite.
  • Set B: 1xWater, 2xDiamonds, 10xIron, 7xEnergite.
  • Set C: 2xWater, 4xDiamonds, 2xIron, 2xEnergite.
  • Ships card deck. 10 cards, each corresponding to a ship with a unique cargo ability:
  • Cost $5: Iron+Diamonds, Iron+Water, Iron+Energite, Diamonds+Water, Diamonds+Energite, Water+Energite.
  • Cost $10: Iron+Diamonds+Water, Iron+Diamonds+Energite, Iron+Water+Energite, Diamonds+Water+Energite.
  • 10 Ship tokens corresponding to each of the ships on the card deck.
  • 200 Fuel cells (cubes).
  • Game money.

Setup

Shuffle the three tile sets together, face down, and place a pile of 5 tiles on each asteroid to represent its resources.

Game play

The game has three phases: Exploration, Hiring ships and Mining.

1. Exploration

Each player receives 10 fuel cells. Unused fuel cells are kept for phase 3.

During this phase players gather information about the asteroid resources through two methods:

  • Spectrum analysis. Players can look at the backs of the tiles, keeping the tile order of the examined piles. Given the difference in resource distribution on seta A, B and C, this provides useful information about what resources are more likely to be found on the asteroid. Cost: Free.
  • Probes. Players can peek at the fronts of the tiles, keeping the tile order of the examined piles. Cost: 1 fuel cell for the first three tiles in a pile, 1 fuel cell per further tile in the same pile.

Players can perform spectrum analysis and/or send probes to as many asteroids as they wish, as long as they have enough fuel cells to pay for the probing.

2. Hiring ships

Each player receives $15. Unspent money can be kept or used to buy fuel cells at $1 per unit.

The ship deck is shuffled and placed face down to form a reserve. The top two cards are placed face up next to the reserve; these are the ships currently available for hiring. Players take turns to either hire one of these ships or pass.

To hire a ship the current player pays the ship price ($5 for 2-resources ships, $10 for 3-resources ships), takes the ship card, and places the corresponding token on the base at the centre of the board. The card is replaced with the next card from the reserve, and the process continues until all players have two ships.

3. Mining

Each player receives 20 fuel cells. If they wish so and have money left from the previous phase, they can buy extra fuel. Players assign fuel to each of their ships by placing fuel cells on the ship cards.

Players then spend three actions per turn. Available actions are:

  • Move ship. Players can move either of their ships from the base to an asteroid, from asteroid to asteroid, or back to the base, using the established routes. One action can involve more than one leg. Both ships can be moved in the same turn, using separate actions. Cost: 1 fuel cell (from the ship card) per leg.
  • Mine. Pick the topmost tile from the asteroid's pile. First tile of each resource is left face up on the asteroid to indicate that the resource can now be collected from that asteroid. Subsequent tiles of an already uncovered type are kept by the player (placed on top of the ship card) if the ship is able to collect the resource, or placed back at the bottom of the pile if not. One mine action can be used to turn as many tiles as desired. Cost: 2 fuel cells for the first three tiles in a pile, 2 fuel cells per further tile in the same pile.

When a ship arrives at the base, its load can be sold at the following rates:

  • Water: $20 per tile
  • Diamonds: $10 per tile
  • Iron: $5 per tile
  • Energite: $5 per tile

Energite tiles can also be converted into 3 fuel cells each while a ship is away from the base; this does not count as an action. Extra fuel can also be bought when at the base, at the regular rate of $1 per fuel cell. When at the base, a ship can be assigned more fuel from the player's reserve. If a ship runs out of fuel away from the base, the ship and its full load are lost.

Game end

When all asteroids are deplated, or no player wants to send a ship in a mining mission, the game ends.

Ships with enough fuel may return to the base and sell their final loads. The player with the most money is the winner.

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Entry #3 - Devour Spaceport Epsilon by DogBoy- 3 votes

DEVOUR SPACEPORT EPSILON

Some two-legged snacks have landed on Monster Planet in spaceships and are messing it up with buildings. I bet the tastiest morsels are still in the spaceport! You ought to hurry there before one of the other monsters notices and (b)eats you to it.

Gameplay:

The objective is to build up a sequence of Rampage cards which take you from your secret Start Location to Spaceport Epsilon before any other player, eating as many Snacks (i.e. humans) as possible on the way, while figuring out your opponents' Start Location, blocking their moves, and spoiling their appetite with Military cubes. The board should be small enough to allow for several rounds in the course of a single game.

Components:

A board divided into spaces representing regions in a map of Monster Planet. One central space (Spaceport Epsilon) is marked with its name and the number 3; several other spaces are Start Locations and also have unique names (e.g. Bottomless Pit, Seething Volcano). The rest of the spaces are coloured with various colours and contain Snack population (VP) numbers from 1-3, with 1 being common and 3 rare. The board also summarises the special power of the monster who lives in each Start Location. A few Monster cards corresponding to the Start Locations, with the Start Location and monster powers described. Monster powers are outlined below. A set of Rampage cards. These cards allow monsters to move from one space to a neighbouring space in some manner specified on each card, while eating the delicious Snacks found there. Examples: Your tentacles itch. Rampage to any neighbouring red or green space. This region is starting to get on your nerves. Rampage to any neighbouring space from a yellow or blue space. Ouch! You trod on something spiky! Rampage to any neighbouring space and lose 2 VP. A bunch of Military (penalty) cubes. Hot plasma beams are not tasty. 1 Hungriest Monster (dealer) button. A few monster figures, corresponding to the Monster cards. (These are not strictly necessary but add to the fun.)

Example Monster powers:

Flight: Remove any undesired Rampage cards from your route Teleport: Exchange any 2 Rampage cards from your route Tunnelling: Use any 1 Rampage card to move into or from a red region

Setup:

Deal 1 Monster card to each player. Nobody knows which other monsters are on the rampage! Decide who gets the Hungriest Monster button to begin with. For instance, see who can eat the most biscuits. Or roll a die. (Don't try to eat the die.)

Turns:

Hungriest Monster deals 1 Rampage card face up in the middle per player. Beginning with Hungriest Monster and proceeding clockwise, each player either chooses a face-up Rampage card from the middle or draws a card off the top of the deck, then either adds the new card to their rampage or replaces their most recent rampage card with it, then chooses any coloured space on the board and places a Military cube on it. Players who have reached Spaceport Epsilon may claim it. Otherwise, discard any cards left over and pass the Hungriest Monster button clockwise for a new turn.

Rampage Routes:

To show a route, reveal your Monster card and put the matching figure on its Start Location. Using your Rampage cards in strict sequence modified with your Monster power, move the figure from space to space (optionally improvising sound effects). If the next Rampage card can't be legally used for any move, the rampage ends in the current space.

Claiming the Spaceport:

Show a route from your Start Location to Spaceport Epsilon. If you made a mistake, restore your Rampage cards and the round continues. Oops. If you reached Spaceport Epsilon, score the round.

Scoring a round:

Each player shows a rampage route. Score 1-3 VP for each unique space your rampage took you through, depending on Snack population, and lose 1 VP for each Military cube on your route. More than one monster can score the same space, but each of them only once. (The Snacks hide when the same monster comes back again. The Military don't.) Calculate the highest VP rampage route ("bonus VP") and lowest VP rampage route ("consolation VP") among all players. Players who reached Spaceport Epsilon score the VP for their rampage route plus the bonus VP. (Spaceport Epsilon itself is worth 3 VP.) Players who didn't reach Spaceport Epsilon score the VP for their rampage route plus the consolation VP. Optional bonus VP may be awarded by consensus for coolest rampage performance, sneakiest play, etc.

Winning the game:

Have the most VPs after playing 3 rounds

Advanced rules:

Allow players to control more than one Monster, each with its own Rampage route Bid for Rampage cards with VP instead of picking them in fixed order.

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Entry #4 - High Card Race by magic_user - 4 votes

High Card Race

by magic_user

  • A simple racing game where the object is to use the cards in your hand to beat the other players to the finish line. First player to the goal wins!

Goal

Be the first player to reach the finish line.

Equipment

  • 1 deck of playing cards, no jokers
  • 2-8 player markers, each a different color
  • 1 game board:
  • GameBoard

Setup (4 players)

  • Shuffle the deck and deal each player 5 cards face down.
  • Place the player markers at the bottom of the board, each on a different nexus.

Card Ranking

For this game, Aces are low.

Play

For each round, the players will each look at their cards and select three cards, discarding the remaining two. They will then place the three selected cards face down on the table in the order they are to be played, the top card will be played first. Plays are made simultaneously. Everyone turns over their top card and movement is resolved. This is repeated for the next two cards. After the third card has been played and the movement resolved, the players are each dealt five cards for the next round. If there are not enough cards left in the deck, shuffle the discard pile and add it to the deck. Rounds continue until a winner is declared. There can be ties.

Movement Resolution

Movement is determined by the suit of the card that is played. Spades allow movement straight up or down. Hearts allow movement to the left and right. Club movement is on the diagonal from the lower right to the upper left, and Diamond movement is on the diagonal from the lower left to the upper right. Each card allows movement from one nexus to an adjacent nexus along the line of direction dictated by the card's suit.

Resolution happens after all players move. Each nexus can have only one player marker, so on any nexus with more than one marker the players compare cards. The highest card value stays on the nexus and the remaining player(s) must drop down one level along the line of direction of their choice (i.e. the player may choose any of the 2 or 3 paths available, not restricted by the card that was originally played). Resolutions may cascade, highest card always stays on the nexus, remaining player(s) drop down. In case of tie, the tied players will shuffle the discard pile and cut for high card until a winner is determined for that nexus.

Special rule - if resolution cascading takes the player to the starting line, the player may place their marker on any open nexus on the starting line.

Results

The first player to the opposite side of the board wins.

Variations

For 8 players, four start at one end of the board and four start at the other end of the board. All movement, i.e. "forward" and "back" is relative to the side of the board the player started from. The same goes for 6 players (three and three). Do your best for 5 and 7 players. :-)

Apology

The new job is taking a lot of time, so sorry in advance for my lameness. I still hope this game makes you think!

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Entry #5 - Search for the Sheriff's Gold by Mueller - 0 votes

Search for the Sheriff's Gold

Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men intend to intercept and plunder tax money from a Royal coach before it reaches the castle and safety. The Sheriff of Nottingham musters a defense of two additional coaches as decoys with an adequate number of men-at-arms to escort each group. Robin Hood must find the appropriate coach by moving forward and revealing tokens/cards placed by the “Sheriff” player in his/her subsequent turn(s). Board- represents a significant portion of Sherwood Forest with Nottingham indicating potential starting points for Robin Hood; two forks of a river which initially do not impede, nor convey any innate event or special effect; several villages dispersed throughout the forest; and a non-essential area north of the forest representing a noble’s castle and the goal of the “Sheriff” player. Tokens/cards are placed by the “Sheriff” player on his/her respective turn which becomes revealed during Robin Hood’s turn. Arrows indicate potential move choices for each space. Rarely will moving into a space subsequently occupied will occur, while losing a turn and remaining in a space is quite possible. - village spaces cannot be covered by a token/card; villages will possess a random event or effect determined by the “Sheriff” player from the pool of previously revealed tokens/cards - spaces which contain river segments can contain any token/card of the “Sheriff” player’s choice but does not impede movement in any way for its own sake; “flood” and “destroyed bridge” tokens/cards can only be played on any river segment space - the castle region is not a legitimate space and therefore cannot be occupied by a token/card

Turns

Sheriff

This player always starts first and begins with the three coach tokens/cards in hand; each turn, placement of his/her choice of a random assortment of tokens/cards drawn that particular turn on one, horizontal row per turn; 8 tokens/cards at the beginning of each turn -the first “Sheriff” turn each game: 16 tokens/cards are drawn and placed on the southernmost, two horizontal rows; this allows for the “Sheriff” player to plan two turns ahead

Robin Hood

This player begins game with 3 tokens (horses- essential for move of 2 spaces; bows- +2 to event/effect die roll; swords- +1 to event/effect die roll) to be used at any time within the turn and 5 “integrity” points (which, if reduced to “0” indicates the Sheriff arrives at this destination) each turn entails: - first, the roll of one d6 with a result of “1” indicating an inherent problem or setback for that turn equating to “lose this turn”; “6” indicates a streak of luck and allows an additional space of movement if the first space event/ effect does not impede the further movement - second, address the event/effect revealed chronologically for each space moved in a turn Tokens/Cards- these represent numerous events or effects that could hinder Robin Hood - the “Sheriff” will place his/her initial 16 tokens/cards during his/her first turn, and 8 every turn thereafter - 50% of the tokens/cards are blank and possess no further effect upon the game after being revealed - other tokens/cards will affect the ability and efficiency of Robin Hood’s plan

examples:

  • destroyed bridge: loss of next turn searching for a ford or another bridge
  • flood: return to subsequent space, thusly ending turn
  • feudal levy: “3+” on d6 to determine if Robin Hood cleverly overcomes without penalty; failure indicates -- 1“integrity”
  • decoy coach: immediate loss of next turn; “5+” on d6 to determine success and +1 “integrity” and token/card is discarded if the escort is overcome or -2 “integrity” to the Merry Men and the token/card is returned to the “Sheriff” for later use if the roll is failed
  • Sheriff: similar to a decoy with these exceptions- “6” on d6 to determine success; if Sheriff defeated, Robin Hood wins
  • tokens/cards should include extra blanks for later additional event/effect at the whim of the players

These rules can accommodate maximum of two Robin Hood players and up to 4 “Sheriff” players: - Robin Hood players will represent two Merry Men groups without any modification to aforementioned rules except that competition ( 5 “integrity” per) or cooperation (3 “integrity” per) is possible - “Sheriff” players randomly choose 20 tokens/cards on first turn and 10 every turn thereafter - “Sheriff” players will split the number of tokens/cards as evenly as possible between them; only one may be revealed to teammates per player with only 1 of the revealed tokens/cards being placed in a space, the others are discarded.

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Entry #6 - Monster Island by simons -11 votes

Monster Island

A game for 2-5 players.

A new reality show, ”Survive Monster Island” has gone horribly wrong! There is no hope now but to try to escape. Be the team that gets the most humans to safety, or play as the monsters and eat your fill!

Setup

One player plays as the monsters, the rest of the players are the humans. Randomly make a board out of hex squares representing different land types (lakes, roads, etc). Place the base camp on one end, and the getaway ships on the other. Each player places all of their humans in the base camp. The monster player has three monsters (T-Rex, Zombie Swarm, and Thing From Another Planet). Randomly place three “Last Known Sighting” tokens on the board to indicate where each of your monsters begin, and record their location on your secret pad.

Goal

The first player to get three humans to the escape ships wins. If this ever becomes impossible, then the monster player wins.

Cards

Monster Island comes with a deck of cards, which determine movement. Each card indicates a particular land type on it. A player can play a card to move to land of a particular type (eg. Play a forest card to move into the forest). Some cards have multiple land types on them. A player can play this to move to one of those land types. Last, some cards have a Hidden marker on the back. A monster player may play one of those cards without revealing the land type. Finally, a small number of cards have “Monster-View Camera,” and a monster, written on them. When a player plays this card, the monster player must reveal where that monster is by placing a “Last Known Sighting” token on the board. If a monster player draws this card, she must reveal the monster at the start of her turn.

The Monster Turn

At the start of the turn, draw 6 cards. Each monster may move up to two spaces. Place up to 2 cards in front of each monster, and secretly record where each monster has moved to. Card must be left up for all to see, however you do not need to announce what Hidden cards you have played, and if a card has multiple land types on it, you do not need to announce where you have gone. The cards are left in place until the monster is sighted (either with a Camera card, or by eating a human), after which they are discarded (since the players no longer need to try to deduce where the monster is).

If one of your monsters begins the turn adjacent to a human, you may move on to the human space if able (see Eating Humans). A monster may not, however, move two spaces and end on the same space as a human.

At the end of your turn, discard all unused cards.

The Human Turn

At the beginning of each turn, each human player draws cards until their hand reaches five. She may then play as many cards as she desires, to move her humans as many spaces as she desires. If she moves into a space which contains a monster, the human is eaten (see Eating Humans).

Humans may not be attacked inside the base camp. Any movement card will allow a human to enter a getaway ship from an adjacent space. Once a human has made it to the getaway ship, remove it from the board. The first player to get three humans to the getaway ship wins. If this becomes impossible, the player is eliminated.

Eating Humans

If a human and monster come into contact, the human is eaten. Remove it from the board, and place a “Last Known Sighting” token in it’s place. Future humans will hopefully know to stay clear of that area.

The initial number of humans, size of the board, and makeup of the deck, will be determined after playtesting.

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Entry #7 - Conspiracy! by Jpwoo- 6 votes

Conspiracy!

The Backdrop!

You are all heads of various secret societies, dark masters that control thousands if not millions of unwitting puppets. You all have bound together into a kind of super cabal in order to hide your individual plans from prying eyes. You all have agreed to help complete each others plots so long as you don't know whose plot you are completing, how can the tinfoil hats figure out what is going on if the conspirators themselves cannot!

Bits!

A board with cities on it, similar to the pandemic board. A bunch of white pawns (innocents) Red pawns, black pawns, yellow pawns, blue pawns and green pawns, each representing the minions loyal to a particular secret society. Cards with plots on them. Influence tokens. Cards with secret societies on them. Cards with Hidden Agendas on them.

Setup!

Each player gets 10 influence. Influence is a combination of money, political influence, resources, dark magics, or whatever you imagine your society needs to get the job done.

Each player draws a secret society card, this tells you which organization you are. Each society is represented by a certain color pawn.

Each player draws 3 Hidden Agenda cards, examines them and keeps the one they want. Hidden Agendas are things like, gain 1 vp for every 4 influnce you have at the end of the game, or gain 1 vp for every one of your minions, or gain 1 vp for every plot you completed.

Each player is dealt 5 plot cards. Plot cards contain the following information. Whose plot it is, what the requirements are, and what the rewards for completing the plot are.

*Example: You might draw the Install Clone Presidente card. This card is Blue representing the UN Shadow government. The requirements are one blue agent in cuba, and 1 innocent pawn in cuba. The rewards are +1 influence per turn for 5 turns. The result if you remove the white pawn from the board and replace it with a blue one. (Important note: the player who completes the plot receives the reward, not necessarily the blue player.)

Example: Summon Ghost of Joan of Arc. This is a red card representing the Circle of Triangles, a mysterious cult of wizards. The requirement is a red pawn on every continent other than Europe. The reward is +10 influence. The result is all pawns in Paris are removed from the game.*

All players put one plot card into the dossier section of the board. These cards are then shuffled and dealt out one to each player, and put in their, current plots area in front of them. This is kept separate from their hand of plots.

Players take turn placing pawns of whatever color they like on the board, until each player has placed 2. Every other city that is empty gets a white pawn.

Game Play:

Players take turns.

Each turn you receive influence, always at least one, but possibly more from completed plots.

You may then do several actions:

  • Move a pawn to a city, The number of spaces they move is the number of resources you must spend.

  • Pay 1 influence to draw a plot from the plot deck

  • Complete a plot: At the start of the turn you must have all the requirements met, You reveal your plot, take any rewards, and resolve any actions.

  • Pay 5 influence to place an agent of any color on the board anywhere you please.

  • Pay 2 influence to shuffle and looks at the dossier pile.

  • Pay 3 influence to put a plot in the dossier space. If you filled the dossier space with as many plots as there are players, you shuffle them up and deal them out randomly, one to each player, this is a new plot that they may complete.

The End!

The game ends when some set number of plots are completed. Then you move into scoring and discovery.

Discovery

Each player makes a prediction about each other player. What color they are playing, and what hidden agenda they are going for.

Scoring

Players reveal their Societies and their hidden agendas. You get 1 vp for each plot you completed, 1 vp for each minion of your color on the board . You get 2 vps for each one of your plots that was completed, not necessarily by you. Then you look at your predictions, you get 1 vp per society or agenda you guessed correctly. Or 5 vp for guessing both a players society and agenda both correct.

If all other players guess your color correctly, then you loose the game.

The player with the most points is crowned global overlord.

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Entry #8 - Claymore by metzgerism - 0 votes

CLAYMORE

for 3-5 players

BASIC CONCEPT

"Claymore" is a card-driven race game where players are traversing a field littered with mines. Some mine locations are known and controlled by the player, but most are not. Players must utilize cards and their own observational talent in order to cross the board safely, as well as detonating mines that their opponents land on to push them back.

PROLOGUE

Executive Order 134340: Full-scale retreat from the combat zone, effective at 0800 tomorrow. All soldiers unable to return on army helicopters will be considered MIA and no evacuation support given past the 0800 deadline tomorrow.

OVERVIEW

One half-mile separates you and your comrades from a one-way ticket back to the homeland. There's a problem though: you're going through a minefield. It's not so bad though, your squadron planted the mines, so everyone knows where at least the mines they placed are. Working together to plan a route through the field should get you safely across...except the helicopter has room for only one of you.

OBJECTIVE

The first player to reach the golden row of spaces at the top of the board is the winner.

CONTENTS

  • 60 mine location cards (each showing the coordinates of one space on the board)
  • 50 action cards
  • 6 soldiers (two-sided wooden discs in six different colors; one side of each disc shows the number "2," the other side "1")
  • Playing board (with coordinates on each space):
  • claymore

SETUP PHASE

Deal out the 60 mine location cards evenly in enough stacks so that there is one for each player and an extra stack (with 3 players, these stacks are cards; with 4 players, 12 cards; with 5 players, 10 cards). Players may look at their mine location cards immediately. Shuffle the extra stack of mine location cards into the deck of action cards.

Deal five action cards to each player, setting the rest aside in a "draw" pile. Designate an area for a "discard" pile. Each player selects a soldier of their choice. Randomly select a starting player: they will place their soldier, showing the number "2," in the dark green starting zone at one of the spaces on the bottom of the board. Play continues counter-clockwise - once all players have placed their soldiers, the player who went last will be the starting player in the main phase of play.

CONCEPTS

Each soldier has 2 HP from the start, shown by the "2" on that token. When a soldier goes down to 1 HP, flip that soldier over to the side that says "1." When a soldier goes down to 0 HP, the player controlling it takes it off the board.

MAIN PHASE

On your turn, draw a card from the draw pile.

You also have 2 Action Points - or "AP" - to use in order to attempt to reach the end of the board. Every mine location and action card has a description of the action it performs, how much AP it costs to use it, and any other pertinent information. Aside from the cards, here are actions you may ALWAYS perform:

  • Movement - Cost: 1 AP. Move your soldier one space in any direction you choose.
  • Reinforce - Cost: 1 AP. Return a fallen soldier to start area on the board.

In addition to those, here are some of the actions provided on the cards:

  • Detonate - Cost: 1 AP - -2 HP to any soldier on this space. -1 HP to any soldier in an adjacent space (note: Detonate is only shown on mine location cards).
  • Rations - Cost: 2 AP - +1 HP to your soldier.
  • Detection - Cost: 2 AP. Name a coordinate that your soldier is on or is adjacent to. All players must reveal to you one card with at least one of the same letter or number coordinates, if able.
  • Meditation - Cost: 2 AP. Place this card in front of you. On your next turn, you have 3 AP instead of 2. Discard after your next turn.
  • Body Armor - Cost: 2 AP. Place this card in front of you. Whenever your soldier would lose 1 HP, discard this card instead.

Cards must be discarded whenever they are used, unless noted otherwise. You do not need to use every AP you have in a turn, but you will always start the next turn with 2, unless noted otherwise. At the end of your turn, the player to your left begins their turn. If the deck ever becomes empty, continue to play without drawing any cards.

VICTORY

The first player to reach one of the golden spaces at the top of the board wins!

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Entry #9 - Octant by Mistral - 2 votes

OCTANT

Equipment

  • Eight counters (4 black and 4 white)
  • Board:
  • octant

Rules

For 2 players. Player 1 has 4 black counters: Player 2 has 4 white counters.

Play starts with all eight counters placed on the red spaces (one counter per space) so that the colours of the black and white counters alternate. On each turn a player must move one counter to an adjoining space by crossing one line. The winner is the first player to form a semi-circle of their counters on the blue spaces. Players may not miss a turn.

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Entry #10 - Pioneers by stubert - 1 vote

Pioneers

Contents:

  • 48 Terrain Cards (4 sets of 12)
  • 80 Paths (4 sets of 20)
  • 24 Buildings (4 sets of 6)
  • 160 Resource Cards (4 decks of 40)
  • 65 Terrain Tiles (12 Fields, 12 Woods, 10 Waters, 10 Foothills, 9 Mountains, 8 Impasses, 4 Homes)
  • 4 Resource Dice

Setup:

Each player gets 1 set of Terrain Cards, Paths, Buildings and a Home tile of their color. Arrange the non-Home tiles into a hex, with 5 tiles on an edge. Each player then chooses a starting point at the edge of the board, places their Home Tile there (see fig. 1) and places a building on it.

pioneers1

Turns consists of (in order):

  • 1) PAYOUT
  • 2) BUILD
  • 3) BUY

PAYOUT

Roll the dice. The resources on the dice denote how many cards you will draw from which resource deck(s). There are 5 resources – Gold, Metal, Oil, Stone, Wood. Each deck contains 35 resource cards and 5 action cards. If you desire, discard one die and re-roll ANY AMOUNT of the remaining dice. You may do this as many times as you choose, discarding one die each time. Once you are satisfied with the resources shown on the dice, draw the appropriate number of cards from each resource deck.

BUILD

You may reveal any amount of land that you have bought (see BUY). Discard resources from your payment equal to that terrain’s cost (which may be less than you paid), and begin a path at one of your buildings or continue an existing path. Paths are placed across the edge of two adjacent tiles, at a 120° or 180° angle to any path(s) it connects to (see fig. 2). Paths are continued INTO tiles whose terrain matches land you’ve bought. Paths may not branch unless you play an action card that allows it. If you reveal TWO terrain cards of THE SAME TYPE, you may either CONTINUE TWO PATHS or PLACE ONE BUILDING on a tile of that terrain type ANYWHERE on the board (and begin new paths from it, even on the same turn). YOU MAY NOT BUILD ON A TILE CONTAINING ANY OF AN OPPONENT’S PIECES, UNLESS IT IS A CITY. After building, IF AND ONLY IF there is more than one leftover resource (see BUY) that was not used to build, you may reclaim one of them of an opponent’s choice. If there is only one leftover resource, it is discarded. Once you have built on land you’ve bought, return any revealed terrain cards to your hand. There are 12 cities located on the bottoms of certain terrain tiles. Each time a path or building is placed on an unflipped tile, flip it to reveal whether it is a city or not. You will eventually discover where the remaining cities are by process of elimination.

Pioneers2

BUY

Each player gets a set of 12 terrain cards (2 per terrain). To buy land, place your payment on top of a face-down terrain card that matches the tile that will contain your intended path or a tile where you wish to place a building. You may only reclaim that terrain card by building (see BUILD), so if you want to buy land 3 times on the same terrain you must build first, since you only have 2 terrain cards of each type. Payment can be ANY AMOUNT OF RESOURCES OF ANY TYPE, but AT LEAST the minimum necessary to buy a path on that type of terrain (see “COSTS” below). GOLD can be used in place of any resource at a ratio of 2:1 (if you need to pay 1 wood, you may instead pay 2 gold to disguise this). It is up to your opponents to deduce what the face-down card is based upon the resources you have paid. NOTE: Because you have the ability to build buildings ANYWHERE on the board, not just adjacent to tiles with your paths, paying 5 resources where only 3 are necessary can be a useful tactic to confuse your opponents.

COSTS:

  • FIELD – stone, 2oil
  • WOODS – 2metal, oil
  • FOOTHILLS – wood, stone, metal
  • MOUNTAIN – wood, 2oil, metal
  • WATER – 2stone, 2wood
  • IMPASSE – 2wood, 2oil

At the end of your turn, you may only hold 3 resource (or action) cards plus 1 resource/action card per piece of land you’ve bought. You must discard any others.

SCORING

For each city-city connection, the player with the shortest path connecting them gets 3pts – if there is a tie, all tied players get 2pts. Each player gets 1pt for each building they have on the board and an additional 1pt for each of those buildings in a city. A player with 10pts wins immediately. If no player has 10pts by the time either a) every city is revealed, or b) one player has played all their roads AND buildings, the highest score wins.

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Entry #11 - Cave of the Fat Old Dragon by Don Jon - 7 votes

Cave of the Fat Old Dragon

for 2 players

For many years, the Dragon terrorized the Kingdom of Wyvernia – burning villages, devouring livestock, hoarding treasure. It hasn’t been seen lately, though – did it leave? retire? die? Rumor has it that the Dragon has gotten too old to chase after anyone; too fat to leave its cave. Both the Dwarves and Goblins want that treasure, but they know it’s risky – so they send in scouts to see if it’s safe. They each select three of their most dispensable soldiers to check it out. But the Dragon still has a few ways to protect its treasure…

Object:

Be first to reach the Dragon’s Lair (any red space)…and get back out alive!

Components:

  • 7 pawns: 3 Dwarves (yellow)…3 Goblins (green)…1 Dragon (red)
  • 30 rings: 18 yellow/green…2 blue/black/red
  • 20 black markers
  • 42 pennies
  • 3 dice (d6)
  • paper/pen
  • gameboard

fatdragon

Spaces have three-digit numbers…areas have two-digit numbers. Rolls for either are read lowest-to-highest number.

All movement occurs onto spaces. Tunnel-lines connecting them aren’t spaces and may not be occupied.

Player set-up:

Pawns start at appropriate entrance, with one Magic Ring each (black/blue/red). Players secretly record which color represents which Magic Ring.

Fire Resistance Ring…less Dragonfire damage Magic Shovel…through Cave-in with only 1, rather than 3 Magic Battle-Axe…+1 attacks/damage in combat

Yellow/green rings indicate damage. Pawns have 5 life points. Killed pawns are removed from board.

Dragon set-up:

(for more info, see Dragon’s Turn)

Cave-ins

Both straight lines between the Dragon’s Lair & the entrances already have Cave-in spells cast on them. Roll 2d6; count that number of spaces from the Lair, counting the unnumbered red space as 1. Place a marker on that space. Roll of 12 means there are two Cave-ins in that line. Roll 2d6 twice and place them on the appropriate spaces. Rolls of 12, or indicating same space, are rerolled.

Stalactites/Stalagmites

Roll 1d6 for stalactites/stalagmites – twice. Possibly affected areas are those around area 45: 34…35…44…46…55…56 (lowest-to-highest).

Roll of 2 = 35.

Order of play:

Dragon’s Turn Players’ Turns

Dragon’s Turn:

Because the Dragon is paranoid, it regularly casts defensive spells, just in case anyone is trying to sneak up on it. Roll 1d6:

1-2…...Spell fails 3-4…...Stalactites & Stalagmites – 1 point damage 5-6…...Cave-in – 3 points damage, move back 1 (any direction)

When determining affected area/space, reroll if it has already been affected by that Spell.

Stalactites/Stalagmites

These suddenly appear, damaging any creature occupying the spaces, and subsequently making it more difficult for them to move to/from/through these spaces. It costs one extra point of movement to travel through each space affected by either stalactites or stalagmites, two for spaces affected by both. This does not include moves

Roll 2d6 to see which area is affected; lay a penny heads up for stalactites, tails up for stalagmites. These are permanent for the entire game. Areas can have both, through the roll of 5, or if an area with one is later rolled in the game for the other.

Cave-ins

These make it very difficult to move. Besides practically killing anyone on the space, they require three extra points to get past. Roll 3d6 to determine where it occurs. Place a black marker on Cave-in spaces.

Player on 144 with cave-in on that space must move back to 166. Player on 136 could move back to either 144 or 156.

Digging through requires lots of work – and a high roll! Once someone has dug through, remove marker from board.

Player on 156 wants to move through cave-in on 136. On roll of 5, she’d move onto that space, then continue to move two more spaces: 156-136-126-122…or…156-136-144-133.

Players’ Turns:

Initiative: Roll 1d6; higher number first.

Players roll 2d6 and move two pieces those exact numbers of spaces, taking any aforementioned barriers into account. Player may not move past opponent’s pawns (without Cloak of Invisibility) but may move past their own. Full count must be moved; no immediate retracing allowed. If player only has one pawn left, piece may move total of two dice, or either number alone.

Players may land on opponent’s piece (on exact count), resulting in combat. Each rolls 1d6; higher number wins. Loser sustains 1 point damage and is moved one space (winner selects direction).

After each player’s movement, the Dragon reacts. If any player has moved into/within spaces around Area 44 or higher, the Dragon breathes fire. Otherwise, roll 2d6:

2-4……..cast another defensive spell 5-9……..no reaction 10-12…..Dragonfire

Dragonfire

Dragon breathes fire through Lair space closer to most-recently moved piece. Roll 1d6. Fire spreads that number of spaces; count original Lair space as 1. Fire spreads exponentially, in all possible directions. Each pawn in area takes 2 points damage.

Damage Chart (1d6)

roll Combat or Fire roll fire w/ Ring 1-2…..1 1-4……0 3-4…..2 5……...1 5-6…..3 6……...2

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Entry #12 - Clandestine Freedom Movement by oicu12b12 - 5 votes

Clandestine Freedom Movement

A small country's first democratic presidential election was "won" by the current unpopular military dictator. The people are restless, claiming the election was a fraud. The dictator has responded by clamping down on communications and squashing resistance. The people are desperate to let the whole world know about the injustices, so they have organized a system to pass a message out of the country. Will they successfully invite the intervention of other world leaders? Or will the dictator's military police stop their attempt?

Overview

A game for two players. One player becomes the Clandestine Freedom Movement (CFM), attempting to deliver a message from the movement's headquarters to a target destination. The other player becomes military police (MP) attempting to stop the CFM. The CFM player wins if he is able to transport the secret message to the target destination. The MP player wins if he locates the secret message.

Components

  • 1 board divided into three concentric zones:
  • the inner zone contains four areas
  • the middle zone contains eight areas
  • the outer zone contains twelve areas including the airport, dock, train depot and the MP headquarters
  • 9 numbered player pawns
  • six CFM pawns, numbered 1-6
  • three MP pawns, numbered 1-3
  • 4 message tokens (one is the secret message that must be carried to the target destination)
  • 2 player-boards (CFM gets the 6-space board, MP gets the 3-space board)
  • 1 deck of 96 cards (four cards for each of the 24 areas on the board)

Setup

  • The CFM player secretly selects and sets aside two cards:
  • one inner zone card designates the CFM headquarters
  • one airport, dock, or train depot card designates the target destination
  • The other cards are shuffled into one draw pile.
  • The CFM player places the four message tokens face down on the four inner areas, ensuring the secret message token is placed the space corresponding to the card that was drawn.
  • The CFM player places his pawns following these rules:
  • The 1 and 2 pawns may start and/or travel only in the inner or middle zones.
  • The 3 and 4 pawns may start and/or travel only in the middle zone.
  • The 5 and 6 pawns may start and/or travel only in the middle or outer zones.
  • The MP player places his three pawns on the MP Headquarters.
  • Each player places their player-board in front of them. Both players draws six cards each.

CFM_small

Game Play

The game is played with alternating planning and action phases. The CFM player does all of his planning before the MP does his planning. Then, the CFM player takes all of his actions before the MP takes actions.

The Planning Phase

Players may place one card face down on each the numbered spaces on his player-board. When finished, the CFM player may discard any of the remaining cards into the discard pile and draw his hand back up to six cards. When the MP player finishes, he may save or discard any of his remaining cards, but waits to draw until the end of the action phase.

The Action Phase

Players reveal the cards on their player-boards and, following the action rules below, move their corresponding pawns. The players may also move their pawns one orthogonal space for any corresponding area on the player-board that didn't receive a card.

The CFM player may “carry” one message token underneath each pawn. The message token may be passed between two pawns in the same location and may be dropped when a pawn moves to a new location. If a CFM-pawn, carrying the secret message token, arrives at the target destination, the CFM wins the game.

A MP-pawn may “arrest” a CFM-pawn in the same location by taking both pawns to the MP's headquarters where the CFM-pawn will remain for the next planning and action phases. After this, the pawn is “released” to the space from which it was originally arrested. A MP-pawn may also capture a message token. If the captured message token was the secret message, the MP player wins. Otherwise the captured message is removed from the game. The MP player may use up to three of his remaining cards to block off the corresponding spaces for the next round. Before ending his turn, the MP player draws back up to six cards.

Action Rules

  • Players may only play cards that are within three orthogonal spaces of their current position.
  • The CFM's pawns may travel only in their designated zones (see setup).
  • The MP's pawns may travel freely through any zone.
  • Shuffle the discard pile whenever the draw pile becomes exhausted.
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