Skip to Content

[GDS] JULY 2014 "This Game is Stacked"

16 replies [Last post]
richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

July 2014 "This Game is Stacked"

We have a winner!

Stack Skirmish by JewellGames!

Also congratulations to the 2nd and 3rd place entries:

  • 1st - Stack Skirmish by JewellGames
  • 2nd - Workload by kevinburg
  • 3rd - High-rise by nazcagames

Now get on over to the critiques thread and leave your feedback

Back up to speed with 17 entries this month, with a breadth of themes and uses of stacking. Take your time with reading through the entries. VOTING ENTRY FORM

You have from today, 9 July through the end of 15 July to submit your votes.

When reading entries, select your top three entries (you may not select your own)

  • Gold (3 points)
  • Silver (2 points)
  • Bronze (1 point)

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Board and card games are inherently two-dimensional. They're played on flat boards with flat cards, with depth often being an artistic choice.

Games that play vertically are few. And those that exist are often dexterity based "stack the pieces until they fall" games. An exception are the icehouse-family of games, and some bigger-games like Rampage that have a stacked element to them.

What doors does a third dimension add to your design? What choices can you give players to make in that dimension? Can you treat it as something other than a novelty?


  • Design a game that uses stacking as a primary element. Whether it's a mechanic or pre-set components, make sure that stacking is involved
  • You may use whatever theme you like, and whatever scope you like. The game can be a casual 20 minute affair, or an epic three hour game where stacking something is just a main concern of the palyer.

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
Entry #1 - Stack Skirmish


  • 1 round game board (divided into 6 spaces)
  • 16 double-sided hero chips (2 sets of 8)
  • 8 double-sided monster chips


    Each player takes a set of hero chips as their reserve. Then, each player picks a color and flips all hero chips so their assigned color is face up. The monster chips are placed next to the board as a neutral reserve that both players can access. Randomly determine the starting player.

    Taking Your Turn

    On you turn, you can perform one of three actions:

  • Place a hero from your reserve onto any space on the board.
  • Place a monster from the neutral reserve onto any space on the board.

    When a chip is placed onto the board its displayed power is resolved immediately. A power cannot be ignored even if it is unfavorable to the player. However, it is possible for the power to have no eligible target, rendering it ineffective (i.e. a chip with a power that targets an adjacent stack is placed between two empty spaces). Generally, powers are one-time effects, but certain powers (marked by a special symbol) have an ongoing effect while the chip is in play.

  • Move an entire stack already on the board onto an adjacent space.*A stack size can range from one to four chips.*

    If an action or chip’s power would create a stack size that exceeds four chips, even for a moment, it cannot be placed on/moved to that space. If an action or power involves moving chips or an entire stack onto another space this implies that the chips being moved will be stacked on top of any current stack at the destination.

    End of Game

    The game ends when a player has no heroes in their reserve at the **start** of their turn.

    Final Scoring

    You are awarded 1 point for each stack that has your hero on top. And, if that stack's size is four chips you receive an extra point! The player with the most accumulated points is the winner. If there is a tie, the player with more of their heroes in their claimed stacks is the winner. *All stacks with a monster on top are disregarded.*

    Hero Powers

  • Flip the top chip of an adjacent stack.
  • Flip the top chip of the stack across from this space.
  • Destroy the top chip of an adjacent stack.
  • Destroy the top chip of the stack across from this space.
  • Move the bottom chip of an adjacent stack to the top of its stack.
  • Other chips in this stack cannot be flipped or destroyed.
  • Cannot be flipped or destroyed.
  • Reactivate the power of a hero currently on top of an adjacent stack.

    Monster Powers (Incomplete List)

  • Place this on an empty space. Then, destroy an adjacent stack.
  • Put this chip on the bottom of a stack. Then, move the entire stack onto an adjacent space.
  • Place this on top of another monster and destroy it. Then, return a previously destroyed hero back to your reserve.
  • richdurham
    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #2 - Penterwaltz

    Penterwaltz, an abstract game for two players.


    - 36 specially-marked pentominoes pieces, four each of PFVYTZUNL (excluding WXI)
    - a cloth bag to hold them, from which they are drawn randomly during play.

    (If you're not familiar with the pentonimo shapes, I can't help you without a picture, here, but Google knows where plenty of them are.) The pieces are made of wood, similar in heft and feel to Jenga pieces. Note that this game is not about balancing or coordination, but they are likely to stack 4 to 6 high, and you don't want them to slip.

    Every pentomino piece is colored so that three of the squares are white and two black on one side and two white & three black on the other side. The coloration varies, so that the four examples of each shape are colored differently, but always 3/2 on one side, 2/3 on the other.

    In addition to the colors, every piece has two or three stars on it, where the stars indicate the stability points of the piece. When a player places a piece, both (or all three) of the starred squares must be directly supported by at least two different pieces at the level immediately below, or it is not a legal placement. For pentominoes of the same shape, the stars are in the same spot, because they are chosen for structural stability. The squares without a star may be resting on another piece, or not, as the player chooses.

    Players place the pieces (chosen randomly) one at a time, alternating turns. The goal of each player is to have more of his color showing at the end, once all the pieces are placed. Except for the first piece, any piece placed directly on the table must be adjacent to a previously-placed piece (diagonal doesn't count). When playing a piece atop other pieces, remember that the squares marked with stars must rest on existing pieces. Players may choose which side up to place their pieces, though they will usually choose the side with 3 of their own color up.

    The scoring consists of looking straight down at the final structure and counting how many squares of each color are visible. A square is not scored if there is any piece directly above it, at any distance.

    With each placement, a player can always gain one point just by placing a piece on the table with three of his color showing and only two of the opponent's color. If he can tuck some of his piece under the overhang of a higher piece, he might be adding three of his color and only one or none of his opponent's color. If he places the piece on top of existing pieces, he might find a legal placement which covers several squares of his opponent's color, and few or none of his own, for a large swing!

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #3 - Rise of the Pyramids

    Rise of the Pyramids

    2-4 Players Ages 8+ 15-30 Minutes


    In the ancient land of Egypt, competing Pharaohs seek to build the grandest and most impressive pyramid as a symbol of their greatness and to appease the gods. Gather workers, materials, and plan wisely in order to create a monument that will withstand the tests of both time and your adversaries!


    Build the largest and most valuable 2-Dimensional pyramid(s) using stacked cubes and blocks before materials run out to score the most points.


    • 1 Deck of Special Action Cards
    • 1cm Cubes: 100 Yellow, 25 Black & 25 Blue
    • 25 Red Rectangular 1x2cm Blocks


    Each Player begins with the “Starting Worker Team” card face up in front of them, providing 3 Worker Points (WP) to purchase materials for their pyramid.

    Draw a hand of 3 Special Action Cards.

    Sort the 4 material types by color.

    The shortest player goes first.


    On a turn: 1. Play 1 card for its effect and discard any unwanted cards. 2. Use WP to purchase materials to add to your pyramid 3. Draw back up to the 3 card hand limit

    Pyramid Materials:

    Materials are purchases using Worker Points (WP) and are stacked offset in a 2-Dimensional pyramid in front of the player.

    Note: The current pyramid level must be completed (1 cube less than the lower level) before starting the next level. Materials can always be added to level 1 to widen a pyramid for more growth.

    Yellow Ra-Cubes – Cost 1 WP - When the last Ra-Cube is purchased, the game immediately ends and pyramids are scored

    Red Horus-Blocks – Cost 3 WP – Larger blocks provide structural strength.

    Black Anubis-Cubes – Cost 3 WP – Materials touching Anubis-Cubes are protected from opponent’s special abilities.

    Blue Isis-Cubes – Cost 4 WP – Isis-Cubes score bonus points equal to their height level. Limit 1 per level.

    Action Cards:

    A player’s hand of action cards give them powerful one-time or recurring abilities, such as:

    Worker- Gain 1 additional WP for all future turns Feast - Bonus WP to spend this turn Priests – Reduce the WP Cost of specific materials Steal – Take materials from the top of another players pyramid Sabotage - Pull unprotected cubes from another players pyramid Engineer -Start another pyramid And many more!

    Players may use 1 card per turn, discard unwanted cards and draw back up to 3.


    Determine scores immediately after the last yellow Ra-Cube is purchased.

    Each started level is worth 10pts.

    If the pyramid is completed (From top level down: 1 Cube, 2 Cubes, 3 Cubes etc), receive a 25pt bonus.

    Isis Cube values are equals their level height.


    Dave’s pyramid is 10 levels high but is incomplete because the top level has 2 cubes instead of 1. Dave does not receive the 25pt Completion Bonus.

    Dave’s 10 levels give him 100pts. Dave also has Isis-Cubes on levels 1, 5, and 10, granting a 16pt bonus.

    Dave’s final score is 116pts.

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #4 - SQUARES CUBED

    Score points by placing your tokens inside cubes used to build a pyramid. Four players, 30 minutes.

    264 CUBES (one inch hollow cubes, open on one side)
    - 64 each of 4 colors are black outside and colored inside.
    - 8 are black inside and out

    64 TOKENS (three quarter inch solid cubes)
    - 16 of each color

    1 BOARD An 8 by 8 grid of one inch squares, each edge colored.

    DECK of 32 cards, 8 of each color

    Score pad and pen

    Place all CUBES on table open side down so color inside can not be seen. This is the FIELD.
    Each player gets all 16 TOKENS of their color
    Shuffle deck and turn over a card. The player with these colored TOKENS is the first player on the first round.

    On each round one card is turned over by the first player to reveal the KEY COLOR for the round. Only CUBES with this KEY COLOR may be scored.

    Starting with the first player, each player will -
    1 - Select one CUBE from the FIELD and choose whether to play it on the BOARD or return it to the FIELD.
    CUBES may be played with the opening up, down, or facing a colored edge.
    Once a CUBE has been played it may not be moved.
    CUBES are played on top of other CUBES only by centering them squarely over the point where four CUBES come together. There may not be any missing CUBES below.
    The totally black CUBES may only be placed with the open side down. The player should not tell others what, if any, color is inside a face down cube.

    2 - Choose whether to place one TOKEN in any CUBE.
    CUBE must match KEY COLOR
    TOKENS may only be placed in CUBES with an accessible open side. TOKENS may not be placed in face down CUBES.

    3 - Score points.
    Base Points - 1 point for each level high the cube is. i.e, if the cube is on the first, base level they get 1 point, if it is on the highest, 7th, level they get 7 points.

    Double Points - If KEY COLOR matches the player’s TOKEN, double the points.
    If the KEY COLOR matches the EDGE the CUBE is facing double the points. There is no EDGE point multiplier for cubes facing up.

    Triple Points - If the Key Color matches both the player’s TOKEN and the EDGE the cube is facing triple their points.

    After each player has had a turn the last player of the round becomes the first player for the next round.

    Once the 7th level is filled the next player places a single, face down CUBE on top to ‘Cap the Pyramid’ and end the game.

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #5 - Tower

    18 building blocks in 6 colors
    - 6 small blocks 1x1x1
    - 6 medium blocks 1x1x2
    - 6 large blocks 1x1x3
    2 dice
    - color dice
    - number dice 1/1/1/2/2/3

    The oldest player starts the first round.
    Player rolls the dice. He/she places the block in the middle of the table (or floor).
    Now the game continues in clockwise. The players taking turns by rolling the dice and placing the block on top of the last block using only one hand!
    By placing the block the color die shows the color and the number die shows the size of the block (1/2/3 = small/medium/large) what player must place.
    If there is not appropriate block available player must use 1 of the 2 dice to choose the block. If still there is not appropriate block available the player misses the turn.

    If the tower collapses the current player is out of the game. Next player starts another building round. The game ends if there is only one player left in game. He/She is the winner.
    if player during the game places successfully the last block He/She is also the winner of the game.

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #6 - TriXagon

    A game of strategic stacking for 2 or 3 players. Tri and see all the angles.


    A large wooden game board shaped like a hexagon with 24 equilateral triangles drawn on it. There are pegs at each of the points of the triangles (19 pegs total in five rows 3, 4, 5, 4, 3). Each player receives 30 coloured beads with holes in them that can be stacked up to three high on the pegs. Each player also receives 15 coloured triangular pieces that can be stacked in the triangle spaces between the pegs.


    The players take turns placing one bead at a time on a peg. A player gets a bonus action if the newly placed bead gives that player control of a triangle space (meaning the player has the topmost bead on two or more pegs surrounding the triangle). The bonus action is to either place another bead or place a triangular piece in the triangle space. A chain reaction where a player places multiple beads in succession is possible. However, a player may not place two beads on the same peg in the same turn. The triangular pieces can be stacked on top of each other until no more beads can be placed around that triangle. Each player’s triangular pieces are limited so choose wisely whether to place one or not. It is also possible for one bead to give a player control of multiple triangles. He or she chooses a bonus action for each newly controlled triangle.

    Game End

    The first player to form a TriXagon or have the topmost triangular piece in any 9 triangle spaces wins. A TriXagon means 6 triangles around a central point forming a hexagon (two rows of three triangles).

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #7 - Toppling Towers


    Move and stack tower cylinders to score, bounce the ball to topple tower cylinders and prevent other players from scoring.


    Each player receives

    16 tiles to create a 4 x 4 grid board

    Red tent – grass - grass - blue tent
    Grass - yellow city - green city - grass
    Grass - blue city - red city - grass
    Green tent – grass - grass - yellow tent

    2 wall cylinders and 1 roof cylinder in four colors
    2 grey cylinders for catapults,
    2 dice with faces of red, blue, yellow, green, grey, action

    Other components

    8 fortification discs
    1 small bouncing ball.

    Cylinder Movement

    After rolling the 2 color dice a player can

    Introduce a new cylinder to their board, if it corresponds to a rolled color. Walls and roofs enter on matching color tent tiles and catapults on grass tiles. A maximum of 6 counter stacks can be on a players’ board at any one time.

    Move a cylinder that matches the color of a dice result 1 space for each result, horizontally or vertically.

    Stack a cylinder on top of a cylinder on an adjacent tile if the colors of both cylinders are represented in the dice results. Stacking two cylinders of the same color requires 2 separate dice results.

    Activate the special action of a single cylinder or stack.

    Special Actions

    The wall cylinders have different actions according to their colors. A player can activate the level 1 action of any singular cylinder on their tiles for each action result rolled.

    If a player rolls 2 action results they can activate a level 2 action corresponding to the top counter of any 2 cylinder stack.

    Grey – Catapult

    1 – bounce the ball at the cylinders on an opponents tiles. It can only bounce once, mid table, before connecting. Toppled cylinders are removed from the opponents board / tiles.

    2 – the ball can bounce twice.

    Mage – Blue

    1 – remove 1 stack from their tiles to keep it safe until their next turn.

    2 – remove 2 stacks

    Meteorologist – Yellow

    1 – force any player to bounce the ball with their off-hand on their next turn.

    2 – force any player to bounce the ball with their eyes closed on their next turn.

    Engineer – Green

    2 – place 2 fortification discs on the table to impede the bouncing ball of any catapult shots. It remains until the placers next turn.

    2 – grab the ball in flight.

    Red – Spy

    1 – move 1 stack of another player

    2 – move 2 stacks


    Walls can be completed by adding a roof. No stack can contain more than 2 wall cylinders. If a stack occupies a city tile and its roof matches the color of the tile it can be scored and removed.

    Players receive 1 point for completed tower stacks with 1 wall, 2 points for stacks with 2 walls of any color and 3 points for stacks with 2 walls of the same color.

    The first player to score 6 points is the winner

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #8 - Piles of the Dead

    Piles of the Dead


    You are a small group of survivors, and have barricaded yourselves behind a wall. Each night, hordes of zombies push against the barricades, climbing on top of each other to get over the walls and into your camp. To survive you must kill attacking zombies, reinforce the barricades, and find supplies.


    1 Board

    1 Die

    1 Scavenge Die

    Survivor Figures

    Wall Tiles

    Zombie Tiles - Two sides: Undead Zombie or Dead Body

    Ammo Tokens

    Zombie Cards


    Zombies have 3 lanes of attack, plus one for each player. Make a wall 3 tiles high at the end of each lane. Players get 3 survivors each.



    Survivors prepare for the night by taking actions including:

    • Scavenge - Roll the scavenge die to get wall tiles or ammo tokens
    • Reinforce Wall - Add 3 wall tiles to the wall
    • Remove 3 bodies (Bodies will pile up, and need to be cleared out)
    • Defend Wall with a gun (Costs 1 ammo)
    • Defend Wall


    Make a deck of Zombie Cards, which gets more difficult each night. Each turn during the night:

    1) Draw a Zombie card to see how many zombies are placed, and in which lanes of attack.

    2) Move each Zombie 3 spaces if able, starting with those closest to the wall.

    Zombie movement is blocked if a stack of tiles is too high. Zombies can climb onto a stack of tiles that is one higher than the stack the Zombie is on, or two stacks higher if climbing onto a Dead Body.

    Zombies move forward if able. Otherwise, the Zombie moves to another lane. Zombies next to the wall only move to another lane if it has a higher stack with a body on top. Players decide which lane if there is more than one option. Once on the other side of the wall, Zombies will move to the closest survivor.

    3) Zombies next to a survivor attack it. Zombies next to the wall but not a survivor attack the wall. If a 1 or 2 is rolled, the attack is successful, removing the survivor or a tile from the wall.

    4) Defending survivors take an action:

    • Get a Wall Tile from the supplies.
    • Place a Wall Tile on the Wall (not on top of a dead body).
    • Defend a lane of attack (only one survivor per lane)

    Defenders with a gun shoot at the closest Zombie. Roll a die, killing the Zombie if the range to the Zombie is matched or exceeded.

    Defenders without a gun can only attack a Zombie next to them, or next to the barricade in their lane. Roll 3 or higher to kill the Zombie.

    When a Zombie is killed, its tile is flipped over and left where it was. In this way, the Zombies pile up outside the walls.

    Once all Zombies are killed, the next Day begins, for survivors to prepare for the night. If the defending survivors are killed, the survivors lose.

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #9 - Grab a Stack

    A game of greed and timing for 2 to 4 players.

    OBJECT: Be the player with the most points by the time the draw pile is empty.

    - Three sets of tokens numbered 0, 1, 2, 3, or [star]. Each set is a different colour and of slightly different shape (pentagons, hexagons, and octagons, respectively).
    - 8 circular tokens labeled with a star.
    - A deck of Agenda Cards
    - A draw pile container: bag or box.

    Take one token from each set labeled 0 and array them in an area within reach of all players. Give each player two circular tokens. Shuffle and deal up to 3 Agenda cards to each player. Agenda cards are kept secret until SCORING.

    The player whose birthday comes up next plays first, then play continues clockwise.

    On their turn, the active player takes one token from the draw container.
    - If it's a token numbered 1 through 3, they place it on any matching stack.
    - If it's a token numbered 0, they start a new stack by placing that token in an open space.
    - If it's a token labeled with a star, they keep it.

    After drawing and either placing or keeping a token, the active player may choose to "grab a stack" by turning in a star token.
    - Using a circular star token allows a player to grab a stack of any colour.
    - Using a coloured star allows a player to grab a stack only of that colour.
    A stack that's grabbed becomes the property of the player who grabbed it, and is considered out of bounds until SCORING.

    After the active player chooses whether or not they want to grab a stack, the rest of the players may elect to grab a stack by submitting star tokens, first come, first serve.

    There is no limit to the number of stacks a player may take on a turn, as long as they have enough star tokens to do so.

    Play continues clockwise, with the active player drawing, placing or keeping, optionally grabbing, and then the rest of the players optionally grabbing.

    The game ends at any point when the draw container is empty. Remaining stacks may be grabbed by any player with star tokens remaining, first come, first serve.

    To learn a player's basic score, simply add up the numbers on the pieces they've grabbed during the game.
    After computing the basic score, players consider their Agenda Cards to earn bonus points. Players acquire bonus points for achieving - or penalty points for not achieving - the criteria on the Agenda Cards they possess.
    After Agenda Cards are calculated, the player with the most points remaining wins the game!

    - You possess and even/odd number of matching tokens. 5 Points.
    - Two different colour tokens are equal in number. 7 Points.
    - You possess twice as many of colour of tokens than the two other colours combined. 8 Points.
    - You possess no tokens of one colour. 4 Points.

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #10 - Beaverdam



    Board – - It’s a walled board that is set on an angle. The angle can be adjusted to make the game more or less difficult.
    - The board has peg holes in it to accommodate ‘trees’. The closer to the bottom, the more disperse the trees are - At the bottom of the board, there is a building area for the dams.

    Trees – - Plastic trees of different sizes and shapes also come with the game. Mostly these are the barren and dead type trees you would see in a swamp.
    - You can set up the board so that the smaller trees are higher up on the board producing a 3-D perspective layout. OR just randomly place trees on the board.

    Water – - There are marbles (glass may be too heavy) of varying sizes.
    - After the board has been set up, put the marbles at the top of the board, supported by the trees.

    Basic Game Play:

    1. Start by removing a tree from the game board and using it to build a dam in the building area.
    2. Build up your dam to catch as much water as possible.
    3. Continue until all of the water (marbles) has passed into the building area.
    4. Whoever can collect the most water (number of marbles) wins the game.

    Alternative Rules

    When I came up with this concept I thought it was too simple and basic, but the more I thought about it, the more interesting things got. It doesn’t seem like a lot of strategy, but there is. The plinko style board means you want to try to create a river path to your dam. But you also want to use the largest trees first. You could also try to block or direct the water towards your goal and away from your foe’s. Being able to adjust the angle of the board is also a sure way to keep things interesting. Anyways, this game leaves itself open to many alternative rules and missions. Here are some examples

    Scenario #1 – divide the bottom of the board by the number of players. These are towns you are trying to save. Try to flood your opponents village.

    Scenario #2 – place the house miniature on the board below the building area. Players work cooperatively to try to save the house from the flood.

    Scenario #3 – Players work together trying to collect all of the water. Make a dam that will not break.

    Scenario #4 – Try making a dam into a water ramp. See who can get the most water to jump the wall of the board.

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #11 - High-Rise



    • Game Board – 3x3 grid for 2 players, 4x4 grid for 3-4 players, 5x5 grid for 5-6 players
    • 54 Objective Cards
    • 75 1” cubes - In 5 different colors (15 in each color).


    1. Place the game board on the table.
    2. Shuffle the Objective Cards and deal each player 6 cards.
    3. The player that last stepped inside an elevator goes first.


    Players are working together as construction managers to build a high-rise building. Each player will also have their own individual objectives they are trying to complete for their client dictated by their cards. So players will be competing against each other to get the most points by completing their objective cards. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins.

    On Your Turn…

    You must do one of the following.

    1. Place a cube on the game board in an empty square or directly on top of a cube (a cube can’t straddle more than one cube).
    2. Or draw another Objective Card and you may discard one from your hand.

    Completing objectives.

    Each objective card has a simple pattern of colors. For example, an objective card could have a diagonal row of three red squares, or two green squares and a blue square in a vertical row, or a five purple squares in a cross pattern. Each card will have between 3-6 colored squares in a pattern and a point value ranging from 3 to 12 points depending on the difficulty of the pattern. To complete an objective, the pattern must be visible from one of the faces of the building: left, right, front, back, or from the top. The objective cards can be freely rotated to meet the objective. And the cubes do not need to be in the same ‘plane’ in order to satisfy the objective as long as the color pattern is visible in one of the orthogonal directions. When you or your opponent places a cube that completes one of your objective cards, reveal the card and place it in front of you to show that it’s completed. If you are able to complete two objective cards on a single turn, you score double points for the card that has the lower point value. Place that card in front of you sideways to show it scores double the points.

    Game End

    The game ends when one player has completed their 6th objective card at which point all other players get one final turn. The game also immediately ends when the last cube is placed. At the end of the game, players count up the points they have in front of them. Each card still left in a player’s hand is worth -1 point.


    Demolition – Players that knock over the cubes will get -1 points for each cube (max of 5).

    Draft Plan – Players draft their starting hand of 6 objective cards.

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #12 - Skyward - War above the Stars

    War above the Stars

    The United Planets (UP) are being attacked by the Devastators - treacherous aliens from another galaxy. One player takes the role of the UP and fights to take back the planets it lost, while one player takes the role of the Devastators and battles to capture the remaining UP planets.

    Capture all of the other faction's planets.

    A modular hex map that contains 8 planets (4 each for each side). Each planet is composed of 7 ground tiles, but the rest of the board is made up of space tiles.

    There are two types of pieces, units and markers.

    There are two categories of units, ground units and space units. The space units include, in order from weakest to strongest: fighter, bomber, corvette, frigate, destroyer, cruiser, and capital ship. Ground units include: infantry and armor. Each unit is a tokens, and these tokens can be stacked on each other in certain situations. Each unit(s) must be placed on a hex. Ground units may only move on ground hexes. However, they may be transported through space by a ship. When they are carried by a spaceship, they are stacked on top of the ship. Ground units are used for defending a planet or attacking a planet. Space units may travel through space.

    Dimension markers
    Integral to the game is the concept of dimension markers. The game is uniquely 3 dimensional. Unlike traditional board games, there are three levels on the vertical axis. To represent the level the space unit is on, each space unit must be stacked on a dimension marker when it is on a space hex. There are three colors of dimension markers: red, yellow, and blue. Each of these colors correlates to one of the levels. Red is the base level (level 1), yellow is the second level, and blue is the top level (level 2).

    To initiate combat, a unit must be within range of an opposing unit, and must be on the same plane (as in geometrical axis). For example, two space units may be on two hexes that are adjacent; however, if the units are stacked on different dimension markers, they may not be able to shoot at each other. Because most units (with the exception of cruisers and capital ships) cannot shoot up or down, navigating ships between the vertical levels to avoid attacks or setup attacks is crucial to the game.

    Each unit has a strength value and an evade value. The number determines how many dice the player gets to roll. After rolling dice, each player takes their highest dice and compare them. If the attacker has a higher value than the defender, the attacker scores a hit. If the defender has a higher value than the attacker, the defender evades the attack.

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #13 - Workload


    "Welcome back to your cubicle! This stack here? It's your job to get through that. Oh, Boss wanted me to do this one energy-intensive thing, but I'm leaving it here so you can do it instead. Back to work, now! That promotion's going to be mine, by the way."

    In Workload, players manage resources while manipulating stacks of cards. Cards can move between stacks but, as with a stack in the data structure sense, only to and from the top.


    Get promoted! Sift through your workload most effectively to earn the most points.


    5 Job Stacks (1 per player; 15 Task cards per stack) Resource Cubes: Brain Power, Focus, and Energy (20 each)


    Starting Resources: Distribute 1 Brain Power, Focus, and Energy Cube to each player. All remaining resource cubes will serve as the supply. Job: Shuffle the Job Stacks and distribute 1 face-up Job Stack to each player.


    Job Stacks consist of 15 unique Task Cards, each with a scoring requirement (resources needed to score the task) and a point value (awarded when scored).

    Card Examples

    • Coffee Run: Spend 2 Energy: +1 score
    • Filing: Spend 2 Focus & 1 Energy: +2 score
    • Debugging: Spend 4 Brain Power: +4 Score


    Players take turns going clockwise. On a player's turn, he may either

    1) Score the top card of his stack by spending its resource requirement (return resources to supply). Each Player places all cards he scores face-up together in his own score area on his side of the table.

    2) Perform an action. Actions give the player +1 of a resource (take from supply) and manipulate his stack. There are three actions to choose from:

    • +1 Brain Power: Rearrange your top 3 cards.
    • +1 Focus: Trash your top 2 cards, removing them from the game (all players trash into a single trash pile in the center of the table).
    • +1 Energy: Place your top card on top of another player's Stack

    Empty Supply: Whenever supply contains 0 cubes of a resource, players performing the action associated with that resource do not gain +1.

    End of Game

    Stop play once any player's stack runs out of cards. Tally points from scored cards. The player with the most points wins and gets the promotion!

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #14 - Stapel


    Stapel is an Abstract game for 2 players. It is a short game, where the object of the game is to control more areas than your opponent, by trying to stack your pieces on top of your opponent’s pieces.


    1 3x3 Squared Grid board
    5 Black Discs (in different sizes)
    5 White Discs (in different sizes)


    Each player starts the game with 5 discs of different sizes outside of the board.


    In your turn, the active player can choose:

    • Place a new disc in the Board;
    • Make a move.


    You can choose to place one of your remaining discs in the board. To do so, you must place it in any EMPTY space OR on TOP of YOUR OWN pieces. To place a piece on top of one of your others discs, the new disc MUST be smaller than the one already in the board.


    To make a move, you must choose one disc in the board and move it one space orthogonally adjacent. NO DIAGONALLY MOVES.

    You can only make moves to EMPTY spaces OR to spaces that have a disc bigger than the one you are moving. It does not matter which color that disc is.


    A player control an area when it has the top disc of the stack in that area. Consider a single disc as a stack of 1 disc.
    You cannot move discs that have other discs on top of it.


    The game ends when the last disc is placed on the board.
    The winner is the player that have more areas in his control.

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #15 - Stack Overflow

    Stack Overflow

    2-4 Players

    You have a batch of processes you need to compute, but there are only a few servers available and their memory and space is limited, make sure your processes are the first to be computed because if the server memory is already full your processes will be overflowed out of the stack.


    - 25 cards per player : 14 Process(1-14 Memory Cost), 6 Special Process, 5 Action
    - 8 order tokens per player : 4 Idle, 4 Compute.
    - 10 server cards, each card has a Memory Space(5,10,15,30) and a Process Space( 2,3,4,5), some of them have special effects, e.g. When computing, the second Process is discarded.
    - A bunch of $1 money tokens.


    Each player shuffles their same color 25 cards deck and draw 5 cards.

    Shuffle the Server deck and randomly draw n+1 cards and put them into play, where n is the number of players.


    Each player must place an order token facedown over each server card.

    All orders are revealed and players get a money token for each Idle order they played.

    Then for each server with a Compute order, starting with the leftmost server, every player with a Compute order there must bet secretly any amount of money, the player who bid more is the first to play a process card there, the second that bid more is the second player to play,etc.

    Any tie between players can be broken by paying more money or discarding cards (each card counts as $1).

    The first player puts a process card face down over the server card or any card already there, the next one puts another over the last card, etc, forming a stack of Processes.

    At end of turn, servers that have a number of Process cards equal or greater than its Process Space start computing.

    When computing, cards on the server are revealed in the order there were placed (from bottom to top, as a Queue), when revealing cards add their memory cost, if a card memory cost plus the last cards memory costs doesn’t exceeds the server memory space that Process is computed (is put into a computed pile) ,if it does exceeds the memory space, discard it and all next cards to their owner discard pile.

    Players draw 2 cards from their deck, and a new turn starts unless a player wins by having computed all their Processes(your deck is empty and you reveal your hand and you only have action cards or no cards).

    Special process have Memory costs like normal ones, but they have effects depending in their order on the stack, e.g. Memory Leak [Memory cost: 13] : Discard the next cards in the stack.

    Action cards cost money to play, e.g. LIFO [ Money cost 8] : Play before computing, cards in that server are computed in reverse order.

    richdurham's picture
    Joined: 12/26/2009
    Entry #16 - Les Miserables: Barricades of Freedom


    • One to four players
    • Players cooperate to build barricades, defend against the army, and inspire an uprising across Paris.
    • Players win by reaching 10 uprising points. Points are gained by “raising the flag” (placing a player piece) on top of a barricade (wall of wooden cubes). Higher barricades gain more points.
    • Players lose if any street no longer has a complete barricade in it.


    • Board
      • Map of three streets meeting in a Y-intersection. Evenly spaced along each street are three “chokepoints” (the width of 5 wooden cubes) where barricades can be built.
      • Along each side of each street are two shopfronts (behind the outer and middle chokepoints).
    • Uprising point track
    • 60 wooden cubes.
    • 50 Item cards
      • 40 loot cards
        Used to claim cubes for barricades. Each card has a diagram specifying how cubes can be placed (eg. “Chair” 3 cubes in an L-shape, “Beam” a line of 3, “Table” a square of 4).
      • 10 cobblestone cards
        Used to EITHER place 2-4 cubes in anywhere on a barricade, OR take a fight action.
    • 4 player pieces
    • 4 player ability cards (eg. take extra build action; take extra move action etc.)
    • 15 army pieces (1 cannon and 4 unique soldiers per street)
    • 18 army action cards
      Each card specifies which piece will take what action. Soldiers either wound a player in line of site, move up to a barricade, or remove a cube from an adjacent barricade. Cannons remove a cube from barricade in line of site.

    Game setup

    1. Place a cobblestone card behind each chokepoint.
    2. Place five loot cards on each shopfront.
    3. Place player pieces in the intersection.
    4. Place barricades one cube high across the three chokepoints surrounding the intersection.
    5. Start the Uprising track on 1

    Round sequence

    One player takes actions, followed by army and uprising phases.


    Player takes any three actions:

    • Move: anywhere on a street
    • Take: a cobblestone card from under you or loot a shopfront next to you.
    • Drop: (for no action cost) Place a card you hold underneath you.
    • Build: Discard a card from underneath you. Following the card diagram place the cubes on the nearest barricade.
    • Fight: Discard a cobblestone from underneath you. Remove an adjacent army piece.

    Raise the flag (optional): place your piece on the nearest barricade


    Draw and resolve three army cards. Pieces are initially deployed to end of a street. If a piece has already been deployed resolve its action.

    If a player is wounded she returns her piece to an intersection and discards her ability.

    If any street no longer has at least one complete barricade (five cubes across and one high) players lose the game.


    If active player’s piece is on a barricade:

    1. Move Uprising track up the number of points equal to the number of complete layers in the barricade.
    2. Move player piece behind the barricade.

    At 10 Uprising points players win the game.

    Syndicate content

    forum | by Dr. Radut