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[GDS] JUNE 2016 "It's Tourney Time"

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

Entries are in

Another small field this month with 3 strong entires. So again, in lieu of a formalised vote we'll go right to the comments and critiques.

When you critique, list the entries in order from favourite to least favourite along with your critique. Talk about how the game did/did not meet the requirements, and what you think the most promising parts of the game are.

Here is a link to the critique thread.

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Convention season is upon us! (Well, the US, not all of “us”). So our GDS this month revolves around the inevitable tournaments and rapid game play that you see at conventions Start off by thinking of some games that you know have regular tournaments. Probably a collectible card game or “living” card game, right? Or a tabletop war game? Or a classic, like Catan or Chess or some such.

What makes them good tournament games? Is there a design you can make that overtly lends itself to organised or tournament play? And can you do it without being a predominantly-card game, or tabletop war game?

That’s your challenge for June:

Design a game that naturally lends itself to organised play events (competitive tournaments or other). Restrictions on your design are:

  • Your game can not be a card-game, or a tabletop war game (the likes of Warhammer, X-Wing, Flames of War, Malifaux, etc).
  • It must be a game for more than 1 person (no solo player games going for a “high score”)

You may use any other mechanics, components, play-styles, player-counts, etc.

On to the details!

Component restriction: None Mechanic restriction: Recognises the potential for, encourages, and regulates alpha gamers in a Cooperative game.
**Theme restriction: None

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: the 2nd through the 9th

  • Voting: Through the 16th. 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 - CCG the Board Game

CCG: The Board Game

Are you tired of the meta-game in your preferred collectible card game? Then try CCG: The Board Game, where you can meta-meta-game! Play as an eager Timmy, a clever Johnny, a decisive Spike, and other characters as you explore the neighborhood, collect booster packs, and prove that you are the king of Yugi-mon: The Hearth Master. Win by beating all the other kids on the block and becoming the reigning champ, or by collecting a jaw-dropping amount of the ultra-rare shiny cards and wowing your friends into submission.

Components (all rough estimates)

  • 20 neighborhood tiles
  • 70 resource tokens
  • 30 OP dice
  • 30 OP cards
  • 5 player markers


CCG: The Board Game is designed for 2-5 players, and will on average take 30-45 minutes to play. To begin, shuffle the neighborhood tiles. The number of tiles and shape of the formation they are placed depends on the number of players - distribute them face-down accordingly. Next, place the home tiles. These are the tiles your players start on, and move back to when they lose a duel. After first player is decided, players take turns moving their characters to collect booster pack and shiny card tokens. Players can move two spaces a turn, and collect the resource tokens on the tile they end their turn on. When a player moves on to a face-down tile, that tile is flipped over and remains so for the rest of the game. Booster or shiny tokens are then placed on that tile according to the resources the tile provides. Resource tokens are replaced at the end of every round. If a player ends their turn in a Mega-Card Outlet, they may decide to spend their resources on OP cards. There are 5 kinds of OP cards: Budget, Aggro, Combo, Control, and Ultimate. Each type requires different booster packs to purchase, and provides a different OP card die. With the purchase of an OP card die, the player draws their OP card from the corresponding stack. Each OP card is unique, and provides a player with resource tokens or a special ability.


Duels are at the heart of CCG: The Board Game. A player initiates a duel by moving into another player’s tile. A duel begins with both players declaring the number of OP cards they are using. Players resolve OP card abilities, and roll their OP card dice. Whoever scores the most attacks wins the duel. The losing player is forced out of their space and moves back to their home tile. If a player loses 3 duels, they are eliminated.

Shiny Card Tokens and Winning

Shiny card tokens are obtained multiple ways: some tiles or OP cards give players shiny tokens, and players can exchange one of each booster token at a Mega-Card Outlet to acquire one. Timmy also begins the game with 2 shiny cards. A player wins when they are the last player standing, or if they collect 10 shiny card tokens.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 2 - Roboprospectors


Object: each player controls a robotic prospector which makes money finding precious gems. The tourney aspect of this game is that after each game, the prospector goes to an unknown terrain board (which they may or may not be prepared for from the previous game). Also, the total money at the end determines the winner. There are no winners of individual games.

Set up. Each player starts with a roboprospector with some basic features. Players have money to update the features. These features may affect speed, ability to go over certain terrain (such as water) ability to detect particular gems, energy source (solar or battery for example) and defensive abilities among others.
Each terrain board is different. The tourney organizers choose these in advance without the player’s knowledge. On each board, there are towns to sell gems and buy supplies and update features. There are also (randomly distributed) gems of different values.

Each gem has a base value which is the same everywhere. Every turn that none of that type of gems are sold, the value of those gems goes up on that board. When gems are sold, their value goes down. The value of gems on one board has no effect on the value of gems on another.

Game play. Each player starts in the middle of the board and secretly chooses a destination. The destinations are simultaneously revealed. Two or more players can share the same space. If they do and a gem is present, then the player with the highest die roll (2d6) gains the gem. Defensive weapons will add to die rolls. Despite the presence of weapons, all robots are immortal. If a robot runs too low of fuel, they can call for a refueling drone, but this will cost several turns depending on distance.

If players go to towns, they first can opt to sell their gems. The players secretly decide which gems they want to sell and after revealing this information, the price of gems is adjusted and the players receive their money. If more than one town is being used in a turn, the prices are based on all of the gems being sold.

The players may then choose to buy goods and/or update their features. The price is the same for each town in a board. However, the prices may be different for different boards, depending on how useful that item is in the environment of that board. Items including gems have specific weights and there are limits on the total weight that can be carried (but carriers can be purchased).

The game proceeds for a given number of turns. After the end of each game, each player goes to the next board. They will have a new set of opponents (predetermined). At the end of the game, the player with the most money wins!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 3 - Triumverate

This is a three player game, where three powerful figures vie for absolute power through clever ploys and temporary alliances.

Each player should have the same set of around 30 different Ploy cards, before the start of every game, each player chooses 20 cards, and places them in a small deck in order. Each player also has three die representing military power, popular support, and personal wealth.

At the start of each game, players randomly sit in a circle, and looks at the player on the right's deck, without changing the order. Pick a player to go first, who draws five cards. The second player draws six and places one to the bottom of the deck. The last player draws five, but gets a preparation token.

Play proceeds clockwise. Each turn, players may set down one ploy face down and draw another ploy. Then they may activate none or any number of ploys they have facedown. However, you cannot use the points you used this turn. At the end of your turn, you may add a preparation token to up to three face down ploy cards of any player.

Ploy cards may allow you to gain points in military, support or wealth. Most ploys require a certain number of preparation tokens to activate. The effect of a ploy may change depending on number of preparation tokens or your current points. Some ploys can be activated in response to another player's actions. Some ploys have a lasting effect after activated.

The final goal is to either kill the other two players, activate certain ploy cards, or have the most points at the end of the game.

Example ploy cards:
Military coup: If you have more military power than the other two players combined, you win. Preparation gives a bonus. If you fail, you are killed.
Bribe: Lose up to X points of personal wealth to transfer that many points of military power from another player to you. X is preparation.
Arm the populace: all players gain half of their popular support in military power. rounding down. Req 3 preparation.
Spy: remove all preparation from this card, flip it back, peek at another player's ploy. Req 3 preparation.
Body Double: If you are killed, you can activate this ploy and nullify death and then activate another ploy.

Main Ideas:
Players should devise a "deck" before entering a game. The deck guides their overall strategy.
Players can disrupt person to their left, by acting just before their turn. However, Players have more information on person to their right, if they are keeping track.
You can use your own cheapo deck or ornate deck, as long as the card backs are the same.

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