Skip to Content

[GDS] MARCH 2014 "And make mine random!"

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

We have a winner!

Tornado Town

Spinning and twisting into first place, Tornado Town tore up the competition! A close second place goes to Exo Prime. Both are truly outstanding entries for this month's challenging competition. There is much to discuss about this particular challenge, and with the high level of participation there's bound to be some fascinating points raised about all of games. Congrats to all our participants; now let's start generating some feedback!.

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Entries are posted!

Take a good look through the entries this month. There are plenty of unique uses for spinners represented, and hopefully a few solid games as well.

Let the voting begin!

There are a lot of ways to randomize information in a game, because it's a great way to summarize all the crazy variables you don't want to worry about simulating.

But as you all know, not all randomizers are created the same, nor should they. You can do some things easier with cards than with dice - like modeling conditional probability problems, for instance. And of all the randomizers, drawing cards/tokens and rolling dice are probably the most common.

March's GDS looks at a lowly, oft ignored randomizer: the spinner.

Under-utilized perhaps because its randomizing ability is similar to dice, spinners are nevertheless a unique component. Recent games like Tzolk'in have reintroduced at least the presence of "spinny-things" even if they aren't necessarily used to randomize anything in that game.

You challenge this month is to look at the spinner - I mean really look at it. What does it offer a game? How is it physically different from dice, and how can you use that? Then you must design a game where a spinner features prominently and uses it to randomize something - not just track progress like in Tzolk'in.

Be one with the spinner.

Good luck.

Now the standard 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 PM submissions to richdurham with the following subject line.

Subject: GDS - MAR - [your username]

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

  • Voting: Through the 15th. PM your votes to mindspike.

  • 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 were 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 - Critter Scramble

Critter Scramble

3-6 players 20 to 30 minutes Make pairs and collect all the chips. Just make sure you don’t claim a pair that ain’t there.


6 Spinners Board - Center Pot Bank with 120 chips – 40 each labeled ‘Color’, ‘Word’ and ‘Number’. 12 second timer bell Optional: Beer and pretzels or WAY too much sugar


There are 6 spinners in the game and each is unique. There are 12 pie shaped wedges on each spinner board. Each wedge has a color, a color word, a number and some critters.

Color - The wedges are colored red, purple, blue, green, yellow or orange in no particular order.

Word - Somewhere on each wedge is a word - red, purple, blue, green, yellow or orange. The word does not match the color of the wedge.

Number - Each wedge also has a number, 1 to 6 printed on it somewhere, again in no particular order.

Critters - And to top it off, every wedge has random, unique cartoony critters, none matching any on other wedges in the game. The critters are in gangs of 1 to 6, but the number of critters in the gang will not match the number on that wedge.

For example, one wedge might be colored blue, have the word “RED” printed on it close to the axel, the number “4” on the outside edge and one cartoon donkey half way out. Another wedge might be yellow, have a school of 6 cartoon fish peering in from the edge, the word “Green” somewhat centered and the number 4 near the axel.

Each spinner will have at least one wedge of each color, color word and number, but may have 2 or 3.

Game Set-up

Each player gets one spinner and 6 chips.

The Bank puts one chip in the pot for each of three possible matching types; color, word and number, making sure that all chips in a pot are labeled with the matching type.

Order Of Play:

  1. Bank adds one chip to each segment of the pot, matching label on the chip to the pot.
  2. One player starts the timer (set for 12 seconds).

Simultaneously, each player spins their spinner. As the spinners stop all players look for sets of 2 or more matching colors, words or numbers. When they see a match they may take as many chips as they can with one single-handed grab from that segment of the pot.

Once the timer dings no player may touch the spinners or the chips remaining in the pot.

Players then compare what they pulled from the pot with what they can see on the spinners. If there is a pair of whatever they may keep the chips they grabbed. If not they must return the chips to the pot and pay a one chip penalty to the bank.

Game End: Game ends when bank can not fully fill pot or someone breaks a finger. Player with the most chips wins.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #2 - Time is Money, Money is Fame

Time is money, money is fame

60 cards
36 action cards
24 special cards
clock as a game board with a hour hand and minute hand

36 Action cards show three parameters: Victory Points, Money and Time in three values 1, 2 or 3 in any possible combination. (eg. 1/2/3 or 3/2/3 etc.)
2x12 Special cards show special scoring what may occur during the game (f.e. each time the minute hand indicates "9" at the end of the turn score 3 points)

Place the board in the middle of the table. It´s 12 o´clock
shuffle the cards and deal 3 cards for each player as a starting hand. Place the rest of the cards near the board as a draw deck.
Dealer´s left neighbor is the first starting player.

Starting player choose the parameter and play one card face-down on the table. each other player play one card face-down on the table.
Players simultanously reveal the cards.
Player with the best value in chosen parameter scores as many points as the value shows in this parameter.
If tied all those players score with the parameter.
Remaining players score the other two parameters as many points as the values show.

Scoring the VP-s player places the card face-up in in front of him.
Scoring the Money player draws as many cards from the draw deck as the value on the card.
Scoring the Time the minute hand moves as many steps on the clock as the value on the card.

(example: 1st player choose money and play the card VP=2 / Money=1 / Time=3. 2nd player plays the card 3/1/1. 3rd player plays the card 2/2/1.
3rd player has the best value and he draws 2 cards. 1st and 3rd players score 2 VPs-s. Clock moves 3+1=4 moves (20 minutes)

Playing the special card player places it in front of him.
If during the game the condition on the card is fulfilled player draws a top card from the draw deck and places it face-down in his playarea.

The player with the best value in the chosen parameter is the next starting player. If tied the next player in clockwise is the next starting player.

Game ends if the draw deck is exhausted or 12 hours have passed.
Player adds up the values of VP-s from the cards in front of them and 3 VP-s for each face-down card.
Who has the most points is the winner.

Random element.
The process how the time is ticking is "quite" a random and sometimes the scoring happens "quite" a randomly if the time is right!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #3 - Bumbling Bees

bumbling bees

Players are trying to guide scent-deaf bees to sets of flowers, and score them at the hive. You all control the same bees, but score with your own flower sets. Complete the most (and most difficult) sets before autumn.


Earn points by collecting pollen from flowers to match "Flower Cards" drawn at the start of the game. A Flower Card might require 2 to 5 flowers, scoring 3, 5, 9, 15 points respectively.

Players collect pollen by visiting flower spinner mats spread out on the table, and collecting pollen of that flower on a card for that Bee color. These are scored when a Bee of that color returns to the hive.

Bee figures are weighted and come in pairs of four colors. All are in play. Each color bee has a Bee Card to hold tokens representing what flowers' pollen it is carrying.

This does mean that the bees themselves are shared among players.


  • Spread flower spinners in a grid on table (spinners divided into 4 sections, each section has 2-4 of the bee colors).
  • Hive in middle, with bees
  • Each player draws 4 Flower Cards and keeps 2 of them.


Random Starting player moves one bee of any color to a surrounding flower. Subsequent players will move twice from the hive, moving same bee twice if desired.

On other turns a player may take three actions. Available actions are:

  • move bee
  • take/place pollen token (from flower or bee on flower)
  • score pollen (when on hive)


When a bee lands on a flower, place him on the outer edge of the spinner so that if spun it will hit him and stop. This is a strategy to limit where the spinner can go, but also limits what bees can move off. Flowers are only spun if take pollen action is used.


You may move a bee from a flower if its spinner is in a section with that bee's color. Move the bee to the first flower in the direction the spinner is pointing.

Or, move any bee on a flower to another part of the flower (to adjust spinner blocking)

When moving from the hive you may go to any flower around the hive that doesn't have another flower between the hive and itself.

take/place pollen

Pick a bee on a flower. Either take a pollen token matching that flower, or place a token from that bee onto another bee on the same flower. Pollen goes on that bee color's card. if taking pollen from the flower, spin the flower!

score pollen

If a bee is on the hive (returns by normal move) you may score. Remove all pollen from the bee card and place your scored Flower card in front of you. Draw two more and keep one.

game end

After the 20th round, or if there is no more pollen on the flowers, the game ends. Winner has scored the most points from Flower Cards.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #4 - Hostile Robot

Hostile Robot


Robot Game Board - This board has a standard humanoid robot form on it with a circuit board on its body. From the processor there are color coded wires that are connected to different parts of the body (arms, hands, legs, feet, head, eyes etc.). In this game, players will cut these wires to break the circuit.

**Inserts* – There are many interchangeable inserts that can used in this game. During play, only 1 insert is used for the Function and Player Spinners. A new insert is drawn each turn for the Wire Spinner. Therefore, there are many inserts that will be shuffled and stacked face down (as a draw pile) before the game starts.

All spinners are customizable by exchanging the inserts

Wire Spinner – these have colors relating to wires on the circuit board. Each insert presents a different set of probabilities (eg. one insert might be 45% red, 20% yellow, 20% blue, and 5% green). Think of a pie chart if you’re having a hard time picturing it.

Robot Function Spinner – The robot function spinner insert is double sided with a variety of actions (punch, kick, laser eyes). Each of these functions requires different parts of the robot body to be executed.

Player Spinner – A different insert is used based on the number of players in the game. Each player has an equal probability of being chosen.

How to Play

To start the game, spin the Player Spinner to see who goes first. On a players turn they do the following:

  1. Wire Spinner – On a players turn, they will take an insert from the draw pile and choose one of the following:

    A. Spin first then change the insert

    B. Change the insert then spin

    C. Spin and discard the insert

  2. Cutting Wires – After using the Wire Spinner, the player will know which color wire they can cut. Wires are two toned, so players have a choice of wires to cut. When the player chooses a wire to cut, they place a marker over it to indicate a break in the connection. The robot can’t use this function any longer.

  3. Robot Function – Next, spin the Robot Function Spinner. If any of the required body parts has been disarmed (broken circuit), the robot can’t perform the action. A function that uses more body parts will also do more damage. If the function is possible, spin the player spinner to see who is inflicted with the damage. Keep track of damage taken.
  4. After each round, the player has the choice of flipping the robot spinner insert or not. Each side has different robot functions.

End of Game The game ends when the robot has been completely disarmed (all circuits broken). Count up the damage taken. The player with the least amount of damage is the winner.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #5 - Black Hole Vortex

Black Hole Vortex

A simple, abstract board game where the aim is to avoid the Black Hole Vortex and score points.
Probably suitable for children :)


  • 1 game board
  • 1 spinner
  • up to 6 planet tokens in 6 different colours (see below for exact numbers)


Game board is laid out like Castle Panic/Dead Panic (4 concentric rings split into 6 sectors with increasing number of spaces in each ring - 6,12,18,24). In the centre is the Black Hole Vortex, a spinner whose point spans over the first inside ring.

Pick a player as the starting player. Players then take turns to place their pieces in any unoccupied space in the outside ring, 1 at a time. (2 players = 6pcs each, 3 players = 4, 4 players = 3, 5 players = 2, 6 players = 2)


Each turn, a player spins the spinner. The spin can be of any strength but the point of the spinner has to move at least 2 complete spaces. When the spinner stops, it will point towards a sector. All pieces within the sector have to move 1 space towards the centre (Invalid spins move all that player's pieces 1 space towards the centre). At the same time, players may move any other pieces a number of spaces either sideways or towards the centre. This number is determined by the space over which the spinner has stopped (0,1,1,1,2,2). Pieces cannot move to diagonal spaces.

Any pieces on the first inside ring may get hit away by the spinner. If the piece remains on the board, it survives and remains on that space. Any pieces off the board are removed from the game.

As soon as a piece lands on a space at any point, the action of that space (if any) is taken by the player. Many spaces have certain actions, such as:

  • move this piece a space away from the centre
  • move this piece a space towards the centre
  • receive 1-5 points
  • lose 1-5 points
  • "portal" - may move to any other portal space
  • move any other piece 1 space in any direction
  • return a dead piece and place it in the outer ring

The player to the left then spins the spinner and play continues until a player reaches 20 points. Points can be recorded as preferred.


A 5th or 6th ring could make the game not as short.

It could be re-themed in an Indiana Jones style: explorer pieces and Wheel of Death spinning blade in the centre

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

Arctic dissection

Due to global warming, all the ice on the north pole has melted. Besides the ecological disasters, one advantage of this is that it is easier to travel through this region by ship. Due to new legislations, several countries try to claim the waters surrounding the north pole.

The board consists of the arctic region, with a big spinner on the location of the north pole. A circle indicates the edge of the arctic region. The lands surrounding this region do not play a role in the game, it is the sea that counts.

The goal of the game is to score as many points as possible. The game is meant for 2 players. Each player takes the role of an arctic country, let's use Canada and Russia in this example. The starting player (e.g. Canada) starts by spinning twice. He puts two black pawns on the locations on the arctic circle that were indicated by the spinner. He can then choose to either claim all waters between these pawns as his territory and give the rest of the arctic to Russia, or give these waters to Russia and claim the rest of the arctic as his own territory. So the whole arctic circle will be divided in two circle segments, one for Canada and one for Russia. Claiming a territory is done by placing a pawn of your colour between two black pawns, on the water.

After this first turn, it is Russia's turn. He spins once, and puts a black pawn on the arctic circle on the location that was indicated by the spinner. If this region belonged to Russia, Russia gains 1 point, but Canada will be the next one to spin again. If this location belonged to Canada, Canada gains 1 point, but Russia will be the next one to spin. After placing the black pawn, the region is split at the location of this black spawn. Russia can choose which part of the region to claim and which part to give to Canada, independently of who the region belonged to in the first place.

Then the next player (either Canada again, or Russia) spins. A new black pawn is placed at the location indicated by the spinner, the owner of the region gets a point, the region is again split in two at the location of the black pawn (as decided by the player who took the spin), and the player who did not get a point can take the next spin. This is repeated until 15 points have been earned in total. The player with the most points at the end of the game, wins.

Note that claiming a larger region gives you the advantage of being more likely to earn a point, but whenever you earn a point you cannot spin, giving you less control over the game. Players have to think carefully about this trade-off.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #7 - Gaja Moon

Gaja Moon

This game takes place in ancient India during the monsoon season, when teams of elephants (gaja) work through the night to restore prosperity to the land.

Overview and Objective

This is a pick-up and deliver game in which players use spinners to maneuver their elephants. Players earn two VP for each resource that is both picked up and delivered in the same turn, and they earn one VP for each resource that is delivered on a later turn. After any player has earned 20 VP, end the game as soon as every player has played the same number of turns. The player with the most VP at the end of the game wins.

Game Components

36 Resource Tokens (12-Amber, 12-Saffron, 12-Silk) 4 VP Score Tracks 40 Hex Tiles 16 Spinners (4 per player)

The spinners are small; fitting within the boundaries of the hex tiles. Each hex tile is split up like a pie graph with 2-6 sectors that span 3-1 edges each. Each tile also has a symbol designating it as a pickup-up or drop-off location for one of the three resources: amber, saffron, or silk.


Randomly place 16 of the hex tiles into four rows forming four staggered columns (roughly a 4x4 grid). To decide who goes first, each player spins one of their spinners. The player who's spinner is pointing the closest to orthogonal with the edge of the table they are sitting along goes first. Ties (within your ability to differentiate the angles) can be broken by additional spins. Play passes to the left after each turn.

Turn Sequence

To start a turn, choose any tile to place your first spinner onto the center of. You may not utilize the pick-up or drop-off action of this first tile.


Spin the spinner that you just placed. You may then adjust that spinner to point toward any side within the sector that the spinner lands in. You may now move into the tile that the spinner is pointing toward, as long as you have another un-used spinner in hand. Moving into a new tile involves taking the pick-up or drop-off action designated for that tile, and then placing an un-used spinner on it. You will continue spinning and placing spinners until you are out of them.

Consider the tiles along the edges of the grid to wrap both top to bottom, and left to right. Instead of moving into any tile that is already occupied by one of your spinners, select a new destination by re-spinning and re-adjusting the spinner that was previously placed.

Pick-up and Drop-off Actions

When you move into a tile with a pick-up action, collect one resource of the specified type. When you move into a tile with a drop-off action, you may exchange all collected resources of that type for VP.

End of Turn

After playing all of your spinners, retrieve them and replace each tile that you have played onto with a new random tile.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #8 - Word Drop

Word Drop

Two players.


In the beginning of your turn, let the spinner decide what additional cards you will get into hand. In the end of your turn, the spinner drops all cards from one of the nine places. Was it your valuable hand, which happened to be in that doomed place?


A spinner, 9 sectors (some sectors are slightly wider than others) A deck of cards, 1 letter / card


Put the spinner on the table. Shuffle the letter cards and place the deck face down. Take one card and place it somewhere near to be the first in the discard pile. Draw 6 cards and deliver them face up around the spinner.

A Turn

Draw 6 cards. That's your hand now.

Run the spinner once. Take all cards that are in the sector where the needle points. You can add those cards into your hand. If there weren't any, you have to please with 6 card hand.

Form a word or two. Put your words in one of the empty sectors. Deliver extra cards how you want to. There are eight other sectors and you can place all extra cards in one place or one here, other there. Don't let the preceeding cards disturb. Just add cards.

Run the spinner for the second time on this turn. Remove all cards to the discard pile from the sector where the needle points.

If some sector still has a word or two, grab them and keep them. As you need long words, when points shall be counted in the end of the game. You can grab words only from one sector on one turn.

Your turn is over.

Counting Points

  • A four letter word - 4 points
  • A five letter word - 5
  • A six letter word - 8
  • A seven letter word - 10
  • Eight and longer - letter count plus 4
richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #9 - Do or Dial

Do or Dial

Overview: This game is for 2 to 6 players age 10 and up and should take about 10 to 20 minutes. Each round all players secretly choose to rotate one of three dials on their Main Dial Board (two of the three dials contain each digit from 1 to 9, the third offers options to adjust the final value generated by those digits). Players must also choose one opponent to challenge, but first a spinner randomly sets the parameters for that round. Players must anticipate how their opponents will act if they hope to win any challenges.

Components: 1 Spinner, 6 coloured Main Dial boards, and 6 Discrete Dial boards.

Setup: Place the spinner in a central position. Each player selects a Main Dial board and a Discrete Dial board. Set the four dials on the Main Dial Board accordingly: Victory Counter to zero, the two digit dials to 2, and the Adjust dial to the blank spot.

Gameplay Rules:

  1. Spin the spinner to start each round. The spinner dictates three things: how much a dial must be rotated, how to calculate a player’s value for the challenge, and if high or low number wins a challenge (e.g. 2-add-high or 3-multiply-low).

  2. Each round, players use their Discrete Dial board to select which of the dials on the Main Dial board they wish to rotate and in which direction (e.g. Digit 2 counter-clockwise or Adjust clockwise).

  3. Players also use their Discrete Dial board to select which opponent they wish to challenge (however, there are no challenges in the first round).

  4. After all players have made their decisions and rotated their chosen dials, each player calculates his or her value for the challenge by taking the number from each of the two Digit Dials on the Main Dial board and adding them, multiplying them, or treating them as a 2-digit number, based on the spinner (e.g. if the two digits are 3 and 4 the value would be 7, 12, or 34).

  5. If desired, a player may use the Adjust Dial to change his or her value relative to the current position of his or her dial. There are three ways the value could be adjusted: ±3 for the total (e.g. 34 becomes 31 or 37), ±1 for one digit (before calculating the value), or invert the digits (e.g. 34 becomes 43).

Scoring and Game End: When a player wins a challenge it is marked using the Victory Counter Dial. If a player is challenged by the same player as he or she has challenged only one victory is awarded. If two players tie on a challenge no one receives anything. It is possible for a player to win more than one challenge in the same round. The first player to win at least 5 challenges is the winner. If multiple players do so in the same round, then those players only play one more round to determine the winner.

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

Fishing float

Catch fish by throwing your float. Sell the fish for money or victory points.


  • 6-Sided spinner, type children’s toy
  • Fishing pond game board, divided in circles like target
  • Player mats
  • Improvement tiles
  • Money tokens
  • Victory point tokens

Players take turn clockwise. A turn has four fases:

  1. Spin and catch fish
  2. Sell fish
  3. Discard
  4. Buy improvements

Spin and catch fish

Players spin the float. They need to start it at the edge of the fishing pond, and must try to spin it towards the centre. The spinner result decides the type of fish caught; the area where the point of the spinner ends decides how many fish. Closer to the centre means more fish, ranging from 2 to 5. Landing outside the pond yields one fish.

There are three types of fish: red (1 side of spinner), blue (2 sides) and yellow (3 sides). On the player mat is shown what each fish is worth:

  • 1 red fish = 1 victory point
  • 1 blue fish = 1 dollar
  • 1 yellow fish = nothing yet

The active player can trade fish at ratio 3:1 at any time during his turn. Fish cannot be traded between players.

Sell fish

After spinning and taking fish, the players can sell one type of fish. They must sell all fish of the same colour at once. This yields money and/or victory points, but possibly nothing.


Any fish above five must be discarded. Trading 3:1 to get to five fish is allowed.

Buy improvements

With improvements the selling result of fish will be better, or more fish can be kept in the discard fase. There are five random improvements available.

Improvements that are bought are placed on the players mat.

Per type of fish there are improvements to yield more money, yield more victory points, have better trade ratio, or catch more fish per spin. General improvements are: store more fish, throw spinner again (once per turn, second result counts), and buy improvements for less gold.

Players may buy one improvement, if not, the improvement that is available the longest time is discarded. A new improvement is added to have five available.

Example: The improvement to have a red fish yield a dollar (more) will cost less than the one to yield a yellow fish a victory point.


When a player reaches 30 victory points the round is finished. The player with the most victory points wins.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #11 - Tornado Town

Tornado Town


A terrible tornado is raging through town reducing buildings to rubble and killing anyone in its path. You have the task to help all the members of group of survivors reach a safe haven before it is too late.


  • 121 town tiles
  • 15 survivor tokens per player (in 4 different colors)
  • 121 rubble tokens
  • A tornado track to track the strength of the tornado (It starts at 5)
  • A deck of event cards
  • A spinner

The Spinner

The spinner has 8 sections:

  • 1 for each of the 4 cardinal directions (North, East, South and West).
  • 2 spaces that either increase or decrease the strength of the tornado.
  • 2 spaces that either allow you to draw an event card from the deck or force you to discard one without using it.


The tiles are randomly distributed to create a 11x11 town board and the tornado is placed in the center. Players take 10 survivor each and place them on a corner of the board. Each player is dealt 4 event cards. The player who most recently saw a tornado starts and play continues in a clockwise direction.


At the start of each turn a player has to turn the spinner.
If the spinner lands on a cardinal direction, the tornado will move into that direction and leave a rubble token on each space it passes (unless there already is one). The number of spaces it moves is equal to the strength of the tornado. Any survivors who come into contact with the tornado die and are removed from the game.

After that a player can move one or more of his survivors, but he can only move one group per turn. The maximum number of spaces you can move your survivors is equal to the number of survivors in the group. You'll have to choose whether you want a large group with freedom of movement and risk them all dying if the tornado hits or split your survivors in smaller groups.

The tile your group lands on is turned over, if it not covered in rubble. If a safe place is discovered, you can (depending on capacity) leave 1, 2, 3 of 4 of your survivors there and they'll be safe. If you can't fill a place to capacity, your opponent can swoop in and take the remaining spots.

If two opposing groups end up on the same tile, the incoming group will kill one member of the survivors already there, unless they're already in a safe place.

Throughout your turn you can play cards that allow you movement bonuses, gain survivors, clear rubble, build shelters, loot your opponents or cause weather effects that affect the strength of the tornado.

Ending the game

The game ends when 1 player has no more survivors they can move, when the tornado reaches strength level 11 or when the tornado has reduced the entire town to rubble. The player with the most saved survivors wins.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #12 - Warriors of Spinaria

Warriors of Spinaria


Spin your way to victory in this card game of troop management and strategy for 2-4 players! You control a team of Wizards, Dwarves and Elves, battling their way against strange creatures and testing their wits against the other warriors of the realm. Will you survive? Spin to find out…

Game Components

(1) Spinner (see description below)
(52) Creature Cards
(72) Warrior Cards (24 Wizards, 24 Dwarves, 24 Elves)

Important Notes about Cards:
Creature Cards: Each Creature Card will display an attack and a defense value for use in combat, a victory point value, as well as any special abilities (such as attacking first, or extra damage against…)
Warrior Cards: Each Warrior Card will also display an attack and a defense value for use in combat against creatures, as well as a fortitude value for use in combat against other warriors, a victory point value, and any special abilities that warrior has.
*Note* There will be a standing advantage for ALL warriors of certain races against other races (ex. +1 fortitude for Dwarves against Elves, +1 fortitude for Elves against Wizards, etc.)

Game Setup

Randomly choose a player to go first. Shuffle each deck separately. Deal each player two cards face down from each deck except the Basic Creature Deck, for a hand of six cards. Place the remaining decks and the Creatures Deck face down and all other game components in a central location.

Turn Structure

1) Spin! 2) Combat! 3) Resolve!

Spin: Each of the 12 spaces on the spinner correspond to one of the decks (6 creature spaces, 2 each of all others.) The spin will determine which deck you *will* draw from. Choose a warrior card from your hand to use in combat – place it face up in front of you.

Combat: Draw the top card of the corresponding deck and place it face up.
For Creatures: Compare the attack/defense values; you attack first unless otherwise stated.
For Warriors: Compare the fortitude values.

For Creatures: If the creature wins, discard your warrior and the creature. If you win, collect the creature and leave it face up in front of you.
*Note* If the attack value is equal to or greater than the defense value, the attack succeeds.
For Warriors: If the other warrior wins, discard both warriors. If you win, collect the new warrior and place both back into your hand.
*Note* In the event of any fortitude ties or stalemated creature battles, your warrior is stunned! Tap the card; it can be returned to your hand after the Spin phase of your next turn.

Game End

Play continues clockwise until: one of the four decks is exhausted or any player discards their last warrior. Complete the round in which this happens, finishing play with the player before the first player. If a card spun is not available, players will draw from the creature deck.

Players add up the victory point values of all creatures they’ve defeated and all warriors still left in their hands. The player with the most points wins!

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

When pondering this month’s challenge, I thought long and hard about spinners and what they have that dice don’t. With a spinner like “The Game of Life”, there’s a top face that could be changed out, and that there isn’t any rule that says that the spinner must dictate one thing at a time. Why can’t it dictate many things at once? Why can’t a good effect to one area might mean a deleterious effect on another?

With that in mind, here’s Exo Prime:

Exo prime is a game about planetary terraforming and colonization. Each player represents a colony that is trying to exploit the resources of the virgin planet.

Their chief advantage is that they brought along a “weather control satellite”, which all players have access to. This weather control satellite, represented by the spinner, consists of two parts: the spinner itself shows weather patterns (sunlight, water, meteor showers, and other dangerous storms) while the mat below the spinner shows numbers that indicate the areas that are affected by given weather. Whenever players build a new structure or send a worker off on its own, they select a number to apply to the structure or worker with a token that corresponds to a number on the spinner mat.

At the start of each player’s turn, they spin to determine what resources are granted to their structures and workers from the weather. Every structure is affected. However, players can alter the weather patterns with cards that turn the spinner in a given direction a certain amount on their turn. This means that they can shift the weather to benefit their own buildings and potentially hurt opponents. Sometimes, you just won’t get the right cards.

As the game nears its end, the constant pull and tug of weather control makes the weather patterns worse. A new top is placed onto the spinner itself to show a more dangerous weather pattern, but with potentially higher rewards as the game goes on. With each depletion of the small weather control deck, the spinner’s top is replaced, adding to the tension.

Building structures: in order to build a farm, a worker needs to be in a spot long enough to collect one water and one sunlight from weather. You can speed up the process by building things strategically nearby, because adjacent structures can transfer the acquired resources to the second structure’s construction for free. This means that, at least early on, players will want to build near their base and not strike out on their own very far.

Over time, players will expand their base, construct other buildings to get resources, upgrade their buildings to not require workers (you can only have so many workers), and will eventually construct the buildings necessary to win. You can build forests for protection, shelters to protect your soldiers from storms, interrupt your opponents through sabotage, or utilize the bad weather shown on the spinner to cause them to lose resources and precious time.

Planetary colonization was never so fun!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #14 - Fate and the Wheel of Fortune

Fate and the Wheel of Fortune

Some believe the Fates to be three old witches arbitrarily deciding our fate, but what if they leave it to chance? To a giant wheel of fortune perhaps? Can you survive the hands of fate's wheels? Become a demi-god in charge of protecting your continent from the fickle finger of fate and see who can hold off destiny and keep their population intact.


To be the demi-god with the largest population of followers intact after the third peaceful episode on the planet or one continent is totally eliminated from the game.

Number of players: 2-4


  • 1 Large spinner divided into twelve spaces, eleven spaces are disasters while one space represents peaceful results. Disasters are color coded (red is disease: three spaces, Flu Epidemic, Bubonic Plague, Black Death; blue: Water disasters: Flood, Ice Storm; gray: Tornado, Volcanic Eruption, Earthquake; orange: Fire, War, Meteor Strike; White: Peace.
  • 1 spinner divided into 8 spaces, one space for each continent (Europe, Asia, N. America, S. America, Africa, Australia and two spaces representing the world
  • 1 spinner with twelve spaces each representing a number of people (2 spaces of 500,000, 1,000,000, 1,500,000, 2,000,000, 5,000,000; and two spaces labeled double spin)
  • 1 deck of action cards containing modifiers that help mitigate or aggravate the population body counts from the disasters inflicted by fate. These cards are used based on the color or type of disaster or by continent. (Cards such as Improper Vaccine--Double the losses of population on the continent of your choice; Good Building Standards--Your population loss is cut in half because of good building codes (use for a natural disaster calamity(blue or gray); Meteor Hits City--Lose double the population (use on an orange disaster); Disaster Strikes Twice--Instead of one continent, two continents other than yours are struck by disaster, spin location spinner again)) Action cards can also deflect fate by sending the disaster to a different continent.
  • 120 counters or cubes in four sets each one colored red, green, blue, yellow. One color for each player. Each cube represents 500,000 people.
  • 1 game board of the world with the six continents outlined each one shaded in a different color.
  • 1 Fate counter--This represents who is portraying the Fates each turn.
  • 1 Peace Counter and Peace board--This board has three spaces on it. The counter starts at zero and then moves as the spinner hits a peaceful period.


  1. Place the spinners by the board.
  2. Place 20 cubes of each color on each continent to start. These represent each demi-gods followers on that continent.
  3. Shuffle the pack of action cards and deal five cards to each player and place the pack face down.
  4. First player takes the Fate Counter


The play is as follows:

  1. Movement Phase: Players simultaneously are allowed to move up to four cubes from one continent to another continent on three different continents.
  2. Disaster Phase: Fate player spins the disaster spinner. Then they spin the continent spinner and the population spinner to determine a disaster, a population count and a location.
  3. Action Phase: Players may play one or more action cards to protect their followers or enhance the attack on other followers to reduce thei r population loss and enhance the others.
  4. Damage Phase: Damage is calculated. Population cubes are removed from the continent(s) afflicted.
  5. Draw Phase: Draw back to five cards.
  6. Fate Phase: Fate marker moves to next player.

Game ends when there are either no more cubes on a continent after phase Four of a turn OR if Peace strikes the planet three times.

Example: Dave and Tom move their 3 cubes from North America to S. America; Dave also moves three cubes from Europe to Asia. Dave spins a tornado, North America and 2,000,000 people. Dave plays a Storm Cellar card which halves natural disaster (Gray) damage. Tom plays a Multi-Continent disaster and spins the location spinner again to get Europe. Damage is calculated. Each player removes four cubes from North America. Dave's modifier lets him remove only two for EACH continent involved so he takes two from North America and two from Europe. Tom removes four from Europe and four from North America. They each draw a card and the Fate marker passes to Tom.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut