Thursday, December 21, 2006

Another 1st Place Finish!

Meatlockerz! wins first place. I'm kind of surprised, being that it's more of a kids game. But then, maybe not. Some of the game read pretty complicated, which is usually a killer, and I think the componentry of a lot of the other games killed them. Meatlockerz really has no pieces to lose or drop; just a bunch of plastic cards with dials.

Annoyingly, a few days after sending in my entry, I came across a game who's gimmick is frighteningly similar. Holes in cards, that when faced against another card, damage numbers appear in your holes. It's over on the Cheapass Games Webpage.

Anyway, here it is for my records, and posterity.


Fighting in the Secret Underground Meat Locker Fighting Club
For ages 6 and up

Each player selects a Meat Locker Fighter. Each Fighter has a Hit Point window, and two Fist windows. Player can spin discs that are attached behind each window to keep track of Hit Points, and to select Punches. An additional Special Move window and may be available on some Fighters (see below).

The game is played in rounds. Each round, the players secretly select their Punches by spinning the discs for each Fist. When selecting a Punch, they are moving Punch Strength numbers, special Punch icons, cut out windows, and blank Blocks (white cardboard that isn't cut out and has no icons on it) in the Fist window. In general, the more powerful a Punch, or special icon is, the less Blocks there are surrounding it, and more cut out windows.

After selecting their Punches, both Fighters are placed face to face. Each player can now look at the back of their Fighter. The cut out windows from their Punch discs may reveal Punch Strength or special icons from their opponent (if they weren't Blocked, of course). These are punches that the opponent has landed!

Add up the numbers you can see, this is your damage total. Each player takes back their Fighters, and subtracts their damage from their Hit Points by spinning the Hit Point disc. And a new round starts with player selecting their Punches again.

The game is over when a Fighter goes below 1 Hit Point. He has been defeated!

Fighters will have special icons to designate Special Moves. Rollo, the Fighter shown in the example illustrations, has a Blue XX icon on one fist. If this icon makes it through unblocked, then any damage scored by the other fist on the same round is multiplied by 3!

Other Boxers may have a fourth window and disc on the bottom to keep track of variable Special Moves.

For example:
Vinnie the Vamp, scores no Hit Points with his Punches. However, if Punches from both fists are unblocked, he can do a Drain Move, taking X Hit Points from his opponent, and adding X Hit Points to himself. The first time he does this, there is 1 Hit Point transferred, the second time, 2 Hit Points are transferred, etc. The Special Move disc keeps track of this.

Laos can unleash a Palm of Death (a high-damage Punch, if unblocked), but only if he has had a successful unblocked Punch in three prior successive Rounds. The Special Move disc can keep track of "hits in a row".

I don't claim Rollo to be balanced. He's just an example.

In real life, there probably would be 5 or 6 visible spaces on the fists.

Balance between characters can be achieved not only by Punch Strengths, Blocked/Cut out windows, and Special Moves, but also by different Hit Point maximums (some powerful characters could have much lower Hit Point starts).

I'm sure someone would bring this up (even though it should outside the scope of the contest), I don't think this would be sold as a CCG (even though it could); my inclination would be themed sets of 8 Boxers a piece.

Labels: ,

Fun With Fire

One of the fun things about boardgamegeek is the geeklists. Now normally, these are generally useless drivel, however, they do occasionally spout out a game that I had never heard of that suddenly captures my interest.

And through just a list, I've found my new, what-a-fascinating-concept-for-a-game-mechanic game: Waldschattenspiel.

The use of a candle is inspired. Aside from setting a cool mood, making the shadows an actual part of the game is pretty great.

How does it work? Sounds pretty simple, one player controls the candle, all other players move elves, trying to hide in the shadows. If an elf falls into the light, it is frozen and captured. Game ends when all elfs meet up in one tree shadow, or if all elves are frozen. It's pretty simple; it's designed as a kids game.

And so, now I want to play with candle shadows in a game. But I want to reverse it. Like many horror movies, the characters that get killed are the ones that get seperated from the group, and who fall into the darkness. So, like a classic slasher/haunted house film, players are trying to stay in the light; pawns that are moved into a shadow, without a neighboring pawn to watch over them, are killed. Players can move pawns, walls, and candles (there are multiple candles), and can snuff out candles, until there is only one candle left. The player with the most pawns left in the final light wins. Or something like that.

Guess I have to add it to my Half-Baked list. Additionally, time to hit Hobby Lobby.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

October 2005 - Eras Academia

Since BGDF has moved over to a new server, they will eventually lose all of their old postings...possibly. So now I have to keep a record of my showdown entries somewhere else.


GOAL: The player with the best school at the end of the game wins.

Components and Information:
There are four studies: Green: Natural Science, Blue: Social Science, Red: Humanities, Yellow: Arts.

-- Each player has a School Map for building Campuses, and for Graduates. Map and Campuses can be licensed properties.

-- Graduate Counters in the four colors.

-- Fund counters.

-- Small marbles in the four colors.

-- One deck of Action cards for each color. Flavor text on cards can provide facts and trivia about the licensed school.

-- One cardboard Era Guide, which describes the amount of marbles placed in the Clock, with cutouts to hold marbles.

-An Era Pawn that indicates the current Era on the Era Guide. Pawn starts in Era 1.

-- Large plastic opaque Clock Tower with a door on top that can be used to load up to 40 marbles. When shaken, the marbles are secretly mixed up; when stood up on the table, the marbles randomly form a hidden straight line down the shaft of the clock. A button releases the bottom marble from the stack. Also, there are small doors in the shaft which a player can open and look at a color of a single marble. The Clock is filled with marbles as shown (8 green, 7 blue, 9 yellow, 6 red) in Era 1 on the Era Guide. The Clock is passed to the next player every round. All player actions start with the owner of the Clock. All ties are broken by who sits closest to the Clock.

-- A Pool of wood blocks for players to build buildings on Campuses. Blocks come in square "1-Story" and pyramid "Roof" shapes. 1-Story Blocks are always available. There are only 2 Roof Blocks available per Era.

All players start with a 1-Story Block on their Administration Campus, and 5 Funds. A random player starts with the Clock.

A PLAYER'S TURN in order:
1) Graduates his class.
A player gets one Graduate Counter for each 1-Story Block in a Study Campus (not the Admin Campus). The Graduates are of the same color of as the Study that the Block is in. (A player with two 1-Story Blocks and 1 Roof Block in the Art Campus will get 2 yellow Graduates). A player places his Graduates in his Graduate circles. He may place 1 in a circle, or place multiples of the same color in circles to create Superior Graduates.

2) Spends Funds on:
-- Building His Campus.
Buy any available Block with funds equal to the amount of Blocks on the Administration Campus and place it in a chosen Study Campus square, stacking upon any previously played 1-Story Block in that Campus.
A Study Campus cannot exceed the amount of Blocks that the Administration Campus has.
Once a Roof Block is placed on top of a building in a Campus, a player cannot build any more Blocks on that Campus.

-- Analyzing the Future. A player may spend 2 funds to look in any window on the Clock Tower or 4 Funds to look at a top card on any deck. The player should be careful not to reveal this information to the other players.

After all players go, the button on the Clock is pressed to release the bottom marble. The marble is placed on the appropriate spot on the Era Guide. Draw the top card of the matching colored deck. This card indicates this year's "culture" of which Graduates are needed. Cards are generally happier towards their color (Yellow cards will generally need more Art graduates than others).

Some Cards can have Clock Effects.

Players take turns "hiring out" appropriate Graduates for Endowments (Funds), starting with the Most Superior Graduates (most counters) and working down to the least Superior (Graduates with 1 counter). In case of a tie, the order is determined starting with the player closest to the Clock.

All unused Graduates are removed.

If an Era has four of one color marble that has been released from the Clock Tower, Advance the Era Token on the Era Guide. Empty out the Clock, and fill the Clock with the new marble distribution as shown on the Era Guide. Make sure there are two Roof Blocks on the Era Guide to start the new Era.

The clock moves to the next player.

The game is over when 4 Eras have been played, or when all 1-Story Blocks have been bought out. A building's point value is determined by 1 point per 1-Story Block, and 5 points per Roof Block. A player's score is determined by taking the highest point scoring Study Campus building they have and multiplying that number by the lowest point scoring Study Campus Building.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Travelin' Light!

So, I decided to enter this month's BGDF showdown, Travelin' Light #2 It's been a couple of months since I've entered, as my time has been taken up with PocketCiv (which now I'm convinced I need a new name for, as it has grown beyond my original pocket inclinations).

And since I'm in the showdown this month, I feel the requirement to vote. Once you get away from all the pretty pictures, I feel that most people completely missed the boat on the whole purpose of the contest, which is to design a game that's playable while sitting in the back seat of a car, or flying in a plane. Well, at least that's what I feel is the main goal.

Not wanting to tip my hat as to which is my entry, but there are quite a few entries with many components; pawns, a board, and cards. Passing a board back and forth between players without jostling the peices (yes, even if they are magnetic) is difficult, especially when you are holding a handful of cards which your opponent cannot see. Oh, and don't forget not to knock over the discard pile!

It seems like most people simply stuck in the rules a quip about their board being able to fold down into a small box, thereby meeting the small size requirement, and went off from there with whatever game they wanted to do. Sorry, I'm not letting you guys off this easy this time!!

I'll be interesting in the voting results. Well, aside from seeing if I won, but it will be interesting to see how many people took the "playable while traveling" into account during the voting process.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

And the Results are in...

Well, there really aren't any results, or anything. After getting enough feedback from people who've played PocketCiv, and my experiences, I'm going to have to do some tweaking on the Events cards. Most noticably, making things scale a little better.

Currently, all the Events have "set in stone" look up numbers. That is, an attack from a visiting Empire will always have an Attacking Force equal to the value of blue hex on the next card time 2. These numbers need to start off smaller in the earlier Eras, and be a bit larger in the later Eras, as I'm beginning to find out, as I've always suspected, that usually the first Era or two are are pretty tight struggles, but when you get your machinery going, and survive the first Era, life gets a lot easier.

This isn't a bad thing really, on the short cusp of it. As I'm sure this is how civilizations developed naturally; it took a lot of luck for a fledgling group of people to build up something from nothing. However, it does suck that drawing the last card for the first Era simply nets you an invasion force so overwhelming at that stage of the game, that you have no real chance of recovering from it.

So, I've pretty much decided that Visitations will scale up as the game goes along. And I've got a pretty simple way of doing it with more symbology on the cards, so that's not an issue. But then, I start thinking, "why can't I scale up all of the Events that make sense?"

Well, there's no reason not to, so i might as well go that route. Aside from all the little trickle down changes that this will change.

Anyway, this will take a little bit of time in Excel to mess around with numbers I'm happy with. Thankfully, this doesn't change any of the work I've done on the main scenarios I've worked on. But it does change the walkthru scenarios greatly. I'm not looking forward to re-writing those. And the Event cards will naturally have to change.

Not particularily fun, but hopefully something better comes from it.

Labels: ,