July 2005 - Under the Cupboard
This showdown was pretty tricky, coming up with a game that had a gaggle of random pieces AND still keep it under 800 words proved that clever use of those words is just as important as what the words were saying.
Since it's easier to copy-n-paste from the archive than to link to it itself, here's the list:
155 Wooden cubes (31 each of five different colors)
50 tiny Wooden disks (in one single color, Brown)
36 plain double-sided square cardboard Tiles (blue on one side, red on the other)
30 cardboard Shield tokens (in one single color, Blue, with 10 each of three types, labeled 1, 2 and 3)
16 Wooden disks (in one single color, Yellow, numbered 1 to 16)
15 plastic Pawns (3 each of five colors)
10 six-sided Dice (2 each of five colours)
10 Wooden Elephants (in one single color, Brown)
5 Wooden markers (in the shape of a chair, an onion dome, a head, a plain square and a dragon)
Cash (in 1,5,10 and 50 denominations)
Auction: There should be an auction that occurs more than once during the game.
Something I learned from this is that GDS entries don't need to waste their words on expressing a component list; you can simply intoduce the components as you go.
Typically, usual GDS entries are fairly "heavy" in regards their theme. For this month's entry, I decided to try and go against that grain, and instead try for something more whimsical, as if it was a game based on a children's book. In fact, at one point, I was calling it Whimsy. But then, I hit the 800 word limit, and included the first 3 words of the game theme description as the title of the game.
I still like the way this game reads. Maybe one day I'll collect the large component list to try it out.
Anyway, here's the entry.
Under the Cupboard...
…there’s a small mousehole that leads to a wonderful world. A world of delicious nectars and talking elephants, where every object is sprinkled with magic; if only you could convince Nimskill, the Guardian Mouse to let you visit. It has been rumored he likes honey…
Each player gets:
Equal amounts of CASH.
Three PLAYER PAWNS in their color.
Two DICE in their color.
All SHIELD TOKENS are placed facedown, center of table.
The game has four rounds. Each round has three phases:
--UNDER THE CUPBOARD
--ENTER THE MOUSEHOLE
The last player to enter the mousehole, divides up all discarded Honey (YELLOW DISCS) into an amount of stacks equal to the amount of players, any way he wishes. At game start, a random player does this with all the Honey.
Players openly bid using their cash for each stack. Each player can only win one stack per round. All cash paid is removed from the game.
UNDER THE CUPBOARD:
Place Nimskill’s Will Power (50 TINY DISCS) in the center of the table.
During a Cupboard Set, players secretly selects one of their Honey discs and reveal their Honey value simultaneously. Players take turns removing Will Power equal to an amount of Honey followed by flipping over Shield Tokens to remove Will Power. The turn order is based on the Honey value, lowest (goes first) to highest. If any Will Power remains, the next lowest player goes.
The first player may select to flip 0 to 4 Shield Tokens. After that, a player can only select to flip up to one less than the previous player.
(Player one flips 3 Shields, the next player can flip over up to 2. If the second player chooses to flip over 1 or none, no others players can flip shield tokens this set).
If all players have played their Honey, and NimSkill still has Will Power left, the set starts over again, with players secretly selecting new Honey. The lowest Honey Player again can choose up to four shields.
If Nimskill’s Will Power is reduced to zero, the Cupboard Phase ends, and the player who removed the final Will Power gets to ENTER THE MOUSEHOLE. This player is called the GUEST. Other players are called HOPEFUL.
ENTER THE MOUSEHOLE:
--Build a 6X6 grid using the BLUE/RED TILES, all tiles start RED.
--Starting with the Guest, players take turns flipping any tile to BLUE until 18 are BLUE.
--The Guest randomly places one Nectar (COLORED CUBES) on each tile.
--The Guest place his Pawns on the tiles. Followed by the Hopefuls doing the same. One Pawn per tile.
--The Hopefuls place the ELEPHANTS on tiles without Pawns. (3 elephants on the first three rounds, all un-owned elephants on the last).
--The Guest removes two of his pawns from the tiles. He will be moving the remaining Pawn.
The Guest moves by:
Rolling his dice, and selecting one of them.
The Guest MUST move the amount of tiles, in any NSEW direction as indicated by the selected die. The Guest may “wrap around” the board.
The Guest can ONLY move to a tile that has a Nectar on it and is the opposite color of the tile the Guest is currently on. Unless the Guest rolls 2 sixes; then he may jump to any tile.
When a Guest lands on a tile with a Hopeful Pawn, the pawn is returned to it’s owner. The Hopeful Owner also gets ownership of the Magic Item (WOODEN MARKERS) related to the color of the Nectar on that tile. (ex:red-dragon, yellow-onion, brown-head, blue-square, green-chair). Magic Items can move from player to player this way.
When a Guest lands on a tile with a Nectar, he keeps it in his temporary Stash.
When a Guest lands on a tile with an Elephant, he keeps it in his temporary Stash, and may leave the Mousehole. Leaving the Mousehole let’s the player keep all items in his temporary Stash. If the Guest does not wish to leave, he rolls the dice again.
If the Guest cannot move to a opposite color tile with Nectar on it, the Guest is expelled from the Mousehole! Everything that was collected in his temporary Stash is returned “to the bank.” Collected “stuff” from previous Mousehole visits and Magic Items are not returned.
If a player leaves or is expelled from the Mousehole, a new round of the game begins with the Auction setup. The game ends after the fourth visit to the Mousehole.
Points are awarded for:
Nectars collected, double points for Nectar that matches the player’s color.
Value of leftover Honey.
Ownership of Magic Items. Bonuses for Magic Item combos (chair + dragon = the Dragon King)