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This is the blog formally known as Docreason's Designer HQ (the rest TBD). It focuses the thoughts of the design process of Rich Hutnik and other things Rich, gaming related (pretty much), finds interesting. The change in name reflects a bit of a change in focus and branding.
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The Meta Game: An attempt at using pie rule for game conditions (and flex tiebreaker)

Richard Hutnik
United States
Poughkeepsie
New York
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designer
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This is a working title for the game. It has not been playtested yet. Thinking of adding it to the Games on Half a Checkerboard Series, because it uses half a checkerboard and a checker set, but it may make a mess of my idea of reaching 32 games on 32 spaces. It basically builds a game around the concept of using pie rule for managing player setting game conditions, and playing for a draw as a valid option with proper scoring. It is posted to discuss and have it up.

Anyhow, on with the rules:

By Rich Hutnik (Copyright 2012)


Number of players for game: 2

Game objective: To either force one's opponent to not have a legal move, or capture at least 6 pieces of an opponent before they do. A player can also win a round if they accurately predict the round ending in a draw.


Equipment used in game:
* Play area: The board is 8 spaces long and 4 spaces wide.
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* 12 pieces for one player, and 12 pieces for the other player.

* Other game equipment, to reflect any other changes requested by players in the game.


Board Layout/Setup:
Board starts empty, and play begins from there. Players have their pieces start in a reserve area off the board.


Rules of play:
The heart of the game consists of the use of the pie rule to determine changes in rules, and evaluating such. The rules below, and in the set up, can change, depending on what the initiating player picks. Players are to play two games, each player being the initiating player, then evaluating the difference between games.

At the start of a game the initiating player sets the rules conditions for each side to play under, and the number of points winning with that side is worth. The other player then decides whether to pick the side or get draw advantage. Player with initial draw advantage will get one point per draw, if they don't win. Draw advantage can then change during the game, if a player manages to declare they are taking it.

Game play for a round consists of players alternating turns doing one of the four types of moves below. If, after a turn where a player has less pieces on the board of their opponent, and also pieces in their reserve (at the start of the turn), and they fail to capture at least one of their opponent's pieces, or perform a drop move adding a new piece to the board, the player's opponent has the option of removing one of the player's pieces from the board and place it out of play. This removal is not a capture. If a player happens to have no pieces in their reserve (all were placed on the board) and they fail to capture at least one of their opponent's pieces, the player's opponent has the option of removing one of that player's pieces off the board. Their opponent picks the piece, and the piece removed from play is not a capture.

Types of moves that can be performed during a turn:
* Drop: Player takes one of their pieces from off the board and drops it on the board onto an empty space.
* Slide: Players move one of their pieces one space vertically, horizontally or diagonally into an adjacent empty space, like a King in chess.
* Jump non-capture: A piece jumps over a single friendly piece, landing on an empty space. This move may be repeated. Jump may be done vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
* Jump capture: A piece jumps over a single enemy piece, landing on an empty space. This move may be repeated. Jump may be done vertically, horizontally or diagonally. This move is not mandatory to perform.
* Swap: A piece that us adjacent to any enemy piece may swap positions with an enemy piece it is not adjacent to.

At the end of a player's turn, if neither player has not done this prior during a round, the player may grab draw rights. If a player does this, then if the round ends in a draw (or if they win the round) the player wins half the points they would of won had the game ended in a draw. If the player fails to win or draw, their opponent gets the points they win for winning a round, plus the same amount of points their opponent gets for drawing getting a draw. For example, assume a player who grabs draw rights would get 8 points for winning around. If the that player manages to draw or win the round, they would get 4 points. If the player's opponent wins the round, they would end up getting 16 points (12 points normally for a win plus 4 points their opponent would win if there was a draw). Note: The grabbing draw rights may only done once per round total by either player, meaning if one player does it, their opponent may not, and they may not reverse the decision later. This rule for handling draw rights may NOT be altered by changing game conditions.

In the case where neither player grabbed draw rights, a draw is only worth one point the the player who has the initial draw rights, and no points for their opponent. Points remain the same in the game otherwise for wins.


How the game ends:
Game ends with the first player to score the most points after a set number of two rounds. Play can also end early if one player reaches or exceeds a target score before the set number of rounds are over. Target score is recommended to be equal to 5 points times the number of rounds played (for example, if players will play 10 games, target score would be 50). In case of the game still being tied after a set number of rounds, either play a set of two rounds until one player has a greater score, or declare the game a draw.

A round ends when a player is out of pieces, both in their reserve and also on the board. These pieces may have been removed via capture or attrition. If neither player has managed to capture at least 6 enemy pieces, the round ends in a draw. If the round ends in a draw, then a player scores the number of points they get for a draw, if they have the draw advantage.

A round also ending with a player not having a legal move. If this happens, then the round ends with the opponent of the player winning the round, if a player is not able to perform a legal move.

A round can also end if players repeat the same set of two moves over three straight turns (3 move repetition). A round where this happens ends in a draw.

Variant rules:
This section is used to capture the heart of the game. Below is examples of some of the ways a player can change the conditions of the game for side, and game:
* Adjust how many points each side gets for winning. The total for each side should be divisible by 2 and both sides add up to 20 points. This is done to offset one side having an advantage over another one.
* Change win conditions. Other conditions, such as getting N pieces in a row of a player's color (or a royal piece that can be captured), could be added.
* Add a turn limit. Limit how many turns a side has to win by. If playing with a chess clock, be able to adjust the time limit. In this, if one side doesn't win by so many turns, they lose the game.
* Change number of pieces each side has at start of the game.
* Change how pieces move (may differ per side) or give ones side new types of pieces in the game. For example, pieces could gain added mobility to move like chess Queens, as opposed to Chess Kings, or a new piece moving like a Knight be added.
* Give one side or the other initial draw advantage. Normally, this is worth one point, but it could be adjusted accordingly.
* Start with pieces already on the board.
* Make the game a misere game, where the win conditions become lose conditions.
* Make capture mandatory, if available.
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