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henry flower
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Switch Back


Switch Back is now complete and ready for print and play. I'd be curious to hear people's impressions.

Components can be downloaded here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mvgaittrnihi3el/AACiHSH9v0jNgslRp...

Instructions:

Components. The game employs 7 dice (6 yellow and 1 red), 10 stones (5 green and 5 purple), 54 cards (27 red and 27 orange), and a game board.

Set up. The board is assembled. The stones are placed on their respective links. The cards are sorted, number-side up, into a red deck and an orange deck, shuffled, and set next to the board. The dice are given to the roller.

Object. The first player to move all of his stones to the exit is the winner. If the game ends before either player can exit all of his stones, the player who has exited the most is the winner. If both players have exited the same number, the player whose end stone is closest to his exit wins.

Game play. The stones are moved to spaces where they can back the cards that are drawn to create holdings, which can be played onto the board to reconfigure the paths over which the stones travel en route to the exit.

Method. The roller rolls all 7 dice to start the round. Then, beginning with the roller, the players take turns selecting a die from the roll, either to move a stone or draw a card (or, if a red die, to perform a defensive action: block, stop or backstop). If the player uses the die to move a stone onto the board from a link space, his turn continues with the selection of another die (if available); otherwise, his turn ends. When all the dice have been selected, the player who selected the last yellow die may play his holdings, and the round ends. The player who did not select the red die becomes the roller to start the next round. If a player is unable to select a die, he must pass. If both players pass, the game ends.

Glossary:

1. Backing. If a player fails to back one of his holdings, the opponent may call for it to be returned to the deck or, if he can back it himself, claim it for his own holdings. To back a card, the player moves a stone onto a space that matches the color/pattern on the back (number side) of the card. The stone will back the card as long as it remains on the corresponding space and is not backstopped.

2. Backstopping (anti-backing). To stop a stone from backing a card, the player selects a red die that matches the number of the space it occupies.

3. Blocking (anti-moving). To block a path, the player selects a red die and sets it anywhere on the board. If it matches the number of the space, it will stop all stones from moving through it.

4. Drawing. To draw a card from the deck, the player selects a yellow die that matches the number of a space occupied by one of his stones.

5. End stone. The stone that is furthest from the player’s exit at the end of the game is called the end stone.

6. Exit. One of the player’s corner links will serve as his exit; the player does not have to declare which one.

7. Holdings. All drawn cards are kept number-side up on the table in front of the player until he earns the right to play them onto the board.

8. Link. Links are paths that connect the rows of the game board. Each link is assigned to a specific player (by color).

9. Moving. To move a stone, the player selects a yellow die that shows the number of spaces the stone will travel. The stone can be moved any direction but must travel, along a path, the full number of spaces showing on the die and never follow a path assigned to the opponent.

10. Path. Each space on the board initially offers two shared (white) paths that allow players to move their stones from one space to the next. These paths can be reconfigured by playing one’s holdings.

11. Playing. Players earn the right to play their holdings by selecting the last yellow die of the round (the “switch”). To play a card, the player sets it, asterisk-side up, onto any like-colored space on the board. If the card connects opposing paths, it must be turned over to the number-side (“switch back”); if the paths remain crossed, the card is returned to the deck.

12. Stopping (anti-drawing). To stop a stone from matching a yellow die, the player selects a red die that matches the number of the space it occupies.


hfninja
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henry flower
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Soon after posting the rules, it occurred to me that the dice mechanic could be performed by the cards, which really streamlines the game:


Instructions

Components. Switch Back is played using a game board, 10 stones (5 per player), 54 cards, and 1 die.

Set up. The board is assembled. The stones are placed on their respective links. The cards are sorted number-side up into a deck and given to the dealer. The die is given to the roller.

Overview. The stones are moved to spaces where they can back the players’ holdings until they can be played onto the board to reconfigure the paths over which the stones travel en route to the exit.

Object. The first player to move all of his stones to the exit is the winner. If the game ends before either player can exit all of his stones, the player who has exited the most is the winner. If both players have exited the same number, the player whose end stone is closest to his exit wins.

Method. The dealer shuffles the deck, and the roller cuts it. Then the dealer deals 6 cards into the pool, and the roller rolls the die and adds it to the pool. Then, beginning with the dealer, the players take turns selecting cards from the pool and either adding them to their holdings or using them to move their stones; otherwise, the die is selected to stop an action. If the player uses a card to move a stone onto the board from a link space, his turn continues with another selection from the pool (if possible); otherwise, his turn ends. When the pool is exhausted, the player who selected the last card (the "switch") plays his holdings, and the round ends. If both the pool and the deck are exhausted, the game ends; otherwise, the player who selected the die (the "stop") becomes the roller, his opponent becomes the dealer, and the next round begins.

Glossary

1. Back. If a player fails to back one of his holdings, the opponent may call for it to be returned to the deck or, if he can back it himself, claim it for his own holdings. To back a card, the player moves a stone onto a space that matches the color/pattern on the back (number side) of the card. The stone will back the card as long as it remains on the corresponding space and has not been stopped.

2. End stone. The stone that is furthest from the player’s exit at the end of the game is called the end stone.

3. Exit. One of the player’s corner links will serve as his exit; the player does not have to declare which one.

4. Holdings. All cards selected from the pool must be kept number-side up on the table in front of the player until he earns the right to play them onto the board.

5. Link. Links are curved paths that connect the rows of the game board. Each link is assigned to a specific player (by color).

6. Move. To move a stone, the player selects a card that shows the number of spaces the stone will travel. The stone can be moved either direction but must travel the full number of spaces showing on the card and never follow a path assigned to the opponent. After the stone has been moved, the card is returned to the deck.

7. Path. Each space on the board initially offers two shared (white) paths that allow players to move their stones from one space to the next. These paths can be reconfigured by playing one’s holdings.

8. Play. Players earn the right to play their holdings by selecting the last card from the pool (the “switch”). To play a card, the player sets it, asterisk-side up, onto any like-colored space on the board. If the card connects opposing paths, it must be turned over to the number-side (“switch back”); if the paths remain crossed, the card is returned to the deck.

9. Pool. At the beginning of each round, 6 cards are dealt, number-side up, in a row next to the board. Then the die is rolled and set next to the cards. Each turn, the player must make a selection from this pool.

10. Stop. To stop an action, the player selects the die (the “stop”) and sets it onto a matching number space on the board. With the die on the space, no stone is able to move through it or use it to back a holding. If the die does not match any number on the board, the game ends.


Here is a link to a drop box folder with the printable components in different formats:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xrk7bflxx8o5102/AAD5a0ahwSD6zgPAf...
 
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henry flower
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Update:

* Images have been cleaned up.
* Rules have been clarified.
* A new set up diagram has been added to the files.



https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xrk7bflxx8o5102/AAD5a0ahwSD6zgPAf...
 
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henry flower
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Update:

* A new game play diagram has been added to the files.

 
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