Late arrivals for the Ugly Bug Ball (aka Hive)
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Now don't get me wrong, I like Hive just the way it is (even the spider) but the strength of the design does lend itself to the thought of adding some extra creepy crawlies. Listed below are some new critters that I have done some artwork for, in the style of the 'bakelite' set, and some initial ideas for rules for them. Be advised I have not play-tested these to any great extent, they are just ideas. And indeed that is sort of the point of the list - to canvass for other ideas as to how these new beasties could be implemented and gather any comments on those ideas proposed, i.e. would they work, would they be completely imbalanced etc.

There may be some hive fanboys and purists who think it completely unnecessary to overburden a clean, elegant and balanced game with a multitude of new pieces and of course they would be absolutely right - but ultimately you really can't have enough bakelite chunky, clunky, funkiness. And yes I know it's not really bakelite it's some form of thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin.... but let's just call it bakelite OK.

Some of the new bugs are fairly obvious choices, and I noticed after I put my ideas together that there were already some suggested rules for them (e.g. caterpillar/butterfly) so there are already some ideas out there. I have tried to come up with rules ideas that 'fitted' the insect rather than just mechanics that would be good for the game.

I thought about adding these as one variant per 'bug' under the Hive game entry, but felt that collecting them together on a list was better. The artwork was done so that it printed correctly for a homebrew 25mm hex-nut set.

Also the suggested rule variants below are only intended to provide the concept for the piece they have not been produced to be 'rules lawyer' proof at this stage.
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1. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Centipede.



No of pieces: 2 per side
Placing: as per standard hive placement.
Basic Move: 1 or 2 spaces around the hive.
Special: if two centipede pieces of the same colour are next to each other then they become 'joined' and in all future moves they move as one piece. One piece is designated as the head and moves 1 or 2 spaces and the remaining 'tail' piece follows the 'head's path. All normal movement rules apply - i.e. the hive cannot be broken during any part of the move nor can either piece move to a location it cannot slip into. The centipede pieces can be placed separately and if so are regarded as separate pieces with only one being allowed to move on any given turn. Once they have joined they cannot be unjoined.

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2. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Scorpion.


No of pieces: 1 per side.
Placing: as per standard hive placement except only one scorpion (either black or white) can be in play at any one time.
Basic Move: 1 space around the hive.
Special: when the scorpion moves adjacent to a piece it can (optional) 'sting' the piece and the piece is returned to the owning player. By removing the piece none of the normal hive retrictions can be broken - i.e. you can't break the hive. The in-play scorpion is then exchanged in the same place in the hive for the scorpion of the opposite colour.
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3. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Ladybird.



No of Pieces: 1 per side.
Placement: standard hive placement.
Basic movement: 1 to 5 spaces normal restrictions.
Special: any opposing piece adjacent to the Ladybird can be moved by the owning player as if it was his piece. Exceptions: scorpion cannot be moved/used, spider cannot use web (see variant below), and the moved piece cannot fill the last empty space round an opposing queen. The opposing player cannot move the piece back to the same place on the immediately following turn.
 
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4. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Fly



No of Pieces: 2 per side.
Placement: standard.
Basic move: 1 to 3 spaces around the hive - normal restrictions.
Special: any opposing piece that starts it's move adjacent to the fly has it's move 'degraded' as follows:
- Queen can only move if it moves to a space where it is only touching pieces of it's own colour.
- Hopper can only do hops of 1 piece.
- Bugs cannot climb or climb off.
- Spider move reduced to 2 spaces.
- Ant can only move a max of 4 spaces around the hive.
- Ladybird immune. If it starts next to an opposing fly instead of a move the player can choose to return the fly to the owning player.
- Scorpion cannot sting. If it moves next to the fly it can still bite on that turn - including biting the fly.
- Caterpillar cannot climb or change to cocoon (see below).
- Butterfly can only move 2 spaces around the hive.
- Dragonfly move reduced to 2 spaces around the hive.
- Centipede move reduced to 1 space around the hive.
 
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5. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Dragonfly.



No of pieces: 3 per side.
Placement: standard except all 3 pieces (or the max that can be legitimately placed - others are lost) can be placed on one turn.
Basic move: 1 to 4 spaces around the hive.
Special: the opposing player may on any turn either flip a dragonfly to it's blank side, or remove from play an already flipped dragonfly, that is adjacent to any of his pieces. This is in addition to his normal move and can be done before or after the move of his piece.
Concept: a short lived swarm.
 
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6. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Caterpillar.



No of pieces: 2 per side.
Placement: standard.
Basic move: 1 space or climb on/off the hive one space.
Special: when the caterpillar climbs off the hive it is flipped to it's blank side. On any subsequent turns a flipped caterpillar can be replaced by a butterfly - as long as the butterfly can reach the location, i.e. can be slid in. On any turn except for the one immediately following it's climb onto the hive, the opposing player may, instead of a normal move, remove a caterpillar that is on top of the hive and return it to the owning player - caterpillars are very juicy and vulnerable to birds.

Note: after I came up with this I did notice that someone else had already suggested a caterpillar/butterfly variant. I'm not sure mine is better but it is different.
 
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7. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Butterfly.



No of pieces: 2 per side.
Placement: see caterpillar. Note the butterfly can be placed even if the flipped caterpillar is touching an opposing coloured piece.
Basic move: 2 or 4 spaces around the hive or hops of 2 or 4 spaces but only where the end position is accessable (i.e. the butterfly can be slid in as per standard hive restriction.
Special: none.
Note: I did think about some form of crooked hop move for the butterfly - sort of a cross between a hopper and a knight at chess but any ideas that avoided game problems ended up being fiddly.
 
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8. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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How to introduce the late arrivals to Hive:

- Agree to play with one of the new bugs and add the relevant pieces to the mix.
- Agree to replace one of the existing bugs with new bugs of the same number of pieces.
- Drafting - players choose whatever starting 11 bugs they wish once chosen that is the 11. Obviously a queen must be one of them. This may result in some wildly unbalanced games but hey it doesn't take long to play.
- Drafting 2 - players choose pieces from the entire extended set as play proceeds, up to a total of 11.
- Players should decide whether they will play with or without the scorpion prior to play starting. It shouldn't form part of your 11 pieces.

Homebrew hive pieces in image to the left.
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9. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Yet another spider variant.



As per standard hive except-
Special: if a piece moves adjacent to a spider, or if a spider moves adjacent to an opposing piece the spider's owner may trap the opposing piece. This should be denoted by a counter of somesort (a chunky transparent disc withh a nice web graphic would be good) placed on top of the ensnared piece. Each player is limited to one web counter total - not one per spider. The web counter can only be placed if it is not already placed on the hive. On any turn a player can take back the web token into his hand as well as having his normal move. The takeback happens after the move so a player could not take back an already placed web, move a spider and trap a new piece during the same turn - webs take a while to spin afterall.
 
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10. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
 
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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Beneath this mask there is an idea.....and ideas are bulletproof.
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Multi-player.

This has been suggested before by others but I think that multi-player (up to 4 max) could work quite well, although again I haven't been able to try it out. I was planning to make another two sets of the hex-nut pieces - one in a rich burgundy and the other a deep emerald green - but have not got around to it yet. When I do I will probably try some/all of the following rules ideas:-

- Use 2 to 4 (depending on the number of players and what works) fixed 'scenary/flora' type pieces to initially establish the hive - e.g. grass/bamboo, flowers, forrest, desert. Mottled grey with a mica fleck I think. Again the idea of fixed anchor pieces has been suggested before by others and I think it sounds good.

- You can only move one of your pieces next to an opponents queen if no other player has moved next to that same queen since the queens owners last move. Note: this is to stop attacks from multiple players wiping a player out without them having a chance to defend themselves.

- Use all pieces (including additional variants above) and possibly an extra queen per colour/player. Players score points for each queen they capture based on the number of their colour pieces involved in the capture + extra for placing the final piece, and additional points if they have a queen remaining at the end of the game. The game can be to the death - last queen standing - or until x queens have been captured (x probably being the number of players). A real Hive war! arrrhninja


With all these extra pieces the guy with the tattoos (image left) is going to need more arms.
 
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11. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Anderson Tao
United States
San Bruno
CA
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i know this is not an bug... but.. here we go.

1. hypnotoad: turn hypnotoad face up anywhere. everyone loses, hypnotoad wins. http://www.lhaddix.net/htoad.htm

2. chuck norris: play chuck norris tile. chuck wins. chuck norris is always surrounding everything http://www.chucknorrisfacts.com/.
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