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Subject: Colorfast (Squared! and Hexed!) rss

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Brian Homan
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I know abstracts don't always get a lot of love, but I came up with one that is simple, yet deep, and plays in about 20 minutes (usually).

The concept is simple, get five in a row of any combination of your primary color and any secondary colors made from it.

The game is either played on a 6x6 grid or a hex grid consisting of a hex in the middle surrounded by three concentric hex rings around it.

On a player's turn, they will either place a cube of their color or convert a cube currently existing on the board to another color that is one away on the color spectrum (e.g. a green cube can be converted to yellow or blue).

Players may not affect any cube just placed/replaced by either opponent, nor can they place/replace a cube in any space next to the spaces where their opponents have just played.

Players must think carefully about changing the color of existing cubes, because while primary colors only help the player of that color, secondary colors will help two out of three players (e.g. orange helps both red and yellow players). Think of this as Othello, Tic-Tac-Toe, Connect Four all rolled up together with an element of area control thrown in and made into a three player game.

I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from family and friends as well as my gaming group so far. Havox talked a little about it here.

The game is available here for your perusal. Just check out either the Colorfast Squared or Colorfast Hexed files for full rules for each game. You'll need your own set of colored cubes to play (I use the ones from Merkator). I am interested to hear any feedback you might have.

Thanks!

P.S. the new files are awaiting approval, so it may be a day or two.
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Brian Homan
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Brought this again to our meetup group last night and it worked very well the two times it got played. I even had some people who had tried it the week before asking if I brought it with me again. I am getting a lot of positive feedback on this so far.
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Brian Homan
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The new files are approved now.
 
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Brian Homan
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So I ran Colorfast as an entry at the Geekway prototype microgame design competition and had a great time explaining my game to play testers then watching them go at it. I scored pretty well, averaging about a 23 out of 30 (sum of six categories scored 1-5). I got hurt most on the theme category, because my game didn't have one, it was just an abstract. Most who played really enjoyed it and most groups got through 2-3 plays before time was up. Even though I didn't win, I walked away with a lot of valuable feedback to make the game better and hopefully put enough polish on it to get it published.

I am toying with renaming the game Color Wars: The Battle for Spectra. Here is the story of the game:
For millennia, the people if Spectra lived in peace together. That was until the Agents of Monochrome began asserting their influence on the people of Spectra.

Monochrome had one mission, to have a single ruling prime color in Spectra. There would always be those whose allegiance would waver. The secondaries were just pawns in this war, and while they equally supported two of the primes, they vehemently hated the third, and those whom they hated, equally hated those secondaries in return.

When war broke out, a weapon was created that would forever shift the balance of power in Spectra, it was called the wavelength modulator. This weapon had the power to convert a prime to a secondary and vice-versa. The weapon had limitations,though. A prime could only be converted to a secondary that they were closely allied with, and likewise with the secondaries being converted to primes. It was discovered, quite by accident, that repeated exposure to the weapon would allow a citizen to continue the transformation process and they could ultimately become a member of any primary or secondary faction by receiving multiple doses of "treatment".

Now, all prime factions are using this weapon to wrest power from the others and assert their dominance in Spectra. They place their agents in seats of power, temporarily shifting the balance of the nation, limiting outside influence in that region and surrounding ones. Influence is never held for long, though, so each faction must keep moving, spending their precious resources to advance their own agenda while hindering their opponents. Some regions are already occupied, so they must resort to using the Wavelength Modulator to gain influence.

The first prime faction to control five linear seats of power either directly or by combined influence of the prime faction and allied secondaries will wrest control of the nation from their opponents and rule supreme.

Agent Black
Agent Black does not care which color wins this war. She has no vested interest in the factions, but she does want to cause as much chaos as she can while the kids argue over who owns the sandbox. She agrees to help any faction for a limited time, which just happens to be when another faction pays for her services. Her price is steep, though. One of the prime agents of her employer will be taken as her slave. If ten collective agents are taken as slaves, Agent Black rises to power and all players lose. No player may use Agent Black more than four times. To use Agent Black, take your normal turn, then remove one of your color cubes from the game and place a black cube on any board space that is currently unoccupied. No player may affect this space until Agent Black is moved from it by hiring her again. Agent black does not influence any space other than her own and she ignores the influence of other factions.

What do ya think? Decent enough theme? Thoughts on the Agent Black mechanism? I am thinking of using colored meeples instead of cubes to affect theme better. Open to suggestions. Maybe plastic pieces like the soldiers from AoE 3?
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