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Subject: [WIP] Thief! rss

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Brian Compter
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Long time lurker, first game design post.

Thief! is a card game where each player leads a gang of thieves intent on stealing the most loot before the game ends. Thief! is designed for 2 to 4 players and takes 60 to 90 minutes for a complete game.

THE PREMISE
Players take turns sending their gang of thieves to rob different locations around town. A suburban home, a jewelry store, the local bank, even the famous Casino Almost Royal are all possible targets.

You assemble your team, equip them with gear and hope they defeat the security systems in play to make off with the loot. If you fail to defeat the security then you go away empty handed and attract police scrutiny as well. Attract too much attention and some of your crew will be going to jail.

THE RULES

In Thief!, each player takes control of a gang of thieves determined to collect the most loot by the end of the game. The player with the most loot after paying everyone working for them is the winner!

Components
Action / Gear Deck
Jobs Deck
Thief Deck
Security / Loot Deck
Badge Markers
First Thief Marker

Thieves
Each thief has a set of skills. These skills will be used to defeat the security at a job to score the loot!
Agility
Lockpicking
Wits

Share - The amount of loot that is subtracted from each player’s total score at the end of the game if this thief is in your gang.

Special Abilities - Most Thieves will have some special abilities that may help or hurt you and the other players. Exploiting these abilities at the right moment can mean the difference between scoring the loot or coming away empty handed.

Jobs
Jobs are locations or opportunities for your gang to score loot. Each Job has three skill difficulties, a base loot value, and a set of numbers that indicate the number of face-up and face-down Security/Loot cards the job comes into play with.

Security
Nobody is going to leave their valuables completely unguarded. The security cards represent different security systems that your gang must overcome to snag the loot! Security cards add to the base difficulty of the job and sometimes have special effects.

Loot
Loot are the victory points in the game. The gang with the most loot at the end of the game wins!

Action
Action cards affect the game when played and are discarded afterwards. They have various effects designed to help yourself or hurt your competitors!

Gear
Gear cards give bonuses to your skills during a job and are exhausted when the job completes instead of being discarded like action cards. This makes gear cards very useful since they can be reused between rounds!

Once played, Gear cards remain face up in front of the owner and thus do not count against the maximum hand size.

Playing the Game

Setting Up

Shuffle the Thief deck and deal five cards face down to each player. Each player then looks at their cards and selects three to keep as their starting gang. Each player should now have three thieves in their gang to start the game.

Shuffle the remaining decks and place them in the game area.

Deal two cards from the Action/Gear deck to each player.

Playing a Round

Draw a number of Job cards equal to the number of players plus one. For each Job shown, draw cards from the Security/Loot deck face up or face down as indicated by the job and place them next to the job so that all players may see the face up cards.

For the first round, randomly determine the First Thief and give them the First Thief token.

Starting with the First Thief and going clockwise, players take turns taking one action at a time. Actions can be starting a job, going shopping, hiring new thieves, or passing. The round is over when all players pass.

Once a player passes that is it, they are done for this round and cannot take another action until the next turn.

Starting a Job

To start a job, the acting player selects one job to attempt and selects one or more Thieves from his gang to make the attempt.

Once you have a gang ready for a job the acting player flips over all face down Security/Loot cards for that Job. The total skill levels of your crew has to meet or beat the Job difficulty levels plus the difficulty of any Security cards.

At this point you or the other players at the table will play Action cards, use Gear Cards and trigger special abilities to push the odds to your favor. Once all shenanigans are done compare the total skill on the gang against the difficulty of the job. If the gang succeeds, that player collects the Job card and any loot cards under it to his stash. These cards may be turned face down to hide the total value of a player’s stash. Security cards are discarded.

If the Job failed, then that player gains a Badge token and one Thief must be exhausted to cover your tracks.

All thieves that participate in a successful job are exhausted when the job completes.

Hiring New Thieves

Players may add thieves to their gang by recruiting from the Thief deck. As an action, players may exhaust one thief to draw from the top of the Thief deck. Drawn thieves are revealed to all players so that Come Into Play conditions may be triggered. Recruited Thieves start exhausted and will be ready to use on the next round.

Going Shopping

Drawing from the Action/Gear deck works much the same as recruiting. Exhaust one Thief to draw a card from the Action/Gear deck.

Completing the Round

Once all players have passed the round is over and arrests are made.

Making Arrests

After all players pass, it is time to make arrests. Any player with three of more badges has garnered so much attention from the police that somebody is going to take a fall. The more badges, the more arrests must be made.

At 3 badges, one arrest is required. The second arrest occurs at 5 badges. The 6th badge and every badge thereafter triggers one additional arrest. Once players have discarded the appropriate number of thieves, remove badges from those players equal to the number of badges that triggered the arrests. (1 arrest removes 3 badges, 2 arrests removes 5 badges, and 6 or more arrests thus remove all badges a player has)

Check for Maximum Hand Size

Any player with more than 5 cards in their hands must discard down to five cards.

Ending the Game
The game is over when there are no more jobs left in the Jobs deck.

Players then count the loot in their stash and subtract the Share value of their remaining thieves. The final score is then used to determine the winner of the game.

SAMPLE CARDS







ACTION SHOTS







Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Thrown Pottery?
 
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Alex Gregory
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Looks like you are pretty far into the design! What do you plan to do next?

Also, you spelled "Guard" wrong on one of the cards.
Thought you should know.
 
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Brian Compter
United States
Foxboro
Massachusetts
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CrimsonGames wrote:
Looks like you are pretty far into the design! What do you plan to do next?


Thanks for chiming in! That is a great question. Got me thinking about it which is always good.

- Finish Thief names. I ran out of steam and ended up with a few cards with names like Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. All of the thiefs should have neat names related to their special ability.

- Balance. The thiefs need some re-balancing with regards to their Share stat and a few special abilities.

- Decide on the Action card mix. I have more Action cards than I know what to do with and need to trim it down so I don't have a 70-odd card deck for them. Time to make some cuts!

- Fixes and Clarifications. Playtesting has found a bunch of little issues that need more text or more iconography to make everything obvious.

- Playtest game length. I imagine this game taking about an hour or so to complete and I need more input from playtest sessions to make the length feel right.

- More play testing. Because there will always be things to improve.

CrimsonGames wrote:

Also, you spelled "Guard" wrong on one of the cards. :P
Thought you should know.


Yep, that was one of the first things noted by my latest play test session. That and a few other items will need fixing up on my next revision.
 
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Brian Compter
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Foxboro
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Checking back in after a good long while and several changes to the rules!

New this time around:

- Revamped turn sequence that promotes faster play
- Some new card designs, Jobs are now landscape
- Re-added the "Take That" cards that were previously removed. I felt the game needed the interaction to be worthwhile, otherwise it was just felt like a bland game where everyone did their own thing.

Playtesting went very well over last weekend. The game with the new turn sequence and a few tweaks felt very good. The play time was perfect. It felt very good. I'm excited.

I was still cringing a few times when I noticed some copy-paste errors on this "print run".

Next up will be to spruce up some of the other cards, fix some of those typos, and consider balancing some of the Thief cards better.

Also mulling over allowing each player to draw an Action card at the beginning of their turn to help along the shenanigans. More play testing is ahead.





 
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