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Subject: [WIP] Arcturian Megapedes rss

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Tim Patterson
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My first attempt at a game and hopefully it's a little different. I need to get some play-testing in to balance the card distribution and test the attach mechanism to make sure it's enough to encourage some player interaction without dragging the game out too long.

I'm not sure how novel the game mechanics are so if you know of similar games, I'd be happy to check them out
I'm hoping I can match the mechanics to the theme so it feels like a struggle to grow quickly with a bit of fight. We'll see...!



Background Story
It's time for the Arcturian Megapedes to mate with the Queen, but she will only mate with the longest and most colourful megapede. Can you consume enough scarabugs of the right colour to be the first to grow long enough to be a worthy mate for the queen?

Components

Cards showing a megapede body segment in one of 6 different colours (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple). Probably 8 of each colour, but I need to do some balancing here.

Cards showing head and tail of a megapede in one each of the 6 colours.
Set of head/tail/body segments in grey. This is the queen.

Cards showing a scarabug in one of 6 colours. Probably 8 of each colour, but balancing needed.

Card(s) showing a colour wheel in the 6 colours with each primary colour (red, yellow, blue) being opposite it's contrasting secondary colour (green, purple, orange). This is a visual reminder for the players. (Could also be the back of the scarabug cards to save cards?)

Set-Up

Place a grey tail card, followed by a number of grey segment cards and finished by a head. This is the length the megapedes will need to grow to mate with the queen. Number of body segment cards will determine the length of the game and will probably need to vary with number of players. Assuming 8 body segments for the moment.


Each player takes a matching tail/head megapede card and in rows above/below the queen, places the tail cards aligned with the queen's tail and then the head card. This shows your baby meagapede. As you add body segment cards behind the head, you will see your megapede grow and can compare it's length to the queen.

Shuffle the scarabug cards together and deal five to each player. The player may look at these cards. Place the rest in a face-down pile on the table.

Shuffle the coloured body segment cards together. Deal three face up in a row and place the rest in a second face-down pile.

Play

The person with the most legs start and play proceeds clockwise.

On a player's turn, they draw one new scarabug card (shuffling the discard pile for re-use if necessary) and then may perform as many of the actions as his had of cards allows:

1. FEED AND GROW
Feed your megapede a scarabug and watch it grow a segment of the same colour. Do this by discarding a TWO scarabug cards of a colour matching one of the 3 upturned segment cards. Take this segment card and add it directly behind your megapede head card. Reveal a new segment card to bring the total showing back to 3. If there are not enough cards, shuffle the discarded segment pile and turn it over.

NOTE 1: The queen likes show-offs, so even if you're the longest megapede, the queen won't mate with you unless you're colourful enough, so you need all 6 colours (TBC- might be 4 or 5 colours needed only?) to win. Otherwise, you need to keep growing until you have them all.

NOTE 2: Coloured segments need to be strong and flow from one to the next. Strong joints are cards of the same colour or adjoining colours in the colour wheel. So a red segment followed by a red, orange or purple segment is a strong join. Other colours are weak joins and leave your megapede vulnerable.



2: POISON AN OPPONENT
Just as growth requires your megapede to eat scarabugs of the right colour, eating scarabugs of the wrong colour can posion a megapede, but only at a weak joint. To attack an opponents megapede, you first need to identify a weak joint of two adjacent body segments which have colours that are not the same or adjacent on the colour wheel. For each of these two segments, you must then "feed" your opponent megapede one scarabug of the opposite colour. The scarabug cards are discarded and the two body sgements are removed from the megapede and discarded. The megapede head card is shifted back to show the shrinking of the megapede.

EXAMPLE: The red-head megapede has two adjacent boy segments that are purple and orange. These are not adjacent on the colour wheel and so can be poisoned by discarding a yellow scarabug (opposite of purple) and a blue scarabug (opposite of orange).


3 REPLACE A SEGMENT: You may discard a face up body segment by discarding ONE scarabug of the opposite colour (see the colour wheel). Then turn a new body segment face up.

EXAMPLE: You can discard and replace a yellow body segment by discarding a purple scarabug.

Play continues until a player has a megapede that is at least as long as the queen and contains the requisite number of colours.




 
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Tim Patterson
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Griesheim
Hessen
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RULE UPDATE:

In order to create a faster, more frenetic feel, at the start of a player's turn, if you have less than 5 cards, you draw body segment cards back to 5 OR you draw one card.

This should ensure you always have cards to do something and that you perform an action rather than hoard cards.

Still nee to analyse card distributions and stats to balance the cards needed to perform an action to make sure it's not a repeated deadlock or grow/poison stopping the game from progressing...
 
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Tim Patterson
Germany
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Hessen
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COLOUR ASPECTS
As the game relies on colours, I'll also have to think about making the game colour-blind friendly.

Note to myself is to look at (a) some linking symbols at the body segment boundary, and (b)some symbols to show which colours are opposites.

(a) Column of 6 blocks at matching points on the body cards. Tow filled blocks that moves down as you move through the colours. For matching or adjacent colours, 2 or 1 filled blocks will overlap. For weak cases, no overlap.

(b) Simply use a filled circle with the wedge removed for that colour. An opposing colour will need a symbol with the opposite wedge removed.

ATTACKING
When attacking, it might be more interesting to build up an attack. P{layer one could lay an opposing-coloured scarabug on the weak segment. Once there are two scarabugs on each weak segment, the two segments are destroyed and removed. This would also allow other players to join in an attack. The attacked player could destroy a scarabug with a scarabug of the opposing colour.


 
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