Charlie Sundt
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STOCK DUMP by Charlie Fish
2-8 players, 5 minutes per player (Rules & cards)
Some dodgy ethics implied but otherwise suitable for all ages
Entry for the 2014 Card Game Design Contest Standard Deck category ([listitem=3325030]Geeklist entry[/listitem])


Status:
EDIT: Competition ready. Rules and cards available here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12927261/Stock%20Dump.pd...
So far tested around 20 times with 2-6 players...

Components required:
- A set of the 10 custom Trader cards per player
- 8 cubes of one colour per player

Theme:
You are a big city trader, and times are hard. Your company is downsizing and you’ve been shortlisted for the sack. You have just 5 days to show off your full range of skills, and prove that you’re smarter – and more ruthless – than your colleagues. Whomever makes the most money keeps their job.

Setup:
Separate 8 cubes (stock) of one colour per player, and put them in the middle of the table (the Exchange), grouped by colour. Give each player one differently coloured stock from the Exchange.

For 2-player games only, add 8 stock of a third colour to the Exchange.

Give each player a set of the 10 trader cards. Give the first player marker to the least experienced player.

Before the game starts, the first player shuffles her cards and discards 3 randomly. All players must discard the same 3 cards from their hands, so that each player starts with the same 7 cards in hand. The discarded cards will not be used for this game.

Play:
On each round, players select any one of the cards remaining in their hand and put it face down on the table. When every player has chosen a card, they are all revealed simultaneously. Starting with whomever has the first player marker, the card effects are resolved in clockwise order (ignore the monetary value of the card printed in the top-left until the scoring phase).

When a player's card effect is triggered, that player must carry out the action. Once a card is resolved it is left face up on the table. All players should be able to see which cards have been played, and what stock is owned by other players.

Repeat until five rounds have been played, at which point the game is over. The last card in a player’s hand is never played. Some players may have two cards left in their hand at the game’s end.

Deals between players are encouraged, but never binding.

Scoring:
Each stock in a player’s hand at the end of the game (including cashed in stock) is worth £8 minus the number of stock of that colour left in the Exchange. Add up the total value your stock, and then add (or subtract) the monetary value printed on the top left of the unplayed card(s) remaining in your hand, to get your final score.
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Charlie Sundt
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Re: [WIP] Stock Dump - 2014 Card Game Design Contest entry, 2-8 players, 20 minutes
I was inspired to make this game after I had a simple idea: What if each player played the same small number of cards, and all that mattered was the order in which they played them?

I have playtested the resulting game about a dozen times so far with 2, 3 and 4 players - and it has been very well received. It's highly interactive, largely tactical but with a fair number of different viable strategies to try, plays quickly, and rewards multiple plays.

Possibly the main problem with it is that you basically have to learn what all the cards do before you can play effectively - which means the first game can be a bit overwhelming. But at least there are only 12 cards, and I'm trying to see if I can slim it down to 10 without losing anything.

Right now I'm tweaking the card effects and values. And I'll keep playtesting it with different groups, particularly to see if anyone thinks they can "solve" it - I don't want that!

I've never designed a game before, and I'm very much on the fringes of the BGG community (although I love this place), so I doubt that I'll have enough clout to win a community-voted contest, but I'm just happy to have somewhere to share this fun game idea!

Thanks for reading!
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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Re: [WIP] Stock Dump - 2014 Card Game Design Contest entry, 2-8 players, 20 minutes
I've read the thread and now I'm intrigued... could you share the cards, even in a draft format ?
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Charlie Sundt
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Re: [WIP] Stock Dump - 2014 Card Game Design Contest entry, 2-8 players, 20 minutes
Hi Ghislain,

Thanks for your interest! Sure, I'll share the deck that I'm currently playtesting. I'll need to do it from my home computer, so watch out for it tonight.

I playtested the new leaner 10-card version last night with 4 and 5 players and it went down well. But I still have a small worry that reducing the number of cards makes it more likely to be "solvable" - I don't want anyone to figure out a single optimum way of playing!

So I will keep testing and refining the values/powers of the cards.

Thanks!
 
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Charlie Sundt
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Re: [WIP] Stock Dump - 2014 Card Game Design Contest entry, 2-8 players, 20 minutes
The draft cards are now available here for anyone that wants to try this game out: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kfrpx8ncwotyfik/Stock%20Dump%20by%... EDIT: new file available - see the post immediately below.

You need to print out a copy of the cards (one sheet) per player, and find eight cubes of one colour per player.
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Charlie Sundt
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Re: [WIP] Stock Dump - 2014 Card Game Design Contest entry, 2-8 players, 20 minutes
After another dozen or so playtests with up to five players, the cards are pretty well refined, and I'm much more confident that the slimmer 10-card deck works.

I've also added an introductory version of the game to the rules with only 6 cards - trying to get the barrier to entry (remembering loads of cards) as low as possible. The introductory version is still very fun!

Next step is to maybe get it looking a little prettier. And, of course, keep playtesting it every chance I have.

So, READY FOR BLIND PLAYTESTING! Latest version of the rules and cards can be downloaded here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12927261/Stock%20Dump.pd...

Anyone who actually downloads this file, prints out the sheet of cards, finds some friends and plays this - I am honoured and extremely grateful.
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Charlie Sundt
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Re: [WIP] Stock Dump - 2014 Card Game Design Contest entry, 2-8 players, 20 minutes
Quote:
Is there a game board. Are stocks volatile (buy low and sell high).

How do people get money to purchase stocks? How do other players influence the market and prevent others from succeeding?


There's no game board.

Perhaps oddly for a stock game, there is no money, except as an endgame scoring mechanism. There are cards that allow you to acquire stock (whatever it's current value), and then cards that allow you to drive up or push down the price of a particular stock.

Timing is all-important. Each player has the same cards, and the way to win is to time your acquisition of stock and manipulation of the market so that you end up with more and/or more valuable stock than your opponents. There are a few viable strategies, but responding to the tactical situation is more important.
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Randal Marsh
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This looks very cool. I've just printed the game for testing. I think I can catch another player in the next couple of days.
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Charlie Sundt
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Awesome! I'm stoked to hear what you think.

Just today I printed all the contest entries that have files available, including yours, so I'll get working with the scissors and test them over the next couple of weeks.
 
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Randal Marsh
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So after a quick play, I have a few comments. First, let me say that this is cool. I love the way stock values change. The rules make sense; it was easy enough to pick up. As you mention, the tricky part is learning the cards. My wife and I have only played the "intro" version with six cards so far. I found myself really wishing that we had more players, more stock to choose from. Have you tried an extra stock-type? So, 3 for a two player game? This could help with a concern I had. If both players play "cash in" and "external investment" then there are only three shares left of each stock that can be manipulated. This seems to restrict play and I imagine it will happen very frequently.

I'll be interested to try with more players and with all the cards. Good work!
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Charlie Sundt
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Hi Randal,

Thanks so much for trying the game!

Since doing a bit more play testing, I am becoming gradually more convinced that an additional colour of stock works slightly better.

I've tried it this way a few times and your vote in that direction might just be enough to push me over the edge (so thank you again!). The new setup would be always one more colour of stock than the number of players, and 6 of each instead of 8 of each. A couple of the card values might need tweaking as a result.

Furthermore, I wonder if the basic game is actually all I need. As much as it pains me to let go of fun cards, keeping it as simple as possible seems to be the right thing. So if you do play it with the extra four cards I'm especially curious to hear what you think.

The final idea I'm toying with is whether there should be fewer rounds so that you're always left with more than one card at the end - which would make the card values even more important.

Dang, this game design gig is hard!
 
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Charlie Sundt
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I've been continuing to test this, but trying drastically different things, hoping to work out what is the optimum setup.

It's very difficult not to feel intimidated by this process. Every time I change something I'm effectively testing a new game - and therefore each iteration is not getting as much testing as I'd like.

I've tweaked the rules that are available for download above, but only mildly. (Because at least the current version works well, and is fun, even if not yet optimum.) Meanwhile I'm considering more dramatic changes. In particular, to improve replayability, I'm considering a larger card set but with only 7 cards used in each game (each game being only 5 rounds instead of 8).
 
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Randal Marsh
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I quite like the idea of having a larger card set and only using seven for each game. After learning the beginning card set it would be easy for players to switch out one or two and learn the new actions. I imagine cards interacting in interesting ways, Dominion style.
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Charlie Sundt
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getareaction wrote:
Meanwhile I'm considering more dramatic changes. In particular, to improve replayability, I'm considering a larger card set but with only 7 cards used in each game (each game being only 5 rounds instead of 8).


Rules tweaked to implement this change.
 
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Philip Pack
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Update. We just finished playing 4 games. First twice with the "introductory game" and than twice with the full set of cards.

First off, my wife hates me now. First game was close at 17-15, second game had a bit more of a gap at 24-16. With the full game it was first 60-53 and second game at 60-35. That said, we're both impressed with the simplicity and depth of this game. This really has the be one of the most creative stock market games out there.

In a two player game there's a lot of out thinking your opponent. In the one game we had access to the "market manipulation", it was uncanny the actions we blocked each another form... like we knew what the other one was going to play. This was also true the time where we both played IPO at the same time, and I got the 1 cube advantage ($8 if no stock was returned/sold) that time.

I plan to print out another 2 sets so I can try a 4 player game of this at my next opportunity with family/friends, as I'd love to see how it changes with more players. I couldn't imagine an 8 player game and how crazy that could be.

This is the only thing we caught is a little discrepancy that you may want to look in to. The Stock Option card illustration shows "take 2 of any stock" (two cubes shown), where the rules clearly say "take 1 of any stock". We played it as the rules state, take 1. But the take 2 from a player and return it to the exchange matches on both card and rules.
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Steven Tu
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Reading the rules reminded me of LLibertalia, which I only had a game of. I like the blind drop mechanic creating a play counter play sort of thing which I thought was the heart of RoboRally (but RoboRally eventually was too slow). Will give it a try when I have some time
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Charlie Sundt
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Philip, thank you SO much for trying the game. I know how difficult it can be to find the time to test a new game when there are so many other games out there to play - I really appreciate it.

And I'm so pleased that you seemed to have as much fun playing the game as I do!

DjFIL wrote:
Update. We just finished playing 4 games. First twice with the "introductory game" and than twice with the full set of cards.

First off, my wife hates me now.


Sorry!

DjFIL wrote:
First game was close at 17-15, second game had a bit more of a gap at 24-16. With the full game it was first 60-53 and second game at 60-35.


Do you recall which cards were left in hand at the end for any of these games? (i.e. which cards had their values +/- from the final score?)

DjFIL wrote:
That said, we're both impressed with the simplicity and depth of this game. This really has the be one of the most creative stock market games out there.


modest

DjFIL wrote:
In a two player game there's a lot of out thinking your opponent. In the one game we had access to the "market manipulation", it was uncanny the actions we blocked each another form... like we knew what the other one was going to play. This was also true the time where we both played IPO at the same time, and I got the 1 cube advantage ($8 if no stock was returned/sold) that time.

I plan to print out another 2 sets so I can try a 4 player game of this at my next opportunity with family/friends, as I'd love to see how it changes with more players. I couldn't imagine an 8 player game and how crazy that could be.


It actually plays slightly differently with two, in that the timing/out-thinking element is emphasised. There are perhaps more tactical opportunities with more players. I've actually only tested it with 2-6 players, but I can't see a reason why it wouldn't work with more.

DjFIL wrote:
This is the only thing we caught is a little discrepancy that you may want to look in to. The Stock Option card illustration shows "take 2 of any stock" (two cubes shown), where the rules clearly say "take 1 of any stock". We played it as the rules state, take 1. But the take 2 from a player and return it to the exchange matches on both card and rules.


Excellent spot! The cards changed so many times as I was testing the game that I was bound to miss something. I've corrected the error, and gone with "take 2".

I intend to keep testing the game, of course, but the core of it feels pretty good now. I'll also be testing some "expansion" cards!

If you do get another chance to play it, I'm super grateful if you can tell me how it goes.
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Charlie Sundt
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Tuism wrote:
Reading the rules reminded me of LLibertalia, which I only had a game of. I like the blind drop mechanic creating a play counter play sort of thing which I thought was the heart of RoboRally (but RoboRally eventually was too slow). Will give it a try when I have some time :)


I haven't played Libertalia (although I'd love to!), but I know Roborally. It's a surprising comparison...

If you get to try the game, I'd be very curious to hear what you think!
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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You file only provide one page for cards. Should I just print it many times or should I edit the file to modify the color ? Or maybe just print B&W on color paper ?
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Charlie Sundt
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Yes, you'll need to print the sheet of cards as many times as you have players. It doesn't matter if each set is the same colour because the cards don't get mixed up. (Although if you did make the cards a different colour for each player it would be much easier to separate them again if they did get mixed.)

Thanks for your interest, hope you enjoy the game!
 
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