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For the 2015 Solitaire Print and Play Contest

The Court of Xiang Chi

As Ruler of the Three Clans - Sun, Moon and Earth - it is your task to rule over your court of Ministers, Tax Collectors, Generals, Poets and Courtesans who will bring prosperity to land and protect the people from the Daemon Princes of the Fire Clan.



components:
54 cards
20-30 counters to use as coins
20-30 counters for VP or maybe a tracking card of some sort


current file:
http://pl123.pairlitesite.com/cards/court/ - version 5.4.15

high res file now available in this folder as well - court_highres.pdf
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
basic game explanation to go here shortly
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Luke Phillips
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
God damn it man, your stuff looks better than 90% of the published games out there. Ever thought of going pro?
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Vicente Sivera Catala
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
This looks really good.
I'm also working on a Chinese themed game so you already sold me in.

Subscribed.

By the way, are those Beijing Opera guys?
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
thank you Luke. i would love to have my name on a game box and a contract with a publisher yes. most of my opportunities to date have not panned out. i will be signing contracts tomorrow morning for 2 of my games.. so fingers crossed.

once my name is on a game box i will retire from the PnP contest circuit and just continue creating games in my main forum thread


Vincente - thank you for the kind words as well. yes they are all Beijing Opera drawings from a book several hundred years old and now in the public domain so i am borrowing the artwork for the game





i hope tomorrow to show more of the cards and give everyone a rough version of the rules. I ran the game past my FLGS owner today who has a great ability to pick out small but bad flaws in my games designs and he thought it all sounded good so far.

so i hope by the end of the contest here i'll have a strong contender and a new solo game for everyone to play.



the big thing driving this game is how the different court jobs relate to each other when playing cards to the tableau. the tableau only has 8 slots and you have to do a number of different things so there will be i hope some hard choices about what card goes where when bought
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
*fingers crossed* !!!
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
this game is a bit more of a fantasy alternate world ancient China. dealing with daemon princes was probably not something real chinese emperors worried about much


the title of the game is a game pun by the way
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
it was that pun that brought me to the thread. Printing this tomorrow if I can.
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
i dont think i will have files tomorrow for you. but soon. depends on how much time i can carve out of my schedule this week
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
all the cards - WIP in progress numbers

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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
basics of game play - rough rules



a draw pile is created and four cards are dealt out in a row.

the player may choose 3 of these cards to place below in their Court Tableau for free as part of the setup. If any Daemon Prince cards are drawn they are set aside and will be shuffled back into the deck after the player chooses the three they want. The player also begins the game with 5 gold pieces (GP) [money subject to renaming once i do some research into chinese monetary systems]

3 cards are then dealt from the deck to add to the 4th in the row next to the draw deck. This is the Auction Row.

cards will be purchased during the game from this row in an auction format, the card closest to the draw deck costs 4GP + modifier, the next card 3GP + modifer, 2GP + modifer and the rightmost card 1GP + modifier.

the player will buy one or more cards per turn (using their GP) and place them below in his Court Tableau which consists of 2 rows of 4 cards. As the game progresses the player will be covering older cards with newer cards.


if the player does not wish to purchase any cards, the rightmost (non Daemon) card is removed from the game

when the player buys a card it is placed wherever they wish in their Court Tableau and the card's power is activated



the 5 types of court cards each show a number in the upper right corner - this is the card's VP value as well the cost modifier in the auction price. A card with a 3 on it and in the leftmost position up in the Auction Row would cost 7GP in total.

the middle icon shows the card action

the bottom icon shows one of three clans - Sun, Moon and Earth

Ministers - gain xGP for each Tax Collector in the Court. use Tax Collector VP value for GP gained. If the Minister's Clan matches a Tax Collector card's clan the player gains +1GP extra

Generals - the black number refers to the strength of a General when defeating a Daemon Prince in the Auction Row. For each card clan icon that matches the General, the player adds +1 Strength to the General. When first placed, the General gains a one time +1 Strength Bonus and may immediately defeat a Daemon Prince (General Strength must be equal to or greater than the Daemon Prince). Defeated Daemon Princes are laced to the left of the draw deck.

Courtesan - the player may buy a second card from the Auction Row this turn (normally only one card per turn can be bought) if they choose

Tax Collector - the player may discard any other card in the Court Tableau which is currently covered by a card. Discard this card either for VP value as shown in the upper right corner of the card or gain GP equal to the VP value. If this option is chosen the card is placed in the Daemon Prince Pile to the far right of the Auction Row

Poet - the player gains VP for each card matching the Poet's Clan currently shown in the Court Tableau.

Daemon Prince - when these cards are drawn they will remain in the Auction Row until defeated by a General. At the end of the turn, if there are Daemon Princes in the Auction Row, the rightmost non Daemon card is removed from the Auction Row and placed in the Daemon Prince Pile. At the end of the game the VP from all cards in the Daemon Prince Pile are subtracted from the player's VP score.

Turn Order

1. Buy 1 card from Auction Row and place in Court Tableau (buy a 2nd card if a Courtesan is purchased). After player buys a card, the other cards are slid to the right and a new card is drawn and placed in Auction Row

1.a - If the player does not wish to purchase any cards, the rightmost (non Daemon) card is removed from the game

2. 1 General may fight 1 Daemon Prince, no limit on fights but a different General must be used each time

3. If Daemon Princes are in Auction Row, the rightmost non Daemon card is removed from the Auction Row and placed in the Daemon Prince Pile.


Game End

If 4 Daemon Princes are in the Auction Row the game is over

Else if 9 Daemon Princes are either defeated by Generals or are in the Auction Row the game is over. (i.e. after all 9 Daemon Princes has been drawn)


The Player then adds up their total VP gained during the game and gains 1Vp for every 3GP they have left. All VP from the Daemon Prince Pile is subtracted for a final score.
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
well i spent some quality time tonight and wrote up the rules more properly for playtesters, and created the PDF to print for playtesting


http://pl123.pairlitesite.com/cards/court/



note, at this stage you do not need to print the backs of the cards if you do not wish to.

i'll be printing a copy myself and begin playtesting tomorrow.
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
playtest questions to be answered

does the player gain enough money to almost afford the cards they want?

should the Emperor's Court only have six cards instead of eight?

is any one type of card weaker than others?

is it too easy or too hard to defeat the Daemon Prince cards?
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
Do you think the game can be printed in b&w ?
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
yes. the color do help with easier recognition of the card type and the clan. you can figure that all out by the names and bottom part of the banner on the card and the shape of the clan icon
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
well a good 20 playtests today and lots of adjustments to the rules

finally averaging 22vp a game so it is time to edit the rules and the cards. new version of the files up sometime in the next day
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
so the new version revises a number of the parts of the game (by the way the new file is up on my server. see the first post for a link)

the player now begins with 9 copper pieces, matching all the other 9s in the game

the values for the auction cards in Society Row have been reversed to help speed the flow of cards and make the slide and gap fill by drawing a new card be more logical for the player.


Generals, Courtesans and Tax Collectors have been revised as well (significant changes here)

Generals - The black number on a General’s card is the General’s strength in combat with a Daemon Prince in Society Row. If the player has 3 Generals in the Emperor’s Court with matching clan icons, the player adds +2 to the total strength to the Generals. To defeat one Daemon Prince, the total of all Generals’ strengths must be equal to or greater than the Daemon Prince’s strength. The player may additionally pay CP to add 1CP/1 Strength to this total. The defeated Daemon Prince is placed to the left of the draw deck, any cards to the left of the gap slide to the right and a new card is drawn and placed in Society Row. The player gains VP as listed on the Daemon Prince card.

Courtesans - Courtesans show one of 3 Power Icons

a. Purchase 1 Additional Card during current Phase 1 Turn
b. On subsequent turns, purchase any card from Society Row for 1CP less if the Courtesan’s clan icon matches the desired card. This discount is additive with additional Courtesans with matching clan icons.
c. Combination of both Courtesan Power Icons

Tax Collectors - The player may discard any other card in the Emperor’s Court matching the Tax Collector’s clan icon, and either gain the VP value as shown on the discarded card, or gain CP equal to the VP value. If this second option is chosen the card is placed in the Court of the Daemon Princes to the far right of the Society Row. Tax Collectors are also worth additional CP during Phase 1B.


Generals were changed to balance out the changes in defeating the Daemon Princes. in the first playtests it was too easy to amass enough power with one General to defeat each Daemon. Now the Generals work in an aggregate basis and defeating a Daemon Prince gains VP roughly equal to half the Daemon's strength

Courtesans seemed week in playtests so their powers were changed and added to to cause the player to actively choose them more during the game

Tax Collectors now have 2 reasons for being purchased and coupled with supporting General's aggregate strength with CP, there is more reason to gain money with them


the end game is slightly reworded


The game will end after Phase 3 if either:
4 Daemon Princes are in the Society Row or all 9 Daemon Princes have been drawn.


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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
more playtests tonight and the game seems to both flow better and have more strategic choice

in part the strategy hinges upon how i resolve scoring. currently i am scoring each game two different ways

in the first you calculate your VP and then subtract 1VP for each card the daemon princes have in their court. usually games scored this way average 20 points

in the second you calculate your VP and then subtract VP equal to the values on all cards the daemon princes have in their court. usually games scored this way average 2 points

with the second scoring method you are buying cards from society row to help you out as well as buying cards to stop the higher VP ones from going in the Daemon court. when coupled with using CP as a boost to your combat attack this means money in the game is hard to come by

i could resolve this by giving you more money to begin with or, during setup when you choose three of four cards you could possibly get CP from the ministers, though those may not be drawn during setup

i think i will increase the setup CP by +1 increments and play a series of games until i think the balance is better

in order to be successful you need to buy Tax Collectors early on if st all possible, followed by Generals. this wil then let you focus on Ministers midgame and you will receive money you can put towards combat

the player has to keep an eye on the Poets which are a big VP driver in the game and courtesans can help you buy multiple cards

in the classis three act story arc, the third part of the game narrative should have. the player concentrating on buying more generals if possible to defeat the daemons and gain VP



one thing i am finding strong in this game is that you really have to balance your purchases, getting a few of each of the five types of cards to gain both VP and CP while keeping the Daemon Princes at bay

often i find other players are key at this stage because you all often find some strategies i don't see right away

at this point there will not be any major adjustments to the cards so plesse do feel free to print up a copy and see what you think

in the latest PDF i only included one page of backs. you definitely do not need to print those to playtest.
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
first blind playtests have changed several things

player now starts with 10CP (money was still an issue)

Courtesan power has changed - "Courtesans are placed in the Royal Court after purchase. On a subsequent turn the player may exchange the Courtesan for a card of equal VP value. The Courtesan card is then discarded."

All Ministers are 1VP (reducing their overall cost in Society Row, and gaining more money for the player when purchased)


Rule change for the Generals - "If the player has 3 or more Generals in the Emperor’s Court representing each of the three clan icons, the player adds +2 to the total strength to the Generals."

which brings their power in line with the other card effects in the game

CP cost values in Society Row are 0,1,2,3 rather than 1,2,3,4

modifying rules and cards now. new version on my server soon

will be adding VP winning level list. games still average 20VP

Advanced option for the game added, only 6 cards in the Royal Court rather than 8



Also just changed Emperor to Royal so that the game can be played by either an Emperor or Empress
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
contemplating a v2.0 design on the cards as well




makes it easier to see the VP/CP value and the clan symbol
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
I went through my first plays tonight. I played 7 times tonight (before the latest rule changes) and lost each time with 4 Daemon Princes in the Society Row. It's hard to say what I was doing wrong, but with you winning enough to be able to average VP points, it's safe to say that there's something I'm not understanding properly.

In my last game, I was finally getting somewhere. I managed to beat 3 Daemon Princes (paying to make up for the difference in strength), but ultimate ended up with Society Row filled with 4 of them.

I have a couple of questions, though I don't think any of them account for my consistent losses.

1) Poets: "The player gains VP for each..." At first I read this as '1 VP', but later I assumed you get the sum of the VP numbers from the matching cards?

2) Phase 1B and Phase 3: Two cards get scrapped from Society Row, one gets discarded (Phase 1B) and a second gets sent to the Court of the Daemon Princes (Phase 3)?

I like the way the game flows quite a bit and I can see the interesting choices it lays out, but something's amiss and I can't place my finger on it. I'll give it another try in the morning after I print up the new version.


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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
well you dont lose per se with four daemon princes in society row

the game is over then. you still get VP

yes poets you get the added VP values of all cards matching the poet's clan as well as the poet counting there

question two is correct yes
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
dumarest123 wrote:
well you dont lose per se with four daemon princes in society row

the game is over then. you still get VP


*headdesk*
Oh. Well then. Fun game. Keep up the good work.
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
dumarest123 wrote:
contemplating a v2.0 design on the cards as well




makes it easier to see the VP/CP value and the clan symbol


I was on the way to print the files but I' m going to wait for the v2.0
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Re: [WIP] Court of Xiang Chi - 2015 Solitaire PnP design contest - WIP Phase
people generally like the 2.0 version then?
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