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Subject: My quick "filler" tactics game - Too simple? rss

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Aaron Vazquez
United States
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California
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I came up with an idea for a game that involves hidden tactics for 4 people. The theme would be squirrels in a park fighting over territory, under the orders of their "Don Squirrel."

Essentially, you have 9 squirrels, including your Don, and you're trying to deduce ways to get your opponents' Don to earn VP.

3 or 4 players can play.

You set up your squirrel team as follows (all squirrels start face down):

X_X_X
X_X_X
_X_X_
__X__

Each X is a squirrel. The __X__ is where your Don goes.

Each squirrel has an strength value and maybe an effect. On your turn, you either challenge an opponent's squirrel or you use the effect of a Scout. Only the front most squirrel in any column can attack, and can only attack the closest squirrel in any column. After attacking, if the attack succeeded, you move the squirrel back to an open column on your front line. Note, only the two players involved in any attack will get to see the attacker / defender. (Think, the Baron in Love Letter.) At the end of your turn, if you have an open space in any row of three, you can move one of your squirrels from the _X_X_ line to that space.

Here are the squirrels.

Rank 1 - Femme Fatale Squirrel (If she attacks the Rank 5 Soldier Squirrel, she wins. This only applies if SHE attacks.)
Rank 2 - Scout Squirrel (Instead of attacking, he can reveal himself to reveal ANY opponent's squirrel.)
Rank 3 - Ninja Squirrel (If he wins against an opponent's squirrel, he can continue to attack in the same column. He is not limited to one extra attack; as long as he keeps winning, he can keep going.)
Rank 4 - Knight Squirrel (The first time he's attacked or does not win a fight, his armor breaks, and he becomes a Rank 2 squirrel.)
Rank 5 - Soldier Squirrel (His strength alone is enough of an effect.)


Your army consists of 2 each of Scout, Ninja, and Knight, and 1 Femme Fatale and 1 Soldier.

You can set up your squirrels however you want. Whenever you capture an opponent's Don, you get 1 Victory Acorn (point). If your Don is the last Don standing, you get an additional Victory Acorn.


It's simple, and I haven't soloed it yet. Is it too simple, though?
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Filip W.
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It sounds like a four player Stratego - and Stratego has sold more copies than all of the BGG top 100 put together. So too simple? For hobby gamers, probably. For mass market, not at all.
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Jon Moffat
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2nd to Filip's commment.

Looks like a mash-up of Love Letter and Stratego to me. It certainly doesn't look "too simple".

A bigger problem I've found with very minimalist games isn't that they are "too simple" or "don't work" but that they're no fun (and I'm not making any comment on your game, just in general. Only playtesting will show how much fun it is).

Good luck!
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Aaron Vazquez
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Soloed it and made a few changes, but haven't playtested it with a group to see if it's fun with a group (though soloing it can was pretty interesting )

Ninja Squirrel is the only squirrel that wins ties, and you have to turn it face up to get the extra attack (which means it's limited to just one extra attack.)

Knight Squirrel now gets reduced to Rank 3 when it's armor breaks.


Other than that, everything works as intended. I'm really looking forward to this weekend when I get some people together to playtest it with a group.

Thanks for the replies!
 
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