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Subject: [WiP] - Unnamed: A recipe filling card game for 2 rss

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Mike Fogus
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Needed: Extended deck with the pawns, courts, and The Excuse separated from the rest.

Goal: To have the most points in pawn (1pt each) and court (2pts each) court cards when the game ends.

Setup: Shuffle the pawns and courts together and set aside face down. One player says "pawn" or "court" and the top card is drawn. If it's the same as what the player said then they may choose to be either the 1st or 2nd player. The 2nd player is then given The Excuse and the previously drawn card is placed at the bottom of the pawn/court pile. The base cards are then shuffled thoroughly and placed away from the pawn/court pile.

Deal: Deal 3 cards from the draw deck to each player. Then 3 cards are drawn from the pawn/court pile and placed face up between the players.

Play:

Play alternates between the players. Each turn consists of the following actions:

1. Draw a card from the top of draw deck

AND

2. Take one action

The possible actions are as follows:

* Draw an extra card from the top of draw deck or the top of the discard pile
* Trade in cards
* Capture a pawn/court card
* Steal a pawn/court card

Actions:

Draw

The simplest action is to draw another card in addition to the initial mandatory draw. There is a 10-card hand size limit, but you may go over this limit using your draw actions. If at any time the draw pile is empty then the discard pile is shuffled and placed as the new draw pile.

Trade

The active player may instead discard as many cards as they wish and draw up to the same number from the draw pile, reshuffling discards as needed. If on your turn you are above the hand size limit then you must use the Trade action to reduce your hand size to at most 10 cards.

Capture

Using any combination of cards in their hand, the active player can take one pawn/court card from the face-up display. All of the suits on the cards captured from the face-up display must be represented on the cards used to capture -- any "extra" suits used are ignored, but you may not use extra cards that do not contribute to the capture. For example, The Harvest pawn card may be captured with a combination of The Pact and The Sailor since between them the needed Sun/Leaf/Moon suits are present while the additional Wave suit is ignored.

Whenever a card is captured, another card is drawn from the pawn/court deck to replace it in the display. The cards used to capture can be arranged in any order and placed at the top of the discard pile.

Steal

Optionally, the active player may capture a paw/court card from the other player by matching its suits exactly. That is, only the suits needed to capture the card are present with no extras included. For example, The Harvest pawn card may only be stolen from another player using a combination of cards containing only the Moon/Sun/Leaf suits such as The Pact and The End.

In addition to the cards used to capture, the thief must place at least one additional card as support to the Steal action. The total value of the support cards' ranks will determine the strength of the steal attempt. The defending player can then choose to counter the steal by playing cards that equal or exceed the rank total of the steal support cards. For our purposes aces are worth 1pt, crowns 10pts, and the other cards are worth their rank value. If the steal is defended then all the cards are discarded, but if not then only the thief's card are discarded. The player who was stolen from gets The Excuse or keeps it if they already held it.

The cards used to steal and defend can be arranged in any order and placed at the top of the discard pile by the player who was stolen from.

The Excuse:

The Excuse is used only as a tie-breaking point card. Players cannot use The Excuse directly, but it will potentially change hands numerous times during a game. In the absence of Theft during a game the second player will hold the card. Otherwise, the player who was last stolen from will hold The Excuse.

End:

When the pawn/court draw deck is exhausted each player gets one more turn to capture or steal, after which the game ends. However, the game will end immediately once the draw deck has been exhausted for the second time.

Scoring:

The players then add up their points (1pt for pawns, 2pts for courts). The player with the highest score wins. In the case of a tie the player holding The Excuse wins.

Notes:

I'm sure that there's probably another Decktet game like this, but I have never come across one. This is inspired by the Looney Labs game Just Desserts. I'm considering a variant where The Excuse goes into the pawn/court deck and can be captured using 3 or 4 of the same suit (haven't figured out which one works best). It would be worth 0-pts, but it would be used again as a tie-breaker. I'd like a better term than "pawn/court card" but I'm not familiar enough with the system to know if there's another. Likewise, I'd like a better term than "face up display." I am toying with different max hand sizes, but haven't landed on a definitive number yet. Name recommendations welcome. Feedback welcome.

Thanks for reading.
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P.D. Magnus
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Quote:
That is, only the suits needed to capture the card are present with no extras included. For example, The Harvest pawn card may only be stolen from another player using a combination of cards containing only the Moon/Sun/Leaf suits such as The Pact and The End.


It's clear that you cannot have suits besides the ones needed. Does 'no extras' also mean that you cannot have duplicates of the needed suits?
 
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Mike Fogus
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pmagnus wrote:
Quote:
That is, only the suits needed to capture the card are present with no extras included. For example, The Harvest pawn card may only be stolen from another player using a combination of cards containing only the Moon/Sun/Leaf suits such as The Pact and The End.


It's clear that you cannot have suits besides the ones needed. Does 'no extras' also mean that you cannot have duplicates of the needed suits?


That's right. The Harvest needs exactly one Moon, one Sun, and one Leaf to steal and no more.

Thanks for reading!
 
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P.D. Magnus
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Two other thoughts:

1 The game has the potential to go on forever. If players just steal cards back and forth, then it never moves forward. I'm not even sure that it would necessarily be bad play if that happened.

A way to push things forward would be to limit the game length somehow. Maybe only reshuffle once. Alternately, remove one unclaimed pawn/court from play each time the deck is reshuffled.

2 The game just uses the distribution of suits. Card ranks don't make any difference (except the difference between one-suited and two-suited ranks).

Maybe this isn't a problem, but if the game turns out to be too simple then working ranks in somehow might help.
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Phelan
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Another idea to stop the back and forth stealing: If you Capture with the exact combination of suits (the same needed to Steal), that Capture is protected and can't be Stolen.
I haven't tried the game yet, not even just by myself, so I'm not sure if this is too strong. It could be weakened by having the card only be protected for x rounds, or by having one Steal action remove the protection, and the second actually Steal.

Hope this is helpful.
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P.D. Magnus
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Phelanpt wrote:
It could be weakened by having the card only be protected for x rounds, or by having one Steal action remove the protection, and the second actually Steal.


That might make the potential problem worse -- namely that the game could drag on forever if players decide to spend all their attention on stealing.
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Mike Fogus
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Thanks a ton for the thoughts and feedback. I agree that the back and forth stealing can be a pain, so my son and I sat down last night and played a few hands trying different things and landed on a few potential solutions.

First, it seems like we wanted a hand limit. It makes a lot of sense especially given the following changes in that it seemed to add a little more tension to the game. Right now we're sitting on 10, but more games might help us find a better number.

Second, we decided to allow only one draw from the discard pile per turn, all other draws had to come from the blind draw pile.

Third, we've found that The Excuse is almost never valuable as a wild-suit and the second player just holds on to it as the tie-breaker. Therefore, we're considering making it only a tie-breaker and having it change hands on steals.

Finally, to battle the stealing loop we tried two things:

- Ending the game on 1-2 passes through the draw deck. We might still keep this, but it certainly puts a cap on the game.

- Making it harder to steal. As P.D. mentioned we weren't using the ranks for anything, so we landed on something that we kinda like. That is, whenever a player attempts a steal they not only need to match suits exactly, but must also add some number (their choice) of extras to support the steal. The defending player can then choose to counter the steal by playing cards that equal or exceed the rank total of the steal support cards. For our purposes aces are worth 1pt, crowns 10pts, and the other cards are worth their rank value. If the steal is defended then all the cards are discarded, but if not then only the thief's card are discarded. The player who was stolen from gets The Excuse.

Of the two options we liked the 2nd one better. It seemed to eliminate the rampant stealing making it something to build up to rather than relying simply on the luck of the draw. More exploration is needed here, but so far I like it better.
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Mike Fogus
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Rules updated with hand-size, Excuse, and Theft changes. The wording needs some work, but I'm happy with the way that the rules are shaping up.
 
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