Ben Shever
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Reflection Pond - A Micro Strategy Game for 2 Frogs

Play-time: 5-15 minutes

Number of Players: 2

Age: 10+

Each player has her own pond of 16 lily pads. Hop from lily to lily, collecting flies and placing sticks. Be the first frog to collect all five flies. However, these are reflection ponds – players mirror each other’s movements.

-32 Double-Sided Lily Pad Tiles (Two sets of 16)
-6 Sticks
-10 Fly Tokens
-2 Frog Tokens
-1 16-Sided Die

Sit across from your opponent.

Each player takes one set of lily pads tiles numbered 1 through 16 and constructs her pond. Place the tile numbered 1 at the top left corner. Construct a 4x4 square by placing tiles in order from left to right and top to bottom. The ‘16’ tile should be at the bottom right.

Place the five flies in your pond. Roll the die five times to determine on which tiles to place the flies. Flies are placed on the same tiles (same number) for both ponds. Only one fly may be placed on each tile; if the same number is rolled twice, roll a new number.

Roll the die to determine the starting position for the frogs. The frogs will start on the same tile in their respective ponds. They cannot start on a tile with a fly; reroll the die if necessary.

Finally, roll the die twice to determine the positions of the two water tiles. For the two numbers rolled, flip the four corresponding tiles (two in each pond) to the opposite side. The water tiles cannot be tiles with flies on them or frogs; reroll the die if necessary.

Each player also starts with three sticks off to the side of their pond in their inventory.

The goal is to catch all five of your flies before the other player. Over the course of the game, you will be moving the frog in your pond. If your frog lands on a lily pad with a fly on it, it catches the fly. The first player to catch all five flies wins.

Choose a starting player by rolling the die. The starting player will take one of the following actions. Then, for the remainder of the game, players will perform two actions on their turn.

1. Place a stick
Take a stick from your inventory and place it in between any two orthogonal tiles (four directions; does not include diagonal). Every tile must remain reachable without moving through sticks; that is, all tiles must be connected to every other tile somehow without sticks in between. If you have no sticks in your inventory, you cannot perform this action.

2. Pick up a stick
Remove a stick from your pond and put it into your inventory. If you have no sticks in your pond, you may not perform this action.

3. Move your frog
You may move your frog one tile in any orthogonal direction. Now imagine there were a mirror placed between the two ponds. However you move your frog, the frog in the other pond must copy that movement. For instance, if your frog moves to your left, the other frog will move in the same direction (to his owner’s right). If your frog moves to your right, the other frog will move to its owner’s left. If your frog moves one tile forward, closer to the other pond, the other frog will also move a tile forward. Moving your frog back a tile results in the other frog moving back one tile.

Your frog cannot jump over sticks. Sticks can block frog movement. If a frog is required to move in a direction (mirroring the other frog’s move) and a stick is in the way, it does not move. Additionally, you may move your frog in a direction in which a stick blocks its movement as long as your opponent’s frog’s movement is not blocked.

For instance, both frogs are standing on tile 2 at the beginning of your turn and there are no sticks in either pond. On your first action, you place a stick vertically between tiles 1 and 2. Then you move your frog to your left as if it were jumping to tile 1. But, the stick you just placed blocks the movement of your frog. However, your opponent’s frog must copy the movement of your frog as if a mirror were between the ponds. Your opponent’s frog moves one space to your opponent’s right, onto tile 3.

At least one frog must move if a player performs a movement action. That is, if both frogs are blocked in one direction, you cannot use your action to move your frog in that direction.

If you choose to move your frog for both actions on your turn, you cannot backtrack onto the tile your frog started on at the beginning of your turn.

If you choose to move your frog for both actions of your turn, both frogs cannot end on the same tile each started on at the beginning of your turn.

Water Tiles
If a frog jumps onto a water tile, they fall into the pond and reemerge at the other water tile. Flip the water tile your frog reemerged from over to the lily pad side. Roll the die to determine a new water tile. The new water tile cannot be a tile with a fly on it or other water tile in your pond. These actions only apply to the frog that fell into the water; if both frogs fell into the water, both will resolve these actions.

Catching Flies
If your frog lands on a tile with a fly, take it into your inventory. Your frog can catch flies even if it’s not on your turn.

In Case of a Draw
In the event where both players take the same actions multiple times and induce a draw, add an additional fly to the board. Roll the die and add a fly to that tile; reroll if necessary.

The first player to catch all five flies wins the game! In the case that both players catch their final fly on the same movement, the player with more sticks in their inventory wins.

Beni Shever
Pet Alligator Games

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