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Subject: WIP: Jazz Band Game rss

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Quentin N.
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A few days ago, I came across a thread that someone made about his idea of a jazz band game. A few BGGs made a point: as the theme is peculiar, they feared that it would be compared with other games of the genre. One of the people that answered posted a link of a basketball team managment game. Even if the mechanics were basic, it interested me,as well as the theme idea.

Here is my own interpretation of it. I don't know if it will go somewhere, but here it is.

You own an up-and-coming place willing to produce jazz artists (in the 30s, 50s, Cuba, Havana, New Orleans... not fixed yet). Each player will have to recruit artists, to make profit each evening.

Artists are of four types (rythm, wood, brass, and singer). They are represented by cards, and have 3 characteristics:
-performance: quality of their play
-talent: ability to improve
-fame: which will bring public

Each player starts with a generic, low quality trio, but can produce quartets or full bands (5).

On the first phase, players recruit. One artist per player is drawn, and then the players can offer contracts to the artists (works like bidding). Some artists are hired, others will stay two more turns then be discarded. Players also pay their artists.

Then we enter the performance phase.

It will work like a dice game, where players try to achieve combinaisons. The artists quality will offer more options (rerolls, +1, win on a draw... not designed yet). If this mechanic is proven to be to complex, long, or not really fitting the game, it will be replaced by a simpler one.

Bands get bonus performance if they offer different types of artists for exemple, or artists of same/ close-to-same level, and small bonuses for trios/quartets (to catch up with 5-artists bands, even if they will remain superior).

Then results are compared, and players are ranked. Artists each get one exp token, and improve when it reaches their talent level (this mechanic might be replaced by a die roll vs talent). Players then draw a "public" card, that represents the public that came to the concerts that night. These cards display information associated with the ranks of the players:
-The money reward for their rank (generally proportionnal, but might not be as linear as expected)
-the fame reward for the band (+1 and sometimes +2, for the first player and most of the time also for the second player)
-the player that will draw an event card (highlighted rank)

The players also get money from fame (add the fame of the band members to get the base band fame, add up the band bonus fame). Trying to get stable bands is a good idea, as if someone is replaced, the band looses the artist fame on its band bonus fame.

Events cards are the flavor of this game, and include various positive or negative effects, that are applied the next turn, like these ones:

-saturday night: double rewards
-scouted talents: -----
-blind recruitment: the artists drawn are placed face down for the whole bid phase
-amazing performance: bonus performance equal to the turn number
-stunning solo: double the performance of one of your artists
-exclusive contracts: artists you hire this turn cannot be stolen for a better wage by other players
-newspapers: bonus band fame increase according to your rank (1:+2, 2:+2, 3:+1, 4:+1)

-discord among the band: two randomly drawn artists will not accept to play together anymore... (you'll have to fire one of them)
-scandal: a randomly drawn artist won't be able to play this turn, minus his fame to the band bonus fame
-retirement: a randomly drawn artist will retire from the scene, his last concert will get you double rewards, double his fame for the calculus, and do not suffer fame loss because he quitted.

Well, you get the feeling. And if you read those, by now you understood that players can steal artists from each other. They have to offer a better wage during the bid phase, but the amount of money to be offered is even bigger if the artist is a member of a well established band. You can also steal a whole band, if you offer a better wage to every artist. The actual owner can also re-estimate the wages to keep his band.

The game ends after all the "evening" cards are drawn(10 to 20). The exact winning conditions are not fixed yet, but it will be easy with all those various stats we have.

The game then needs 3 decks of cards (40 artists cards, 20 evening cards, and something like 30 event cards), maybe up to 5d6, tokens or more likely tracking, printable sheets, and 4 custom player boards. Each player will have his own, with a peculiar spririt. We could do a classy high-end society one, a downtown one... each associated with a jazz sub-genre, and maybe imply it into gameplay. The lounge player will get bonus points for regular dices rolls, while the wild one for colorful rolls.

Tell me if the idea kicks you, and feel free to suggest event cards, mechanics, or bar names. I also need help to get proper english names for some of my card names for example, as it isn't my native language.

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