Craig Somerton
Australia
North Ryde - Sydney
NSW
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This WIP has been created as an entry in the for the The 2017 9-card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!.

Penultimate is a very simple dice game for 2 or 3 players. A game in which you always want to come second in order to win.

Components:
9 cards
9 D6 dice
9 tokens

Initial idea:

9 cards are lid-out on the table with varying values: add, subtract, multiply and divide values, i.e. +1, +2, -4, x2, x3, 1/2 (half).

In the 3-player game all players get three dice which they simultaneously roll at the start of the round.

On a turn the active player chooses one of their dice and the player to their left selects a card from the table to place under the selected die.

The turn then moves to the next player who does the same, choosing one of their own dice and the player to their left choosing a card to match the die.

Turns continue until all dice have been allocated and players total the dice on each card, so a die with a value 3 on top of a card with +3 would score 6 points, a die of value 5 on top of the 1/2 card would score half the value (rounded down).

Players total their scores and the player who has the second highest score wins a token. In the event of a tie for second place, no players score any tokens.

Cards are returned to the table and players re-roll their dice for another round.

The game ends when one player scores 3 tokens and the winning player is declared the "Penultimate winner".

Still working on a variant for a 2-player game with 4 dice apiece.

More ideas to come...
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Joseph Propati
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San Diego
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Welcome to the contest!!
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Craig Somerton
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Thanks for the welcome Joseph.

I'm hoping to finally have an idea that actually goes somewhere for a change.
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Alex Cannon
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Hassocks
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I feel like this would be an amazing bluffing game!

In the 2-player game would you be controlling 2 players each?
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Craig Somerton
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AlexCannon wrote:
I feel like this would be an amazing bluffing game!

In the 2-player game would you be controlling 2 players each?

Thanks Alex. Oooh yes, that could work?

I'm thinking in the 2 player game that each player would get 4 dice - same rules would apply, although the players could just be restricted to 3 dice each, which still leaves options open. I haven't actually put the game together yet, but in my head it does feel like it could possibly work. But of course, you an never truly know until you give the game to other people.

My concern with the 2-player game and with 4 dice each, the last die is always known and options are now down to just two final cards. That said, the same would apply to the final player in a 3-player game too. Hmmm... have to think on this some more. If only I had more than just 9 cards.

Perhaps mixing-up the sequence of choices but still keeping the "I pick - you choose" mechanism.
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Craig Somerton
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An additional idea occurred to me for a different game that uses the same components and mechanisms, but using the backs of the cards with different values.

This new game is tentatively titled "Triple O", which stands for "Order of Operations" - the mathematical model of multiplication, division, addition and subtraction.

Instead of the card having values, the 9 cards have various mathematical operators; + - X and /.

Using the same mechanisms of "I pick - you choose", all players roll their 3 dice. On a turn the start player chooses one of their dice and the player to their left chooses and Operator card. The card is placed to the right of the start player's first die, is you commence an equation, i.e. 5 and MINUS.

The next player does the same, choosing a die and the player to their left chooses an operator for them until all cards and dice have been allocated, each player will have in front of them 3 dice each followed by an operator, forming an equation (D-O-D-O-D-O). The 4th value in the equation that completes the equation is the first die of the player to their right.

After all dice and cards have been played, each player then calculates their own equation - calculated in sequence, i.e. 6 + 2 x 3 + 1 = 25.

Like the first game, the winner of the round is the player whose score is second highest. This player scores a token and the whole game starts again until one player gets 3 tokens and is declared the winner.

-

I've also solved the issue of the 2-player game and it seems to work for both variants.

Each player still gets 3 dice each, so too does a dummy third player. Players then alternate picking and choosing dice and cards on behalf of the dummy player, whose dice and equations still score, so it is possible for the dummy player to win a round and even perhaps the whole game (albeit unlikely).

In a 2-player game, the dummy player always goes last each round, to negate the last player disadvantage.

-

Running the game through my head, it feels surprisingly deep. Not only do you have to keep track of your own possible score, you need to evaluate the score of your opponents and how their dice values may also impact upon your score, and since everyone can influence each other, there are a LOT of agonising decisions and calculations to make throughout.

Now, to make-up a copy and test it, to see if it actually works outside my head.
 
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Craig Somerton
Australia
North Ryde - Sydney
NSW
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I've been advised that, for the sake of the contest, since the two games are slightly different, then I should separate the two.

So, I've created a separate WIP entry for Triple O

[WIP] Triple O - 2017 9-card nanogame contest (IDEA PHASE)
 
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Garry Hoddinott
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Brisbane
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As an old chalkie I used packs of cards to do something similar but I like the addition (duh) of the dice mechanic and particularly the interaction with another player.
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Dan Nace
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Very clever, I will have to follow this one!
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