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Subject: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (Components Ready) rss

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Kevin Froleiks
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This is an idea I had for a 2 player, fast paced dueling game based on the Hamilton/Burr duel. If I can work out the kinks in time I'll add enter this into the 9 Card Nanogame contest.

The game uses just 9 cards, 2 D6 dice, and 6 tokens/cubes for keeping track of stats.

Hamilton and Burr's accuracy with a pistol is determined by Aim and Honor, and their health determines how fatal the shot is if they are hit.

I am working with an index card prototype now but will work on getting PnP files up soon.

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Jayson Merryfield
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
Does this mean we've reached peak Alexander Hamilton now?

Just a thought: what does honor have to do with accuracy, and in what way does the relationship run?

Hopefully you'll have it together in time!
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
If you are dueling honorably, you don't try to injure the other person. You fire to "miss" them, as it is more about the principle of the fight rather than hurting the other person. Hamilton, alas, had more honor than Burr.
 
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Jayson Merryfield
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
I suppose my thinking was that, in either case (honorable or dishonorable) you would need to have good aim to achieve your goal. Had Burr been a dishonorable dude and also a bad shot, history could have been very different than it is.
 
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Kevin Froleiks
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
Hmm, perhaps honor is the wrong metric to use.

The idea I had was to have Aim and Honor where each has a value between 0 and 3. If you roll the die (pull the trigger) you hit if you roll a number equal to or less than the sum of Aim and Honor. You miss if you roll higher (therefore the better your Aim and Honor the less likely you are to miss). But perhaps I'm not using the right stats...
 
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Kevin Froleiks
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
adularia25 wrote:
If you are dueling honorably, you don't try to injure the other person. You fire to "miss" them, as it is more about the principle of the fight rather than hurting the other person. Hamilton, alas, had more honor than Burr.


This is true, may need to rethink which stats contribute to being a better shot. Aim and...something else.
 
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Jayson Merryfield
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
I certainly think that honor CAN play a role here.... maybe a more honorable shot depletes less health than a more honorable one? Maybe honorable shots are harder to make AND deplete less health, but can be calculated into your final score to determine who really "wins" in a duel to the death? I mean, in many respects, Hamilton won by losing the duel, and Burr lost by winning.
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Kevin Froleiks
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
Thinking of changing Honor to Grit (as in nerve, courage, resolve) to work as the duelers actually ability to go through with pulling the trigger.

Might experiment with working Honor in another way, but it's one of those weird things where to have the most honor would actually defeat the purpose of the game, which is to shoot your opponent.
 
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Kevin Froleiks
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
Okay, still working on the rules but here are the cards. So far I just have these black and white cards but I will try to get some better art for these.

Decided to change Honor to Valor and may make some additional changes based on play testing, but I think I have enough to get the rules typed up soon.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4hD9ms_ksk0UDEwVHpQVEZVNTg...
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Alex Cannon
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
Really interesting idea for a theme. I think that if it was a "generic" duel it would be clear that the objective of the game is to fire accurately. This particular duel (because it is so high profile) throws this objective into question because it is known/thought that in reality Hamilton aimed high.

Perhaps the mechanisms of the game should be around how to place yourself politically before the duel so that the duel itself becomes a modified prisoner's dilemma. Players could manoeuvre the circumstances around the event like, what the second would do, what the authorities would do, what the public reaction would be etc. Then the question would be would killing/not killing your opponent give you the best result.

Might be a bit hard to do in 9 cards though!
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Quentin N.
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
Nice theme! I once made a similar small game. The two duelists had to choose when to fire. The more they waited, the more accurate was their shot.
On each roud, they decided to shoot or to stand. Then a card was drawn, giving a bonus of 0/1/2 to the dices of each duelist (it varied between card and between players). Then if someone shot, he rolled for the hit (2d6, hit on double 6). If one missed, the other had to fire on the next card, advantaged by one more draw.

And then you just count points, and optionally drink
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Kevin Froleiks
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
AlexCannon wrote:
Really interesting idea for a theme. I think that if it was a "generic" duel it would be clear that the objective of the game is to fire accurately. This particular duel (because it is so high profile) throws this objective into question because it is known/thought that in reality Hamilton aimed high.

Perhaps the mechanisms of the game should be around how to place yourself politically before the duel so that the duel itself becomes a modified prisoner's dilemma. Players could manoeuvre the circumstances around the event like, what the second would do, what the authorities would do, what the public reaction would be etc. Then the question would be would killing/not killing your opponent give you the best result.

Might be a bit hard to do in 9 cards though!


I'll get rules and pnp cards finished this week for what I have so far and maybe I'll find a way to work in this deeper strategy. I like the idea a lot, but agree that it might be hard with 9 cards.
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Kevin Froleiks
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Re: [WIP] Pistol Shots in Weehakwen (idea phase)
Need to make some changes to a couple of the cards, but I finally put together a rules sheet. I'll be attaching new files soon.

Pistol Shots in Weehawken

A two player dueling game by Kevin Froleiks

On the morning of July 11, 1804, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr ventured from their home in Manhattan, across the Hudson River, to the town of Weehawken, New Jersey. Both men were armed with pistols that day, but only one left Weehawken alive.

Components

1 Hamilton Card
1 Burr Card
7 Game Cards
2 Dice (6 sided)
6 Tokens

Set Up

Decide which player will be Hamilton and which will be burr. Each player should have one (1) die and three (3) tokens.

Each player rolls their die. The number rolled is split between your Aim and Valor. For example, if you roll a 4 you can have 2 Aim and 2 Valor, 1 Aim and 3 Valor, or 3 Aim and 1 Valor. Use the Tokens to mark your current Aim and Valor values, and use a third Token to keep track of your Health at the bottom of your character card. Both players start with a Health of 5.

Shuffle the remaining 7 game cards and place them facedown in the center of the table, between the two players. The player born closest to July 11th goes first.

How to Win

You win when you kill your opponent. To kill your opponent, their health must be at zero after a duel is completed.
NOTE: If you reduce your opponent's health to zero using the various game cards, you do not win until you beat them in a duel.

How to Play
1) The first player draws a card, reads it out loud, and does what it says. If two (2) options are provided, the player chooses one. Both players make the required adjustments to Aim, Valor, and Health.

2) The next player draws a card, reads it out loud, and does what it says. Players will continue drawing cards one after the other until the “10 Paces! Fire!” card is drawn.

3) When the “10 Paces! Fire!” card is drawn, the duel begins. Follow the Dueling Instructions below.

4) If a player is killed in the duel, that player has lost. If no one has been killed in the duel, shuffle the 7 game cards and continue the game.

Dueling
When the “10 Paces! Fire!” card is drawn, everything stops and the duel begins.

1. Both players roll their die at the same time.

2. You hit your opponent if you roll a number less than or equal to the sum of your Aim and Valor. For example, if you have 2 Aim and 1 Valor, you must roll a 3 or less to hit.

3. You miss if you roll a number greater than the sum of your Aim and Valor. For example, if you have 2 Aim and 1 Valor and you roll a 5, you do not hit your opponent.

4. If you hit your opponent, the difference between the two die rolls is subtracted from that player’s health. If that player’s health is now at zero, they have lost.
NOTE: You do not gain Health, Aim, or Valor for winning a duel. Your prize is that you did not die. Congratulations!
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Kevin Froleiks
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Pistol Shots in Weehawken is now components ready!

Cards and rules are available as PDF print outs.

The only other components you will need are two D6 dice and 6 "tokens". This can be anything to keep track of your stats on the Hamilton/Burr cards. I've been using the little cubes from Love Letter but even simple hole punches from a piece of construction paper would do the job.

Cards: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4hD9ms_ksk0Z1V6dkFBc2x2dH...

Rules: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4hD9ms_ksk0WGZyVjUtRmJwak...
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Kevin Froleiks
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I would like to be considered for the following categories:

Best Overall Game
Best 2-player Game
Best Thematic Game (Sci Fi, Horror, Fantasy, Dungeon Crawl, etc)
Best Written Rules
Best New Designer
Best Grayscale Printed Game Category
 
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Ronald Pehr
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When the players roll to fire their duelists' weapons, they roll under Aim + Valor. So, it doesn't matter what the split is between the two characteristics. Up to then, the contingencies of the cards let you raise/lower the characteristics but why then is there a need for two if they don't each do something different?
 
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Kevin Froleiks
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ravensron wrote:
When the players roll to fire their duelists' weapons, they roll under Aim + Valor. So, it doesn't matter what the split is between the two characteristics. Up to then, the contingencies of the cards let you raise/lower the characteristics but why then is there a need for two if they don't each do something different?


My thinking was that Aim and Valor are both important for your success in a duel, so the cards allow you to adjust you and your opponents stats, which can then raise or lower your potential to hit the other player.
 
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Ronald Pehr
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Theoretically they are two different things, aim is your physical skill while valor is your ability to overcome your fear so you can exercise the physical skill. But, here they are undifferentiated: whether you have 1 valor/2 aim or 2 valor/1 aim the dice work the same. So, seems that there's two stats which really are just one stat?
 
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Kevin Froleiks
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ravensron wrote:
Theoretically they are two different things, aim is your physical skill while valor is your ability to overcome your fear so you can exercise the physical skill. But, here they are undifferentiated: whether you have 1 valor/2 aim or 2 valor/1 aim the dice work the same. So, seems that there's two stats which really are just one stat?


When it comes time to duel, both become equally important. Some of the cards increase/decrease one of those stats so the strategy comes down to boosting your own Aim/Valor or negatively affecting your opponents.

Have you had a chance to play the game? Did you have any ideas for what could improve the use of Aim and Valor?
 
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Ronald Pehr
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Your idea to have the players decide their strategy, to increase your own stats or decrease the opponent's, is great. But I'm still not seeing any difference in the two stats; as opposed to why Health is different. One thought, admittedly changing what may be your intent, is to have the possibility that a non-fatal shot does end the duel. Historically, pistol duels weren't really about killing the other guy. Not to say that wasn't desired in any given circumstance but the sociological rationale for duels was proving one's honor rather than specifically to kill; duels could end after the first exchange without regard to who was hit/killed. Having the two stats could thus be used as: Aim is the sole determinant of whether you hit, while Valor determines if the one who got hit is willing/able to continue. That is, on a non-fatal hit you don't automatically continue the duel but rather can only do so if you roll Valor successfully. If you don't, then you lost the duel even though you didn't die; if you do, then the duel continues so you may have a chance to win on a subsequent exchange of fire.
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Kevin Froleiks
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ravensron wrote:
Your idea to have the players decide their strategy, to increase your own stats or decrease the opponent's, is great. But I'm still not seeing any difference in the two stats; as opposed to why Health is different. One thought, admittedly changing what may be your intent, is to have the possibility that a non-fatal shot does end the duel. Historically, pistol duels weren't really about killing the other guy. Not to say that wasn't desired in any given circumstance but the sociological rationale for duels was proving one's honor rather than specifically to kill; duels could end after the first exchange without regard to who was hit/killed. Having the two stats could thus be used as: Aim is the sole determinant of whether you hit, while Valor determines if the one who got hit is willing/able to continue. That is, on a non-fatal hit you don't automatically continue the duel but rather can only do so if you roll Valor successfully. If you don't, then you lost the duel even though you didn't die; if you do, then the duel continues so you may have a chance to win on a subsequent exchange of fire.


I like this a lot, I'll toy around with it and see how it plays.
 
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Adam Levitus
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My thoughts on a blind play-through:

Aesthetic/Rules/Setup
---------------------
-In reading the rules before playing, it's not clear why I would allocate points to Valor as opposed to Aim. Later, it becomes clear that these are arbitrary and are effected by events you effectively can't control. I very much like the idea
Ronald Pehr
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previously posted about having Valor be the intensity of the shot (either binary or HP-damage-based), and aim being the ability to hit (although initial thought is that Aim might be overly important if not balanced well).

-Not sure which one is Hamilton and which is Burr - label the cards

-Saying the player starts at 5 health, only to see a card with 10 health spots is disquieting. Could be fixed with a quick line to the effect of "Both players start from 5 health points and will move up or down based on the events of the game"

-Nice touch with the July 11th birthday start.




Minor Notes on Mechanics
------------------
-The Adrenaliine rush and Glasses cards are very one-dimensional. Either the choice will be clear, or it will be arbitrary.

-Shadows and Light - I presume that this intends to set the Aim of each player to the associated value correct? "Adjust" indicates movement, so perhaps clarify to "set" or similar

-Does the same player start in the second round?

-Some thematic inconsistencies with the events. Why would glasses improve health? Why would you drawing glasses affect the opponent's aim? Etc.




Fatal Flaws
--------------
-The very first part of setup involved rolling a single die to establish valor and aim (which are crucial to 'hitting' the opponent). The game is quickly over if somebody rolls a 6 and the other a 1.

-Although admittedly tough with only 7 cards, the game is too swingy to be fun. My first event card was the 10 paces card, so 1 round in I had literally done nothing. The second round I happened to go through all 7, but one player got all the most impactful cards, so it was a complete rout and the game was over after round 2.

-Not enough decision-making. Only once did I have to make a real choice. Everything else was either "Yep, got him against the ropes, lower his health EZ" or "Well I happen to have no room to increase aim, so I guess I take the other option". Very much felt like I was going through the motions and the game/RNG was dictating what I had to do.



Overall, despite my shameless glut of criticisms, I think the game really has potential (particularly with the limit of 7 cards). I would definitely explore the notion of Valor/Aim being different, as well as balance some of the cards to reduce randomness and provide more avenues for choice.
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JK
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Hi Kevin,

I visited Weehawken tonight and witnessed the duel between Hamilton and Burr. Incidentally, for us foreign heathens it might be useful to provide some back story, as I have no idea who these turkeys were or what was so special about their duel. Oh, and maybe label the cards too so I know whether I'm playing Hamilton or Burr.

Some quick feedback:

In the rules set up section Burr isn't capitalised.

The health spaces on the cards are teensy weensy and I kept losing track of the values because the smallest counters I could find still spanned about 3 values. maybe there could be two rows of bigger circles.

From the rules I wasn't sure who plays first after a duel.

And what happens if both players lose (are killed) in the same turn?

Overall, I like the theme and concept of the mechanics, but I didn't find much choice in the game. I felt more like an observer than a player. I couldn't really see any reason to separate Aim and Valor and think you missed an opportunity there to make the duel bit more interesting by using those values more thematically. And the game lasted longer than I wanted it to - more cards in the deck might hold my interest for longer, but with only seven I soon got bored with seeing the same ones come up over and over, especially since it didn't feel like I was actually influencing the outcome.

I'd really like to see you continue to develop this one after the contest, because I love the historical theme and the surprise of the Fire! card when it comes out of the deck.

Cheers,
JK
 
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Jake Staines
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JohnKean wrote:

Incidentally, for us foreign heathens it might be useful to provide some back story, as I have no idea who these turkeys were or what was so special about their duel.


IIRC the short version is that Hamilton founded, like, half of the US, wrote some important political notes and thought Burr was a bit grubby; Burr didn't like the suggestion so he challenged Hamilton to a duel, which kind of suggests that Hamilton had a point, really. Hamilton got shot and died and Burr never went to prison because he was a member of the monied political elite or something, but he did entirely coincidentally get charged with treason some time later.
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JK
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Bichatse wrote:
JohnKean wrote:

Incidentally, for us foreign heathens it might be useful to provide some back story, as I have no idea who these turkeys were or what was so special about their duel.


IIRC the short version is that Hamilton founded, like, half of the US, wrote some important political notes and thought Burr was a bit grubby; Burr didn't like the suggestion so he challenged Hamilton to a duel, which kind of suggests that Hamilton had a point, really. Hamilton got shot and died and Burr never went to prison because he was a member of the monied political elite or something, but he did entirely coincidentally get charged with treason some time later.


Aha! I've just this second connected this up with another game I have been reading about - Hero of Weehawken. Same thing - duh!

Sounds like a great story, and the kind of bizarre circumstances that only history and small children's minds can come up with.
 
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