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Subject: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) rss

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JK
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A quick tile laying set collection game for the 2017 Two-Player Print and Play Game Design Contest

Status: Contest ready

Components:
17 double sided character cards
2 score cards (you will need to provide 4 counters)
1 rules prompt card
1 rule booklet (PocketMod format)

Full colour and low-ink versions are available here. PocketMod rules are included as the first page of the file.

The game has a full BGG database entry here: Wolfe & Co

Mechanics:
The character cards are double sided, with one "blue" side and one "red" side. Each card features a fairy tale character plus scoring rules for that card depending on which cards it is immediately next to (e.g. "+2 if next to Granny", "-1 if next to the wolf", "+5 if all three pigs are together" etc).

Players take turns laying a card next to another on the shared tableau, with their colour uppermost. Once all cards are laid, players total up the scores for all cards of their colour, depending on which cards are next to which. The tableau size and shape changes across four rounds, and the player with the highest score at the end wins.

Contest categories:
Best Date Night Game
Best Game to Play with Your Child
Best Casual/Gateway Game
Best Art/Graphic Design
Best New Mechanic
Best Game


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JK
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - idea phase
Characters

The idea is to use fairy tale characters, with the relationships between them determining the points awarded for each card. In a few cases I might invent linkages between stories to tighten the game (e.g. Hansel and Gretel could be children of the woodsman from Red Ridinghood's story, and that woodsman could be Jack of beanstalk fame). Here are some ideas...

B.B. Wolfe, Esq.
"Lil Red" R. Hood
Granny Hood
Jack Lumber
Hansel Lumber
Gretel Lumber
Eve L. (stepmother)
Hagatha McWitch
Prince Frogrick
Princess P.
Thomas J. Pigg
Woodrow W. Pigg
Dr. Nathaniel Pigg
Edward de Beare
Florence de Beare
Eddie de Beare Jr.
Goldie Loxe
Rumpel W. Stiltskin
Finn O'Giant


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C. L.
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - idea phase
Charles Cabbage and William de Goat?
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Reed Ambrose
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - idea phase
Love fairytale themed games. I'll be following.
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - idea phase
nice, subscribing
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JK
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
I have just made some prototype cards available, though most are still without artwork.

The game is now playable but the cards will need further balancing.

Grab the files here

This is an easy build. The colour version is 5 single sided pages, or the low ink version is two double-sided pages (then sleeve).

Note: For the low ink version you will need to use highlighters to mark one side of each card red and the other blue. I suggest just highlighting the card name.

Cheers!
JK
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C. L.
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
I had fun breaking out my colored pencils for this. I hope you keep the low-ink version so kids can color it. Lower the recommended age and you will capture the crayon crowd!

Some ramblings -- Two quick plays were fun. I'll explore more another time. It does feel awkward to end with an unplayable card in hand, but that doesn't affect the flow of the game. Is there a second-player advantage?
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
GreenTea532 wrote:
I had fun breaking out my colored pencils for this. I hope you keep the low-ink version so kids can color it. Lower the recommended age and you will capture the crayon crowd!


That's a good idea - never thought of that!

GreenTea532 wrote:
Some ramblings -- Two quick plays were fun. I'll explore more another time. It does feel awkward to end with an unplayable card in hand, but that doesn't affect the flow of the game.


Yes, I could say to remove X cards from the deck at the start of the round, but leaving them in gives the last player some choice, otherwise she has none on the last turn.

GreenTea532 wrote:
Is there a second-player advantage?


I think there may be a greater advantage in having the second to last turn. I have tried to even it up by specifying who starts each round, but haven't yet playtested enough to detect any significant advantage for a particular player.

Thanks for trying it out and posting feedback!

JK
 
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Mark Fuhrman
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
I'm really liking this so far- might have to print it out and give it a shot! One question on the rules- are the first cards to be played defined as the bottom of the tableau, or do the players have to keep evaluating whether or not the shape they create still fits somewhere in the tableau? I'm guessing the second option, but I could be wrong.

Thanks!
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
MrSaturn17 wrote:
I'm really liking this so far- might have to print it out and give it a shot! One question on the rules- are the first cards to be played defined as the bottom of the tableau, or do the players have to keep evaluating whether or not the shape they create still fits somewhere in the tableau? I'm guessing the second option, but I could be wrong.


Nope, you're correct. The rules are a bit squashed to fit on one card - I need to make a slightly expanded rule sheet to clarify things like this.

Cheers!
JK
 
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
I got in a genuine two-player game today. My opponent had fun, enjoyed the wordplay (as did I) and was willing to play again. I, on the other hand, felt something was missing. I think it's that Wolfe could be crunchier ('crunchier' is my new favorite word, learned here on the Geek).

In Animal P-P-P-Pickup, for example, which shares a lot of Wolfe's DNA, opponents form strategies only to see them dashed again and again. Very satisfying. Wolfe, on the other hand, is much more reactive until the deck is down to the last few cards.

So I tried the following (two-handed): I placed a random card in the center and delt out the rest of the deck to the two players. I think the result is more tactical, and maybe more satisfying. I'll try to get another two-person game in and see...

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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
Hi C.L. Thanks for the play and feedback. I think you are right that Wolfe needs more bite. I had the concept late last year during the 18 Card and Children's Game contests - hence the 18 cards and childishly simple rules. I didn't follow it up then because I already had two other games on the go, and when Nick released Animal P-P-Pickup it seemed too similar (as you noted). Incidentally, the theme was originally going to be instruments of the orchestra and I had decided to call it Orchestration, but then that theme and name were taken too, so I needed to think up another. The game was off to a rough start!

I have been thinking about your suggestion of dealing out the deck. I've also been thinking about drafting, but then it's just another version of Tides of Time/Sushi Go!/Pleasant Prospect Farm. I wonder if it might enable more strategy by simply laying two or three cards beside the draw pile and allowing players to select from them. Or each having a hand of 5 (or whatever) cards. Or on your turn being able to claim/reserve a card for later. I'll look into some more options, and let us know how you get on if you try your idea out.

Thanks for testing and posting! I should be able to give this game more attention now that I've finally finished the art for Blorg (in the 9 card contest). And so many other new games to test out too...

JK
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
I think a hand, in some form, will help, esp. if combined with a bigger deck. But I just had this thought -- it's cool that while most bonuses are story-specific, some cross narrative boundaries. What about making those have more impact? Really shake up the tableau. Don't know how ...
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
UPDATE

Unfortunately between running the contest and finishing Blorg in the Midwest (for the 9 Card Contest), I have not been able to work on this game at all in the last few weeks.

However, I have now enlisted the help of my teenaged niece, the talented Kyla, to help finish the artwork for the cards. So hopefully we will see more progress in the weeks to come...
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
JohnKean wrote:
UPDATE

Unfortunately between running the contest and finishing Blorg in the Midwest (for the 9 Card Contest), I have not been able to work on this game at all in the last few weeks.

However, I have now enlisted the help of my teenaged niece, the talented Kyla, to help finish the artwork for the cards. So hopefully we will see more progress in the weeks to come...

Looking forward to it!
 
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
JohnKean wrote:
I have been thinking about your suggestion of dealing out the deck. I've also been thinking about drafting, but then it's just another version of Tides of Time/Sushi Go!/Pleasant Prospect Farm. I wonder if it might enable more strategy by simply laying two or three cards beside the draw pile and allowing players to select from them. Or each having a hand of 5 (or whatever) cards. Or on your turn being able to claim/reserve a card for later. I'll look into some more options, and let us know how you get on if you try your idea out.


Just another idea, take it or leave it-
increase starting hand size to 3
3 cards are laid out next to the deck [deck, c, b, a]
on a player's turn, taking card a is free
if they want card b, they must exchange one from their hand (put it on the bottom of the deck)
card c costs 2 cards

This gives players more options (besides the ones already in their hand), but if they abuse it, since they are netting negative cards, they will end up in the later parts of the round with only one card in hand (or zero, and be forced to always take card a).

haven't tried it yet, but it sounded cool in my head.

(oh, and end of turn, slide the card row and place another, so there's always three)
 
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Nick Shaw
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
Have to say, I really like the look of this (I can see the similarity to Animal P-P-P-Pickup, but this is clearly a distinct idea).

Love the artwork too, as with Blorg. You have a great eye for illustration and graphic design, John.

Going to print this one out and give it a whirl with my kids when I get a chance. They'll love the theme!
 
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
Mark, Thanks for your suggestions. Lots of good ideas for me to try out. I have also been thinking about giving players the ability to flip or slide cards on their turn. I have yet to test these all out though...
 
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
njshaw2 wrote:
Have to say, I really like the look of this (I can see the similarity to Animal P-P-P-Pickup, but this is clearly a distinct idea).

Love the artwork too, as with Blorg. You have a great eye for illustration and graphic design, John.

Going to print this one out and give it a whirl with my kids when I get a chance. They'll love the theme!


Hi Nick,

Yes there is some similarity to your awesome game, but strangely enough this wasn't an influence. In fact, I had the idea before playing Animal P-P-P-Pickup, but here's the weird bit - the inspiration actually came from your retheme of Tides of Madness. So it is true that the game traces its genesis to you, but actually to a different game than you might expect.

And the theme was originally musical instruments, with points for pairing related ones etc. I had decided to call it Orchestration. That's right when Orchestration appeared! So I put it on the backburner and focused on The Council of Colbridge instead.

Thanks for your interest. I hope we can get the artwork done in time. I don't think the game is as fun without some quirky art.

Cheers,
JK
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
Played a game of this the other night solo (2 handed). It flows very well. I had a couple of queries on the rules:

- The first card is obviously not going to be adjacent to anything. That technically breaks the placement rule...
- Is the 'Woodcutter' Mr Jack Lumber? I assumed it was, but it didn't say so on it, which made scoring for woodcutter adjacency confusing at first.
- The blue cards' titles being black make those titles a little hard to read in low light. Suggestion: Could you use white text for the blue-backed titles? I'm sure artwork on the cards will greatly help here as you won't need to be looking at the titles all the time, but for playtesting in its current form, it would be helpful.

Fun little game overall though. Hopefully I can get my kids to give it a try too soon.
 
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
Thanks Nick - great feedback as usual!

I hope to get time this month to complete the game, but at the moment life is conspiring against that...
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
UPDATE

My talented niece Kyla has just sent me the first draft of her artwork and I have updated the cards with this.



There's still a few tweaks to do but it does feel good to finally have some art on every card! Hooray for Kyla!

I've also increased the hand size to 2 cards, giving more choice on what to play on your turn.

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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready (limited artwork)
Love that artwork just from the cover art! Very nice. I look forward to checking out the art on the cards!
 
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready

Hi, John. I’ve printed the cards and played a solitaire game to get a feel of it. I just wanna say that the rules are pretty clear and the game flow is neat. The only doubt I have is if each player hand is visible to the other player.

I also want to encourage you to finish the artwork. Once familiar with the game it will play faster if you don’t have to check the names of the cards and only have to look at the picture.

Edit: blush Just noticed that you’ve just uploaded another version. Congrats! Time to download it!
 
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Re: [WIP] Wolfe & Co (2-player PnP contest) - components ready
The new art is great! Love it.

One small issue (not with the art): The font used for the text on the cards is making the 3s and 5s (e.g. in Pig 3's scoring) very hard to read. The 5 is the worst, as it almost looks like it's touching the + sign next to it, making it look like one large, very odd looking, single character. Any way to improve the readability of those two numbers, specifically? (the other numbers are fine)
 
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