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Subject: New idea brainstorm: sinking ship rss

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Jeff Warrender
United States
Averill Park
New York
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I had an idea in a different thread about a 'sinking ship' game and thought it could possibly work as a Decktet game.

I think it's a negotiation game (are there any/many Decktet negotiation games?), with the idea being that each turn the group must discard cargo having a total weight of X, and maybe X changes each round. But each player also has supervision of some subset of the total cargo, and other players may try to persuade the player not to discard the cargo that they care about.

Why would they care about particular cargo? Because they also have contracts for that cargo, such that when the ship lands the surviving cargo is unloaded and you get money for contracts that you can fill, maybe just out of the cards in your possession or maybe out of the entire hold.

I think this wants to be played with a double deck.

Aces, Crowns, and Pawns are pulled out, shuffled, and distributed evenly to players. These are the contracts.

An Ace means that each card having that suit, and a rank < 5, is worth 5 VP

A Crown means that each card having that suit and a rank >5 is worth its face value in VP.

A Pawn means that a set of cards having the indicated suits are worth 10 VP.

I don't think you get to count cards across multiple contracts, although it would obviously be more interesting if you could.

To set up, pull out 5 cards (keeping them face-down), and shuffle the rest and distribute them evenly among the players.

For the game's action, there could be 4 or 5 rounds, and in each, a new card from the 5 set-aside cards is flipped. The sum of this card's rank and that of all previously revealed cards from earlier rounds is the total weight of stuff that must be discarded this round, i.e., the total rank of discarded cards.

Then each player puts one card on the table indicating what he's willing to discard. After this is a round of negotiation in which players can attempt to make deals or trades to persuade players not to discard cards that they particularly care about.

If after all negotiation ends, the sum of the ranks of the cards exceeds the target, the cards are discarded and the round ends; if not then...something happens, not sure what. Maybe pull a random card from each player, one at a time, starting with the player who gave the lowest -weight card.

Perhaps VP act as a currency that can be used to lubricate trades, so maybe everyone receives some VP to start with. I think that contracts themselves are probably also tradable.

At the end of the game, you reveal your contracts and get VP for any cargo you still possess that fills your contract. Maybe you have to assign cargo to a particular contract. Only downside of this is that it could lead to a lengthy optimization exercise. It might be easier to let each card count toward every contract you hold.

Maybe you also can get a point for cards that other players score that match one of your contracts (presumably an ace or crown contract).


With 4p and only the aces and crowns and pawns from a single deck, that's 4 contracts per player, which seems fine. The game would start with 48 - 5 = 43 rank cards, and attrition would eat about 20 of those cards over the course of the game, leaving 23, or 5-6 cards per player at the end.


It's not clear that, without some changes to your holdings over the game, the game can sustain 4 rounds of negotiation, since you have the same commodities the whole while. So it may need to be Bohnanza-style, where only the revealed cards in front of each player can be the subject of negotiation and deals are made specifically to interact with those (i.e. either for the player to replace it with another, to exchange it with a card from another player's hand, or to give it to another player and replace it from their hand, with VP used to sweeten some offers).

Nevertheless it may need to be that you start with 6 cards and then receive a new card each round or something like that.

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Seth J. Mazor
United States
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Have you tried it or refined your thinking around it?
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