Zach Hoekstra
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So a few weeks ago I had a idea for a game that combined the strategic ideals of a trick-taking game with the set-collection idea of games like Gin-Rummy or Mah-johng.

I used a set of Mah-jong tiles to create a trick-taking game where players use the cards in the tricks they take to form sets which score points. Any cards taken but not eventually used in a set are worth negative points, encouraging players to select carefully the tricks they take and the cards they keep.

I've play tested the game several times by myself and once with a group of friends, and after many revisions I have the game in a playable state.

I like the game, and I think it;s one of my better designs, and more importantly, its the first real playable game I've designed since I found BGG. I'd like to get more playtesters, and maybe even try to publish it if I find it's fun enough. And I'd love to put it up as an entry in BGG, like so many others I've seen.

But it's not ready yet. I'd like to post some preliminary rules, and have you fine people review them, but I dont know where, or how.

Does anybody have some suggestions?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew Spencer
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like a cool idea for a trick taking game.

but no, I don't have any answers to your question. blush
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Crazy Bob
Philippines
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
oh,oh! Mail me some rules so that we can ridicule... I mean, give you some good feedback. This sounds like a great idea, and I want to see what you did with it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zach Hoekstra
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Of course. I have some rules written up.
I'm not very experiences with writing rules, so please ask if there are any ambiguities or things you dont understand.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
More playtesting.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You could post them here and ask people to try it out. Maybe offer GG as a thank you if they can give you a report?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Nelson
United States
Draper
Utah
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Post the rules up and others will give you a shout out on what they think. It sounds a bit like Rotundo or a few other games, which if it is too much like other games, it will be hard to sell it unless you have that added element that sets it apart. Knizia has a few like this as well, but with over 200 games under his belt he is bound to make a trick-taking, set collection game. A great theme would be a great help in setting it apart.

Adding a prototype as a game entry will be up to the admins if they let it be added. You could make a prototype entry for it, add pictures and rules to it there or under your collection would be best for pics.

Next, take a prototype to every convention you can get to and test it with others not of your group of normal players. Blind testing as well (give them the deck and rules and leave them be). A good rulebook is almost mandantory in order for someone to figure out even the easiest of games, even a simple trick-taking game. Also the rulebook can help bring out the theme to set it apart.

Okay, then find a game publisher that you've seen their games they have produced is similar to your game, and find out contact info and ask them if they take outside submissions. But make sure you've tested it to death and got any kinks out of the play, and a good rulebook with pictures and an example round or two in it.

When testing it,make sure any questions you are asked are written down. When you write the rules, give examples to help clarify those problems. A FAQ page in the back could do the trick as well, but it would be better if it was in the main body of rules.

Make a print and play version of it so others can give you feedback on it w/o having you having to be there. You could even do a template of it on Artscow.com that others could use for a good copy of it. If you have some good ratings and comments, you can tack those comments on to any submissions you attempt to help convince the publisher of the greatness of the game.

Or self publish and good luck. A lot of the ideas presented here are "pinned" in the board game design thread. Also Bruno Faidutti. and Tom Jolly have some good thoughts on the matter too.

http://www.faidutti.com/index.php?Module=divers&id=539
http://www.silcom.com/~tomjolly/design.htm
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zach Hoekstra
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As requested by some, I'll post the rules up here in this topic.
I wish I could give Geek Gold to people willing to offer comments/critisisms, but unfortunately, I have none.

The following rules is the latest version of Wuya. I've included possible changes below the rules, as well as some strategy I've discovered while playing the game.

This would be the first time I've written up a full ruleset for one of my games, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

The current theme is old oriental, and highly based off the mahjohng set used to play the first incarnations. It's moved beyond that now.

Wuya
Wuya is a trick-taking game for 4 people in which players use cards from the tricks that they take in order to complete sets, which are worth points for the end of the game.

A Wuya deck consists of 144 cards in the following denominations:

40 bamboo cards (4 copies each of the 1 through the 10 of bamboo)
40 coins cards (4 copies each of the 1 through the 10 of coins)
40 flower cards (4 copies each of the 1 through the 10 of flowers)
8 Dragon cards (Tianlong)
8 Wind cards (Feng)
8 Crow cards (Wuya)

Wuya is played in 3 hands of 12 tricks, each hand consisting of 1/3 of the deck. Each card will be played once and exactly once.

Setting Up
Shuffle the deck and deal 12 cards to each player. Set the deck in the middle.
The player sitting closest to the east leads the first trick.

Play
The leading player plays any one card from his hand. Going clockwise around the table, each player either follows suit or plays a special card from their hand. If a player cannot follow suit and does not want to play a special card, they may play any card from their hand. The highest card of the lead suit wins the trick.

Note: because there are 4 copies of each number card, it is possible that there is a tie for highest. In that case,the last player to have played the highest card takes the trick.
Quote:
Jim, Joe, Sue and Bob are playing a game of Wuya. Jim leads with the 9 of coins. Joe follows with a 5 of coins, and Sue follows with a 6 of coins. Bob then follows with another 9 of coins. Because Bob played the last highest card, he steals the trick from under Jim's nose!


He winning player then selects at least one of the cards forming the trick he just won, and keeps them, placing them face up in front of him. He discards any cards not kept.
Quote:
Bob just took the 9, 5,6, and 9 of coins. He elects to keep the two 9's, and the 6, and discards the 5. He could have kept all of them, but he could not have discarded them all. Bob had to take at least one of the cards in the trick.


The winning player now leads a card from his hand, starting a new trick. Continue this until all cards have been either kept or discarded. Take the deck and deal out a new hand of 12 cards for each player. All cards already played stay either in front of their respective players or in the discard pile. The player who won the last trick leads.

Special cards
The Dragon
The Dragon card is trump. Playing the dragon indicates that you will win the trick regardless of the number cards played. However, a later player can play another dragon or wind to trump yours. In that case, their card takes precedent over yours.
If you lead with a Dragon, players may play any card they have in their hands, although unless they play a dragon or wind, they cannot win the trick.
Quote:
Jim leads with the 10 of flowers. Joe follows with a dragon. Joe will win the trick unless Sue or Bob play a dragon or wind, shifting which player will win.

The Wind
The wind acts like the dragon, however, when you play it, designate an opponent who will win the trick. Like the dragon, this can be over-ridden by a later dragon or wind. You cannot designate yourself as the winning player.
Quote:
Jim wants to be the last player to play in the next trick, so he leads with the Wind and points to Joe on his left. Unless another dragon or wind is played later on, Joe will win (and lead the next trick). Joe will probably want to play a card that helps him unless he suspects Sue or Bob will steal the trick.

The Crow
The crow is a thief. You may play the crow in any trick. After the winner has been decided, but before they pick which cards to keep, you must pick and either discard or keep one card in the trick. If multiple crows are played in a trick, the last person to have played a crow in the trick picks first, with other crows stealing in counter-clockwise order. You cannot steal a special card unless there are no number cards left.
Quote:
Jim leads with the 8 of coins, and Joe follows with the 9. Sue wants the 9 for herself, so she plays the Crow. Bob also wants the 9. so he plays another crow. Jim wins the trick, but before he picks, the crows get to steal. Bob picks first, since he was the last to play, and keeps the 9 of coins. Sue doesn't want the 8 of coins, so she simply discards it. Joe is left with nothing to take, and must still lead the next trick!

special case:
In the unlikely event that someone leads with the crow, than the highest number card of any suit wins the trick.

Important note:
special cards cannot form sets, and should always be discarded.
you may always follow with a special card, even if you have cards of the same suit in your hand.

Winning the game
After the 3rd hand has finished, and all cards have been either kept or discarded, players organize their cards into sets. Each card may only be in one set.

Any card not in a set scores -1 point.
Sets score points as shown below:

run of three (Chow)
A set of exactly three cards of the same suit forming a run.
A chow is worth 0 points.
Quote:
The 6,7,and 8 of bamboo combined as a set are worth no points, but that's better than the -3 they would otherwise be worth!


Pair (Eye)
a set of 2 identical cards. Eyes are worth 2 points.
Quote:
two 6's of coins are worth 2 points as a set. The 6 of coins and the 6 of flowers are worth -2 points. They do not count as a pair.


Three-of-a-kind (Pung)
a set of 3 identical cards. Pungs are worth 4 points.

4 of a kind (Kong)
a set of 4 identical cards. Kongs are worth 8 points.

The player with the highest total wins the game.

Strategy
Unlike most trick-taking games, Wuya has a lot of inherent chaos. It is very hard to count cards and there is no surefire way to win a trick. Instead of hoping for a few kongs, hedge your bets with plenty of pairs and hope to get the third or fourth cards of that set.

Chows are worth no points, but they are an easy way to keep tiles with no loss until you can collect the remaining cards of those sets. A run is worth 0 points on its own. If you pick up one of the cards in that run, you still have 0 points (2 for the pair and -2 for the free cards), but as you pick up more cards in the run, it's worth more and more.

Pay attention to what cards people need to score more points, and endeavor not to give them those points. If throwing the 1 of coins would give your opponent the 4th card in his set, throw something else instead. Also try not to give people chows. chows are a very easy pick for most players.
Use Dragons and winds to deprive people of valuable tricks or take them for yourselves. Use crows to steal cards you need for your set, or to steal and discard cards people need to complete sets.

Because it is hard to count cards to determine what is in a persons hand, pay more attention to what they discard and what they keep to find out out what they have in their hands.

Having negative points at the end of the first hand is not necessarily bad. You'll have more opportunities for points later on than the player with 3 pairs and nothing else.

Possible rules?
Make Wuya a team game: 2 teams of 2 that sit across from each other. Team members cannot communicate verbally, and the partner that wins the trick must choose what to keep. Partners must communicate what they have and what they want through watching each others plays and what the other person keeps or discards.
Team scoring:
chow: 0
eye: 1
pung: 2
kong 4

Wuya for 3 to 6 players:
3 players: 3 hands of 16, sets are scored like the team game (above)
4 players: 3 hands of 12, normal scoring.
5 players :2 hands of 9, 1 hand of 10. Normal scoring. 4 cards will not be used.
6 players: 3 hands of 8. chows are worth 1 point instead of 0.



6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Orrin Venn
United States
Metairie
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
mb
How is this very much different than Spades or Bridge or Bouree? Is it because it's Chinese themed?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
TheArxmaster wrote:
How is this very much different than Spades or Bridge or Bouree? Is it because it's Chinese themed?

It has a deck of 144 cards, it has only three main suits, three different kinds of joker. There is the set collection aspect that isn't found in Spades or Bridge.

Sorry to say, but this is kind of a stupid question. Did you even read the post before yours?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anni Foasberg
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm sorry I don't have anything more substantive to offer, but I do have a couple of copyediting notes, if you are interested.

Hrusk wrote:

Quote:
Jim leads with the 8 of coins, and Joe follows with the 9. Sue wants the 9 for herself, so she plays the Crow. Bob also wants the 9. so he plays another crow. Jim wins the trick, but before he picks, the crows get to steal. Bob picks first, since he was the last to play, and keeps the 9 of coins. Sue doesn't want the 8 of coins, so she simply discards it. Jim is left with nothing to take, and must still lead the next trick!



Shouldn't Joe with the trick, not Jim, since he played the higher card?

Hrusk wrote:
Also try not to give people runs. Runs are a very easy pick for most players.


Not to be crude here blush, but "runs" has another meaning in English, so it may be best to rephrase this part. Perhaps.."try not to play cards that will allow another player to complete a run" or something similar?

Hrusk wrote:

You'll have more opportunities for points later on than the guy with 3 pairs and nothing else.


May I recommend "player" instead of "guy" here? Not only is this phrasing less slangy, it's also the case that not all your players are, in fact, guys

I really like this idea; sounds like a game I would enjoy. I like card games and this is a clever one. Good luck!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zach Hoekstra
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you!

It feels nice to know that you were able to pick up a gameplay error from reading the rules. I thought that the idea of "last-play wins" would be harder to get across.

I've re-edited my rules to take into account these...ahem...mishaps.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
I think that you should try to organise more playtests. The problem here would be the unusual card distribution; if people want to playtest this game, they have to find enough cards to create their own playtest deck; I guess that you can do it if you have four card decks with similar backs.

It looks like an interesting game. I would need to play it, though, to see if it really is.

Some problems that I can see:
- The deck of cards. 144 cards is quite a bit - I can imagine problems when trying to shuffle such an amount.

- One of the joys of trick-taking games in general is that after a few tricks you are able to count the hands of your opponents, and base your game play pm tjat. With your set-up, with lots of cards and those divided in three different games, you make it all but impossible for people to do so.

- The text doesn't make it clear if you can trump if you still have cards in the suit that was led. I assume that you can, but please make it specific in the rules. BTW, the fact that players can trump when they still have cards of the suit asked in hand, also makes it more difficult to count the players' hands.

- The person who leads the card of a trick is least likely to win that trick, it seems; he can lose the trick to anyone who plays a higher card in that suit, who plays a card of the same value and to trumps. One of the points of most trick-taking games is that after you counted the players' hands, you can control the game by deciding when to stay in the lead and when to give the lead to other players. In this game, you cannot.

- What I do like is the fact that counting the sets is easy; that sets can almost only be made of duplicate cards. If it were like rummy, where sets can be straights (consecutive cards of the same suit) and groups of similar value, but different suits, the puzzling phase after the trick taking would probably take too much time.

I like the idea of set collecting after taking tricks. However, and perhaps that is because my experiences with trick-taking games (especially bridge) bring along certain expectations, I have some problems with the way in which you implemented the trick-taking phase here.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zach Hoekstra
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for your comments.

I'm really hoping to get a deck of this sorted out and to start putting this through several rigorous playtests. I've heard that one way to playtest a game is to hand a group of completely new players a ruleset and a deck, and watch them play the game without interfering in any way, and I believe I'll try that next game-session.

and now I'll try to defend my biased point of view. Feel free to criticize/contradict/prove me wrong at any point.

You are in fact correct that Wuya breaks many expectations of a classic trick-taking game. I have not played much Bridge, but I know someone who plays professionally. I've listened to his lectures on Bridge strategy and studied other trick-taking strategies as well, and I've come across the idea that, given players of equal skill, the number of tricks each person will win in a hand is determined almost entirely by the hand they are dealt. Thus, a lot of the strategy in games like Bridge is determined by the setting of the contract, as each team uses bidding to determine what their partners have and to attempt to either get a good contract or force their opponents into a bad contract.

Wuya does not have a bidding mechanic. If Wuya was a standard trick-taking game, it would be rather boring and luck-based among "professional" players, because once the hands were dealt, perfect play would result in very little variation or stress. Wuya uses many mechanics to ensure that no one person can control a hand, namely the difficulty of card-counting and the inherent disadvantage of leading a trick, which usually means that the person who last won a trick has a disadvantage in the next one. If this means that Wuya is not a classic trick-taking game, then I should probably re-classify it. Perhaps call it a set-collection game with trick-taking mechanics. To be honest, I'm not sure what to call it. I don't think I've found any games like it.

and yes, you are correct that you may always follow with a trump card even when you have cards of the lead suit in hand. I actually tried playing the other way and discovered that because of the relative rarity of trumps compared to number cards (they make up only 11% of the deck), that the first 9 or 10 tricks in a hand consisted of entirely number cards, while the last 2 or 3 usually had several trumps, making them a)unpredictable and b)nearly worthless for scoring purposes.

To help with card-counting, I've waffled over the idea of having players be able to look through the discard pile and see whats been played, which become more useful in the last two hands. However, this would increase analysis paralysis in AP-prone people. I need more playtesting to know for sure.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
Hrusk wrote:
and now I'll try to defend my biased point of view. Feel free to criticize/contradict/prove me wrong at any point.

OK

Hrusk wrote:
You are in fact correct that Wuya breaks many expectations of a classic trick-taking game. I have not played much Bridge, but I know someone who plays professionally. I've listened to his lectures on Bridge strategy and studied other trick-taking strategies as well, and I've come across the idea that, given players of equal skill, the number of tricks each person will win in a hand is determined almost entirely by the hand they are dealt. Thus, a lot of the strategy in games like Bridge is determined by the setting of the contract, as each team uses bidding to determine what their partners have and to attempt to either get a good contract or force their opponents into a bad contract.

Not all trick-taking card games involve bidding. Hearts, for instance, does not. Bridge, furthermore, is special in that it involves partnerships, and the bidding is a way to communicate with each other to determine the right contract. So when you compare Wuya with other trick-taking games, don't take Bridge as the benchmark.

There are a number of fun trick taking games without contracts or bidding, but they all give players the opportunity to count opponents' hands, and some means to control the game (by which I mean, a way of leading a card so that you can win the trick). Even games like The Great Dalmuti have this, and this is what makes them fun. By removing this, you take away that sort of fun and you'll have to insert some alternative.

You complain that in most trick-taking games, the number of tricks a player can get is determined mainly by the hand he gets. While this is true, there are a few remarks to be made.
1. The 'mainly' in the line above is important. Good players can always get one or two more tricks than others (or even more), by playing better than the average person.
2. Most trick-taking games are played very quickly. Competition bridge takes about half an hour for four games - so even if you get a lousy hand, you'll get a new one in less than ten minutes.
3. Wuya is not about the number of tricks, but about getting the right cards. In your game, even if a player gets fewer tricks than his opponents, he can still win if he manages to collect the right sets.

And the main counter:
4. Your game isn't an exception to the rule. If I get dealt a hand with a number of nines, tens and dragons, I'll get more tricks than if the hand consists of ones, twos and wind cards. And since your game isn't an exception to the rule, the argument doesn't hold. The only thing that you achieve is that you reduce the amount by which players can control the game - and so you make it less skill- and more luck-dependent. Better hands will win more tricks more often than in other trick-taking games.

Hrusk wrote:
Wuya does not have a bidding mechanic. If Wuya was a standard trick-taking game, it would be rather boring and luck-based among "professional" players, because once the hands were dealt, perfect play would result in very little variation or stress.

I don't see what one line has to do with the other. As I said, there are quite a number of trick-taking games without bidding that still are interesting and skill-based. Perfect play depends on the ability to read cards and knowing when to take risks (and which risks to take) and that is where the challenge lies in this kind of game.

Hrusk wrote:
Wuya uses many mechanics to ensure that no one person can control a hand, namely the difficulty of card-counting and the inherent disadvantage of leading a trick, which usually means that the person who last won a trick has a disadvantage in the next one.

I feel that by doing that you are making it more luck-based than most other trick-taking games.

Hrusk wrote:
If this means that Wuya is not a classic trick-taking game, then I should probably re-classify it.

What's in a name? I'd still call it a trick-taking game. Since the players, you know, take tricks

Hrusk wrote:
To help with card-counting, I've waffled over the idea of having players be able to look through the discard pile and see whats been played, which become more useful in the last two hands. However, this would increase analysis paralysis in AP-prone people. I need more playtesting to know for sure.

There is a game, Dia de Los Muertos (re-issued as Four Dragons) where the cards taken need to stay visible, so that anyone can always see which cards have already been played.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Nelson
United States
Draper
Utah
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ever play Gargon? It is a simple trick-taking game, but the odd part of it compared is that the card back is the same as the color on the front, which makes card counting even easier, but also I think adds an element of fun that normally isn't there.
Just an off-topic observation of a "thing" to differ a trick-taking game from the classics. At the end of Gargon, it has a similar set collection thing with scoring in total value in the set.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Springer
United States
Brooklyn
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I see you've changed the rules a bit since I played!

You should bring it to Tuesday gaming a few more times; sometimes trick-taking games are half of what we play :-)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
ropearoni4 wrote:
Just an off-topic observation of a "thing" to differ a trick-taking game from the classics. At the end of Gargon, it has a similar set collection thing with scoring in total value in the set.

Most trick-taking games just count the number of tricks that you take, but not all of them.

* In Hearts, you try to avoid, not collect, certain cards. The hearts and the queen of spades are worth penalty points.

* There's a Dutch game called Troeven (trumps), where each court card (jacks, queens, kings and aces) are worth points. Two teams each try to get the majority of those points.

* In Four Dragons (mentioned above), you try to get combinations of rain cards and earth cards. You try to get as many sets as possible, where each set consists of one rain card and one earth card.

These are examples that come a bit closer to Wayu, in that you don't try to get as many tricks as possible, but to get certain tricks.

What is different about Wayu is that everyone is trying to collect different sets. A trick that is worthwhile to player A is not necessarily so to the other players.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
What are you doing!? I don't even know you!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hrusk wrote:

8 Dragon cards (Tianglong)


Just a tiny detail: This should probably read Tianlong instead.

I do like your game description, as I have been experimenting with a similar concept before (taking tricks and then sorting them into sets), but wasn't happy enough with the results to really follow through. Your game looks rather different than my attempt, but I am obviously intrigued and would like to try it out. Good luck with this!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zach Hoekstra
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
*And in Tarot, face cards, the 0,1, and 21 of trump are worth points. Whats interesting with Tarot is that the three low-bidders all attempt to prevent the high-bidder from winning the necessary amount of points

Wim, I do like your comments and criticisms. I'm going to run a couple more playtests with the current rule set and see if other people have problems with chaos like you do. If that happens, I probably need to revamp the rules to use less chaos. Do you have any ideas on how that could be done?

William, if I can find some card-sleeves (amazingly, I have none, although I can get them pretty easily), I'll mock up a prototype deck and some play-aids and see if we can get some more plays in on Tuesday.

hmm.... another thought. If the gameplay proves to be a little bland, perhaps a sort of "Grand Slam" mechanic could be in order...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Springer
United States
Brooklyn
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Zach, I hear there's a pretty good game store on College that sells them ;-) I thought it worked well with the mah-jong tiles, but cards would definitely be cheaper.

BTW - have you tried Mu yet?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
Hrusk wrote:
Wim, I do like your comments and criticisms. I'm going to run a couple more playtests with the current rule set and see if other people have problems with chaos like you do. If that happens, I probably need to revamp the rules to use less chaos. Do you have any ideas on how that could be done?

I can give some ways in which this is done in other games. Whether it works for your game has to be found out by playtesting. What could work:
* Have a smaller deck of cards, and each game, use all the cards. In that way, it is easier to see how many cards of a suit are still in the game.
* Allow a player to play trumps only if he cannot follow suit. That way, when a player trumps, the rest knows that he doesn't have that suit anymore.
* A card that is similar to a card already played cannot win the trick. So if I lead the 10 of diamonds (sorry, forgot the names of suits in your game), you cannot take over with another 10 of diamonds.

Some notes to the above: I know of common trump games where these rules are broken. In Trumps, you can trump whenever you like, and in that way hide whether you still have the suit asked for. But commonly a game of Trumps starts with the leader playing a few rounds of trumps, to get his opponents to lose theirs.
There are games where a number of cards are set aside, blind. The player who wins the bidding can look at these cards, add them to his hand and discard an equal number of cards without the opponents seeing that. So those opponents do not know exactly how many cards, and even how many points, are still in the game.
The games where these mechanisms work are still fun to play (note that the leader still has the option to maintain control, though). So don't treat my options as the only true way to go; playtest and see what works.


I guess that making the deck smaller is the most difficult part. If I may make a suggestion, try to have each suit be built pyramidically. Say, you have five 1's , four 2's, three 3's, two 4's and one 5 in each suit. In that way the cards that are most likely to give you tricks are least likely to give you points.
With this scheme you get 45 cards for the three suits, giving you room to add several trumps to the deck.

BTW, on my ride home from work I thought of another trump that might be interesting for the game. Let's call it the Poison Toad. Unlike the other trumps, this one can be collected. Even more, the player who wins the trick must keep this card and discard the others. The Poison Toad is worth one negative point.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.