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Duplicate Heartless: The Trick-taking Dice Game» Forums » Rules

Subject: Lighter version of the rules... rss

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Richard Hutnik
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These rules exclude bidding, and make it closer to Hearts. They are a lighter version of the rules for more simple play.

Duplicate Heartless: The Trick-Taking Dice Game rules (WIP)

By Rich Hutnik (Copyright 2011)

Duplicate Heartless is a trick-taking game that uses 6-sided dice instead of cards. It utilizes the nature of the dice to offer unique features not normally found in a trick-taking game. In the game, the lead player will finish playing last. it is a trick-avoiding game, but players win by having high score. Another feature in regular game (changeable via variant rule) is players draft what dice they will use and their hands remain open to be seen.

Number of players for game: 3-6 (Limit is practical ability to acquire enough dice).

Game objective: To have the highest score after playing set number of rounds.


Equipment used in game:
* 14 dice per player, used for 7 turns of trick-taking in a round.

* Scoring pad and pen or pencil to write down scores.


Setup for play:
Each round all the dice are rolled and placed in a poll in the center of the table. Players will go around clockwise, starting with a randomly determined player at the start of the first round, and then the player who scores the most point the prior round the following rounds (in case of tie, the player closest clockwise to the prior start player who won the last round goes first). Players draft their hand and then bid. What tricks players win, and also their hands remain in open view.

After each player drafted their hand of dice, the player who was the first to draft a die, leads, and players follow clockwise.

Rules of play:
Player who leads will play one of their dice (if not using total of two dice configuration. They lead with none if they are) as the suit to be lead. Going clockwise, each other player then plays a die to match the suit led (if they have it) and a die for the value of that suit when playing. If a player does not have that suit, then they can play any other die as a suit. After all players after the player leading has played, player leading the trick then plays a die for the value of the suit die lead, and is considered the last player to play.

Player who wins the trick, and then leads next play, is the player who either played the highest of the numbered suit led. In case of a tie, among the tied players, the player who played last wins the trick.

During a round, a player loses one point for each trick they took, unless they took all of them. If a player takes all the tricks, that player wins the game.

At the end of the round, the player who won the most tricks, leads the next round.

How the game ends:
Players play until one player has hit a negative score greater than or equal to 10 times the number of players in the game. Once this happens the player who has the least negative score wins the game. In case of a tie, play another round. A player can also win the game if, during a round, they take all the tricks.


Variant rules:
The game can be varied in a number of ways:
* Players can have their own set of 14 dice they roll on their own, and use as their hands. These hands can be kept secret or played open.
* Play to try to take most tricks, rather than least. When played this way, all players who lost the trick put their dice in their score area, while the winner discards their dice. If a player avoids taking any tricks, then no other players scores any points, and they score 7 times the number of players in the game.
* A variant rule I would propose would be, after players get their dice, they then would cluster them into pairs, and have to play the matching die with what they led for the suit. The player who won a trick and leads announces what the number suit is being led, and they must play a die of that suit, when it is their turn to play last. Phases in a round using this consists of players first grabbing their dice, and then players cluster their dice in pairs. When clustering their dice into pairs, players do this out of view of other players.
* Pick two dice at a time at start of play, and pair them up: Normally players pick one die at a time, and then pair them up later. In this variant, players pick two dice at a time, and pair them up for play as they pick them. This enables things to be done in half the time. If this variant is chosen, when players pick two dice, they are not permitted to pick dice with the same number on the face of the dice twice (creating a double pair) unless all that is left is dice of the same number. The order of play that happens when this is picked is players all pick their dice.
* Player who leads, plays both the die for the suit, and the value of the suit.
 
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Richard Hutnik
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In the latest change, the rules were added so player who shoots the moon wins the game. This is done to add increased drama and give each player a shot at winning every round. This puts added pressure on players to make sure they can block a player from shooting the moon.
 
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