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Subject: Top Trump Squads rss

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Kevan Davis
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Top Trump Squads crosses the basic game with Yahtzee, to produce something a little more strategic and interesting than the usual "look at your card and pick the highest stat" rules: players are dealt a number of cards face down, and have to assign them to categories, one at a time. The strongest "squad" of cards wins.

http://www.xorph.com/dispatch/wiki/index.php?title=Top_Trump...
 
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Kevan Davis
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Posting the rules here since the original wiki seems to have died since 2005.

Setup

Each player is dealt a number of cards equal to the number of stats (height, top speed, battle rating, etc.) that are used by the deck. These cards are laid out face-down in front of each player, in a row, and the position of the card corresponds to the same-positioned stat - if the third stat on the deck's cards is "Strength", then the third card from the left is the character you've assigned to "Strength" role.



Any player who's got a good idea for a mission may suggest one. A mission is basically just a group of three important stats (one Critical, one Important and one merely Useful), but spun into some sort of narrative that fits the theme of the deck.

(Stats needn't be selected as "highest wins" - the creator of the mission can choose "lowest wins" if it fits the idea better, or "nearest to a given value", or anything else that works.)

An example mission for the Star Wars Top Trumps deck might be: "You're assembling a squad to escape from the Death Star. It's critical that one of your squad have the Brains to disable the security systems, it's important that someone has a high Combat Skill to fight their way out, and it'd be useful to have someone who can comfortably wear a captured Stormtrooper uniform - they must have a Height as near to 200cm as possible."

Each player then marks their own cards with tokens to signify the three stats used by the mission (if it's the first stat listed on the cards, put the tokens above the first card, etc). Put three tokens above the Critical Stat, two above the Important one, and one for the Useful one. These are the tokens that you'll win if the character you assign to that slot beats your opponents' characters.



Squad Building

Squad-building then begins. Each player should pick up a card from the six in front of them, look at it, and then place it face-up in place of any of the face-down cards (or back in the slot they took it from). If it replaces a card, they take the replaced card into their hand. Once a card has been placed face-up into a slot, it may not be moved.



The player then repeats the process with the face-down card that they'd picked up to make room (or pick up a new one, if they didn't move the last card), and continues doing this until all six cards are assigned to a slot.



(Squads are built simultaneously - there's no need to wait for others to assign their first card before moving on to your second.)

When you've finished your squad, discard any characters that were assigned to irrelevant stats. The three characters that remain are those that you're sending on the mission.



Scoring and Victory

When everyone has built a squad, the player who created the mission should run through it again, stat by stat, and ask everyone who they've assigned to each slot. If your character has the winning value for a slot, you get to keep the tokens that were above it. (If multiple characters are tied for a given slot, they all win.)

A new round then begins, with another player making up a new mission.

The first player to collect ten tokens wins the game - if several players pass ten during the same round, the one with the highest final score is the winner. (If it's a tie, break it according to the best Critical stat that round; followed by Important and Useful if still tied.)
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Kevan Davis
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Looking back at this I was possibly trying too hard to keep the game components generic, as I think it was invented in an afternoon that had different Top Trumps decks lying around.

It'd probably make more sense to give every player a sheet of paper where they draw and title boxes for the three categories, and put coins next to the boxes - then work their way through a small deck of cards one by one, either playing the card to an empty box or discarding it. If you're playing it with the same deck a lot, you could make a set of (double-sided, maybe even double-ended) category cards to replace those boxes.
 
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Big Head Zach
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Is some of the challenge in that you're only given 6 cards to work with in the first place, and once you commit a card to a slot, you can't change that even if you reveal something better later on?

I presume in the original game, the rankings of the cards are structured in their variety (some cards are great and terrible, others middling in all respects, etc).
 
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Kevan Davis
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bhz1 wrote:
Is some of the challenge in that you're only given 6 cards to work with in the first place, and once you commit a card to a slot, you can't change that even if you reveal something better later on?


Exactly that, yes.

bhz1 wrote:
I presume in the original game, the rankings of the cards are structured in their variety (some cards are great and terrible, others middling in all respects, etc).


Yes. From memories of playing Top Trumps at school there's never an out-and-out beats-everything card, it'll always have an achilles heel in its stats somewhere, but otherwise, yes, card strengths generally seem to be a mishmash, driven more by the inclusion of interesting card subjects than a scrupulous spread of stats.
 
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