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Subject: A domino mechanic?? rss

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Ben Bateson
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My well-meaning but generally incompetent relatives have bought me a copy of Mexican Train for Christmas. Normally this would join all the other poor board-game choices down at the charity shop, but I'm really taken by the fact that it contains a set of good-quality dominoes.

And no normal dominoes, either. A set of 12-dominoes. These ones go even higher than Spinal Tap!

Thinking about it, there are lots of great card mechanics, and dice mechanics, but very few involving these high-quality bits of ivory*.

So I'm thinking, how about taking my set of dominoes (either the full 12-set, or a 6-set - which would be a lot easier for anyone else who wanted to play it) and turning them into the central mechanic of a game design. I'm not terribly good at this design business, and all my ideas so far have become cumbersome and unplayable, so keeping it simple would definitely be a boon.

I'm not really after a whole game, just a clever way of using the doms that can be built upon with some theme, a board and other bits and pieces.

Hopefully, I'll get my New Years GG bonus soon, so 5GG to everyone who comes up with a suggestion I like!

* Disclaimer: almost certainly not ivory!
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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I spent months trying to come up with a good domino game and finally conceded defeat. I'm sure there's a game in those lovely pieces, but I couldn't find it. Everything I tried was inelegant, to say the least.

However, I will say that the best existing domino game is Muggins if you want to try a traditional domino game that doesn't suck.
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Sim Guy
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When I was much younger, we were sitting around with a game of Easy Money and a set of dominoes, among other games, playing cards, and game bits. The dominoes were of the 6-dot maximum type and the game was missing its dice. It occurred to us that we could use the dominoes instead of dice by drawing them out of a bag, we even left the blanks in as sort of a random penalty, and we played out the game without any problems.

Since then I've incorporated dominoes into a few game designs, or as variants to other e.g. Risk. You can use them in place of dice, or play them like cards (i.e. you have a small hand of die rolls that you may play in the order you prefer).

We even used them like block wargame units, in a Stratego style game - sometimes the total number of pips was the strength, sometimes you could only use one side or the other, and you could cover one side during a 'combat', limiting the intelligence you would give your opponent.

Some domino sets have different colored pips - I'm sure something could be done with that angle.

Lots of uses, especially if you had some different colored/styled sets.
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Ben Bateson
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OK, here's some very undeveloped initial thoughts.

d10-1 Something a bit area-control-ish, with 7 (or 13) districts linked to the numbers on the dominoes. Each domino represents a possible action in one of two districts and a clever distribution of dominoes ensures all players get asymmetric but balanced powers. Cash in a domino to place influence in one of the two areas (or discard it for eg. extra cash?).

d10-2 Create a domino chain (around the outside of the board - would also act quite nicely as an end-game trigger), but there is no obligation to match numbers. Link the sum total created at each connection between two doms to an action of some sort. Worker placement? Resource collection?

d10-3 Dominoes as currency? Not sure how this would work, but I can see some sort of auction being core to it.
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Ben Stanley
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One of my greatest designs is played with Dominoes. Unfortunately, I have been waiting for a developer to finish coding it for the iOS, so I have not released the full rules yet.

But rejoice in the knowledge that there are excellent games that can be played with Dominoes!

Ivory Tower

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Klaus Brune
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Not exactly a new design, but some food-for-thought to work with. Also not what most people around here (LA) think of when they think of "dominoes"...

42

Think Bridge-like bidding & trick-taking game that preceded Bridge. At least according to the publishing dates here on BGG. Didn't research it further than that.
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Clark Rodeffer
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Not sure it helps you now, but I've done a couple of Domino games, including Nehemiah, Broadway and Sudominoku.
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Kerry Harrison
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CDRodeffer wrote:
Not sure it helps you now, but I've done a couple of Domino games, including Nehemiah, Broadway and Sudominoku.


Chad, thanks for the posting the links to those rules, the Broadway game looks particularly fun.
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Gary Heidenreich
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With a set of double 12 dominos, you can play Double Some'R'Set. Only one thing missing and that would be one card (double zero or the S/S). You could take out the double zero and play it fine.

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Sturv Tafvherd
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CDRodeffer wrote:
Not sure it helps you now, but I've done a couple of Domino games, including Nehemiah, Broadway and Sudominoku.


I'm always looking for Bible-related games, so the link to Nehemiah is really interesting to me. I like that idea of building up a wall of dominos!
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Matt Loscutoff
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Check out Sid Sackson's Domino Bead Game
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Nick Hayes
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Another good domino game is Euronimoes. Definitely check it out.
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Kerry Harrison
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Black Canyon wrote:
Another good domino game is Euronimoes. Definitely check it out.


Thanks, will definitely give that one a try.
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Ben Bateson
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If anyone was interested (I'm sure you're not really!), I've just finished turning my dominoes into a jumbo set of Flowerpower.

A warning to anyone attempting the same - you need 10 extra dominoes!
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K Septyn
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I can't seem to find my copy, but there's Puremco's Great Book of Domino Games. A lot of different games were listed, there might be something in there outside the Muggins/Chickenfoot/Mexican Train families.
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