Roxanne Clark
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Hermit Crab Havoc

This is strategy game for 2 players (though it may work eventually for more)
The Game takes place on an area of Mangrove Swamp divided up into hexagon shaped spaces.

Each player takes the part of a Hermit Crab God guiding their chosen Hermit Crab through their life, feeding and picking up shells, until they are big enough to be the first to worship at the Crab Temple.



Each player rolls 4 d6s which determine direction of movement, distance, the nature of the god gift (usually food but sometimes a shell), and the area where the gift will drop. Which dice determines which is up to the player.

Necessary Game components fit onto just 3 pages (2 card 1 paper) plus rules and an optional player's aid page:-
1 Game Board (made up of 7 main parts plus a compass Hexagon)
2 Hermit Crab Player Pieces
8 Shells (2 of each size)
2 Picture Frames (containing 4 pictures of your crab at 4 different ages that are swapped to the front as your crab grows)
34 Food Tokens (various colours)made from coiled paper
6 Experience Tokens (white) made from coiled paper

Entered into the 2013 Two-Player Print-and-Play Design Contest, No 116th Item for Geeklist "2013 Two-Player Print-and-Play Design Contest Entry List"

Dropbox Folder - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/i1xp6i6i72h4br6/ll46XwnNUx
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Nate K
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Very pretty.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Desperately needs an assembly diagram.

Looks interesting so far though.

Nice standup approach.
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Roxanne Clark
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Yep the rules and a printing suggestion page on their way asap. Thanks for the encouragement.
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Roxanne Clark
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All of the files are up in the Dropbox folder now.
3 A4 pages of game pieces
An optional A4 page for the Players aid
Rules - one double sided sheet of A4
and a page of suggestions for assembly of all of the bits.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Typo page 2

Quote:
They fit their vulnerable abdomens into shells to protect them and will avoid being without a shell with great vigour nut they are always on the look out for a better shell even if it is occupied.


probably meant "but they are always on the look out"
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Roxanne Clark
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Yes - thank you - I'd even picked it up on my proof-read and then failed to correct it - correcting right away.
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Roxanne Clark
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Extra pieces have now been added to the player's aid to form a base for the food experience tokens and shell stack.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Looking at the initial version of the rules

I kinda like the title ... not sure if you were referring to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar ("Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war!") ... but that's the impression it had on me.


I notice you're using tiles that have multiple-hexes on them. If I may suggest other ways that those big tiles can be done ... I went through 2 other methods:

Feedback on Hex Tiles



The way hexes are "tesselated" is designed such that the sides of the tiles are straight; and that makes them easier to cut out, and usually also makes them easier to line up side-to-side.

(edit: obviously, you may need to adjust the number of hexes in each tile to fit your game design.)

I like the graphic design in the "subtly numbered tiles." Clever numbering! Will the game board always be assembled the same exact way ... or are you thinking of allowing for random placement of the 6 outer tiles? (I'm thinking it may be a good way of increasing replayability.)


This is the third of your games I've looked at; and the rules look better formatted here.


Suggested rephrasings:

current: At the start of your turn roll 4 d6s. They will each have a different function, which one is assigned to which function is going to be up to you to decide.

suggestion: Roll 4 six-sided dice at the beginning of your turn. Assign exactly one die to each of the four functions listed below. Then, the four functions are resolved in the same order below.


current: Distance - The crab will move a maximum number of squares according to this roll.

suggestion: Distance - the crab moves up to a number of hexes according to this table (below)


current: Effect - What god-like gift will occur after the crab has moved

suggestion: Effect - After the crab has moved, the following effect occurs


current: If there are any shells in the shell stack add a shell. If there are no shells in the stack - move a shell in the sector to another empty space in the same sector

suggestion: If there are shells in the stack, then add a shell; otherwise, move a shell from one spot to an empty spot within the same sector.


current: Sector - The outer sector in which theEffect will take place.

suggestion: Sector -- one of the six outer hex tiles in which the Effect takes place.



I have a game design suggestion regarding the bounce-back rule when you encounter the map edge: rather than having the crab do a "u-turn" or 180-degree turn, I suggest rolling a die and using a new Direction as specified. If the new Direction is still a map edge, then ... the crab is (as you say) "pondering in a corner." I realize that most of these hexes with map edges really are corners (50% of the Directions result in a map edge), the fact that you already give the player 4 dice to select in the first place is generous; that's pretty much the gut-wrenching decision you're forcing the player to make ... and I see the 180-degree turn as too much of an "easy alternative" to get out of the decision.

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Roxanne Clark
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Stormtower wrote:
I kinda like the title ... not sure if you were referring to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar ("Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war!") ... but that's the impression it had on me.

Perhaps I should use the strap line "Let loose the crabs of war!" laugh

Stormtower wrote:
I notice you're using tiles that have multiple-hexes on them. If I may suggest other ways that those big tiles can be done ...

I will have a play about with this, although I must admit that the hex sections are not too hard to cut out and do fit together more than just straight lines would. Since that graphical translation wouldn't be easy I will leave that until after the competition I think.

Stormtower wrote:

I like the graphic design in the "subtly numbered tiles." Clever numbering! Will the game board always be assembled the same exact way ... or are you thinking of allowing for random placement of the 6 outer tiles? (I'm thinking it may be a good way of increasing replayability.)

There is no reason that the outer sections have to be placed in this way,though since only 1 and 6 have any deviation from an average food and shell drop rate, muddling them up wouldn't really make too much difference.
I suppose one could even play with them muddled up so that the moulting section goes to an outer edge, however - that one will need some play-testing...

Stormtower wrote:
Suggested rephrasings:

I had been wrestling with some of these - especially the one in the table, thanks for the help.

Stormtower wrote:
I have a game design suggestion regarding the bounce-back rule when you encounter the map edge: rather than having the crab do a "u-turn" or 180-degree turn, I suggest rolling a die and using a new Direction as specified. If the new Direction is still a map edge, then ... the crab is (as you say) "pondering in a corner." I realize that most of these hexes with map edges really are corners (50% of the Directions result in a map edge), the fact that you already give the player 4 dice to select in the first place is generous; that's pretty much the gut-wrenching decision you're forcing the player to make ... and I see the 180-degree turn as too much of an "easy alternative" to get out of the decision.

Once the game is under way, even with the 180-degree rule you can still be left with a fair few "rock and a hard place" decisions. I'm instinctively uncomfortable with the re-roll idea as the basic mechanic is "here are your dice - deal with it". It would possibly slow the game too and I know as a player I would prefer to be forced actively into a bad move to just getting stuck. I will put it to my play-testers though as it would, as you say, fit in with the theme.

Thanks again for your valuable feedback. thumbsup
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Sturv Tafvherd
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print-and-play-wise, if the tiles are not meant to be mixed, then it might be simpler to assemble if the entire map came as one printed sheet.... or, if the scale doesn't allow it to fit on sheet, then "posterize" the image over a few sheets.

... as for the "stuck in a corner" rule. I'm fine with it as-is, now that I think on it, the reroll suggestion I had was an even "easier alternative" compared to your bounce-back. But yeah, ask your playtesters about it.


edit...

I forgot to add: you should sell this game at beaches/museums that deal with hermit crabs! Add in a couple of pages of interesting facts, and you have a fun and educational game
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Roxanne Clark
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In the 2013 Two-player PnP Game Design Contest (2013 Two-Player PnP Game Design Contest - Final Submission List) Hermit Crab Havoc was placed 1st in the "Most Original Theme" category and 3rd in both the "Best Small Game" and "Best Language Independent Game" categories. Yay laugh
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