Friday, February 7, 2014

Variant of Settlers: Darker Days

Cameron Walker

Darker Days Expansion.

The thought behind Darker Days was to address some of the problems I had with playing normal settlers.  One of those problems was that it wasn't competitive throughout the game for everyone playing. At some point in Settlers of Catan, it is really between just two people, and the others don't really have a chance at at all. Everyone who has played Settlers before has been at that point in the game where they know they cant win.  The game then becomes less enjoyable and  less interesting.   How I dealt with this was adding a few new elements to the game. My goal was to create a variation of the game, so that no one ever feels they don't have a chance to win.  The main element I added are the dark development cards.   These cards allow you to slow people down, but also catch you up if your behind.  These cards allow you to change the game board and your probability of winning.  In order to make this work effectively I had to create a board for the game.  The board is pictured below:

  Another idea I had was to make sevens a more active part of the game, so created a robbers "loot" that you have to discard into, and the next person to roll a seven gets to pick up what the robber has taken.

Dark Development Cards
Some of the Dark Development cards are listed above but are just playing cards with new abilities written on them.  The price of these cards are determined by the first three tiles you place in the board.  This is so there worth changes every game, and the strategy to get them.

  • Double Victory Points
  • Swap Numbers
    • Switch a number chit with another
  • Switch Tiles
    • Switch a resource tile with another of your choice
    • The number on the resources being moved stays
  • Market 
    • collect 3 or more of these and you have the largest market worth 1 victory point
    • Effect of receiving the market chip is that you choose a resource that you have a settlement or city on and you can now trade that resource in 2 for 1.(acts like a 2:1 port for a resource of your choice)
      • this can't be switched by the player onto another resource. It stays on the first one you choose
    • The market chip can be stolen from you if another player plays more market cards than you( the same rules of largest army in regular Settlers of Catan.
  • Construction halt
    • Place this card on a player and they can only build one thing per turn
      • to remove this card you must forfeit collect resources for your turn and roll a 9 or higher
        • Whatever the player rolls counts the other players pick up their resources according to the number rolled.
  • Close Corridors
    • Can build within one space of an opponents settlement or city
    • special effect of this card is that if you are in last place in terms of victory points on the board then you can add two roads and a settlement for free.  If there is a tie then the effect doesn't happen.
  • Master of Greed
    • Must reveal before you roll for your turn
    • All the resources picked up for the number you roll belong to you
  • Destroyer card
    • remove one settlement or two roads from a player
    • Can't remove two roads that leaves a settlement isolated
  • Blocker Card
    • Place on a player and they can not pick up resources for a whole round
  • Dagger Card
    • choose an opponent and take one card from them open-handed
  Another idea I had was to make sevens a more active part of the game, so created a robbers "loot" that you have to discard into, and the next person to roll a seven gets to pick up what the robber has taken. 

New 7 Rules 
  • Robbers Treasure Chest
    • Players with more than 7 cards discard them into the robbers loot space on the game board, not into the resource bank
    • the next player to roll a seven gets to pick up what is in the robbers loot if there anything.
  • Rolling a seven moves the coin to a new spot on the glory counter.
Glory Counter

The counter starts in the top left-hand corner and moves to a new spot when a 7 is rolled. The spots marked with blue tape indicate how many dark development cards you draw.  The other spots are listed and explained below.

  • Spot 2:
    • Roll the dice and pick up a resources according to the number the it corresponds to.
  • Spot 4 
    • Pick up a resource of your choice
  • Spot 6
    • you cant pick up a resource until another 7 is rolled
      • what resource is determined by a dice roll
  • The final Spot
    • move ether a number or a tile
Below are some pictures of what the game looks like with the pieces in it:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

King of the Mountain

Setttlers of Catan: King of the Mountain
BY: Nick Elders and Stephen Norregaard

set up:
the board is set up 10 hexes long and 3 wide, meaning the top and bottom rows will have 9 hexes each. the 4 middle hexes are all ore and the the first 2 hexes on each side are wood and brick in the center row. the rest of the hexes are random within the fact that each side gets 3 of each resource other than ore. the numbers are random except for the 6's and 8's. the two center ore get a 6 and an 8 as well as the wood and brick placed on opposite sides get a 6 and an 8. This enables as much of an equal start as possible in terms of road building.

to start you roll to go first like usual, then you place a settlement (must be on the end of the board and on the water, the best spot is going to be on either side of the 6 or 8 of wood or brick) two roads and another settlement which are all connected. the rest of the players do the same making sure each team is on the same side of the board. (variations could be tested here mixing teams on each side or playing individualy)

playing the game is similar to settlers minus a couple new rules and exceptions.

  • teams may trade openly with no restriction other than the same number of cards must be traded back and forth (3 cards for 3 cards ect.) 
  • once a teams roads are connected together they may build off each other freely with no restriction making them one unit essentially. (however longest road must be one color uninterrupted)
  • a knight costs a sheep and a wheat with a wheat to activate it. (cities and knights rules apply to these knights.)
  • there are 3 stages you must pass when building t wards the center, between the 2nd and 3rd, 3rd and 4th, and 4th and 5 hexes in the bottom and top rows. the first you must roll a 3 or higher to pass, the second stage and 5 or higher to pass, and the third a 6 or higher to pass. 
    • knights add +1 to your dice roll when active and at the end of your road,
    • knight must be placed at the waters edge and can only be moved one road length each turn
    • you can stack knights summing their added power for dice rolling and knight displacement
    • if you fight the other teams knight and displace it it is not killed just sent back to the waters edge.
    • when using your knights to add to your dice roll the knight becomes inactive if it is used, if you need a 5 and you roll a 5 then you knight stays active as it was not used.
  • once the second round passes every player chooses a harbor of their choice, there will be one of each resource and 2 three for one harbors available to choose from.
  • you attempt your dice rolling to pass the barricades once you road touches the imaginary line in place, you immediately roll for it and if you make it you continue you turn as normal if you loose the dice roll your turn ends immediately, typically you want to save this for the end of your turn.
  • the robber is placed in the mountain and has no effect until someone gets a road touching an ore hex, once this happens the first team to reach the mountain gets to play the robber as if a seven is rolled and now a 7 card limit is in effect.
    • prior to the robber being released there is no card limit and every player chooses a card of their choice when a seven is rolled( excluding ore)
  • a player may not trade 4 for 1 or use their harbor to obtain ore until their road or their teammates road is touching an ore hex.
  • each ore hex has a victory point with it, whoever has the most settlements on a hex claims that victory point, a city beats two settlements, this is collective between teams not individuals.
  • first team to 16 points with each player contributing at least 6 points wins.

goodluck and have fun. game typically last 60 minutes
if playing with two people still use 2 colors and play as if you are each team keeping separate hands.

New Game: DDoS (The Game)

Designers: Ashley Bingle & Josh Peters

Our game is based on the idea of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, in which master computers control large groups of other computers in an attempt to take down large servers. While this game is designed to resemble such an attack, it takes a lot of creative license and requires no knowledge of computing to play.

Target Computer
Target Computer
In this game two (or more) players attempt to knock out the Target Computer seven times before they have gone through the draw deck of computers twice (or more if more players). Every turn the player draws an Upgrade card and flips over new computers into the Target's network. They cannot attack the Target unless there are no computers protecting it in its network. Instead they use the computers in their own network to take out those defensive computers and add them into their own network for future use.

In order to take down a computer the player must have an equal or greater Strength on computers that are ready to attack. However, each time a computer performs an attack it must wait a certain number of turns until it is able to move again, this is determined by its Speed value. (The Target computer's Speed tells how many computers are added to its network before each player's turn.) The cards are rotated through a series of four orientations to indicate how many turns it must wait until it can be used again.

When a player defeats a computer (aside from the target), they have the option to add it into their own network, provided that the combined Network Cost of the computers being supported by their Master is still less than or equal to the Network Connections available. If the network cannot hold the computer it is discarded into a stack that will be shuffled when the draw stack is depleted. They can also choose to replace another computer in their network, provided it has not been used in this turn to attack.
Hight Network Capacity Computer
high network capacity Computer

At points the player may choose to improve network capacity, either by adding upgrade cards to that effect, or by capturing a high capacity computer with a larger number of network connections and using an entire turn to rearrange their network with that computer as the Master. Upgrade cards may be applied at any time, to any computer, and each type has its own duration for how long the upgrade lasts. There is no limit on the number of active upgrades, however, the player may never hold more than five upgrade cards in reserve.

Every time the Target Computer is taken out, its stats change, so that it has a different connection capacity, different strength, and different number of computers being flipped from the draw stack.

The winner is the player who has taken out the most Target Computer cards when all seven have been beaten. (If there is a tie, as there might be in a 3 player game: 3-3-1, then the player with the strongest network of computers wins.)

Game Board

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Game Changer

We came up with our idea from combining games such as Sorry, Fight 21, and Racing. The object of the game is to get to the end of the board before everyone else. The game consists of a lot of randomness as game changer cards are dealt to every player blind and they can play them at their own risk. They can help them out a lot, hurt them, or even hurt others on the board. Some examples of these cards are switch places with another player, lose a turn, or move up 15 spaces. The play is smooth and fun as you can land on spots individually marked on the board with different situations. You can pick up more game changers, be forced to play one if you have one, or even steal from someone else.  When beginning each turn you have one of two choices.  First you can play your game changer and that completes your turn.  Alternatively, you can flip a card from the deck.  1-7 moves you forward that many spaces respectively and face cards move you forward 3.  After flipping the card a die is rolled.  When rolling a 1-3, the player moves their piece forward that many spaces respectively.  If a 4 is rolled they move back 1, 5 back 2, and 6 back 3.  This is what would be a normal turn.

After coming up with our first version of the board we play tested the game and found some things we had to change.  We realized we did not have enough spaces on the board to receive new game changer cards.  Also, in the deck of game changer cards, we found that there were too many of a certain card and not enough of others.  Upon revising, the game worked a lot better.  We noticed that almost every time the game was played, the players' pieces were reaching the end almost as a group.  No single player ran away with the victory once they got ahead.  This is a family friendly game that is left a lot up to chance, but also up to strategy with how to use game changer cards.  If the future it might be worth making a more visually appealing board.
--Bryan Simmons & Zach Willis

Monday, February 3, 2014

New Game: The Free Peoples of Middle Earth

Map with Tracks (from left to right):
Concealment, Fellowship, Mt. Doom, & Corruption

Player/Factions: (8/21)
Evil Men: Southrons, Easterlings
Sauron: Mordor, Dol Guldur
Saruman: Isengard, Dunland
Misty Mountains: Moria, Mount Gundabad
Men: Gondor, Rohan
Elves: Grey Havens, Rivendell, Lothlorien, Woodland Realm
Dwarves: Blue Mountains, Erebor, Iron Hills
North: Dunedain, The Shire, Beornings, Dale

Game Designer: Charles Holtrop


The Free Peoples of Middle Earth originally drew from Axis & Allies and my insane desire to apply its mechanics to the War of the Ring.  I wanted to use a game to communicate the insane improbability the Free Peoples had at defeating Sauron militarily, while at the same time reflect the difficult journey the Fellowship undertook to bring the One Ring to Mount Doom.  This while using highly customized pieces for each realm/faction of Middle Earth. 

Game Objectives:

The Free Peoples of Middle Earth win when either they:
  1. Deliver the One Ring to Mount Doom (by moving the Fellowship) -OR-
  2. Conquer Barad-dur (military victory)
The Shadow Player(s) win when either:
  1. The One Ring is delivered to Barad-dur (either by Ringwraith Frodo or Nazgul) -OR-
  2. The Shadow controls all the Capitals and Strongholds of Middle Earth (military victory)

Design & The Fellowship: 

I started with drawing a map of Middle Earth and then applying A&A-like territories to the different regions and contested areas, all the while taking into consideration the movement abilities of each faction's units.  With 21 different factions, this was a long and weary process, because each faction's units had customized movement, combat, and health values.  Eventually I settled on the current board layout, only needing to go through two alterations during playtesting.  However, later I hope to enlarge the board and apply a hexagonal grid to it, changing the rules for the movement of troops and the ownership of territories.  I'm hoping this will be done by the game day in February. 

Originally I had planned the Fellowship's movement to be completely offboard on a separate track, but during playtesting I started toying with the idea of the Fellowship moving initially on the board and then entering a track for Mount Doom at a later time.  A few playtests were all that I needed to adjust the system, and now the Fellowship moves like other pieces on the board.  To reflect the Shadow's ignorance as to the Fellowship's location, the Fellowship's movement and location are concealed, with a track for concealment offboard that shows the Shadow's current search ability.  If the Fellowship is revealed, they go into combat with the Shadow troops in that region.  If the Fellowship suffers a casualty (not if they splinter off into different bands), they may replace the lost companion with a Captain from one of the Free Peoples' armies. 

In addition, there is a corruption mechanic to the Fellowship, meaning that after a certain number of turns the Ringbearer becomes a Ringwraith, reveals the Fellowship's location on the board, and attacks the Fellowship.  If the Fellowship is able to subdue him, they can regain the Ring and their concealment on subsequent turns.  However, if the new Ringwraith is able to break free, they start moving toward Mount Doom, and may be picked up by a passing Nazgul. 

Cards & Play

The two sides of the conflict take turns one at a time (e.g. the Shadow player(s) all go first, then the Free Peoples).  Each turn consists of four phases: Purchasing, Movement, Combat, and Reinforcement.  During the Purchasing phase, players use their gold gained on their last turn to purchase Movement, Combat Enhancement, Reinforcement, and Special Items/Events cards from their respective decks or from their allies.  Each card is has a price in the top left corner that is doubled when selling a card to an ally, or sold at face value when selling a card you can't use to a discard pile.  After a card is used or sold to a discard pile, it is added to the personal deck of the player named at the bottom of the card.  Once all the cards in all the piles have been purchased, players then purchase cards from their own decks.  This deck-building mechanic randomizes players' abilities to act early game, but allows each player to have guaranteed action mid-to-late game. 

Movement cards determine the number and type of armies that may move; Combat Enhancement cards affect combat results; Reinforcement cards determine how many and what type of units are able to be mustered on a given turn; and Special Items/Events cards perform unique functions and may trigger troop mustering/movement/combat. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Yut: The Kart Racing Edition

Yut: The Kart Racing Edition
Abe Go, Isaac Ahn, Youngil Won

Our group made an expansion to the traditional Korean game, Yut. We made a kart racing edition to it, using orgami karts as horses. We added a whole new set of track and items with hopes to make the game more exciting and at the same time more complex, as Yut itself is fairly simple. We added items that could be laid before leaving the spot such as mines, water balloon and bananas which would punish the next player’s kart that comes to it. Other offensive items were missiles, magnet, kamikazi and drift along with shield items that could block them off. The addition of items was fantastic, not only did it give Yut a whole new mechanic but it also was a game changer. A player could be one step away from the finish line but instantly get his/her kart destroyed or moved backwards. Play testing was very helpful as we learned the need to narrow down the number of items a player could hold and the number of items one could use in one turn. Also we found that we needed to make the first row a safe zone as some were not able to get past even the first row of tracks. Our edition to the game was very popular among our Korean friends and we feel that our friends are already drawn to our expansion set than the original game.

Friday, January 31, 2014


New Game: Tactician
Designed by: Sarah Fraleigh & Brandon Raterink

Tactician is a Grid based Strategy game that is heavily based on the video game series "Fire Emblem." Our game is mostly meant for 1 v 1 play. Where you take your army of fighters and go head to head in a battle of wits against your opponent's army.

So how does one play this game? Well to start, each player or "Tactician" selects 5 of our 9 units to be their army. Each unit has their own strengths and weakness, and can also offer a variety of strategies to their "Tactician."  For example you could pick mostly units that have a large movement

Next, after selection your units we move onto the main event, The Battleground! Currently the battleground is just a 9 x 10 board where your place your units on one side, and your opponent places his/hers on the opposing side. At this point you and your opponent will take turns moving one your units across the board, unit each of your units have moved once. This process of moving every one your units is considered a "round"

Finally, we have Combat! How exactly does fighting happen in this game. Well for most units it's fairly simple. Lets look at the "Knight" for example, when he attacks my opponents "Rider" I'll take my Knights Atk, which is "8" add "4" since he's using an iron weapon, and then subtract my opponents defense, "6". So my "Knight" will deal 6 damage to "Rider." However, watch out, most units, depending on there attack range, can counterattack! In this scenario, assuming "Rider" wasn't defeated from my Knight's attack, he'll attack back. His strength is 6, +4 for his weapon, -8 for my knights defense, so he'll deal 2 damage back to my knight!

Anywho, those are the basic of the game! There are some more detailed bits to go over, but We have a nice lovely rule book for that! I plan on bringing this game to future game nights, and maybe we'll have even made some improvements on it then.