Specter Ops

Specter Ops
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Set Up
  3. Gameplay
  4. End Game
  5. PDF Manual

Introduction

Specter Ops is a hidden movement game where one player as the Agent attempts to move secretly around the board completing objectives along the way. The rest of the players play Hunters to try and find where the agent is and either eliminate or prevent them from completing the objectives. Each character has unique abilities, and the agent also has many equipments at their disposal to complete the objectives. The goal of the Agent is to complete any 3 of the 4 objectives. The goal of the hunter is to reduce the agent’s hit points to 0 or prevent escape by end of round 40. The following reference is for 2 to 3 players.

Set Up

Agent set up

  • Roll die and mark locations of the 4 objective on pad
  • Place objective tokens on board
  • Secretly choose agent and 3 Equipment cards
  • Circle N1 on pad

Hunter set up

  • Pick 2 hunter characters
  • Place vehicle card beside board
  • Place vehicle token on space K17
  • Place hunter minis on vehicle card

Gameplay

On each turn, the agent will move first, followed by the hunters in any order

Agent movement

The agent moves secretly on the movement pad circling and writing the space where each movement ends. Use the follwing rules for movement

  1. If beginning turn within line of sight of hunter, place last seen token at current location, remove mini
  2. Move up to 4 spaces orthogonal or diagonal
  3. May use Equipment card
  4. If starting turn adjacent to objective, flip over objective to complete it before continuing
  5. If passing through line of sight, must place last seen token at the last seen location
  6. If ending turn on line of sight, place mini on location

Once 3 objectives are completed the agent can escape through A3, N1, or W3.

Hunter movement

  • Each hunter can move up to 4 spaces orthogonally or diagonally
  • A hunter must fully complete their turn before another hunter begins
  • A hunter may use the Vehicle
  • At end of movement, check with agent for visibility
  • If visible, attack agent

If hunter is stunned by agent ability, movement is limited to 2, remove market at end of round. Cannot be stunned in vehicle

Attacking the Agent

  • Roll dice
  • If dice roll is equal to greater than distance to agent, agent lose 1 HP
  • If agent and hunter in same spot, automatic hit
  • Dice roll of 1 is miss, dice roll of 6 allows hunter to roll again and add dice values together
  • Cannot attack from vehicle

Using the vehicle

  • Hunters start the game in the vehicle
  • The vehicle can be moved up to 10 spaces on road or use motion sensor when it is occupied
  • Use the vehicle token to indicate location, and the vehicle card for occupancy
  • Entering or exiting a vehicle ends that hunter’s turn
  • Exit vehicle to space adjacent to vehicle token
  • Vehicle does not block line of sight

End Game

The hunters win when the agent has lost all HP, or has not escaped by turn 40

The agent wins when they’ve completed 3 of 4 objectives and escaped by turn 40

Broom Service

broom service
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Set Up
  3. Gameplay
  4. End Game
  5. PDF Manual

Introduction

Broom Service is a trick taking game that offers high risk and high reward. Players play cards representing witches, druids, and gatherers to gather potions and deliver them. If you choose the cowardly way, you will be sure to perform the task. If you choose to be courageous, you might not get to act at all, or you might earn some big rewards for your courage. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. This reference is for the basic game. See manual for variations.

Set Up

Board set up

  • Use side of board with the two castles showing red banner
  • Shuffle the 24 heavy clouds and place randomly on cloud spaces
  • Shuffle the 10 event cards and discard 3 to the box
  • Reveal the top event

Player set up

  • 10 role cards of one color
  • 2 pawns, one in each castle region
  • 1 potion of each color
  • Starting player and the player to the right receives one wand
  • All other players receive 2 wands

Gameplay

The game is played over 7 rounds. Remember to apply the effects of the current event. Players will first choose 4 of the 10 cards, then play cards in turn order. The card abilities are listed below. The general objective is to gather potions, then deliver them to towers on the board. Players may move into areas containing no clouds, and deliver potions to a tower with its base touching the area. A circular tower can only take one potion of the same color. A square tower can always take potion of the same color. Take victory points and/or wands as indicated when delivery is made.

Playing role cards

Starting with the start player, choose one of the four cards to play. As they play it, they will announce to be cowardly or brave.

  • If cowardly, perform the action immediately
  • If brave, wait until all other players have passed or played their card.

The next player must follow the card that is just played. If they do not have the card, they pass and play moves on to the next player. If they have the card, they will play it in the same manner as the start player, choosing one of 2 actions. When all players have passed or played a card, the last brave role can now perform their action. All other brave roles are skipped. The player that performed the brave action now starts the next turn by choosing a card.

The round ends when all players are out of cards. Begin the next round by revealing the next event, drawing bewitched cards if needed, and drawing 4 of the 10 cards.

End Game

The game ends after 7 rounds. Add on to the score

  • VP from lightning
  • 4 VP for each set of 4 different resources
  • 2 VP for each set of 3 different resource

Player with the most victory points win. Ties broken by number of resources.

Roll for the Galaxy

roll for the galaxy
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Set Up
  3. Gameplay
  4. End Game
  5. PDF Manual

Introduction

Roll for the Galaxy is a dice rolling space empire building game. Players roll their worker dice to determine which worker will do which action this round. The workers will be assigned to settle new planets, research technologies, or get more income. The catch is that each player may only “activate” one of the 5 available actions, so not every worker will get to perform its assigned task. The game ends when one player has 12 tiles in their world, or the victory points pool is exhausted. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins.

Set Up

Board set up

Place in center

  • all dice
  • Phase tiles X side up
  • 55 game tiles in bag
  • VP pool containing 12 VP per player + 10 for final round

Player set up

  • Dice cup
  • Player mat
  • Credit marker on 1
  • Player screen
  • Phase strip
  • Initial tiles
  • Draw 2 game tiles and place on mat
  • Put 3 white dice in cup
  • Put 2 white dice on citizenry
  • Take the dice as indicated by starting tiles

Gameplay

During each round, the players will perform these 5 steps. There are no turns, players can all play simultaneously. Repeat until one of the Game end scenario is met.

  1. Roll
  2. Assign
  3. Reveal
  4. Do Phases
  5. Manage Empire

Roll

Roll all workers in the cup.

Assign

Place dice onto the phase strip using the following rules

  1. Initial placement
  2. Phase selection
  3. Reassignment

Reveal

All player reveal the screen. Flip over the phase tiles to the active side for any activated phases among the table. Return to the cup any dice on inactive phases and the dice used to dictate. note for 2 player game

Do Phases

Simultaneously resolve each of the activated phases in numeric order. Use all workers assigned to the phase, including any workers that selected it. Place any used workers in the Citizenry. Note powers of developments when placing workers or resolving phases. The phases are

Manage Empire

Recruit workers from the Citizenry back into the cup by spending one credit for each dice recruited. If the credit tracker is at 0 at the end of recruitment, move it to 1 for the next round. Recall developers, settlers, and goods from the tiles back into the cup.

Flip all phases back to the X side. Check if game ends, and start new round if not.

End Game

Game end is triggered when the original VP chip pool is exhausted, or any player has 12 or more tiles. Add score as follow

  • VP
  • VP equal to cost of tiles in tableau
  • Bonuses from 6 cost developments. Round up fractions

Ties are broken by number of dice in cup, then credits.

Sushi Go Party!

Sushi go Party
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Set Up
  3. Gameplay
  4. End Game
  5. PDF manual

Introduction

Sushi Go Party! is a fast paced card drafting game. Players are creating a menu of sushi and other Japanese foods to score as many points as they can. The game is played over three rounds, and the player with the most points wins.

Set Up

  • Each player choose a color, place pawn at 0 on score track
  • Decide which cards to use using the tiles, make sure there are
    • 1 Nigiri
    • 1 Roll
    • 3 Appetizers
    • 2 Specials
    • 1 Dessert
  • Place corresponding tiles on game board
  • Place dessert cards to the side, shuffle other cards together

Gameplay

The game is played over 3 rounds. Shuffle in a number of desert cards each round and deal cards to each player depending on player number based on this chart.

Player count 2-3 4-5 6-7 8
Dessert
added
Round 1 5 5 7 7
Round 2 3 3 5 5
Round 3 2 2 3 3
Cards dealt 10 9 8 7

Each turn happens simultaneously. All players will choose a card from their hand to play, and reveal them at the same time. The remaining hand is passed clockwise until it is empty. The current round ends and is scored. Score according to instructions on card, track score on tracker. Begin next round by returning all non-dessert cards. Add required desert cards for the round, shuffle and deal cards for the next round. The game ends after 3 rounds. Dessert card points are added to the final score.

End Game

The game ends after 3 rounds have been played. Score the last round as normal. Add on the score for dessert cards. Player with the most points wins. Ties broken by number of dessert cards.

Classical mechanics in modern games – Go

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As board games become more and more popular, inspiring new designers with fresh ideas to take action and publish their own games, I feel that some mechanics are being left behind. We see a lot of the same tried and tested mechanics being utilized in thematic modern games, but I feel some mechanics in classical abstract games have been forgotten. In this article I’m going to talk about the area enclosure mechanic of Go, and how they might be implemented with a modern theme. If you know a modern game that uses this mechanic, please let me know!

Go

The easy to learn, impossible to master game that has become one of the tests for machine learning and AI. It is widely touted by the gaming community as one of the most elegant and best designed game of all time. Why is it then that mechanics like card drafting, worker placement are used until they are tired out and this beautiful mechanic is left in the dust in the gaming world?

I think the main reason this mechanic has not been used is that it is very hard to make a competitive area enclosure game that can accommodate more than 2 players. This seems almost like a requirement for modern games nowadays. Obviously there are exceptions, but the vast majority of the market, especially if it’s a new designer, is to play it safe and design for at least 4-5 players. Games that can play so many people while being strategic will need methods to limit player interaction, simultaneous game play, or a large array of meaningful choices every turn. Go in its most basic form has none of those. You can play a piece, and your plan can be ruined three times over before you can play another piece. There exists a multiplayer version of Go itself, but it has not really caught on.

Area enclosure games in general has this issue due to the incredible amount of player interaction. Every move is played to block another player from achieving their goal, while also furthering your own plan. I think the best way to implement this mechanic into the modern world would be to limit the number of choices, and limit the player interactions involved.

To do this, rules can be created to limit placement. Perhaps instead of a piece at a time, players can play tiles of different shapes, or even multiple pieces at a time. This shortens the game considerably while keeping the general idea of the game intact. Another method is to create rules such as one can only block under certain circumstances, or cards need to be played to directly interact with another player. Another direction to go is to allow the use of opponent’s pieces to aid in your own conquest. Perhaps a limited amount of special markers can be used to temporarily take over a chain of opponent’s pieces in order to capture area occupied by a second opponent? The possibilities are obviously endless, and I would love to see a game that can do area enclosure well while playing multiple players.

 

Mysterium

mysterium
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Set Up
  3. Gameplay
  4. End Game
  5. PDF Manual

Introduction

In Mysterium, players are psychics investigating a murder. This is a asymmetrical cooperative game where the players work together to find what happened during a recent murder at a mansion. A player playing the ghost gives clues in the form of vision cards to aid the player’s quest. Each player will investigate a separate path, and in the end of the game the ghost will reveal the correct path that was taken. Sharing information is welcomed.

Set Up

Board set up

  • Place psychic cards on table grouped by category for desired player number and difficulty
  • Place progress board under each group
  • Place Epilogue and clairvoyance track at end of object group
  • Place clock on table, set to 1

Ghost set up

  • Find matching ghost cards for the psychic cards on table
  • Place cards from each category randomly onto slots in the game screen
  • Discard unused cards
  • Receive culprit tokens, crows, ghost tokens
  • Draw 7 cards from vision deck

Psychic set up

  • Intuition token on character progress board
  • Clairvoyancy marker on 0 of clairvoyance board
  • Sleeves, clairvoyance tokens

Gameplay

The game consists of 2 phases. The First Phase involves each investigator attempting to find their own set of murder suspect and conditions. Through the vision cards given by the ghost, each psychic attempt to interpret the visions and make guesses on the conditions and suspect. This round is played in 7 hours (rounds). The Second Phase involves the ghost remembering who the suspect actually is, and will give clue to the table attempting to reveal the real culprit. The players will take a vote and decide who the real murderer is.

Phase 1 – Reconstruction of events

  1. Ghost to give each psychic at least 1 vision card
  2. Ghost draws up to 7 before giving cards to each psychic
  3. Psychics place their intuition tokens on the psychic cards to indicate their guess
  4. Play Clairvoyance tokens if desired
  5. Ghost will indicate correct guesses by moving those to the next progress board
  6. Psychics with correct guess will take the corresponding card and place in sleeve
  7. Incorrect guesses places the token back at the previous progress board
  8. Move round tracker to the next hour before giving new cards

If a psychic made 3 correct guesses before the 7th hour, move clairvoyance tracker up as many spaces as there are hours left in the game

Phase 2 – Revealing the culprit

This phase takes place after all psychics has identified their combination before hour 7.

  1. Psychics lay our their combinations on table, with matching ghost tokens
  2. Ghost selects one culprit token from available numbers on table and place facedown on epilogue
  3. Ghost picks 3 cards corresponding to character, location, and object of culprit
  4. Shuffle the 3 cards and place face down on table
  5. Players take turns looking at the cards
  6. Psychics may not communicate during this phase
  7. Vote secretly with numbered side of clairvoyance tokens

End Game

Win Condition

Players correctly voted for the correct suspect, location, and object.

Lose conditions

Any players who do not finish identifying their combination by hour 7, or not voting for the right combination in phase 2.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig

castles of mad king ludwig
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Set Up
  3. Gameplay
  4. End Game
  5. Appendix

Introduction

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a tile laying game where players build crazy castles by laying out a floor plan to please the crazy king’s wishes. Players score points by buying and placing rooms, placing certain rooms next to each other, and fulfilling the public and personal bonuses. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Set Up

Board set up

  • Place board on table using the side corresponding your player count
  • *Number of room cards, place on board
  • Place bonus card deck
  • *Place stairs/hallway, room tiles
  • Place one favor tile per player
  • Turn over top 7 room cards and flip over corresponding room size tiles
  • Choose a player for master builder token
  • Place player with master builder on 0 of score track, going clockwise place on 1-3

Player set up

Each player receives

  • One foyer
  • 3 Bonus card, discard 1 to bottom of deck
  • 15000 Marks (money)

Gameplay

Gameplay consists of 3 phases

  1. Market
  2. Building
  3. Scoring

Market

The master builder decides the price for each of the rooms on the board and arrange accordingly, one room per price. Draw room cards and tile to fill empty spots. Starting from left of the master builder going clockwise, player can do one of the following

  • Buy room at set price and pay master builder
  • Buy stairs/hallway for 3000 an pay master builder
  • Take 5000 from bank
  • Master builder pays bank to buy room

Building

Players place the newly bought room in their castle, expanding from the foyer. Follow these rules to place room

  • At least one entrance must connect to another entrance
  • Cannot overlap
  • Entrances may be blocked by walls
  • Downstairs rooms may only be connected with other downstairs rooms or stairs from upstairs
  • Rooms cannot be adjacent to fence on outdoor rooms
  • Cannot purchase room that cannot be placed
  • Must have atleast one doorway out of castle

If a room has all its entrances connected, it is complete. Get the completion bonus at the back of player’s guide card.

Scoring

After the room is placed, update score track according to the following guidelines

  • Score point indicated on the room
  • Score/deduct points for connections/adjacencies according to room icons
  • Score/deduct points for connections/adjacencies of previously placed rooms
  • Score for downstair room icons if any

End Game

The game ends after the round where the room card deck is depleted. If there is not enough cards to fill the market, shuffle the discard pile and draw until market is filled.

End game scoring

  • 2 points for each room player has from depleted stacks
  • Points on bonus cards
  • 1 point per 10000 Mark
  • Rank players for King’s favors and score according to guide on board

Player with the most points wins. Ties broken by total square footage of castle

CV

CV
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Set Up
  3. Gameplay
  4. End Game
  5. PDF Manual

Introduction

Each player plays through the life of a character, writing the CV for that character as the game progresses. They aim to have the most impressive CV and live the most fulfilling life by game end. CV is a engine building game dictated by dice rolls. Players earn points by acquiring cards and sets of card that will give victory points at the end of the game.

Set Up

  1. Sort CV cards by card back, place early adulthood, middle age, and old age on board
  2. Deal 5 from early adulthood deck onto board
  3. Deal 1 life goal card to each player, place indicated number of life goal card face up on board
  4. Deal 3 childhood cards per player
  5. Draft childhood cards
  6. Give 4 dice to the player with the bicycle

Gameplay

The player with the bicycle starts. Each player takes their whole turn before passing on to the next player. On a turn, players will

  1. Roll all dice, up to 2 rerolls except for bad luck, which is frozen
  2. Buy up to 2 cards from board and pay resources. Each resource can only be used once per turn
  3. Add cards to CV, update tokens
  4. Shift cards to left and fill empty spaces, check for Social assistance
  5. At end of round, discard the left most card before adding new card

End Game

The game ends after the round which the old age deck has less cards than the number of players. Players add up their points from

  • Relationship, Health, and Knowledge sets – from table
  • Possession cards
  • Personal life goals
  • Public life goals – Only to player who best achieved it, ties are friendly

Player with the most points wins

The Grizzled

the grizzled
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 Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Objective
  3. Set Up
  4. Gameplay
  5. PDF Manual

 Introduction

The Grizzled is a cooperative game where you and your friends play a group of tired World War I soldiers. They have to survive the troubles and difficulties that come their way while waiting for the peace treaty to be signed and the war to end. This game is a push your luck game where you try to play as many cards as you can without “busting”.

Objective

Win Condition

Players win the game when the Peace Card is visible and there are no cards left in hand

Lose Condition

Players lose the game if the Monument card becomes visible, or a single player receives 4 Hardknocks symbols

 Set Up

  • Each player receives a Grizzled card, charm side up
  • Left support tile, right support tile, and one random tile from left over
  • 25 trials cards into the Trials deck
  • Other cards go on top of monument to form Morals deck
  • A No Man’s Land area
  • Number of speech tokens
  • One player is given mission leader token

 Gameplay

The game plays over as many missions as necessary to complete the objective. Rule changes due to Hard Knocks cards will take precedence. Each mission consists of four steps

Preparation

The mission leader decides how many cards to deal to each player. Cards are dealt starting with mission leader. The first mission is always 3 cards each.

The Mission

This step is where most of the game is played. The goal is to get rid of cards from the hand.

The mission is considered success when all players has withdrawn. The cards in no man’s land are discarded. Proceed to the next step.

The mission fails when 3 identical threats are present, including threats from phobias and trauma hard knocks cards. The cards in no man’s land are shuffled back into the trial deck. Player’s may not play more support cards.

Player perform one of 4 actions on their turn, starting with the mission leader.

Support

Players reveal their support token and give it to the player the arrow is indicating. Player who has received the Majority of support tokens can get rid of 2 Hardknocks cards or recover Good luck charm. Player’s keep their majority. If the mission failed the supported player can only get rid of 1 Hardknocks card.

Morale Drops

Deal from the Morale reserve onto the trials deck number of cards equal to the cards left in hand. Minimum 3 cards. Mission leader moves to the next player, former leader gets a Speech token.

Cry Havoc

Cry Havoc
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 Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Set Up
  3. Gameplay
  4. End Game
  5. PDF Manual

 Introduction

Cry Havoc is an area control game with unique player powers where players play cards to move their troops, recruit, build structures, and battle enemies. Over the course of 5 rounds the players will score points by maintaining control over areas containing crystals. This is a game with many different player powers. Text on the cards and boards will overrule the general rules of the game. The player with the most points at the end of 5 rounds wins.

 Set Up

Board set up

  • Randomly pick 4 event tokens and place in corresponding spaces
  • Separate terrain cards and place in corresponding spaces
  • As indicated, place trog war party, exploration tokens, and crystals on board
  • Place initiative tokens on initiative track, place in same order on upcoming track
  • Score tokens on 0, action marker on 1
  • Place headquarters on board, place 4 units into each corresponding headquarter

Player set up

  • Each player picks a faction and take all components
  • Arrange faction boards
  • Take 1-3 skill cards and place face up in front of player
  • Place beside board enable scoring, Tactic card deck, unit miniatures

 Gameplay

The game is played over 5 or fewer rounds. Each round consists of 6 phases

  1. Events
  2. Draw 4 cards, discard down to 7 if needed
  3. Actions
  4. Battle Resolution
  5. Prisoners
  6. Scoring, if enabled

Events

  • Reveal the next next stack of event tokens and resolve.
  • Change the initiative track to match the upcoming track.
  • Refresh exhausted skills

Draw 4 cards, discard down to 7

Perform card actions

Players will take turns according to initiative order performing one action each until each player has performed 3 actions. Most actions involve playing/discarding a card to use the functions on the card. The player may play as many card as needed to perform the action.

  • Move
  • Recruit units equal to number of discarded symbols into player headquarter
  • Build/activate structures
  • Draw 2 cards, keep one (including terrain cards)
  • Play the enable scoring card if it has not been played

Move

Each move symbol provides the player one movement point, allowing you to move one unit one space away. If a unit enters a region with an enemy unit or Trog token, NO further movement may occur for that unit. Units may still move into this region during the same move action. If there are no other units in the region, place control token. At the end of all movements, resolve exploration and Trog tokens, place battle token under attacker on any regions containing enemy units.

Other rules for movement

  • If there are no Trog units in reserve, return player’s unit to reserve equaling number of missing Trog units.
  • No units from any player may enter battle region on future turns
  • Defending player may use movement action to leave battle region ONLY if they have more than twice the number of units of the attacker
  • Player to the left of the player attacking trogs controls the trogs for that battle

Build/Activate structures

Building points are spent placing building tokens onto non-embattled regions of player’s control. Buildings can also be activated to perform indicated actions, including the buildings just built.

  • Buildings cannot be activated more than once per action
  • Cannot build in headquarters
  • Cannot build same type in same region
  • If player loses control of a region, they cannot activate the building but the building remains on board

Resolve battles

Battles are resolved on the battle board, starting with the lowest numbered battle token. There are 3 objectives with different conditions. Follow the instructions on the battle board for details for resolution. The battle is resolved in 7 steps

  1. Add one crystal to the embattled region
  2. Attackers place units on battle board, then defenders
  3. Starting with attackers, players alternate playing tactics card until both passes.
  4. Resolve objectives according to board, ties go to defender.
  5. Place surviving units of region control winner back into region. If trogs, win, place trog nest
  6. Place surving units of loser into adjacent region, if not available, place in reserve. If trogs retreat, place trog nest in adjacent region
  7. Remove battle token, resolve next battle

Prisoners

All players score 1 VP for every prisoner they control. Players may then spend 2 VP to take prisoner back to reserve

Scoring, if enabled

The player who enabled scoring score 1 VP for every region they control. All players score 1 VP for every crystal in regions they control. Begin new round

 End Game

The game ends during the round where the final scoring event is resolved. During final scoring round, players may not enable scoring. During the scoring phase all players score 1 VP for every crystal in regions they control. The player with the most victory points win, ties broken by number of prisoners, then reverse initiative order.