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Gazas

article Ideas calendar_today 2021-03-05 15:17:44

I love to watch car racing on TV, however I don’t have any racing games in my collection. So, let’s create one.

Drag race is the best kind of race. It’s just you and the road. There is no turning or braking. Just pure speed. You. Road. Speed. 

Let’s start the race.

Player count: 2-6

Inventory

Game cards: 183 (182 game cards with cards, 1 finish flag card)

Meeple cars: 6 (one for each player)

Track: 1

Determining first player. Each player should draw a card from the deck. The player who draw the lowest number card will be a start player.

Preparation for the game. Mix the deck of cards. Divide it into three similar size piles (note 182 doesn’t divide equally into 3). Take finish flag card and mix it into one of the piles. Place other two piles on the top of the pile with finish flag. 

Place track in the middle of the table. First player will place his card at any place he wants. Clockwise other players do the same. Racing track has three tracks. In 2 player game, only one used. In 3-4 player game two tracks are used. In 5-6 player game all three tracks are used. In one spot there can be only one car at any moment of the game. So somebody will have to start a bit back.

Players who are in the first line get one card. Players who are in the second line get two cards. 

Place card deck next to the track. Open as many cards as there are players in the game and place them next to the track. First player starts the game.

Playing the game. Player on his turn can do one of two actions: take a card or place a column of cards. 

Taking a card. Player can take one card from three places: top cards from the deck, top card from the trash, any face up card from the row. When card is taken from the face up row, cards are not refilled. 

Placing a column. Player can place a column of one or more cards of the same type (can be identified by the number in the corner) or sequence of two or more cards e.g. 8 and 9 or 11 and 12 or 15, 16, 17, 18. 

Player can place the column (or sequence) if it’s longer than the one currently on the table. Example. Ann places one 10 card. Because there are no other 10 card column on the table it’s valid move. Next turn goes to Ben. If Ben wants to place 10 card column, it must consists at least two 10 cards. 

When player places a column (or sequence) on the table, the lower one has to be discarded to the trash. The player can’t place the same number column that he already has in front of him.

Example. Ann places one 10 card. She can’t place column of two 10 cards or three for that matter until she has that column in front of her. If Ben places the column of three 10 cards (two is okay too), when Ann has to discard her column. When Ann’s turn comes again now she doesn’t have 10 column in front of her, so she can place four (or more) 10 cards and if she does, Ben has to discards his cards. 

When column of cards placed, cards effects are applied (Please note: sequences do not have effects, only columns of the same cards have) and car is moved as many points on the track as many there are cards in the column. However only one car can be at the same spot. In two player game if the spot where the car should finish is taken, car will have to park behind (see card effect for special cases). In three or four play game, cars should always use the first track, if the first track is taken only when use second track and if both tracks are taken, when stop behind the car on the first track. In five and six players, similar adjustments should be made. 

When the column is placed, amount of cards that are in the column is taken from the top of the deck and placed in face up card row. So basically new cards in face up row appear only when somebody place a column. 

To sum up column placement:

1. Place a column

2. Other player discards his column to the trash

3. Move the car and apply special card effects.

4. Place new cards in face up row. 

End of the game and winning. The game ends immediately after the finish flag is revealed. Each player counts how many columns he has in front of him and moves his car accordingly. The player whose car has the most point is declared a winner. In case of the tie (it’s impossible to have a tie in two player game), player with the most cards in front of him declared a winner. In case of the tie, player with the most cards in his biggest column is declared a winner. In case of the tie, nobody wins. You should host another race to find out who is the best at speed. 

Cards. The number on the card shows how many of that type cards there are in the game. 

8 – You move column card count plus two. In case the spot is taken, you land in behind of the car.

9 – You can take as many cards as there are cards in the column you placed (from trash, deck or row). 

10 – Other players move one back. Please note: nobody can be off the track. 

11 – You can discard as many cards from your hand as you want and take exactly the same number from the top of the deck or row.

12 – You can draw one card from each opponent hand. 

13 – You can review the trash and take any two cards.

14 – You move column card count plus one. In case the spot is taken, you land in front of the car. 

15 – You can place two columns.

16 – You can take one card (from trash, deck or row).

17 – All players (including the one who played the column) give half (rounded down) of the cards to the player on the left. Please note, if player has only one card, he doesn’t need to give it away.

18 – All players (including the one who played the column) give half (rounded down) of the cards to the player on the right. Please note, if player has only one card, he doesn’t need to give it away.

19 – You can play this column even if you have it in front of you.

20 – Everybody except you has to discard half (rounded down) of their cards. Cards are placed in the face up row. Please note, if player has only one card, he doesn’t need to discard it. 

Track. Racing track has three tracks. In 2 player game, only one used. In 3-4 player game two tracks are used. In 5-6 player game all three tracks are used. In one spot there can be only one car at any moment of the game. Below is example of the track. The real track should be about 40-50 rectangles length and one rectangle should be the size of meeple car. 

What to do when care reaches the end of the track? Turn around and go backwards.

Game idea. I am a big fan of Ethnos, so I wanted to make some game with the main the mechanics of Ethnos. After I saw Tom Vasel review of Lyttle wood, I had an idea of racing game. 

Design decisions. I was thinking a lot if card hording is the problem in this game. I am not sure.

There are various ways how to combat card hording:

    • Hand limit – this is the most obvious and easiest to implement. It is used in Ethnos.

    • Start card – In preparation for the game, deck is divided into three parts. Finish flag is placed in the last one. Imagine if different flags are placed in each group. Let’s say green flag in first and blue in the second. If player doesn’t have more than 1 point when green flag appears, he is eliminated from the game. If player doesn’t have more than 10 points when blue flag appears, he is eliminated from the game. I hate games with player elimination. If the game is short, it’s okay. If the game is long, what do you do? Go home? 

    • Hand punishment – in Ethnos you have to discard all the cards that you don’t use. I though about possible variations of this mechanics: 

        ◦ You have to discard the same amount of cards that you place. If you have to discard the amount of cards you play, it encourages to play lower amounts of cards.

        ◦ You can only keep the same amount of cards that you place. If you can only keep the amount of cards you play, it encourages to play bigger amounts of cards, which actually encourages card hording. 

Of course I used three different options. First of all, you are never sure when the game will end, because you don’t know when the finish flag will appear. Ethnos uses three dragons, it’s more friendly than sudden death, thematically one finish flag makes more sense than two or three, however this part might be changed after playtesting. 

Second is time (kind of). Every time somebody plays a column, the same amount of cards are taken from the deck. It means that time is running on everybody turn. If you wait too long it might be too late. At the beginning everybody will play one or two cards, time runs slowly, but eventually you can’t play low numbers, so you have to play 5 or 6 cards in the column and now everything speeds up. The bigger column is played, the faster finish is coming to you. 

The third thing is cards powers where players have to discard or give away half of their cards. It’s mean and I don’t like meanness in the games, however I think that it’s important in this game. 

I know that this is the racing game, however I want this game to be more about strategy and less about luck. So I have to make sure that all the powers on the cards are balanced. After playtesting I might review and change some of the powers on the cards. If you have suggestions for better card powers, please share. 

Art. As always art is made by me. Actually I don’t know what kind of style I want for this game. I would be happy with crazy, childish cars, I also would be happy with realistic or even real racing cars. I guess, it would make the most money if the cars were from Cars

One thing is very important, that the numbers one the top of the cards would be huge, because you have to see around the table who has what number and how many cards there are in the row.

Would you like to playtest it? PDF File  with game cards. Any feedback is welcome.

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