Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Game a Week: Blacksmiths

Today (and hopefully more in the weeks to come) we are going to look at a very quick game design!
Taking our cues from Boardgamizer we will start with a random Mechanic(s), Theme(s), Victory Condition and an optional Constraint. 

This week's set consists of:

Mechanic: Pool Building
Theme: Armor Building
Victory: Most Reputation Points 
Constraint: Must have cubes

So from this we have a simple theme:
Players play as blacksmiths trying to outdo other blacksmiths and win the patronage of the prince.

This will be a War-like trick taking deck building game for three to six players.

Each player will start with a deck of fifteen cards.
These cards are numbered one through five in three suits:

Each player draws three cards from their deck.
The first player plays one card and each player follows suit if they can, attempting to be the highest number.
In case of a tie horseshoes trumps armor, silverware trumps horseshoes and armor trumps silverware.
Three way double tie (Same number and suit or same number all three suits) is resolved by playing a bonus round, winner takes all.

Each trick you win gains you an effect based on the winning card's suit
Each trick won by armor earns you one Reputation Point.
Each trick won by horseshoes earns you an extra draw this next turn.
Each trick won by silverware lets you change the card you played in the next round after everyone has played.

Once the trick has been taken, each player draws one card from their deck.
If a player has no cards in their hand at the end of the trick, they draw three cards.
The player who won the trick is now the first player for the next round.

When you win a trick you take all the cards played into your discard pile.
If ever you need to draw and your deck is empty, shuffle your discards to create your new deck.

To win acquire 3 Reputation points or be the last player with any cards.
The Reputation points are represented by cubes, to just barely fulfill the Constraint.

I've played this once using three decks of regular cards (ace through 5 of hearts, diamonds and clubs) and except for the slight confusion over which suit represented which, the game went well. It seems sound.

Any and all opinions, comments and criticisms would be appreciated!


  1. I always prefer a PDF file on dropbox/Google docs.
    That way, you can just throw the link in any/all posts.

    As for the rules, I'm not convinced that the Horseshoe effect and the "draw three if you have no cards" work well together.

    How about making the Horseshoe effect "take a card from the top of each other player's deck (or hand?"...

    Just a thought!

  2. Hmm. I do like the idea of taking from another player's deck(or hand), as it increases the chance of the very powerful fives to move around. It is something I will have to try out! I'm just not sure taking from every other player is the way to go, as there can be up to five other players-- potentially making a very large hand.

    As for making a PDF I will certainly look into it, it is a very good idea. Especially if I can get into making images to explain my ideas better.

    Thank you very much for your thoughts!