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A trading game played with cards. Players trade resources and stuff they've built from resources so they can retire in Hawaii.

x resource cards, each of which is one of the y resource types: a, b, c, ... - these form a resource deck. Each resource has its cash value written on it. Some are more common than others, and the cash value is proportional to rarity. The mining cost is slightly cheaper than the lowest possible cash value.

z built-stuff cards, each of which has the prerequisites required to obtain it written on it: nut, bolt, plank, gadget, widget, gromit, ... , yacht. The prerequisites are a combination of resources, built-stuff and cash. Each built-stuff also has a scrap value. This is always less than the cash or scrap value of all prerequisites. Resources may be part of it, and the cash part may be negative (i.e. pay some cash to break this back up into basic resources). They have the same backs as resource cards.
Same backs would make it a pain to sort the cards.  Is it especially relevant? --K
The idea was to make it harder for people to tell how close you are to getting a yacht by looking at the back of your hand - if you do some private trades so people don't know what you've kept of what you've built; thus making it up to you exactly how much effort you want to put into obfuscation. - MoonShadow
The same property is used in SettlersOfCatan and CitiesAndKnightsOfCatan, to good effect - and there people's hands are theoretically public knowledge, if anyone has perfect memory.  It works well, and it's not a taxing task to separate out the resources and commodities at the end of the game.  --AC
Presumably the built-stuff you've built benefits you in some way? --CH
It can be scrapped for some cash. You end up with vastly more money if you retire on a yacht than any other way, and everything else is in the yacht's prerequisite chain. If that turns out to not be enough to encourage trading, perhaps things higher up in the prerequisite chains could be scrappable for more cash than went into getting them. - MoonShadow
How about, some devices can be put into operation by placing them in front of you...  They have various effects as described on the card from cash producers to cheaper mining to cheaper building or even affecting the order of your turn.  The more expensive ones could affect opponents.  Operational devices cannot be traded/broken down.  Putting a device into and out of operation has a cost involved. --K
We're turning this into MtG now ;) Yes, that works - I like it. The effects will need a fair bit of thought and balancing, though, so we don't get "first person to put this into operation pretty much wins". - MoonShadow
Any sufficiently advanced game can always be turned into CalvinBall ;) --AC


Each player starts out with several mining costs' worth of money. The resource deck is shuffled. Built-stuff cards are sorted into piles and placed face up next to the money in the bank.

Hands are kept hidden. Players take turns in order. The following happens during a turn:
To be a bit friendlier it might be worth letting people sell resources, etc. at some base rate before having to mine since otherwise someone with a Yacht etc could accidentally take themselves out of the game --K
See below - resources may be traded in and built-stuff scrapped at any time. Sorry, that should probably come before the turn description.. - MoonShadow

Trades with the bank are always public. Amount of money each player holds is also public, as is their hand size; the cards in their hand are hidden. Trades with other players have to be declared, but details of what is traded do not have to be public.
So long as players don't say "This is private" and go off and have a ten minute chat while the others sit around waiting... --K
Time limits on private trades? I was also wondering about having the participants pay a small fixed tax to each player not taking part in the private discussion, whether or not things get traded.. - MoonShadow

Resources may be traded in to the bank for their cash value at any time. They go on a discard pile, which is shuffled to make a new resource deck whenever the resource deck becomes empty.
Built-stuff may be scrapped at any time. The built-stuff cards go back to the bank.

In order to retire to Hawaii, one must have a large amount of cash for a private jet flight, or a yacht and a somewhat smaller amount of cash to pay the crew; in the latter case, the yacht is sold for twice the cash part of its scrap value upon reaching Hawaii (you get the cash as soon as you hand the yacht over to the bank).

If all players leave the game, the game ends without a winner. Otherwise, the person who successfully retired with the largest amount of cash in hand wins at the end of the game. Note that you can't trade stuff to the bank for cash once you've declared you're retiring - it becomes worthless; but if you start trading lots of things in at once, everyone else will know you're about to retire.
So "at any time" means "at any time on your turn"?  Or just "at any time except once you've declared you're retiring"?  --AC
Um. "at any time on your turn", I think. What I actually wanted was "during your trading phase and if you're about to die 'cos you can't afford to start your turn. - MoonShadow

Quick thought, if the mining cost is lower than the cash value of every minable resource then the no-one wins ending shouldn't actually be possible should it?  I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. --K
Ah, woops - yes, the original set of rules had the mining cost as the average of the resource cash values, but there was some problem with that that I thought of that I can't remember now :( Not sure which way round to change things to fix that. Also, the early built-stuff gives much less back than you paid for it when scrapped, and some built-stuff costs money to take apart. - MoonShadow

Overall, this does sound fun :) --K
AlexChurchill thoroughly agrees!

... have a type and an associated value.

Possible examples (values for scale purposes more than anything else):

... have a type, build-cost (resource and money), break up value (resource and money, can be positive or negative), activation ability, activation/deactivation costs.

Two catches here.  When breaking something up, we have no resource cards to hand.  Does it only have a monetary value?  Secondly, there is probably too much going on.  The (de)activation cost might be removable entirely or specified in some other global way.

Possible examples:

Ideally, some items would be built from smaller items (besides the obvious level 2 is built from level 1 plus stuff that could be applied) but I can't think of any good examples.

How about: one component of a yacht is a Drive System, which has as component an Engine. Engine needs Fuel Pipe, Sparky Bit, Axle, Piston etc. Fuel Pipe can also be activated: when active it means when you mine a resource that turns out to be Oil (or other liquid), you may get half your mining cost back. Axle is part of a Mining Cart which can be broken down to re-yield the Axles and which lets you pay 2x mining cost to take a second Mining action. Axle could also be part of a Trading Cart which could do something. Both Carts also contain Wheels and a Base Plate, which is used in all sorts of things. Coming up with a full breakdown of a Yacht would be good fun, particularly if a certain amount of wackiness and creative license is allowed. --AlexChurchill

simple item tree for proof-of-concept
"break-up" means "return item to bank, search the discard pile and take from it at most the number of resource cards of the type(s) listed, if present."

mining cost 50

wood - 50
oil - 60
iron - 70
sand - 80
copper - 100
titanium - 130

yacht: hull, 4 x porthole, engine, deck, 4 x petrol
sale value 6000
player must posess a big hammer and a flamethrower to make a yacht

hull: 3 x steel, big hammer, 3 x paint
sale value 1700
break-up to recover 3 x steel

porthole: steel, glass
player must posess a flamethrower to make portholes
scrap value 250
break-up to recover 1 x steel, 1 x glass

engine: iron, 2 x copper, 3 x pipe, duct tape
player must posess a big hammer to make an engine
sale value 1200
break-up to recover 4 x iron, 2 x copper

deck: 3 x iron, 6 x wood, 3 x duct tape, paint
player must posess a big hammer to make a deck
scrap value 800
break-up to recover 3 x iron, 3 x wood, 1 x duct tape

petrol: 2 x oil
player must posess a still to make petrol
scrap value 100

still: copper, glass, flamethrower, 2 x petrol
scrap value 400
break-up to recover 2 x wood, 1 x iron, 1 x copper

flamethrower: pipe, oil
scrap value 180

steel: iron, 2 x wood
scrap value 150

big hammer: iron, wood
For each big hammer in your posession, you may mine one extra time at the start of your turn, paying the mining cost. The cost for this and any subsequent mining this turn is double the last mining cost you paid.
scrap value 100

paint: titanium, oil
player must posess a still to make paint

glass: sand, 2 x wood
scrap value 140

pipe: iron, 2 x wood
player must posess a big hammer to make pipe
scrap value 130

duct tape: 2 x oil
player must posess a still and a big hammer to make duct tape
scrap value 100


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Last edited August 30, 2007 1:40 pm (viewing revision 16, which is the newest) (diff)