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The Idea

I've been vaguely thinking for the last week or so about a game based on the idea of a CambridgeUnderground system. It's not fully fleshed-out yet, but I have an idea of the basic mechanics. I also haven't gotten around to making a prototype board and cards, so I haven't tested it at all.

The Background

You were chatting to a fellow Cantabrigian one day when you happen to mention the idea of building an Underground network in Cambridge. You'd love to be able to get where you need to be quickly and easily. It turns out that another of his friends had the very same idea, and has already started work! In fact, he's heard rumours of other competing engineers tunnelling all over the city! The race is on to connect the most "important" parts of town into the expanding network. The rumours have already alerted the suspicions of a College Porter who is intent on shutting the system down. So get building your Underground system and try to keep it underground!

The Game

A bit like OnTheUnderground meets SettlersOfCatan meets Risk meets AlexChurchill/BuildingGame meets random. Hopefully different enough from all of them to distinguish itself and also be fun. It's possibly also like TicketToRide?: I've never played TicketToRide? or even read the rules but just the fact it's based around a train system means it's at least somewhat similar. The basic gist is that you get resources at the beginning of each turn that you can trade and build stuff with (like SettlersOfCatan). You move around the board building said stuff (like AlexChurchill/BuildingGame). The whole thing creates a train network (like OnTheUnderground). All the while you are trying to complete a Risk-like secret mission. Once 1 person has completed their mission, the game ends at the end of the round.  Completing your mission will likely but not necessarily lead to victory.


Vague First Stab at the Way it Will Probably Work

  1. The board is a stylised map of Cambridge, with ~30 points of interest marked (e.g. various Colleges, Departments and town landmarks). It has places marked running between them where track may be placed (just like every-other-train-related-game-ever, except that other one).
  2. The points on the board are divided into 6 different coloured sections.
  3. You're working together to create a share Cambridge Underground system. You can freely use everyone's track and stations as if they were your own. The track is all black, but the stations are coloured for each player for the purposes of scoring and production (see below).
  4. There is a College Porter who bimbles randomly about the board. The place he is standing in cannot be built in, or travelled through by train that turn.
  5. Each player starts with two little dudes, who will move around the board and do your bidding.
  6. At the beginning of the game, each player takes a random mission card which is kept secret. You then choose where your guys will start off. You are aiming to complete this mission. Once you have completed your mission, you reveal it to the other players. Everyone else gets 1 final turn and then the game ends. Being the first to complete your mission will probably but not necessarily lead to victory.
  7. The missions are mostly of the form "connect A and B into the network". There's also things like "build 4 stations", "collect 6 bonus points", "take over the world" etc. Okay, maybe not the last one.
  8. Completing your mission might be worth 5 points, or might be a decreasing scale e.g.: 7 for the first player to complete, 5 for the second, then 3, then 2 or something. I'm not sure yet.
  9. In your turn, you do stuff:
    1. Move the College Porter
    2. Collect Resources:
      1. For each of the coloured regions of the board, count the total number of (stations + dudes) of yours in that coloured region.
      2. If that number is 0 or 1, you don't get any resources of that colour. If the number is 2 or more, you get that many resources of that colour.
    3. Take 2 "actions", where an action is one four things:
      1. Moving one of your little dudes around the place - 1 space by foot or 2 spaces by train. You can also pay 1 resource of any colour to instead move 3 spaces by train.
      2. Building track - pay 2 different resources to place a section of track next to one of your dudes.
      3. Building stations - pay 1 yellow, 1 green and any other 1 resource to place a station of your colour next to one of your dudes.
      4. Flip an expansion card - pay 1 blue and 1 of any other resource to flip the top card of the expansion deck. If it has a hand symbol in the corner, you may put it into your hand and play it anytime you wish, otherwise you immediately do what it says on the card.
    4. Your turn is then over, and passes to the next player around.
  10. There are several ways of scoring "bonus points". Each station of your colour is worth 1. If you place the last piece of track in a particular coloured area of the board then you get 2 points. A few of the cards in the expansion deck get you points.
  11. At the end of the game you count-up bonus points and add on any complete mission points. The someone probably wins.
  12. The whole thing hopefully takes about 30-50 minutes and works fine for 2-4 players.


SeeAlso http://pubstops.co.uk/1.html (scroll down to Cambridge)

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Last edited July 26, 2008 3:49 pm (viewing revision 4, which is the newest) (diff)