Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gentoo Rules

This was my entry (the winning entry) for the June BGDF game design showdown. The contest required a deck building component and also a slippery slope component, where a player who was ahead might tend to stay ahead.
(c) 2010 by Dave Dobson

A game of penguin procreation

  • 12 Nesting Stone tokens 
  • 20 Penguin tokens 
  • 90 Gentoo cards 
  • 20 Fish tokens

Hatch as many new penguins as you can.

1.    Place six Snow cards in a Player Pile in front of each player. Any extra Snow cards will not be used.
2.    Shuffle the rest of the Gentoo cards. Flip the top four face up in the center of the table. These are the Choice Cards.
3.    Place the rest of the cards face down in a stack in the center of the table. This is the Draw Pile.
4.    Place the Penguin Tokens next to the Draw Pile.
5.    Each player flips their top three cards and places them in a row. These are the player’s Cards In Play. They will all be Snow cards at the start.
6.    Give each player three Nesting Stones.
7.    Give each player five Fish Tokens. These are used to pay for Choice Cards.
8.    The player who has been closest to the South Pole goes first.
Game Play:
Each player’s turn has two phases:
Phase I: Common Area
1.    Draw – flip the top card from the Draw Pile and add it to the Choice Cards in the center of the table. There should now be five cards there. If you run out of cards in the Draw Pile, shuffle the Discard Pile and use it as the new Draw Pile.
2.    Choose – You may choose one of the Choice Cards to add to your hand. Take the Choice Card and add it to your Used Pile next to her Cards in Play. You may not use this card this turn, but it will come into play later when the Used Pile is shuffled and turned into the Player Pile. Some cards have a cost shown as fish icons on the card. If so, you must pay the required number of fish tokens to choose the card. Eggs - The player may only choose an Egg Card if he or she has the required number of Nesting Stones indicated on the card.
3.    Discard – If there are more than four Choice Cards showing, pick one to discard. Move it to the Discard Pile.
Phase II: Personal Area
1.    Flip – flip the top card of your Player Pile and add it to your Cards in Play. If you have no more cards in your Player Pile, shuffle your Used pile to use as your new Player Pile. When you do this, restore your fish tokens back up to five tokens.
2.    Play – you may play any one of your Cards in Play. Choose a Card in Play, places it on the Discard Pile, and follows the instructions on the card. Hatching an Egg – you may hatch an egg only when you have both an Egg card and a Hatch card showing in your Cards in Play. Turn both of them in and collect a Penguin token. When you hatch an egg, you must give one of your nesting stones to another player. If you have no nesting stones, you can still hatch your egg.
3.    Move to Used – If you cannot or choose not to play a card, then if you have more than three Cards in Play, choose one of them and move it to the Used pile.
After these two phases, play proceeds to the next player.

Winning the Game:
The first player to collect five penguin tokens wins the game.

·         Snow – Cannot be played. You may move it to your Used pile if you have more than three Cards in Play.
·         Egg – combine with Hatch to produce a penguin. Each Egg shows the nesting stones (3, 4, or 5) required to collect.
·         Skua (1 fish) – discard any Egg currently visible on the table (Cards in Play, Choice Cards, or atop a player’s Used Pile).
·         Stone Thief (1 fish) – take a Nesting Stone from any other player.
·         Good Nesting Site (1 fish) – reduces the number of nesting stones required to take an Egg by one. Discard when Egg is collected. Does not count as your played card. Limit one per Egg.
·         Hatch (1 fish) – Use to collect a penguin. Requires an Egg in play.
·         Leopard Seal (2 fish) – force another player to lose one penguin token.
·         Vicious Peck (1 fish) – blocks a Stone Thief card; you play this card out-of-turn to keep from losing your stone.
·         Confusing Blizzard – Reverse direction of play
·         Gone Fishing – The next player loses a turn
·         Thaw – if you have a Snow card in play, melt it. Discard both the Thaw and the Snow cards.

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