Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rules for Mansion

Below please find my rules for Mansion, which I submitted to the BGDF monthly design showdown for May, which had a theme of "Home Improvement."  The contest rules and other entries are here.  These rules are expanded a bit from my entry - I didn't realize when making them that I was limited to 1000 words.


©2010 by Dave Dobson

For 2-4 players

Clayton McMansion, the wealthiest tycoon in town, needs a new home. He is offering a $10 million prize to the builder who constructs the most elaborate mansion, something in tasteful Italian marble.


The object of Mansion is to construct the most elaborate home. Players compete with each other for building materials and plans to construct new rooms in their mansions. They score points for adding rooms to their mansions, the more elaborate room the better. They must obey the building codes, and they earn bonuses for completing floors and creating taller mansions.

Game Components

  • 30 coin tokens
  • 30 wood tokens
  • 30 marble tokens
  • 30 plumbing tokens
  • Plans deck (80 cards, showing various rooms and staircases, the costs to build them, and the point value for completing the room or staircase)
  • 4 Bid boards
  • 4 Bid board covers
  • Turn indicator board and pawn

  • Shuffle the Plans deck and deal a hand of five cards to each player. These cards are kept secret from other players.
  • Flip the next four Plans cards face up and place them in the center of the table.
  • Place the rest of the cards in a pile face down in the center of the table.
  • Give each player 5 wood tokens, 5 marble tokens, 5 plumbing tokens. Place the remaining tokens in piles in the center of the table.
  • Place the coin tokens in a pile in the center of the table.
  • Give each player one bid board and one bid board cover.
  • Place the Turn Indicator board in the center of the table, and place the pawn on Turn 1.
  • Choose one player to go first. This player is the Starting Player.

Game Play

Game turns are broken down into two phases, the Bidding phase and the Building phase.

Bidding phase

Collect Income - At the start of the bidding phase, give each player five coins to use in the bidding. Players may also have additional coins remaining from previous turns.

Placing Bids - In the bidding phase, each player secretly places coins onto the four areas of his or her bid board (wood, marble, plumbing, and plans), with the following guidelines:
  • The player may allocate his or her coins in whatever way he or she wishes
  • The player may leave one or more areas empty
  • The player need not spend all of his or her coins; any unused coins are kept for future turns
  • When finished allocating their coins, players place their bid board covers over their bid boards to conceal their bids from the other players.
  • When all players are finished, they reveal their bids.
No Bid Means No Reward - If, in any of the four areas, players do not bid any coins, they do not take part in that area and receive no resources of that type.

Building Materials - The bids for the three building materials (wood, marble, and plumbing) are resolved as follows, depending on the number of players in the game:
  • 4 players: the top bidder gets 4 of the material, the 2nd bidder gets 3, the 3rd bidder gets 2, and the low bidder gets 1.
  • 3 players: the top bidder gets 4 of the material, the 2nd bidder gets 3, and the low bidder gets 1.
  • 2 players: the top bidder gets 4 of the material, and the low bidder gets 1.
If there is a tie, both players get the value for the tied rank, and the next lowest rank is skipped. For example, in a four player game, for marble, Alex bids 4 coins, Betty and Carlos bid 2, and Draco bids 1. Alex gets 4 marble for 1st place, Betty and Carlos each get 3 for 2nd place, and Draco gets 1 for last.

Plans - For the plans bidding, players get their pick of the four plan cards shown on the table. The highest bidder gets first choice, and the other players pick in order of their bids. In case of ties, whichever tied player is closest to the Starting Player (going clockwise around the table) picks first. These plans cards are added to the player’s hand and are now hidden from the other players.

Finishing up - When all bids are resolved and players have collected all their rewards, collect all of the coins they bid and return them to the pile of coins at the center of the table. Replace any plans cards taken by players with cards from the Plans deck, up to a total of four cards displayed in the center of the table.

Building Phase

New Construction - Beginning with the Starting Player, each player may use their building materials to build the rooms or staircases for which he or she has plans. Each plan card lists the costs for building that particular room or staircase. If the player has the resources required, he or she may pay those resources (by placing them back in the piles in the center of the table) to add that room or staircase to his or her mansion. Rooms or staircases added to the mansion are played face up in front of the player, arranged in rows according to which floor the player is working on.

Building Codes - Mansions are divided into floors. As players construct their mansions, they start from the ground floor and may add additional floors as they continue. Players must follow the following rules in constructing their mansions, with no exceptions:
  1. Each floor of a mansion may contain from three to five rooms plus a staircase.
  2. Each floor of a mansion above the first floor must contain the same number of rooms as the floor below it, not counting staircases.
  3. Floors are built from the ground up. A player may not start a second floor until the first floor is complete. Once a player adds a room to the second floor, the first floor may not be expanded with additional rooms. The same pattern is followed for additional floors – once the size of the first floor is set, the other floors must contain the same number of rooms.
  4. Each floor must contain at least one bathroom.
  5. Each floor other than the top floor must contain exactly one staircase. The top floor need not contain a staircase, but it may.
Let’s Make a Deal! - Players may not always have the building materials or plans that they need. In that case, they may trade materials, coins, or plans with other players. The terms are up to the players and must be mutually agreed and honored. Trading is restricted to resources the player currently owns – for example, "I’ll give you the next bathroom plan I draw for four wood now" is an illegal trade and is not allowed. Trades can be made at any time during the Building phase between any combination of players. Trades involving more than two players are allowed.

Finishing up - when all players have had an opportunity to build a room or staircase, the Building phase is over. Advance the Turn Indicator pawn to the next space on the board. After 20 turns, the game is over; calculate scores and determine the winner. Otherwise, continue the game by starting a new Bidding phase.

End of the Game

The game ends after 20 turns. Scores are calculated as follows:
  • Players score the points indicated on each room card and staircase card they have added to their mansion.
  • Players get a bonus of 10 points for a two-bedroom house, a bonus of 30 points for a three-bedroom house, and a bonus of 60 points for a four-bedroom house.
  • Players get a bonus of 10 points for a complete 1st floor.
  • Players get an additional bonus of 20 points for a complete 2nd floor.
  • Players get an additional bonus of 30 points for a complete 3rd floor.
  • Players get an additional bonus of 40 points for a complete 4th floor.
  • Players get an additional bonus of 50 points for a complete 5th floor.
  • There is no bonus for a partially complete floor, but the player still gets the individual room scores.
The player with the highest total score wins the game (and Clayton’s $10 million prize).

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