This post is actually a little late – I missed yesterday’s deadline due to a mix of exhaustion, jetlag and my website being down for some inexplicable reason (sorry about this). So today I will be writing two posts! This first one will just be a quick idea I had, based on some art I found on a designer’s blog whose name I unfortunately cannot remember, and the book mechanism present in some of Michael Schacht’s games.


Day 49: Books

This an idea for a central action selection mechanism in a game. Each player starts with an identical set of double sided action cards (where the action is the same on both sides), and these are shuffled and then placed on the right hand side of a wooden book stand (each player has a personal stand).

On a player’s turn, they flip the top card of their ‘book’ onto the left hand part of the stand, so that they will now have 2 actions facing them, and they choose one of these actions to use. In this way, a player will always have access to a particular action in two successive turns. The twist is that a player can spend money to flip the book another time (just like in Africana or Valdora) so that they have a different choice of actions.

To build on this mechanism, you could also imagine a central book constructed in a similar way, but this time will special actions. This book is turned on each player’s turn as well, and the player additionally gets to choose to take one of these special actions. They can also pay to flip through this book as well.


It seems like quite a nice simple mechanism, with some interesting combinations possible because of it, and a nice push your luck feel to maximising your actions. What sort of game do you think it could fit well into though?