The second idea for today came to me when I was walking home from the station, mainly as a new spin on an existing design I have with Brett Gilbert. It is called Villages currently (yes, that name will have to change…), and I was thinking of ways to try and make a more interactive game, while still keeping one of the features, which is where you flip tiles to show when you have resources, and can flip back up visited tiles to regenerate those resources. Then this idea kind of emerged from that starting point, even if it is hard to see where the link between the start and end of the process is!
Day 67: Dice Village
There are 25 tiles arranged in a 5 x 5 grid in the middle of the table. Each player has one 6 sided die in their colour, and there are 3 neutral dice in the game as well. These are placed on the board somehow at the start of the game, with a random number showing.
On a player’s turn, they can move a dice of their colour or a neutral dice, with the total distance they move having to be the number showing on the die. They move orthogonally from tile to tile, and can make loops. Whatever tile they land on, they activate, which gives them a certain benefit (such as gaining a particular resource). Once they have carried this action out, they then flip the tile, which will now show a different (but related) action, and they place the die with the numbered face matching the number on the tile.
Throughout the game, players will be able to use their resource to construct upgraded versions of the starting tiles. There is exactly one upgrade for each tile, and the order in which they are available is random (leading to a different set of actions appearing from game to game). When you upgrade a tile, you gain a number of points for doing so, and then replace its counterpart starting tile in the tableau.
This game is also a nod in a way to Five Tribes, a game I have played recently at Gencon and loved. It has a similar puzzle element, as you need to work out how to set up your dice for future moves, without giving your opponents a chance for a good move themselves (if you are using the neutral dice). There is also a tactical decision of when to take a certain move, as even if you are the only one who can move the die (because it is your own), the tile you want might be flipped before you get to act, giving even more tension. I think this game could really show some promise, what do you think?