Just capturing this quickly here before I forget it all.
This is another boardgame idea, a family-game type of thing. Light and non-serious, but hopefully with a bit of tactics and replay value. It’s for two players.
The board is divided laterally into seven back gardens, of values 1 to 7. (1 is a grotty alley with dustbins, 7 is a palace.) Each garden goes all the way across the board, so it’s like seven broad stripes running from one player to the other.
Each player runs a gang of cats, the Paws and the Claws. Each gang consists of seven cat counters, of strength 1 to 7. 1 is a mewling kitten, 7 is a chewed-eared bruiser. The idea is to use your cats to gain control of the gardens, particularly the more valuable ones.
At the end of the game, all seven gardens are scored. If you are the only player with cats in a garden of value N, you score N points for it. If both players have cats in a garden, the one with greater total strength of cats scores 1. If equal in strength (or empty of cats), both score 0.
Players alternate turns. A turn consists of, in any sequence:
- if you want, placing 1 cat counter onto the board, or moving one which is already on the board;
- if you want, making 1 attack;
- if you want, playing 1 card from your hand, and drawing another from the deck to replace it;
- turning up any face-down cats in front of you.
You can only place or move a cat counter into (a) any garden where you already have at least one cat counter, or (b) the lowest-ranked garden where you don’t currently have any cat counters.
Fighting simply compares the total strength of your cats (in one garden of your choice) versus the other player’s. If you have a greater total, the opponent’s cats are removed from the board and placed face down in front of them. (Or if you lose, yours are remvoed and placed face down in front of you.) Face-down cats are turned up the following turn so cannot be replaced on the board until the turn after.
So that’s the basics, which are pretty straightforward and unforgiving. What makes the game interesting (hopefully) is the use of cards: you have a hand of five cards throughout the game, and can play one per turn. There are lots of different cards, and they allow you to do things like:
- place two cats this turn rather than one;
- turn a cat face-up at the beginning of the turn rather than the end;
- get +1 to combat in a particular garden;
- get +1 victory points for holding a particular garden at the end of the game;
- exchange two of your cat counters that are in different gardens;
- place into a higher garden than you’d usually be allowed;
Some cards persist, eg. you play a Fishpond into a particular garden, it stays there. Others are discarded after use. Some can only be played in a subset of the gardens, eg. a Nightingale Cage can only be played in one of gardens 6-7. This means that some are more useful later in the game, etc.
(Might also allow the attacked player to play a counter-card during combat. Otherwise combat will be very predictable?)
I’m not sure exactly how to finish the game. Perhaps something like going twice through the deck would be the thing: that doesn’t make any assumptions about actual level of progress on the board.
I would like the game to have a better beginning-middle-endgame structure: at the moment it’s a bit homogeneous. Will have to think about that.
I think I also have to think about the setup, otherwise the first player can just keep batting the other player off the board and no-one gets anywhere. Perhaps you need more than X points of cats in a garden to intiate combat, or something like that?