Game Design Blitz #14

And today’s card is…

IMG_1915

The Card

Color: Black

Number: Queen

Piece: Pawn

Mechanic: Player Elimination

The Definition

Player elimination occurs in multiple-player games (>2) when a player can be eliminated from the game and play continues without the eliminated player.

The Idea

One of the most dreaded aspects of a multiplayer game is player elimination. The thought of having to sit around and wait for the game to end can be excruciating, especially in those games that can go for hours, like Monopoly or Risk.

I think our goal today will be to come up with a player elimination game where that downtime is minimal, and also maybe where the player elimination itself can be part of the game. My first thought is to make it count who eliminates who from the game, so if there are three players and player A eliminates player B, then player C eliminates player A, then… then both players are tied because each have one elimination. Ok, that’s just broken. Next.

How else can player elimination be a fun part of the game? Perhaps we don’t have elimination by complete eradication, in other words the eliminated player still has a board presence, and they still interact when their locations are manipulated? But does a player who has been eliminated really care about the game maintenance when they have no chance of winning?

I’m not sure this aspect is going anywhere, so lets move on to the other dreaded part of player elimination, time. Players hate sitting around and waiting for the next game, so I think our goal is to have an overall game that is very fast. That way even if you are eliminated, you don’t have to wait a long time for the next game.

So far we have a short game with player elimination. Lets turn to the card to see what kind of inspiration we can gain. The piece shown is a pawn, the card number is “Q” with 2d6 showing, and the card color is black. I’ll set the game in a medieval setting, and the goal is to take out the queen. One player is the queen and they have a distinct advantage over all the peasants (the rest of the players). Those players have to cooperate to remove the queen from the game. Let me start out by saying that this is NOT a hidden role game, this is a one-vs-many game.

We’ll start with a game board on the table with a castle in the center. The queen is in the castle and has to protect it from the onslaught of peasants attacking from all sides. Each side of the castle has a number of spaces and the goal of the peasants is to fill in all the spaces on one side of the castle. This will create a breach, but there is a secondary wall. Perhaps we have the players all shift focus to that inner wall and then the queen only has to defend that one wall… or maybe we don’t and still have all the players attacking wherever they want.

The peasant players will have some number of actions they can do, like hiring more peasants, or moving some number of peasant meeples closer to the wall. The queen will have some number of defenses, some ranged and some not, and she will have more actions available to her… she is the queen after all. In fact lets add some simultaneous movement to the mix as well. Each side of the castle has some number of spaces to attack, players have to choose which lane to add their peasants to, and then can spend actions to shift them left or right, or advance. The Queen has to defend each side of her castle and can choose to defend three of the five lanes attacking her. Each will simultaneously reveal their actions for the turn and then resolve all of the actions in turn order.

If the queen ever completely removes all the pieces of any one player, then that player is eliminated. The queen’s goal is to quell the uprising by eliminating all of the player pieces.

The Pitch

The Uprising has started. The peasants aren’t happy with the Queen and they are ready to lay down their lives to oust her from the castle!

In The Uprising one player plays as the Queen defending her castle from the onslaught of the peasant uprising. The other players are peasants attacking the castle in an attempt to oust the Queen. The sheer number of peasants threatens to overwhelm the Queen, but she has considerable resources at her disposal, so ousting her might be more than the peasants bargained for.

Each player attacks one side of the castle, attempting to fill in all of the spaces there to overwhelm the defense on that side to create a breach. If they do, they must still breach the inner wall to win. Players each have several actions to either move their attack forward, add new attackers to the fray, or help out their neighbors. The Queen has even more actions to make attacks against the peasants; either ranged or melee, and to fortify her defenses, and upgrade her weaponry.

The players must first breach the outer wall by completely filling on one side, then they must breach the inner wall by surrounding it completely. The Queen has to eliminate the peasants. As she completely eliminates each player’s peasants that player is out. If she can eliminate them all then she has quelled the peasant uprising.

Who are you? Peasant or Queen.

2 thoughts on “Game Design Blitz #14

  1. Kathleen says:

    Sounds a little like Risk only with cards. …. well …. I guess just the attacking part. It could be even more challenging if the pheasants fought against each other also. Because if one pheasant was getting to close, you- as a pheasant- could make plays to stop them. After all you want to be the one who defeats the queen, and be winner winner chicken dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kathy! I think the primary difference is that there aren’t any dice to make combat random. If the Queen “defends” a space then the peasant there is just eliminated. I kind of like the one vs. many aspect without having a single winner for the peasants, but I could look at ways to give individual peasant players secret goals or something that could make one more victorious than another.

      Like

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