Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winds of Fate - last minute edits

This is c&p'ed from Pastebin, so formatting is lost, but here are the rules I'm sending to New York tomorrow to be played at the annual Spielbany playtesting event. I'm hoping my friends get a chance to play it (preferably with Zev, who said he would be willing to try it there) and I can get some good feedback. Who knows, maybe Zev will love it and decide to publish it!

For anyone who hasn't been paying attention, I have been working on this largely with Randall McClain from the BGDF - in fact it's based on a Game Design Showdown entry he made a couple of years ago. It began as my version of what I thought he had in mind. Early prototypes of my version were disappointing, and this version I believe is closer to what Nando originally had in mind with his GDS entry.

Odysseus: Winds of Fate
By Seth Jaffee (based on a Game Design Showdown entry by Randall McClain)
15 Destiny cards (5 each: Safe Return/Dead/Stranded at Sea)
54 Adventure cards in 2 suits, Help & Hinder
15 heart shaped Crew tokens (10 small, 5 large)
2 black cylindrical markers (1 Odysseus marker and 1 Round counter)
50 Player markers in 5 colors (One marker for score, one for reward tiles, the rest for bet ownership.)
Score board
50 Bet Chips
Game board
Round track
10 Turn Order tiles (2 of each Turn Order tile labeled 1 through 5.)
12 Reward Tiles (The Reward tiles have black backs.)
10 Encounter Tiles
6 Olympus Cards (The Olympus cards are in sleeves backed with Mountains – for mount Olympus. They represent Athena and Poseidon’s influence.)

· Place the game board, round track, and score board in the center of the play area
· Shuffle the Encounter tiles and place 9 of them face up on the 9 spaces on the board. The last encounter tile will not be used, but can be placed face down on Troy after the first adventure is over.
· Place the Odysseus marker on Troy and the Round counter on space 1 of the Round track
· Count out the appropriate number of Crew tokens and place them near the board. Set unused Crew tokens aside.
3 players: Use 25 Crew
4 players: Use 30 Crew
5 players: Use 35 Crew
· Give each player a set of Destiny cards (1 Safe Return, 1 Dead, and 1 Stranded at Sea). Return unused destiny cards to the box.
· Separate the Adventure cards into 2 decks – Help (blue back) and Hinder (red back). Deal each player 3 Adventure cards from each deck. Place the decks near the board.
· Shuffle the Olympus deck and place it near the board.
· Place 1 set of Turn Order tiles near the board. With fewer than 5 players, leave the unused tiles in the box. Randomly distribute the other set of Turn Order tiles to the players.
· Mix the Reward tiles face down and place them near the board
· Place a supply of Bet Chips near the board and give each player 2 Bet Chips.
· Give each player the ownership markers in their color, placing 1 marker per player on the Score board and one near the Turn Order tiles.
· Have each player shuffle their set of Destiny cards, place them face down in their area, and then place one of their Bet Chips on one of the face down Destiny cards. After this is done, players may look at their face down Destiny cards at any time.

Overview of play

Odysseus: Winds of Fate is played in a series of rounds. Each round consists of an Encounter phase followed by an Adventure phase and finally a Journey phase. During each round Odysseus will lose some crew and will travel from one Encounter tile to another. The game ends when one of three conditions occurs: If at any time Odysseus loses all of his crew, then the game ends immediately and he is considered Dead. If after round 12 the Odysseus marker has not reached Ithaca and Odysseus has not lost all of his crew, the game ends with Odysseus being Stranded at Sea. If the Odysseus marker reaches Ithaca and at least 1 crew survives the Adventure there, then the game ends and Odysseus has returned safely home.
Encounter Phase
During the Encounter phase, instructions on the current Encounter tile are followed:
· Troy – Each player may Place 1 Bet (in turn order). After the adventure phase, place an unused Encounter tile face down on Troy.
· Isle of Aeolia – Each player scores 2vp per unused Bet Chip. Each player may take a Destiny action. If Odysseus wins this Adventure, move the Odysseus token directly to Isle of Scheria.
· Isle of Calypso – Advance the Round marker twice. Each player may take a Destiny action.
· The Dreaded Charybdis – Double the value of the Olympus card for this Adventure. Each player may take a Destiny action.
· Isle of Circe – Each player may Place or Move 1 Bet (in turn order), or take 1 Bet Chip
· Isle of the Cyclopse – Lose 1 Crew. Add 3 to the Hinder total for this Adventure.
· Isle of the Laestrygonians – Lose 3 Crew.
· Isle of the Lotophagi – Advance the Round Marker. If Odysseus wins this Adventure, return 3 lost Crew.
· Isle of Scheria - Each player scores 2vp per unused Bet Chip. Each player may take a Destiny action. If Odysseus wins this Adventure, move the Odysseus token directly to Ithaca.
· Cliff of Scylla – Lose 6 Crew. Each player may place 1 Bet (in turn order).
· Isle of the Sirens – Each player draws 2 Adventure cards (in turn order). Return 2 lost Crew.
· Ithaca (Suitors) – Double Adventure. Add 3 to the Help total for each adventure. The game ends after the second Adventure (No Journey phase).

Some definitions:
Return Crew: Add Crew tokens to the Crew supply. There is no limit to the number of Crew that can be in the supply.
Unused Bet Chip: A Bet Chip held by a player that has not been placed as a Bet.
Destiny action: Take a Bet Chip from the general supply and place it on one of your face down Destiny cards.
Draw a card: Whenever a player draws cards, they may choose which deck to draw from (Help or Hinder). When drawing multiple cards, choose which deck each card comes from before drawing any cards.
Place a Bet: Place a Bet Chip that you have collected onto any space on the Round track that you don’t already have a Bet on. For each space between the current round and the space of the bet, add a Bet Chip from the general supply. Place a player marker on top of this stack of Bet Chips to indicate ownership of the Bet. (see example). It’s also You may instead place the Bet Chip onto one of your Destiny cards when placing a Bet. Place 2 Bet Chips from the supply along with it.
Move a Bet: Slide 1 bet to an adjacent space on the Round track. You may end up with 2 bets on the same round due to this.
Double Adventure: For the Adventure at Ithaca, reveal 2 Reward tiles per player instead of 1. After the first Adventure, each player will claim 1 Reward tile. Then start a second Adventure with the new turn order and at the end players choose Rewards from the remaining unclaimed Reward tiles. All Reward tiles contribute to crew loss in the case of a lost Adventure.

Example of Placing a Bet:
Tom has a Bet Chip and is given the opportunity to Place a Bet in round 2. Tom cannot place a Bet on round 10 because he already has a Bet there. He places his Bet Chip on round 9, and adds 7 Bet Chips from the supply. Tom then puts his player marker on top of the stack to indicate that it’s his bet. If the game ends on (or near) round 9, Tom will win (some of) those Bet Chips.

Adventure Phase
During the Adventure phase players play cards to influence the outcome of each Adventure. There is a process to resolving each adventure:
1) Reveal Reward Tiles
2) Play cards / Pass
3) Claim Rewards
4) Resolve Adventure

Reveal Reward Tiles
Mix all 12 Reward tiles and reveal 1 tile for each player in the game.

Play cards
Players take turns playing a card face down or passing. The first card played can be either a Help card or a Hinder card, but once a card is played, subsequent cards must be of the same type (EXCEPTION – there are 3 special cards that are not played face down… they are played face up instead and the color of their back does not matter. These cards give some effect such as “Draw 2 cards,” “+2 VP,” or “Advance round marker.” They count (–2) toward the value of your contribution to the Adventure.

When a player cannot or chooses not to play a card on their turn, they Pass. That player places their current Turn Order tile face down near the Turn Order tile supply, and takes the highest numbered face up Turn Order tile from the supply (the first player to Pass will be the last player in turn order in the following round) and places it face down in front of him to indicate that he’s out of the Adventure. That player receives the reward printed on the tile:
1st: Gain 4 VP.
2nd: Gain 2vp. Draw 1 card.
3rd: Draw 2 cards.
4th: Draw 3 cards.
5th: Draw 4 cards.
Once a player Passes, he is done with the Adventure. After all players pass, all Turn Order tiles are turned face up.
Claim Rewards
In turn order players choose Reward tiles and gain the rewards printed on them. Place an ownership marker on a reward tile to show that it’s been chosen; another player may not choose the same reward tile.

Resolve Adventure
Reveal all cards played by players. Each player totals the value of cards he has played, subtracting 2 for each special card played. The player who contributes the largest value to the Adventure scores 2VP, moving his marker on the Score board accordingly.
Reveal the top card of the Olympus deck. Its value is added to either the Help or Hinder total for the Adventure – Athena [hearts] supports Odysseus and uses her influence to help him. Poseidon [spades] hates Odysseus and adds his influence to the hinder total.
Compare the total of all Help cards and all Hinder cards, including any modifiers due to the Encounter tile. If the Hinder total exceeds the Help total than Odysseus has lost the Adventure. Lose Crew according to the total of red numbers on the Reward tiles for this adventure. Otherwise, Odysseus has won the Adventure.

Journey Phase: Lose 1 Crew and Advance the Round marker
After each Adventure, Odysseus and his crew journey on to the next Encounter. The journeys are arduous, and 1 Crew is lost in each Journey phase. There are 2 possible paths from each Encounter tile, a Calm path and a Stormy path. The path taken (Calm vs Stormy) depends on the outcome of this turn’s Adventure - if Odysseus won the adventure, he takes the Calm path. If he lost the adventure, the stormy path is followed. The Encounter tile just left is flipped face down. Advance the Round marker on the Round track.

Face down Encounter tiles
If Odysseus arrives at a face down Encounter tile, the Encounter, Adventure, and Journey phases are modified as follows. Advance the Round counter one time as Odysseus wanders through the Mediterranean, no matter how many face down tiles Odysseus visits in a row.
· Encounter: If arriving via a calm path, each player draws 1 Adventure card (in turn order). If arriving via a Stormy path, lose 1 Crew.
· Adventure: No cards are played. Reveal the top card of the Olympus deck. Move the Odysseus marker to the next Encounter tile according to the Olympus card If it shows Athena, use the calm path; if Poseidon, use the stormy path. No Crew is lost during the Adventure phase. Repeat this process until Odysseus arrives at a face up Encounter tile.
· Journey: Skip the Journey phase.

Game End
The game ends when one of three conditions occurs:
· Dead: All crew is lost
· Stranded at Sea: After the Adventure phase of round 12 the Odysseus marker has not reached Ithaca
· Safe Return: After the Adventure phase in Ithaca, if at least 1 crew remains
At that time players collect payouts for the bets they have made. Any bet that is on the same round as the Round marker on the Round track is given in full to the player who placed it. For all other bets, remove 3 Bet Chips for each space away from the Round marker and give the rest to the player who placed the bet. For example, if a stack of 8 Bet Chips is on round 9, and the game ends in round 7, the payout would be 8-3-3=2. The player who placed that bet receives 2 of the Bet Chips from the stack and must discard the rest.

Then, players reveal their Destiny cards and receive the Bet Chips that have accumulated on the Destiny card that correlates to the game end condition. Each Bet Chip is worth 2 points. The player with the highest score wins! In case of a tie, the tied player with the most Bet Chips wins. In case of a further tie, all tied players win.

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