Accelerator

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Accelerator
Designed by Julien Griffon
Scientists compete to get the most particles out of an accelerator
:Players Players: 2 - 4
:Time Length: Medium?
:Complexity Complexity: Medium
Trios per color: 2
Number of colors: 2
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 2
Five-color sets: 2
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
1 Cosmic Coasters,Cosmic Coaster, 1 Martian Coaster/player (optional)
Setup time: 1 minute
Playing time: 20 minutes
0.333 Hr
- 30 minutes
0.5 Hr
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance: None
Game mechanics: rotation, free pyramid choice
Theme: science
BGG Link:
Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987


Under development


This game is currently under development, in the Initial Design stage. Feedback is strongly encouraged! Feel free to give comments on game design or structure on the talk page.

In Accelerator, 2 or 4 players are scientists placed at different gates of a particle accelerator. They are trying, by manoeuvring the accelerator skilfully, to gather the most/heaviest particles. Once a scientist has filled his test grid, all the scientists compare their results and only one gets promoted scientist of the month.

Goal

Gather the most/heaviest particles in one’s test grid while preventing other scientists to get the most interesting particles.

Setup

First build the accelerator

Place the Cosmic Coaster between all the players, at an equal distance from them. It should be oriented with a square facing each player. Each player then takes a Martian Coaster and places it between himself and the Cosmic Coaster.

Then prepare the particles

Place the pyramids on the playing field, in different piles for each size of pyramid. The large pyramids are heavy particles, the small ones are light particles, and the medium ones are in between, obviously. The color is not used in this game. The pyramids form the stash from which players will draw during the game and should thus be in a position accessible to all the players.

Play

On their turn, each player does two actions:

  • He rotates the accelerator by a given number of steps,
  • He throws a new particle into the accelerator.

Then, the next player's turn starts.

Although it may not seem logical, the addition of a new particle in the accelerator will be explained first, for practical reasons.

Addition of a particle

If the round-shaped space of the Cosmic Coaster (central space) is free when the time to add a particle comes, the player ‘must’ choose a pyramid in the stash and place it on the round space. He is free to choose any available size of pyramid.

Rotation of the accelerator

The accelerator can be manoeuvred so as to spin by 1 to 4 steps in one turn. One step is one eighth of a turn, i.e. after a rotation by one step, the squares of the coaster will be in the position where the triangles were before the step. The player must announce by how many steps they intend to rotate the accelerator before they start moving the coaster. The accelerator always spins in the same direction; you can use a marker of any kind (spare pyramid…) to show this direction if needed. On the first turn, there is no pyramid on the coaster, so the first rotation has no effect other than setting the accelerator in the position wanted by the first player. On subsequent turns, the pyramids in the accelerator react to the movement.

Reaction of the pyramids

The reaction of the pyramids is determined after the rotation has ended, starting with the pyramids on the external part of the coaster, by size order, from the biggest to the smallest. Then the possible pyramid on the central space is moved.

Once again, the explanation is reversed, in order to leave the difficult part for the end.

Pyramid on the central space

If a pyramid lies on the central round when the accelerator rotates, it must move along one of the lines connecting the round to a square. The player may choose to have the particle follow any of the connections, provided that it lands on a free spot. If no spot is free, then the pyramid remains in the central space.

To be able to beat the friction forces sticking it in the center, and move to the outer part of the accelerator, a particle needs an amount of movement proportional to its weight:

  • A small pyramid requires a 1-step rotation,
  • A medium pyramid requires a 2-step rotation,
  • A large pyramid requires a 3-step rotation.

If the rotation is not sufficient to move the pyramid, it remains on the central space.

Pyramids on the outer spaces

When the accelerator spins, the particles on the outer part of the accelerator’s tank are stuck on its side by inertia. However, if the rotation speed is sufficient, they start slipping on the tank’s wall. This means once the accelerator has stopped, the particles will go backwards by as many steps as the speed makes them:

  • Small pyramid: 1 space back/2 steps,
  • Medium pyramid: 1 space back/3 steps,
  • Large pyramid: 1 space back/4 steps.

All pyramids move at the same time.

If a pyramid is supposed to move on a space already occupied by a bigger one, which is not supposed to move, then it remains on the space just before.

Small pyramids can move up to two outer spaces in a player’s turn, if a 4-step rotation takes place and no larger pyramid hinders the small's move. They can also move from the central space to a square, and then to a triangle if a 3-step or 4-step rotation takes place.

Medium pyramids can move from the central space to a square, and then to a triangle if a 4-step rotation takes place and no large hinders the medium's move.

Collecting particles

Triangle spaces of the Cosmic Coaster are the gates from which scientists can collect particles. At the end of a rotation where those gates are just in front of the scientists, they open and release any particle they contain into the connecting test grid. Hence, a pyramid ending its move on a triangle, in front of any player’s test grid is collected by the player who puts it on any space of his Martian Coaster.

Game end

When a player places a pyramid on the last free spot of his test grid, the game ends. Each pyramid in the grid of a player earns him as many points as it has pips (small = 1; medium = 2; large = 3). The player with the highest score is declared the winner.

Variants

The length of the game can be adjusted by changing the number of particles a scientist must collect to end the game. The number of available stashes must be modified accordingly.

A few comments

  • This game has only been tested twice with 2 players. I’d love to hear your feedback.
  • I am not a native English speaker, feel free to correct any awkward wording.
  • It is quite possible that two stashes are not enough for a game with four players… Well, just add one!
  • The scientific accuracy of this game is not assured by the designer. If you know how these things work better than I do, please feel free to enlighten me. I'll see if I can make my game scientifically accurate, or I could change the theme.