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Martian Whist
by Fogus
Resolving a trick in Martian Whist
:Players Players: 2 - 2
:Time Length: Medium?
:Complexity Complexity: Modest
Trios per color: 2
Number of colors: 5
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes:
Five-color sets: 2
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
An opaque sack and a Pyramid Arcade color die
Setup time: 5 minutes
Playing time: 10 minutes
0.167 Hr
- 30 minutes
0.5 Hr
Strategy depth: High
Random chance: Modest
Game mechanics: Trick-taking, Perfect information
Theme: Abstract
BGG Link:
Status: Playtesting (v1.0), Year released: 2014

Under development

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

Martian Whist is a minimal luck pyramid drafting and Tree-based trick-taking game. Can you draft a set to score the most points in tricks at the end of the game?


Score the most points by building as many solid color Trees as possible from the pyramids won in tricks.


  • Trick: A trick is a comparison between the colors contained in two Trees to determine if one player’s Tree beats the other’s.
  • Color rank: The order, from left to right , of the ranking of colors in the game: Trump > Purple > Red > Yellow > Green > Blue
  • Trump: A color that beats all other colors regardless of where it’s normally ranked.


You’ll need the following materials to play Logistics:

  • The Pyramid Arcade color die
  • Two Trios of every color on the color die (Purple, Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue)
  • The Pyramid Arcade bag

Place all of the Trios into an opaque sack. Draw from the sack one small, one medium, and one large to make a Tree. Continue this until all of the pyramids have been used to make a row of 10 Trees. At this point, trump may be determined by rolling the Color Die -- if the atomic symbol is rolled there will bo no trump.


Martian Whist is played in two rounds: the first is meant to build a mixed stash of pyramids via drafting, and the second consists of a series of tricks used to build a set of final pyramids for scoring.

Stage One: Drafting Trees

There are two ways that you can draft pyramids and which one you use should be agreed on by both players.

Method #1: Drafting whole Trees

Players take turns taking whole Trees from those available. Players will receive five Trees each.

Method #2: Drafting Tree layers

Players take turns taking single pyramids from the highest layer still containing pyramids, or may pass choosing any single pyramid in a layer as long as two or more still remain on that layer. If a player passes on a choice then the other player chooses which pyramid to give them. The player who passes last on a layer gets to go first on the next layer. Again, players will receive five Trees each.

Stage Two: Playing tricks

Using the pyramids in their drafted stashes, the players will play tricks to build a final scoring set. Starting with the person who drafted last, a player will present a tree and the other will follow with one of their own. These trees can be built from any of the pyramids in their personal stash.

The following player must present a tree containing at least one pyramid of the same color as any of the pyramids in the leading tree if they are able. If they do not have a color to follow the tree led then they can follow with a tree containing any colors that they choose.

The player winning the trick will reserve their tree for final scoring, while the losing tree will be discarded. The player who won the trick leads the next trick. Play will continue like this until all of the players' pyramids have been used, after which final scoring will begin.

Resolving Tricks

To resolve tricks the color of the pyramids used determines the higher-ranking Tree. The ranking of the pyramid colors are:

Trump > Purple > Red > Yellow > Green > Blue

  • Solid color trees of will resolve according to the color rankings or trump.
  • Trees of a single color will always beat Trees of mixed colors, even those containing trumps.
  • Trees of mixed colors will resolve from bottom to top according to color. That is, players compare the base of the Trees first, then the middle of the Tree is compared, and finally, the top of the tree is compared.

The player who won the majority of the Tree segments wins the trick; in the example above, the left-side player wins by winning 1 segment vs. 0 for right. However, if the two Trees played are identical or they result in a tie segment score then the player who placed first wins the trick.

The player who wins the trick takes any small, any medium, and any large and gives the remaining pieces to the other player.

Ending the game

When all of the Trees have been played to tricks then the player with the highest score wins.

Final scoring

From the pyramids won in tricks the players can rearrange the colors to form as many solid Trees as possible. Solid Trees are worth 6 points each while the remaining mixed Trees are worth points equal to the point value of the largest pyramid in a same color touching segment. The player with the most valuable set of Trees wins the game.