Martian Gunslinger

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Under development


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

Martian Gunslinger
Shane Tilton
An abstract Western theme boardgame with a checkerboard
:Players Players: 2 - 4
:Time Length: Very Long
:Complexity Complexity: High
Trios per color: 2
Number of colors: 5
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes:
Five-color sets: 2
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
Deck of Playing cards, Chessboard, One Six-sided die (d6) per player plus one extra die, and a potato
Setup time: 5 min
Playing time: 60 min
1 Hr
- 120
120 Min
2 Hr
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance: High
Game mechanics:
Theme: Western
BGG Link:
Status: Nearly complete (v3.1), Year released: 2006
This was originally designed a generic gaming system. The resources, events and card actions could change depending on the theme of the game. Released July 2006

Status

Revision Notes:

  • 3.1 (October 30, 2007) Adjusted the mechanism for scoring.
  • 3.0 (April 11, 2007) Out of playtesting mode, working on creating player mats for the different card areas and adding the different tables.
  • 2.2: (July 27th, 2006) Changed the attack rule to 2 V.P. instead of 1 V.P.
  • 2.1.1: (July 12th, 2006) Posted on the Icehouse wiki
  • 2.1: (July 8th, 2006) Posted game in blog.
  • 2.0: (July 7th, 2006) Added the Treehouse Die, changed from one monochromatic stack per player to one Treehouse stack for the game.
  • 1.5: (June 26th, 2006) Rewrote the Quest rules, now are Event rules. We may use the Quest rules if the game can become an engine for the Icehouse system.
  • 1.4: (June 15th, 2006) Finished the Hand Chart.
  • 1.3: (June 14th, 2006) Finished the Quest Chart and Resource Chart.
  • 1.2: (June 9th, 2006) Rewrote Victory Conditions
  • 1.1: (June 2nd, 2006) Wrote beginning story
  • 1.0: (May 21st, 2006) Finish Alpha version of game, ready for playtesting.

Storyline

In the western areas of Mars, where men are men and the horses love them for that, is the setting for our tale of power, control and a really nice peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This is where the land is untamed, the people are wild and lawlessness reigns. Do you have what it takes to make your mark on this dusty land and call yourself a true Martian Gunslinger?

Set-up

To set up the board, set one of the stashes aside, this stash will be used for scoring later. If there are only two players, remove two of the trees from the first stack and set them aside. If there are three players, remove one of the trees. The checkerboard is set up with a corner pointing at each of the chairs. Each player picks a tree and rolls their d6. The highest roller is player one, second highest is player two, etc. One of the trees that were not chosen is placed on the board. The three pieces that make up this tree are called the "plotpoints". Player one either place his small piece in one of the corner of the board (this is their "home square"), points that piece at one of the squares and sits down behind it or places one of the plotpoints standing up on an empty square that is not a corner square or adjunct to the corner square. The setup ends when all players have had a chance to place their starting small piece in a corner square and have had a chance to place a plotpiece on the board. The player in a 2 and 4 player game that did not have a chance to place a plotpoint on the board may move one of the plotpoints to another square on the board (as long as it is not adjunct to the corner square).

Each player is dealt four cards, which forms the player's hand. Each player is dealt one additional card. This card is their "event card." The player looks at it and places it facedown in front of them. Player should place their medium and large pieces and their d6 on their event card. Players can look at their own event card any time they wish. There should also be an empty area in front of each player. This is their resource pile.


Turn Order

  1. Roll the table d6 and the Treehouse die
  2. Resolve the rolls
  3. Move
  4. Attack or Attempt Plotpoint
  5. Resolve Attack/Attempt
  6. Play card from hand (optional)
  7. Lay down a resource card (optional)
  8. Play event card (optional)
  9. Draw card(s)


Rolling dice

Player one rolls the table d6 and the Treehouse die. The Treehouse die does the following for the player:

  • Aim: allows one free orient of your own piece.
  • Hop: allows player to avoid contact with other piece or if a piece is one square away makes contact with that piece (including plotpoints).
  • Tip: points opposing piece of player's choice toward any square of player's choice.
  • Swap: allows the player to switch two pieces on the board (including plotpoints).
  • Dig: allows the player to take the top card from the draw pile or the discard pile and place it in their hand or resource pile.
  • Wild: allows the player to choose one of the treehouse functions or reroll the d6.


Movement

The d6 is rolled for movement points. Pieces can only move in the direction that it is oriented. A piece can move straight across or diagonally. It cost one movement point to reorient a piece.


Attempt/Attacks

If your piece ends its movement on an adjunct square to any of the plotpoints and your piece is pointed at the plotpoint, You can attempt a plotpoint. You draw a card. Another card is drawn. If your card is higher than the drawn card, you score one victory point (v.p.). Both of these cards are discarded. Anytime you score a v.p., move your die so it shows how many v.p. you have. A player can not do this action twice in a row. You must move to another plotpoint to score the v.p..

If an opposing piece is in an adjunct square to yours at the end of movement, your piece is pointed at the opposing piece and the opponent has scored at least two v.p. any time during the game (they don't need to have two points currently), you may choose to attack that piece. Both you and your targeted opponent draw five cards. If one piece is larger than the other, that player draws an additional card per extra pip (e.g. the attacker is attacking with a large piece (3 pips), the defender has a small piece (1 pip). The attacker draws seven cards, the defender draws five). The player can discard and draw two cards. The player with the most v.p. can discard & draw an additional card. If there is a tie in v.p., no one gains this advantage. The highest poker hand wins the attack. The poker hands are discarded after the attack. The losing piece must shrink by one size. If the piece was a small at the beginning of the attack, it is removed from the board. The losing player loses half of their v.p. (rounded up). The losing player loses their next turn. The turn after that, the player can only place their piece in their "home square." If the losing player has zero v.p., they lose two turns instead of one.


Playing a card from the hand

After the movement and attacks/attempts have been resolved, the player may choose to play a card from their hand. Each card represents an action.


Hand Table

Card Effect
King If there are two cards with the same suit as this king in your resource pile, you can discard those two cards to permanently add one card to your draw hand during attacks including attacks caused by events or increase your discard and draw capability by one card permanently. You must choose which ability it has when the card is played. This card remains by your event card as a reminder of the increase. It is considered out-of-play.
Queen If there are two cards with the same suit as this queen in your resource pile, you can discard those two cards to permanently add one card to your draw hand during attacks including attacks caused by events. This card remains by your event card as a reminder of the increase. It is considered out-of-play.
Jack If there are two cards with the same suit as this jack in your resource pile, you can discard those two cards to increase your discard and draw capability by one card permanently. You must choose which ability it has when the card is played. This card remains by your event card as a reminder of the increase. It is considered out-of-play.
10 If there are two cards with the same suit as this 10 in your resource pile, you can discard those cards to move your piece to any empty square on the board. This card is discarded.
8 or 9 If there are one card with the same suit as this 8 or 9 in your resource pile, you can discard that card to discard as many cards from your hand as you wish and draw your hand up to six cards. You may also choose to discard your event card and draw a new one. This card is discarded.
5,6 or 7 If there are one card with the same suit as this 5, 6 or 7 in your resource pile, you can discard that card to increase your piece by one size (e.g. small to medium, medium to large). This card is discarded.
2,3 or 4 If there are one card with the same suit as this 2, 3 or 4 in your resource pile, you can discard that card to discard one of your opponent's resources. This card is discarded.
Ace If there are one card with the same suit as this Ace in your resource pile, you can discard that card to reroll one of your die in the future. Discard this card when you use this reroll.


Laying down a resource card

After you play a card from your hand or not, you may choose to lay a card face-up in your resource area. This card represent different resources.


Resource Table

Card Resource
King The Sheriff
Queen Casino
Jack The Wanted Person
10 Cattle
9 A Gun
8 A Horse
7 Church
6 Stagecoach
5 Grazing Land
4 Courthouse
3 Jail
2 The Bank
Ace The Undertaker


Playing a Event Card

During this phase of the turn, you may choose to play your event card if the card's condition has been met.


Event Table

Card Title Effect
King Become a Cattle Baron. In your resource pile if you have the Wanted Person (Jack), Cattle (10) & Grazing Land (5), this card is revealed. You discard all of the resources in your resource pile to gain 2 V.P. This card is discarded and you draw a new event card.
Queen Survive a Shootout at High Noon. In your resource pile if you have either the Wanted Person (Jack) or the Sheriff (King) and an opposing player has the other, this card is revealed. Both players draw five cards. If either player has the Gun (9), add one card to their hand. Both players may discard and draw up to two cards. The player with the highest poker hand gains 2 V.P. The poker hands are then discarded. Both the Sheriff and the Wanted Person are discarded. This card is discarded and you draw a new event card.
Jack Become a Pony Express Rider In your resource pile if you have the Horse (8), the Stagecoach (6) and another resource, you must transport the other resource to another player. You gain 2 V.P. Both the Horse and the Stagecoach are discarded. This card is discarded and you draw a new event card.
10 Start a Barroom Brawl. In your resource pile if you have the Gun (9) and the Casino (Queen), you can attack any opposing player (even if your piece is not point at them). Each player in the fight draws five cards. Each player can discard and draw two cards. The player with the highest poker hand gains 2 V.P. The poker hands are then discarded. Both the Gun and the Casino are discarded. This card is discarded and you draw a new event card.
9 Become a Casino Tycoon. In your resource pile if you have the Casino (Queen), the Bank (2) and at least one other resource, reveal this card. Flip these three resources face down. If somebody targets to destroy one of these resources, they must choose it at random (a la "Three Card Monty"). If the Casino or the Bank survive to your next turn, you score 1 v.p. at the end of your turn and remaining resource gets discarded. If both the Casino and the Bank survive, you score 2 v.p. at the end of your next turn. If all three survive, you score 2 v.p. at the end of your turn and only the Casino and Bank are discarded. If none of the resources survive, you lose all of resources. Discard this event when the event resolves and draw a new event card.
8 Become a Hanging Judge. In your resource pile if you have the Undertaker (Ace) and the Courthouse (4), reveal this card. When you conduct a successful attack on an opposing player, you score 2 v.p. if the Undertaker and Courthouse remain in your resource pile. Both the Undertaker and the Courthouse are discarded when the v.p. are scored. Discard this event when the event resolves and draw a new event card.
7 Become a Crack-Shot. In your resource pile if you have the Gun (9) and the Horse (8), reveal this card. Everybody draws a card. If you have the highest card, you score 2 v.p. If there is a tie, the highest scores re-draw until one person has the highest card. If somebody else has the highest card, they score 1 v.p. Both the Gun and the Horse are discarded. This card is discarded and you draw a new event card.
6 Have a Holy Vision. If the Church (7) and the Undertaker (Ace) are visible in any resource pile, reveal this card. You call a suit and a number. You draw a card. If you correctly guess either the suit or the number, you score 1 v.p. If you guess both, you score 2 v.p. This card is discarded and you draw a new event card.
5 Run a Jailbreak. If an opposing player has both the Jail (3) and the Sheriff (King) showing, reveal this card. You and the player holding these resources will draw a card. The highest card wins 2 v.p. If there is a tie, the jailbreak fails and nobody scores the v.p. If you win, the Jail is discarded. If you lose, one of your resources are discarded (your choice). If you do not have any resources, you lose one card from your hand (your choice). This card is discarded and you draw a new event card.
4 Conduct a Robbery If one opposing player has either the Bank (2) or the Stagecoach (6) in their resource pile and you have the Gun (9), reveal this card. Both the player holding the Bank/Stagecoach and you draw five cards. Both players may discard and draw two more cards. The highest poker hand wins 2 v.p. Both the Bank/Stagecoach and Gun are discarded. This card is discarded and you draw a new event card.
3 Host a Revival In your resource pile if you have the Church (7) & Grazing Land (5), reveal this card. It's time for a good old-fashion revival. Starting with you, draw a card. If the card is a seven, you score 2 v.p. If it isn't continue with the person on your left and have them draw a card. The drawing continues until one person draws a seven. That person scores 2 v.p. Both resources are discarded. This card is discarded and you draw a new event card.
2 Punch a Cow (for apparently no good reason). If any other player has Cattle (10) in their resource pile, reveal this card. You and the player with the Cattle draw a card. Both players will continue to draw until one player has two consecutively higher draws than their opponent. That player scores 2 v.p. If you win, the Cattle are discarded. If you lose, you discard a resource (your choice). If you do not have a resource, you must discard a card (your choice). This card is discarded and you draw a new event card.
Ace Become Mayor of This Town. In your resource pile if you have the Jail (3) & the Courthouse (4) and all players have at least one card of the same suit in their resource piles, reveal this card. This town is having an election for Mayor. On a sheet of paper, all players put down a number of resources they would be willing to pay to become Mayor. The bids are revealed. The highest bid becomes Mayor and pays that amount. If there is a tie, the player who is playing with the piece with the most pips wins. If there's still a tie, the player who has the most v.p. wins. If there's still a tie, the player who has the highest number showing in their resource pile wins. If there's still a tie, the potato will know what to do. The winner scores 2 v.p. and is the Mayor. Both resources are discarded. This player remains the Mayor until another player scores at least 1 v.p. When a player score a v.p., the player is no longer the Mayor and the title remains vacant until the next election. The event card is then discarded and you draw a new event card. If nobody else scores a v.p. in three rounds around the table, the mayor is declared the winner of the game.


Drawing a Card

Finally, you draw one or two cards depending on how many cards you played during the resource and hand phase. Your turn is over and the player to your left begins their turn. If there are no cards left in the draw pile, shuffle the discard pile and create a new draw pile.

Keeping Track of Victory Points

Each player should have the other tree of the same color they are playing in front of them. The pieces should be separated and pointed away from the player. If the player has one to three V.P., the single to three pip pyramid will point straight up, depending how many points are scored. The player's other pyramids point away from the player. If the player is at four V.P.s, the one pip pyramid is placed on top of the three pip pyramid. If the player is at five V.P.s, the two pip pyramid is placed on top of the three pip pyramid. If the player is at six V.P.s, the player has their tree showing.


Winning the Game

The game ends when one player has either:

  1. scored 7 v.p.
  2. forced the rest of the players off the board or in their home squares.
  3. has a straight flush showing in their resource pile.
  4. been the Mayor for three rounds.

That player is declared the winner.

External Links

Credits and Copyright

http://creativecommons.org/images/public/somerights20.png

This game is licensed under a Creative_Commons License and is copyrighted © 2006 by me, Shane Tilton


Entered in the Icehouse Game Design Competition, Winter 2008
Winner: Martian 12s - Runners-Up: WreckTangle, Timelock
Other Entries (in alphabetical order): Chicken Run, Hunt, Martian Gunslinger, Timberland, Virus Fight