Sky Rise

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Sky Rise
M. Weberg
A game of hidden agendas and tower construction
:Players Players: 2 - 5
:Time Length: Medium
:Complexity Complexity: Medium
Trios per color: 3
Number of colors: 5
Pyramid trios: 15
Monochr. stashes:
Five-color sets: 3
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
A deck of playing cards, Twin Win cards, Turn token, Paper and pencil
Setup time:
Playing time: 20
20 Min
0.333 Hr
- 40
40 Min
0.667 Hr
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance:
Game mechanics: Tower building, Hidden goals, Shared pieces
Theme:
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BGG Link:
Status: Complete (v2.21), Year released: 2016


EQUIPMENT

  • Three Trios in four (2-3 players) or five (4-5 players) different translucent colors plus three trios in an opaque color
  • A deck of regular playing cards (or a “Zark City” deck)
  • 8 - 10 Twin Win cards (2 of each translucent color)
  • A token or marker to indicate who starts each round
  • Pen and paper for keeping score

OVERVIEW

Sky Rise is a game of hidden goals and tower construction. Players take turns adding cards and pyramids to a common tower. At the end of each round, points are given to each color of pyramids based on horizontal connections. Who gets these points, however, is not clear until players reveal their goals at the end. Advancing your goals without being too obvious is one of the keys to victory!

Goal

Players score points during the game by placing colored pyramids on top of cards with the matching suit. Players also score points at the end of the game by discreetly horizontal as well as vertical groups of their secret goal colors. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins!

Setup

1) Prepare the deck:

  • Remove all of the Ace cards from the deck and set them to the side of the playing area
  • If there are only 2 or 3 players and you are using a Zark City deck, also remove one of the five suits.
  • If there are 4 or 5 players and you are using a regular deck of playing cards, add a Joker to the Aces on the side. During the game, the Joker and all of the J, Q, & K cards will be considered as a fifth “royal suit”. Set aside any 3 royal cards (to balance the suits).
  • Shuffle the remaining cards and deal each player a hand of three cards. Place the rest of the deck facedown to the side to form the draw pile.

2) Organize the Pyramids:

  • Assign each translucent color to a different suit. Take all three trios of each translucent color and place them on the corresponding Ace (or the Joker as the case may be). Throughout the game, all pyramids of a given color are considered to match the suit of the Ace (or Joker) they are stacked on.
  • Arrange the stacks of pyramids to the side of the playing area and within easy reach of all players.
  • Evenly distribute the opaque pyramids among the players. These pyramids are considered “wild” and may be used to extend or connect groups of the same colored pyramids. Place any extra opaque pyramids temporarily to the side.

3) Deal Goal Cards:

  • Separate the Twin Win cards into two stacks, one with the “Nest” goals cards and the other with the “Tree” cards.
  • Shuffle each stack separately and deal each player one goal card of each type. Players may look at their goal cards but should keep them secret from everyone else.
  • Place any remaining Twin Win cards to the side without looking at them. They will not be used.

4) Prepare the Score Sheet:

  • On the sheet of paper, make one column for each player as well as one column for each translucent color used in the game.

Understanding the Goal Cards

The Twin Win cards determine which colors each player will scores points for at the end of the game. Each player should have a “Nest” and a “Tree” card. The Nest card indicates which color of horizontal groups the player scores points for and the Tree card indicates which color they score for vertical groups. If Twin Win cards are unavailable, slips of paper with the colors and groups written on them may be used instead.

Who Starts

Whoever has most recently been to the top of a tall building will be the starting player in the first round. If there is some uncertainty, then whoever has been on the highest floor in the previous week will go first instead.

Give the first player the “Start” token. Beginning with the last player, distribute any leftover opaque pyramids to the other players.

HOW TO PLAY

The game is played in a series of three rounds followed by a partial fourth round and then final scoring. In each of the three main rounds, one new level of the tower will be built. The floor of each level is first constructed using cards from the players’ hands. Then pyramids are placed at the corners and intersections to score points as well as support the floor of the level above. Not all pyramids of a given size will be used to construct the tower. The fourth and final round will be used to construct a “roof” on the tower and add a few optional “antennas” from the leftover pyramids.

Each round has three distinct phases:

  1. Laying the Floor
  2. Placing Support Pyramids
  3. Scoring Horizontal Groups (first three rounds only)


(1) Laying the Floor

Beginning with the player who currently has the “Start” token, players take turns adding one card from their hand to construct the floor of the current level. In a 2 or 3 player game, the floor of each level is composed of six cards in a 2x3 grid. In a 4 or 5 player game, the floor of each level will be composed of nine cards in a 3x3 grid.

NOTES ON CARD PLACEMENT

  • Cards should be placed such that their edges overlap by ~1/4 of an inch (0.635 cm). This is important for maintaining structural integrity.
  • Except for the ground level, each floor card will be supported by four pyramids on the level below. You may need to shift pyramids in order to place a card.
  • This is not intended to be a dexterity game. If a card or pyramid falls during any player’s turn, simply return the card or pyramid to its previous location and continue playing. In the case of a serious deconstruction, you may wish to restart the round (use your best judgement).

After placing a card, each player should replenish their hand from the draw pile. The person on that player’s left may then take their turn. Once the floor is complete, the round moves on the “Support Pyramid” phase.


(2) Placing Support Pyramids

Continuing clockwise with the player to the left of one who added the last card in the previous phase, players now take turns placing pyramids on the current level of the tower. In a 2 or 3 player game, each level will be contain 12 pyramids. In a 4 or 5 player game, each floor with have 16 pyramids.

PYRAMID PLACEMENT RULES

  • Pyramids should be placed either on top of an intersection where the corners of the floor cards overlap or at one of the four outermost corners of the floor.
  • All pyramids on a given level must be the same size. The first level should be constructed using the large pyramids, the second with mediums, and the third with smalls.

On their turn, a player may place either one of the available translucent pyramids (regardless of color) or one of their personal opaque pyramids, assuming the size is appropriate. A player must place a pyramid on their turn if they can. If they cannot, then the turn passes to the next player until all valid placement locations are occupied by a pyramid.


Placement Scoring

Whenever a player adds a pyramid to the tower, they may potentially score points if its color matches the suit of any of the cards on the floor directly below it. The player scores 1 point for each card with a matching suit that touches the intersection where the pyramid is located (card values do not matter). Therefore a player may score up to 4 points with a single play. A player is not obligated to make a scoring placement if one is available and there is no penalty of placing a pyramid at an intersection with no matching cards.

Opaque pyramids are considered “wild” and score 1 point for each 'different' suit below it. Note: this will be fewer points than the number of cards if some of the cards share the same suit.


(3) Scoring Horizontal Groups

Once all of the pyramids have been placed on the given level, immediately proceed to scoring all horizontal groups.

For each orthogonally connected group of 2 or more pyramids of the same color, add 2 times the number of pyramids to the score 'of that color'. Opaque pyramids are wild and can be used to extend or connect all adjacent groups of same-colored pyramids as long as the final group has a total of 3 or more pyramids. In other words, a single colored pyramid does not form a group with a single black pyramid.

The total score for each color should be open information and available for reference throughout the game. However, which player (if any) will end up receiving those points should remain a secret until the end of the game.

Once the scores have been tallied for each color, pass the “Start” token to the left and begin the next round.


Final Round

After the three main levels of the tower have been constructed, there will be 2 or 3 pyramids of each size remaining. One final, partial round is then played to add a roof to the tower.

  • Roof cards are placed according to the same method as floor cards. If the draw deck runs out, just continue playing with the cards remaining in the players’ hands.
  • In the second phase, each player has the option to place one pyramid on top of the tower as an “antenna”. Antenna pyramids may be of any size and score points for matching card suits as usual. A player may pass and choose not to add an antenna pyramid to the roof.
  • Skip the last phase (scoring horizontal groups).

HOW TO WIN

Once the fourth and final round is complete, players simultaneously reveal their goal cards and claim the points there are rightfully theirs. The player with the most total points wins!

End of Game Scoring

  • Claim Horizontal Points: First, all players reveal their nest (i.e. horizontal) goal cards and add the corresponding color’s score to their personal total.
  • Vertical Scoring: Next players reveal their tree (vertical) goal cards and score 6 additional points for each vertical column of 3 or more pyramids in their goal color. Wilds may be used. Note: only straight vertical connections are considered (horizontal connections are ignored).
  • Bonus Points: Finally, players score 2 bonus points for each of their opaque pyramids they did not play.

Tower Showdown

If there is a tie, players may either share the victory or, optionally, participate in a “Tower Showdown”.

  • Disassemble the tower and give each of the tied players 7 cards and 2 trios of any color (18 pyramids total).
  • On the count of three, the players race to construct towers consisting of 6 levels with one card and three pyramids on each level.
  • Pyramids must be placed standing upright, but otherwise there is no restrictions on where on the card they are placed or in which order the sizes are used.
  • First player to place the roof (i.e. 7th) card on their tower wins the showdown as well as the game!