Super Death Ray

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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.

Super Death Ray
User:MansterSoft
Image coming soon...
:Players Players: 2 - 3
:Time Length: Long?
:Complexity Complexity: High
Trios per color: 5
Number of colors: 5
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 5
Five-color sets:
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
Turn Token, 5 White Volcano Caps (for 3-Player Games)
Setup time: 2 minutes
Playing time: 30 minute
0.5 Hr
- 2 hours
120.005 Min
Strategy depth: High
Random chance: None
Game mechanics: Color powers, Freeform board
Theme: Space
BGG Link:
Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987


Use Fighter Ships, Thievery, Super Death Rays, and a Clone Army to destroy your Opponent's inter-planetary Empire.

Setup

Stack up the pyramids, sorted by size and color, and place them to the side of the playing area. This is the Bank. Each player chooses a pair of colors and receives five Small pyramids of each color. They can choose warms (Red and Yellow), cools (Blue and Green), or, if a third player is playing, monochromes (Black and White). The playing area is set up using the Medium and Large Black pyramids. The following configurations (with starting bases underlined) are suggested for 2-Player and 3-Player play. Use a Volcano Board to achieve proper spacing.

Sdrsetup.png

Players then place one Small pyramid on top of their Black starting base, and a Red Medium stacked on top of a Red Large anywhere next to their Black. Any remaining pyramids are returned to the bank.

Pyramid Orientation

Pyramids on the field are either upright or sideways...

150px-Upright.jpg 120px-Flat.jpg
  • Planets & Space Station Components are represented by upright Medium/Large pyramids.
  • An Ungrounded Component is a Component stacked on top of another Component.
  • Destroyed Planets and Space Ships are represented by sideways Medium/Large pyramids.
  • Clones are represented by Small pyramids. Occupants are upright; Pilots are sideways.
  • Occupied Planets & Components have at least one Clone (Small pyramid) on top of them.
  • Piloted Ships are represented by a Small pyramid placed inside of a sideways Medium/Large.
  • The Super Death Ray is represented by a Medium Red pyramid stacked on top of a Large Red pyramid.

Gameplay

Taking Your Turn

Move any number of Clones, piloted Ships, and Ungrounded Components.

Space Station Components & Planets

All Components are represented by Upright Medium or Large Pyramids. Components placed on top of Components (Ungrounded) can be freely moved one orthogonal space per turn (conveyor belts are built into the Components). Ungrounded Components cannot operate (with the exception of Yellows) until placed on the ground (Grounded). Clones are able to operate Components by sitting on top of them. Clones are incredibly social, so they cannot interact with a Component if more than one clone (or an Ungrounded Component) is occupying it. If a Space Station starts to feel too crowded, Clones may be sacrificed. Components have different properties and abilities based on their color...

BLACK: Denotes a Planet. An occupied Planet can be mined and its minerals can be used to create Components. Newly created Components are placed on top of the Planet (but below the occupant). They can only be destroyed by the Super Death Ray after every other Component surrounding the Planet has been destroyed. Planets cannot be piloted or towed away (See Yellow Ships).

Sdr01.png

RED: A Medium stacked onto a Large creates a Super Death Ray, a weapon capable of wiping out entire Planets. Additional Components are stacked between the two pyramids to charge it (See the "Firing the Super Death Ray" chapter for more information). Non-stacked Red Components are fairly useless.

Sdr02.png

GREEN: Denotes a Cloning Pod. Any Clone occupying a Cloning Pod can duplicate itself. The new Clone is placed on top of the original. The color of the new Clone does not have to match the color of the original. New Clones cannot do anything on the turn they are cloned.

Sdr03.png

YELLOW: When occupied these can be used as a claw-like vehicle. They are placed on top of other Components (including Super Death Ray Pieces but excluding Occupied Components) and can either be used to...

  • Pick up and move the Component around the Space Station one space orthogonally or...
  • Convert into a Cargo Ship with the cargo (the Component it was on top of), already in tow

When Ungrounded and occupied, these Components can not be moved by the Space Station's built-in conveyor belts. The Clone occupying the Yellow has sole control of it.

Sdr04.png

BLUE: Denotes a Defensive Barrier. They are the first to be destroyed by the Super Death Ray, thereby preventing other, more valuable components from getting destroyed.

Sdr05.png

To convert any Space Station Component into a Space Ship...

  1. Place a Clone on top of a Component on the outside of the Space Station
  2. Tip the pyramid over so it is facing away from the Space Station
  3. Put the Clone inside of the now sideways pyramid.

Sdr06.png

Space Ships and Destroyed Planets

All Ships are represented by sideways Medium/Large pyramids and are piloted by one Clone. Ships are moved the length of two pyramids of its size. This is done by taking an unused Black pyramid, and placing its base edge onto the point of the Ship that needs to move. This process is repeated again, except this time by placing the Ship's base edge onto the point of the Black pyramid. A moving Ship may not move more than or less than two of its lengths. Large Ships are marginally faster but marginally easier to zap compared to Mediums.

Sdr07.png

Ships have different properties and abilities based on their color...

BLACK: Denotes a destroyed Planet. These barren Planet cores can be docked, but they cannot be mined, occupied, piloted, destroyed, or towed. Super Death Rays cannot be built on a destroyed planet colony. Clones occupying Components built around a destroyed Planet are not considered in the victory condition (See Losing).

RED: Denotes a Fighter Ship. These Ships can fire Mini Death Rays out of their sides. This is done by placing a Large pyramid on each side of the Ship. If these Large pyramids touch another Ship they are instantly destroyed (Unless it is Blue). Attacking can be done before or after movement.

Sdr08.png

GREEN: Denotes a Passenger Ship. These ships can hold any number of Clones. Stack Clones on top of a Green Component before converting it into a Ship. If all of the Clones do not physically fit in the ship, they can be set aside in a stack. Additional Clones cannot board the ship if it is preparing to blast off (attached to the Space Station but sideways).

Sdr09.png

YELLOW: Denotes a Cargo Ship. These ships are used for towing your own Components from one base to another, or for stealing Components off of an opponent’s base. Transported Components are placed inside of the piloted Ship. Movement is done in the same manner as a non-towing Ship, but instead uses an unused Small Black pyramid regardless of the size of the Ship or its cargo.

New image coming soon...

There are two ways to steal a Component...

  • Dock the Yellow Ship (Run it into a Component, and then set the Yellow Ship upright with the Pilot now occupying it. On the next turn use the Yellow claw Component to jump onto the Component you want to steal, bring it to the outside of the Space Station and convert back into a Cargo Ship with Cargo already in tow (See Yellow Component).
  • Run into the Component you want to steal. It is automatically placed inside of the ship. Any Clones that were sitting on top of the Component are moved to whatever Orthogonal space you choose.

BLUE: Denotes a Defense Ship. These ships cannot be destroyed by Red Fighter Ships. They can act as shields to more valuable Ships, or as a means to safely transport one pilot.


Clones

In addition to piloting Space Ships, interacting with Space Station Components, and moving one space orthogonally, Clones can also engage in hand-to-hand combat and even commandeer an opponent's entire Space Station.

  • In order to fight another Clone, Clones need to travel in at least a stack of two. Victory in Hand-to-hand combat lies in who has the larger stack of Clones. A stack of 5 Clones is stronger than a stack of 4 Clones. If a stack of 5 Clones were to jump on a stack of 4, the 4 Clones would perish. If two opposing stacks are evenly matched, the Clones will refuse to fight and nothing happens.

Sdr11.png

  • Taking control of an opponent's Space Station and Super Death Ray is both challenging and uncommon, but possible. It calls for the total eradication of a Space Station's operating population. For example...
  1. Player A built a Space Station, which houses a Super Death Ray and several Clones.
  2. Player B destroys every single one of their opponent's Clones on the Space Station OR Player A foolishly turns the occupying Clones into Pilots.
  3. Player B (being the only player with Clones on the Station, takes ownership of the Station's Super Death Ray.

In a 3-Player game, a Super Death Ray can become Neutral. In the above example, if both Player B and C were occupying the now Player-A-less Space Station, no one would take control of its Super Death Ray. In addition to Super Death Ray control, the new controller also controls the Space Station's conveyor belts. This allows them to move ungrounded pyramids around the Space Station.


Firing the Super Death Ray

In order for a Super Death Ray to fire, it must be charged. This is done by stacking pyramids in between the Medium Red Pyramid and the Large Red Pyramid. To keep better track of how many pyramids are in the Super Death Ray keep all of the Medium Pyramids in the stack on top of the Large Pyramids. A Super Death Ray must have at least 5 pyramids in between the two Reds before it can fire. A turn must also be taken in order to prepare the weapon for firing. For example, if a player loads their 5th pyramid into the Super Death Ray, they cannot fire it until their next turn. If on their next turn they decide to add a 6th pyramid, they cannot fire the weapon until their next turn.

Sdr12.png

When the Super Death Ray is fired, all of the pyramids in between the two Reds plus the Medium Red are returned to the bank. The player firing the Super Death Ray then removes Components from one of their opponent's Space Stations, less than or equal to the amount of pyramids stacked in their Super Death Ray, and puts them in the bank. If Ungrounded Components or Clones are resting on top of the destroyed Component, of if any Ships are docked onto the destroyed Component, they are also destroyed. Certain Base Components take precedent in getting destroyed.

  • Blue (Defense): Destroyed First
  • Green or Yellow or Red: Destroyed Second
  • Super Death Ray Top + Half of the Stack of Pyramids Rounded Up: Destroyed Third
  • Super Death Ray Bottom + Any Pyramids on top of it: Destroyed Fourth
  • Black: Destroyed Last

When a Planet is destroyed it is not returned to the bank, but is instead turned onto its side. Destroyed Planets cannot be occupied. Other than piece availability, there is no limit to how many Super Death Rays a player can own and operate.

Turn Options and Clarifications

On your turn you may... Move any Ungrounded Component (a Component that is on top of another) one orthogonal space...

  • No more than two Components can be stacked on top of one-another (Unless an occupied Yellow is one of the Components or if the Components are stacked onto a Super Death Ray)
  • If an Ungrounded Component is moved onto a Clone the Clone automatically moves on top of it
  • An Ungrounded Component cannot be moved onto a Yellow Component being occupied by an enemy Clone

Move as many Occupants as you want one orthogonal space and have them perform one action. Clone actions include...

  • Interacting with a Component
  • Converting an occupied grounded Component into a Ship and hopping into it
  • Sacrificing themselves

Move as many piloted Ships as you want two ship lengths and have them perform any action (if possible). Ship actions include...

  • Docking a Ship (By turning it from sideways to upright) after its nose touches a Component or Planet and placing all of the former Ship's occupants on top of the former Ship
  • Attacking another ship with a Red Fighter Ship
  • Hitching up an exterior Space Station Component to a Yellow Cargo Ship

For clarification, you may not...

  • Move a Clone onto a Super Death Ray (If this occurs it is instantly destroyed)
  • Move or clone a newly cloned Clone (It takes a turn for them to wake up.)
  • Move a Clone onto a cloning pod, clone the Clone, and then convert the cloning pod into a passenger ship (This would be a movement followed by two actions).
  • Move a Clone into a Green Passenger Ship that is ready for take off. The Ship must be converted into a Component before any additional Clones can board.
  • Dock a Space Ship and have its occupants hop onto an adjacent Component (This would be a movement (running the Ship into a Component), an action (converting the Ship into a Component), and a movement (moving the Clones onto an adjacent Component).
  • Turn a non-occupied Component into a Ship.

Ending Your Turn

As soon as you pass the Turn Token to your opponent, your turn is over. Flick it onto the playing surface to add extra finality.

Losing

A player loses the game if at any point they have no Clones occupying any Planets or Components orbiting a functioning Planet. Clones that are piloting Space Ships or occupying Components that are docked at a destroyed Planet are not considered as a threat.

Acknowledgements

The method of Ship movement and attacking used in this game was adapted from Dan Isaac's game Armada.

History

This is my first published Pyramid game. Previous to this game, I had sunk many hours into the development of another Pyramid game, which ultimately was no fun in any way or form. I begrudgingly gave up on developing Pyramid games. A few days later I had a dream I was playing a game similar to the one explained here with my two brothers. In the dream we used LEGO blocks instead of Pyramids, but when I awoke I knew it could be adapted. Now that the game is completed I need to teach it to my brothers.