WarpShips

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WarpShips
Designed by Nick Sula
WarpShipsLaunch02.png
A freeform-board spaceship maneuvering game
:Players Players: 2 - 4
:Time Length: unknown
:Complexity Complexity: unknown
Trios per color: 3
Number of colors: 4
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes:
Five-color sets:
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
pyramid die, Starship Captain tin
Setup time: 3 minutes
Playing time:
Strategy depth: Low
Random chance: High
Game mechanics:
Theme: Space
BGG Link: Warpships
Status: Complete (v1.0), Year released: 2018


Overview

Colonial ships move by distorting space-time and reappearing at the outer edge of a warp field. After they move, they fire energy beams that teleport other differently-colored ships far across the galaxy. Your mission: harness these warp energy beams to transport a diverse collection of ships, and be the first to form a complete colony!

Materials

::SML::SML::SML ::SML::SML::SML :Coin
::SML::SML::SML ::SML::SML::SML :PyramidDieML


  • 36 pyramids in 4 colors
  • a Pyramid die
  • a Starship Captain tin or other round object (tuna can, CD, jar lid...)

Premise

You and your opponents move ships around the play area via the “warp” using the Starship Captain tin lid to measure distance and direction of travel. After a ship warps, it fires its teleportation beam at another target ship. You roll the pyramid die to find out if the beam successfully teleports the target ship out of the play area and into your own colony.

Goal

The goal is to be the first to teleport a combination of ships into your colony. The first player to colonize either two monochrome trios of ships or two ships of every color wins the game!

Win Conditions
::SML::SML ::S::L::M::S::L::M::S::M
two monochrome trios two ships of each color

Setup

WarpShipsSetup.png
Place all 12 nested trios, upright, on the table. Mix the 12 nests so the colors are randomly distributed around the table, and spread them out widely enough so you can easily fit the lid of the Starship Captain tin between any and all pairs of the upright nests (place them all about 4”-5” apart from each other). These nested pyramids are trios of ships ready to launch. The one who was most recently transported is the starting player. That player takes the first turn, choosing any one of the trios and launching its topmost ship.

Gameplay

Each turn, you perform the following steps: 1. Choose any ship on the table, either the topmost ship of an upright nest, or a ship that is already flying (lying flat). 2. Move the ship: either Launch it (if upright) or Fly it (if flat). 3. If the ship ends its move pointing at a valid target ship, roll the Pyramid Die to determine if its teleport beam successfully colonizes that ship. The game ends as soon as someone teleports enough ships to complete their colony.

1. Choose a Ship to Move Select a ship to act as your active firing ship. This is the ship you will move. The idea is to aim it at a target ship in an attempt to teleport that target ship into your colony. You may choose any ship on the table as your active ship; the ships are shared among all the players.

2. Move the Ship To move your chosen ship, you use the tin lid (the “warp”) to determine the distance and direction your ship can move. How you place the warp and move your ship depends on whether your chosen ship is upright or flat.

Launch

If your chosen ship is upright, you Launch the ship: Lay the warp flat on the table, flush against any of the four edges on the base of the upright ship you wish to launch. Lift the topmost ship from its nest, then, without moving the warp, place the ship lying flat on the table, with its tail edge flush anywhere against the perimeter of the warp.

Launching
WarpShipsLaunch01.png WarpShipsLaunch02.png
Before After
Fly

If your chosen ship is flat, you Fly the ship: Lay the warp flat on the table, so that only the nose of your chosen ship is touching anywhere along the perimeter of the warp. Then pick up the ship and, without moving the warp, place the ship lying flat on the table, with its tail edge flush anywhere against the perimeter of the warp.

Flying
WarpShipsFly01.png WarpShipsFly02.png
Before After

Whether launching or flying, a ship can only move if there is enough clear space in front of it to position the warp field. That is, the tin lid placed up against the edge of an upright ship or the nose of a flying ship must be able to lie flat on the table without touching or moving any other ships. If the warp is not able to fit on the table where you wanted it, you may use a different base edge of your chosen upright ship (to launch in a different direction), or choose a different ship altogether. Similarly, the ship you move can only be placed where there is room for it to lie flat without touching or moving any other ships.

3. Fire the Teleport Beam After you move a ship, the ship you moved fires a warp energy beam. If it is pointing at a valid target, you roll to see if the ship is teleported away to your colony.

Check for a valid target: Trace an imaginary line from the nose of your moved ship, and find the first ship it intersects. A ship can only fire at the first target in its line of sight (you cannot fire at a ship that is behind another ship). A target ship may be upright or flying. If the target is an upright nest, the target ship is the topmost ship of the nest. Important: For a ship to be a valid target, it must be a different color than the active ship. A ship will never fire at another ship of the same color.

If the ship you moved is not pointing at a valid target, your turn is over. Otherwise, roll the Pyramid Die to determine whether the teleport beam successfully teleports the target ship.

If the die result includes the size of the target ship, the teleport is successful! For example, if you are firing at a large ship, the teleport is successful if you roll a single large, a large and medium, or a large and small. All other die rolls (that don’t picture a large pyramid) are failures. After a failed teleport attempt, your turn is over. A successful teleport means that you will remove the target ship from the play area and place it into your colony (your own stash of ships). But first, check for a Bonus Teleport and a possible Chain Reaction.

Bonus Teleport A special bonus result can occur if the ship you moved is a different size than the target ship. Anytime the die roll shows the pair of sizes that exactly matches the sizes of the two involved ships, you teleport both the target ship AND the active ship into your colony! For example, if your active ship is large, and it is firing at a small target, you get to teleport both ships if the die roll shows the large and small pair of pyramids. This is the only way the ship you moved this turn can be added to your colony. Because of the chance for a bonus teleport, it is wise to set up situations where the firing ship and the target ship are of different sizes.

Teleportation
WarpShipsDieTarget.png WarpShipsBonusTeleportsamewidth.jpg
The target ship is teleported Both ships are teleported

Chain Reaction Anytime you successfully teleport a flying ship that is itself pointing at another valid target, you get to make a bonus roll: The ship you teleported fires at its own target ship before it leaves the table. Roll the Pyramid Die again, and resolve the teleport beam for the new target ship. If it is successful, you’ll also add that new target to your colony! Then if that target is pointing at another valid target, before you remove the ship, make another bonus roll, and so on. Continue resolving the chain reaction until a failure is rolled, or until the target ship is not pointing at any other valid target. At that point, all target ships whose teleport rolls were successful are teleported into your colony. Remember, a ship may not fire at a ship of its own color. Each ship must obey this rule to continue the chain. After your roll is resolved, along with any chain reactions, your turn is over. The next player picks up the warp and takes a turn, selecting an active ship, moving that ship to point at a new target, and rolling to resolve the teleport beam results.

End of the Game

The game ends as soon as someone teleports enough ships to complete their colony. A player’s colony is complete as soon as it fulfills one of the following conditions:

  • Twin cities: two complete monochrome trios (Small, Medium, Large of the same color). The two trios don’t have to be the same color as each other, but they can be.

OR

  • Diverse community: two ships of every color (2 each, of any size, of Red, Green, Yellow, Blue).
Win Conditions
::SML::SML ::S::L::M::S::L::M::S::M
Twin Cities Diverse Community

Population Divided: A situation may arise in 3 or 4-player games where all players are unable to meet either win condition because opponents have colonized all of each other’s necessary ships. In this rare case, the game ends as soon as someone notices that this has occurred, and all players agree to end the game. The winner is the player who has colonized the greatest number of ships, regardless of color or size.

Designer Notes

This game was created out of a desire to have another game to play using only the contents of a Starship Captain Tin (and as it turned out, also using the tin itself!). This storage tin is described in the Pyramid Arcade rulebook (“Starship Captains”, p11), and is a four-inch round metal tin, found at the Container Store (Item #10054293, “8 oz. Shallow Seamless Tin”). The tin holds 36 pyramids (suitable for playing the game Homeworlds) and a die, which in my own tin, is the Pyramid Die.