Being developed (in part) for the Tin Ear Game Design contest found here: http://tineargdc.wordpress.com/– though if I’m being completely honest, I anticipate the basic mechanic becoming the core to a more elaborate game I’m thinking about. More on that later. First, I present the…
Roll a set of letter beads. Any that come up as blanks (ie., showing the holes through the bead) are stops and get set aside. Use the remaining letters to attempt to spell your target words.
Materials Required: One 4 by 3 inch tin, one set of letter beads, one list of words (see examples below), and a way to record your score
Goal: Score as many points as possible before you run out of letter blocks.
How to Play:
(1) Roll all of your letter blocks.
(2) Put any blanks you roll in the lid of your tin..
(3) Attempt to complete words from your list. Put any letters that you wish to save for a word in the base of your tin. Once letters have been placed in the base of the tin, they may not be removed until they are scored. You must place at least one additional letter into the base of the tin.
(4) Set the remaining letter blocks next to the tin.
(5) Score the round: If you have (in the base of your tin) all the letters you need for a word on your list, record the score on your pad and set the letters you used next to the tin for the next round. You may also retrieve one blank from the lid of the tin and place it next to the tin for the next round. Individual words may be scored more than once, as long as you have enough letters to create each one separately.
(6) Repeat steps (1) – (5) with the letter beads you have set next to the tin. Leave the blanks in the lid and the letters in the base of the tin. Do NOT re-roll them. If you have no letters left next to the tin, your game is over. Total your score.
I have thoughts on an alternate solitaire version called Pyramid Solitaire which may get filled in here at some point. In short, the Pyramid variant would require you to create the words in order: smallest to largest, but would allow you to retrieve more stops/blanks with each completed word. Scoring would be based on how many words you successfully complete.
Materials Required: Each player needs one 4 by 3 inch tin, one set of letter beads, one list of words (see examples below), and a way to record their score.
Goal: Outscore your opponent.
How to Play:
(1) Players play the solitaire game simultaneously with the exception of the scoring step.
(2) For each word you complete, in addition to scoring as in the solitaire game, you also may remove any beads from the base of your opponent’s tin that show a single letter of your choice from the word you completed. Those letter beads are set beside their tin for their re-roll.
For example, you complete the word “raven”. In addition to scoring 6 points and retrieving one of your blanks, you also choose the letter “e”. Your opponent must pull any beads currently showing an “e” face-up from the base of their tin and place it next to their tin for inclusion in their next roll.
Strategy Note: By playing as quickly as you can, you can out-pace your opponent, but you may miss critical letters necessary for the completion of your words. In addition, you may run out of beads to roll before your opponent, potentially giving them a tactical advantage.
(Length) Word – Value
(3) Roc – 1 pt
(4) Aves – 3 pts
(5) Raven – 6 pts
(6) Raicho – 10 pts
(7) Phoenix – 15 pts
(8) Opopanax – 21 pts
(9) Tytonidae – 28 pts
(10) Cockatrice – 36 pts
(11) Jabberwocky – 45 pts
(Length) Word – Value
(3) Elf – 1 pt
(4) Nick – 3 pts
(5) Santa – 6 pts
(6) Belief – 10 pts
(7) Kringle – 15 pts
(8) Yuletide – 21 pts
(9) Christmas – 28 pts
(10) Poinsettia – 36 pts
(11) Silent Night – 45 pts
As a tease, the more… elaborate… game I am pondering is a story-telling game where player characters are a team of editors operating in the narrativerse, hunting down typos and rogue text, working to repair holes in stories, and in extreme cases, trim entire casts of characters – with prejudice.