What is Feline Frenzy?

rjcurrie Feline Frenzy

<i>Feline Frenzy</i> is a game that I came up with about a month ago. I haven’t got a chance to really play it yet, so I don’t know whether or not it works at all.

The basic premise is that each player plays a cat that moves around a hex map trying to catch mice and avoid a pair of annoying twin girls that want to hug and squeeze and maul the poor cats. On each player’s turn, they play a card that describes a two hex movement to move a mouse or one of the twin girls. They then get to move their cat.  Do you use your cards to move a mouse away from another cat?  Move a twin towards another cat?  Or simply move a mouse towards your cat.

However, if you’d like to give it a try, I do have a print & play prototype of it.  In addition to the map and cards provided in the Feline Frenzy archive, you’ll need up to 6 cat pieces, up to 7 mouse pieces, and 2 pieces to represent the twin girls.  If you give it a try, let me know what you think.

Note: The print and play version that was attached here is no longer available. It was a very old version. Future posts should clarify the current state of this game.

I’ve Finally Created a Supply Sergeant Prototype

rjcurrie Supply Sergeant

I have been thinking about Supply Sergeant for several months now and have never been satisfied enough to actually create a prototype. That changed a couple of weeks ago when I was discussing the idea with another designer after a game design night at a local board game cafe (The Adventurers Guild in Kitchener). As I started to describe it, he made about trading surplus supplies. I felt so stupid. In my previous thinking about the game, I had been concentrating solely on the idea of trading luxury items to satisfy the demands of a unit’s soldiers. But what if players had to make sure that the basic needs of their camp were taken care of before they could satisfy demands for luxury?  This gave me enough to want to finally create a prototype.

Having just decided to attend Protospiel Minnesota (January 29-31, 2016), I wanted to have the prototype ready to playtest there. So after some thought, I decided on a game with four necessities (Fuel, Equipment, Rations, and Clothing) and five luxuries (Scotch, Cigars, Comic Books, Candy, and Fresh Meat). The deck would also contain demand cards (for example, “Colonel Joyner wants Scotch”) and some SNAFU cards (random negative events like “Rats in Supply Tent”).  The premise would be that the army was doing a bad job of getting the right supplies to the right camp, so each turn, each player would receive a number of cards representing the latest supply delivery. They would then have to trade with each other and the Black Market to obtain a complete set of the four necessities and try to satisfy any demand cards that were also in their hands. The trading mechanism was loosely based on the trading rules from Avalon Hill’s  — you needed to trade at least three cards and must be truthful about the first two cards you mention — including the ability to trade SNAFU cards to other players.

I finished the prototype on the Thursday night before flying out to Minneapolis on Friday morning for Protospiel. To make a long story short, I did manage to get the game to the table during the weekend and while I think the basics of the game worked, there were clearly changes needed.  So, in short, after I came home from Minnesota, I created a new version of the prototype.  Changes in the new prototype include:

  • No trading of SNAFU cards and an overall simplification of trading rules. Players liked the trading, but they didn’t like trading SNAFU cards and preferred being able to trade any number of cards.
  • More luxuries — there are now seven luxuries (Scotch, Cigars, Wine, Paperbacks, Beer, Comic Books, and Candy). Players can now also satisfy a demand with a single card and the points for satisfying with multiple cards have been increased.
  • Demand cards were made a separate deck and more demands were added. Players would now also have two demand cards at all times that they could try to satisfy. The demands cards would be kept face down in front of the player. This not only ensures that all players have regular demands to try and satisfy but it ensures that players would get only supply (luxury and necessity) cards from the supply deck.
  • At the suggestion of one of my playtesters, players can now turn in multiple sets of necessities for more points. This gives players another way to score rather than just satisfying demand cards.

The game still needs work, but I’m pretty happy with it and so I’m going to make a print and play version available here for players to take a look at and give me feedback. In addition to the cards and score tracker included in the PDFs in the supply_sergeant.zip archive, you will also need wooden cubes (or something similar) in different colors (one for each player) as well as a similar marker for the turn track.

Note: The print and play version that was attached here is no longer available. It was a very old version. Future posts should clarify the current state of this game.

To Bid or Not To Bid?

rjcurrie Word Nerds

This past weekend I attended Protospiel Minnesota and had a chance to play my game Word Nerds with a game publisher and word game fan. He enjoyed the game but had a couple of interesting suggestions. One suggestion I think I will definitely take and the other I still need to think about.

The first suggestion and one that I plan to implement as soon as possible is the idea that not all cards for a letter need to have the same score. For example, while all cards with the letter A currently score 1 point, there is no reason why some As can’t score 2 or even 3 points.  If a card auction features cards with the same letter but different scores, bidding and choosing can get a lot more interesting.  Getting a 3 point E instead of a 1 point E could make the difference between having winning and losing a trump battle.

The second suggestion, the one I need to think about, is to eliminate bidding altogether. In a non-bidding version of Word Nerds, instead of bidding then selecting letters in order from high bidder to low bidder, players would simply select letters in order starting from the First Player and proceeding clockwise. The First Player card would then rotate clockwise to the next player.  In the Purchase Phase, players would simply have the choice of either drawing a letter card or an action card. While I admit that this would create a faster game, bidding for cards is the idea around which Word Nerds has been developed and I am not sure that I want to discard it. I suspect the only way I’ll be able to tell is to actually test it out.

Word Nerds featured on The Nerd Nighters YouTube show

rjcurrie Word Nerds

Well, not really.  But a copy of the game was in plain sight beside co-host J.R. Honeycutt throughout the January 13, 2016 episode. J.R. had the game out because just the night before he had run  a blind playtest of the game for me. Thanks J.R.


My Word Nerds Prototypes

rjcurrie Word Nerds

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I have entered the blind playtesting phase of development on my game Word Nerds. To aid in this endeavor, I had a few physical prototypes manufactured by Print & Play Games for selected and I just thought I would share some photos of them with you today.

First, there are the cards: 100 letter cards, 54 action cards, 6 player info cards, and 1 First Player card. Here’s how they turned out:

Picture of Word Nerd cards.

Next are the tokens (0-7) for each of the six players:

Picture of tokens

And because it’s handy to keep your unused tokens face up but out of the sight of your opponents, here are the screens to hide them behind (again, one for each player):

Picture of screens.

Scoring in Word Nerds is tracked on the Score Tracker so everybody can easily see where they currently stand. Here’s the one from the prototype:

Picture of Score Tracker

Next up is the rulebook.  Below is a picture of the book and you can find a PDF version here.

Word Nerds rulebook


And finally, there’s the box:

Word Nerds box

Overall, I think it turned out pretty well.