Cheater's Game

Cheater's Game banner
Release Date: 
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Cheater's Game board and pieces.282.07 KB
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (experienced): 

by Jonathan Leistiko
inspired by comments from Leif Brown and Sharon Cichelli

Goal

End the game with the most points. Points come in two “flavors”: honest and cheater. Cheater points are easier to acquire, but have risks associated with them.

You Need

About 10 six-sided dice
An honest score track with one score pawn for each player.
A ten-turn tracker with a turn pawn.
A cheater’s score track with five sets of alliance pawns. Each set of alliance pawns has one tracker pawn, one leader pawn, and four member pawns.

Setup

Put the tracks, dice, and alliance pawn sets where everyone can reach them.
Give each player a score pawn. Put your score pawn at zero on the honest score track.
Put the turn pawn at zero on the turn tracker.
Pick a player to go first. Put the turn tracker to the right of the first player.

Play

On your turn, you can roll one die, then advance your honest score marker that far.

Alternately, you can form a cheater’s alliance with one or more other players. Put a cheater’s alliance leader pawn in front of you and a cheater’s alliance member pawn in front of each willing member of the alliance. Put a cheater’s alliance tracker pawn at zero on the cheater’s score track. If you’re the leader of one or more alliances, you roll one die for each member in the alliance. Sum the dice, then move the alliance tracker pawn that far on the cheater’s score track. You get to roll alliance dice on the turn you form an alliance. If there are no free sets of alliance pawns, you can not form an alliance.

If you roll dice and get duplicated results, sum all duplicated dice. This is a bonus pool. Split this pool in two parts and offer one part to another player. If that player accepts the offer, they add the offer to their honest score and you add the part you kept to your honest score. If that player refuses your offer, the bonus points disappear. You may not negotiate with the other player; make one clear offer, then be silent until the other player accepts or refuses. If your offer is accepted, but the other player misunderstood your offer, the offer is neutralized and the bonus points disappear.

If you are in an alliance, roll one die for honest points, and get a 5 or a 6, you can turn your companions in (whistleblow) instead of collecting those points. If you do, add all the points the alliance made to your honest score. The other members of the alliance must subtract the same number from their honest score and must pass their next turn. Return all pawns for that alliance to the pool of pawns.

At the end of your turn, play passes to the left. When play passes over the turn tracker, advance the turn pawn one step. If the turn pawn lands on the space marked “end” (after the space marked “10”), the game ends.

Winning

Add your honest score to your cheater’s score. The player with the highest total score wins. If players are tied, the player with the most honest points wins. If players are still tied, all players with cheater points lose and the remaining player with the highest score wins. If all players are excluded, then all players lose.

Variants:

Win The Race: Instead of ending the game after ten rounds have passed, end the game if any player has more than 100 points at the end of a round. Calculate scores as you normally would.

Origin & Credits

Wrote the game up on Dec 18, 2008. Got the ideas for the game from Sharon and Leif on Dec. 17, 2008.

Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Minimum Age: 
13
Game Type/Context: 
Price: 
$0(USD)