The Unnamed Game

Release Date: 
Thursday, February 15, 2007
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PDF icon unnamed game cards.pdf30.82 KB
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (experienced): 

by Jonathan Leistiko

Goal

Gather resources to purchase FX to help your workers create Constructs. The player with the most Constructs at the end of the game wins.

You Need

A Special Powers deck.
An FX deck.
A Creation Tracker.
A Poker deck (jokers removed). This is the Resource Deck.
About 5 six-sided dice per player. These dice are Workers.
A unique pawn for each player.
A totem.
About 30 tokens (loose change works well).

You can get the Special Powers deck, FX deck, and Creation tracker here.

Set Up

Shuffle each deck separately. Set them face-down where everyone can reach them.
Claim a pawn and two dice for yourself. Put your pawn at the start of the Creation tracker (at the edge near “1”).
Pick a player to deal the first hand.

Play

This game is played in three phases: Resource, Trading, and Creation. During the resource game, you’re playing a simple trick-taking game to gather cards. The cards are resources. Your goal is to gather homogenous clusters of suits or ranks. During the trading game, you can purchase special FX with your resources. During creation, you can purchase actions with your resources to hire workers and attempt to build Creations.

The Resource game

  • Deal a Special Power card to each player. Put your Special Power face-up so everyone can see it.
  • The dealer deals the deck out evenly to all the players. Extra cards go face-down to the side, starting the discard pile.
  • The resource game is played in tricks. The player to the left of the dealer begins the first trick of the game by playing a card from his or her hand face-up on the table. Starting with the player to the first player’s left, and proceeding clockwise, each player must play a card from his or her hand on the trick until all players have played one card.
  • When you play a card on a trick, the card you play must match the suit of the first card played, if you’re able to. If you can’t, you may play any card.
  • The player who played the highest-ranked card trump card takes the trick. If there is not trump on the trick, the player who played the highest ranked card in the suit of the first card played takes the trick. 2s are low and Aces are high. Ties go to the first card played.
  • The suit of the first card to take a trick becomes trump. Trump beats led suit.
  • The winner gets all cards in the trick.
  • The winner starts next trick by playing a card from his or her hand face-up on the table.
  • The resource game ends when all cards are played.
  • When the resource game is over, gather the Special Powers and shuffle them into the Special Powers deck.

 

+ You can put your Special Power in play at any time during a trick if no other Special Power has entered play this trick. Put your Special Power face-up in front of you and let everyone know what it does. Remove any other Special Powers in play.
+ If your Special Power is removed from play, put it on the bottom of the Special Powers deck.
+ If you do not have a Special Power, you can draw a new one when you take a trick. Put it face-up so everyone can see it.

The Trading Game
At the end of the resource game, you’ll have a pile of semi-homogenous cards. Now you get to trade them and purchase FX with them. Trading goes in turns.

Deal out 10 FX cards face-up at the start of the trading game. Sort them into piles by type (in bold print in the upper right corner). Put 5 “price tokens” on top of each pile. Pick a player to go first. Give the totem to that player.

On your Trading turn you can do one of the following:

  • Trade 3 cards for 2, 3, or 4 cards from another player. Trades are face-down.
  • Purchase one FX. You must discard a homogenous (in suit or rank) set of as many cards as there are price tokens on the FX card you want to purchase. After you purchase that FX, add a price token to its pile (if any are left).

 

Each trading round starts with the player with the Totem and ends when it gets back to that player. At the end of a round, the totem moves one player to the right and the FX prices adjust. Remove a price token from each FX that was not purchased during that round.

Trading ends when a round passes where no trades occur and one or fewer players make purchases. Remove any un-purchased FX and all counters from the playing area.

The Creation Game
Now you have FX (and possibly some left over resources). It’s time to build stuff.

You get one action token.
Cash in all leftover resource cards you have. You get additional action tokens as follows:

cards tokens
1 1
3 2
6 3
10 4
15 5
21 6
28 7
36 8
45 9

Starting with the player with the totem, each player may spend an action token or pass. If all players pass when play gets back to the totem, the Creation round ends. If the round does not end, the totem passes one player to the right and play continues normally.

You may play one FX card at any time during your turn. Played FX cards resolve, then go to the FX deck.

When you spend an action token, you can do one of the following:

  • Attempt a creation. Roll 11 or better on your Worker dice; you can split your Workers into seperate teams before you roll if you want to (Each team rolls and sums up independently.). Advance your pawn one step on the Creation tracker for each 11+ you roll. Tell the other players what your workers made.
  • Gain a die. Tell the other players what your new worker specializes in.

 

The game ends if any player has five or more creations at the end of a Creation round.

Winning

If you have the most Creations at the end of the game, you win.

Variants

With Great Power Comes… Taxation? – If you have not used your Special Power by the end of the Resource game, you must give three resource cards to one other player.

Get On With It – Instead of playing the resource game (round one), just shuffle and distribute the resource cards evenly among the players.

Vendors – Divide a standard piece of paper into four equal sections. Label the sections spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds. Each section is a Vendor. At the start of round 2, do not sort the FX cards by type. Instead, deal out four face-down piles, each containing three FX cards. Put one pile in each Vendor. Turn the top card of each pile face-up and put 5 price tokens on it. A vendor only accepts resources of the suit it is labeled with. When the top card of a pile is purchased, turn the next card face-up.

Origin and Credits

While driving in the car today (August 22, 2006), I was struck with an urge to make a game where each player had a special power, but that power was not in effect at the start. Furthermore, I wanted to have a disincentive for players to use their special power, and an equally strong incentive to use it. I also wanted to make a game where basic market pressures encouraged players to purchase powers with resources. This game attempts to fuse these two mechanics into one whole. I hope to test it tonight at Monday Night Games Night.

Thanks to Ben G. for discussing game ideas with me.

Thanks to J.P. R. and Frank S. for play testing.

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