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Treasure Hunt

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Imagine this little concoction to be like a colossal multiplayer mancala game played on a 10-by-10 (or thereabouts) board representing a piratical island upon which treasure has been discovered... little gems, scattered across the sand and palm trees like so many crystal coconuts. In the end you want your treasure chest to have the most gems (gems = good :P) and we play until the island is devoid of gems (at which point they all reside in the chests and the winner, well, wins ;D).

So we'll divide up the island into territories of sorts depending on how many people want to play in the first round. If you don't know how mancala works (or this variation for this game, seeing as there are all kinds of evolutions of the ruleset), in this game you pick up a pile of gems from within your territory, except you are not restricted to a single direction of travel like in normal mancala (usually counterclockwise if looking at it from above), you may pick any of the four orthogonal directions (we could even go for the four diagonal directions too, I mean this is pretty flexible, I don't know how it will work out haha) and go in that direction until you run out of gems. If you place the last gem in an empty space, you stop there. But if you place the last gem in a populated space (with more gems), you pick all those up and keep going (in the same direction? or would we allow to fork into a different direction at that point? these details can be ironed down after playtesting I'm sure), and you can just keep going and going as long as you can. Whenever you go past your own chest, you drop a gem in as if it was a space, but you skip over everyone else's chests. If you drop the very last gem of your turn into your chest, you get to go again.

Originally mancala is populated with 3 gems in every spot although that may be too numerous here. It could be a checkerboarded pattern (so split into two mutually separate sets connected only by diagonals), with one diagonal set being empty spots and the other diagonal set having some gems in them.

The other thing still up in the air would be the placement of the chests. I was thinking actually if it was 9-by-9 and we had something like this, where O is a normal space and X is a chest:


OOOOOOOOO

OOOOOOOOO

OOOOOOOOO

OOOXXXOOO

OOOXOXOOO

OOOXXXOOO

OOOOOOOOO

OOOOOOOOO

OOOOOOOOO

And then you wrap around, so when you get to the top, you go back to the same column but at the bottom, etc. Also I'd imagine that gem pile in the middle would start off with a ton of gems or something, but it wouldn't be part of anyone's territory and thus could only be picked up as a result of being dropped onto.

Well whaddyall think? As you can see it's not a set-in-stone plan or something but I think it could be interesting :thumbsup:

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Posted · Report post

That sounds really cool, but difficult to do online...as a boardgame, though, it'd be awesome

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Yes we had some board games rockin' last night and something that struck me was the annoyingness of the two-playered-ness of mancala. The thing with this is that it doesn't necessarily have to be in rigid turn order, it could be more dynamic than that. I don't think it should be totally random and anyone can go whenever but it can definitely be more loose than normal rules and more agile/suited for a forum structure

edit: well anyway, if whoever's interested, let me know and we can get this ball rolling if it so happens: :ph34r::D

(1) unreality

(....) lol

Edited by unreality
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Posted · Report post

this could be cool!

so when your getting rid of the gems, can you change direction while your doing it? and is the goal to get out as soon as you can, or to go for as long as you can?

sorry for the qs. :P

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Posted · Report post

Lol let it take a couple weeks so I can get done with my trip and I'm down to try it.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Okay. We might've already been through 1 round at that point, or not if people are being safe and non-adventurous with their forum games :P

this could be cool!

so when your getting rid of the gems, can you change direction while your doing it? and is the goal to get out as soon as you can, or to go for as long as you can?

sorry for the qs. :P

It's fine!

(1) you can't change your direction in the middle of dropping stones; once you pick a direction, you go along that line, dropping 1 gem at a time and advancing one space in that direction (wrapping around the board if necessary). In addition to orthogonal and diagonal paths we could have some special paths like a spiral curving from the outside in (and inside out), etc. You can only change your path when you drop the last gem you were carrying into a larger pile and can pick that one up. I think the best way to see would be to play a game (even of regular mancala). I'd be down on MM LC or something

(2) the goal is to have more gems in your chest than the other player(s) at the end of the game (which is when all gems are in chests, none on the board)

Edited by unreality
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Posted · Report post

Okay. We might've already been through 1 round at that point, or not if people are being safe and non-adventurous with their forum games :P

It's fine!

(1) you can't change your direction in the middle of dropping stones; once you pick a direction, you go along that line, dropping 1 gem at a time and advancing one space in that direction (wrapping around the board if necessary). In addition to orthogonal and diagonal paths we could have some special paths like a spiral curving from the outside in (and inside out), etc. You can only change your path when you drop the last gem you were carrying into a larger pile and can pick that one up. I think the best way to see would be to play a game (even of regular mancala). I'd be down on MM LC or something

(2) the goal is to have more gems in your chest than the other player(s) at the end of the game (which is when all gems are in chests, none on the board)

Ahh, so we'll have them assigned...then do we skip others' chests?

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Posted · Report post

wait = so what ahppens when you reach the end of the board? can you decide which way to go?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Ahh, so we'll have them assigned...then do we skip others' chests?

Yep one chest is your chest; you drop a gem into it as you go past it as if it were any other square; however if you encounter an opponent's chest, you skip over it as if there was nothing there.

If your last piece of the turn ends up dropping into your chest, you get to go again (i.e. pick up any other pile on the board and keep it going). You can never pick up gems out of your chest (or anyone's for that matter).

wait = so what ahppens when you reach the end of the board? can you decide which way to go?

Well the idea of having it "wrap around" pacman-style would be that as you go "off the top" you come back around "up into the bottom" in the same column, with similar scenarios for horizontal (or even diagonal) travel. An alternate way of handling the borders (since normal mancala isn't fundamentally 2d and doesn't have this issue) would be that when you hit an end, you can choose to rotate left or right 90 degrees and keep going in that direction. That might even work better actually.

I'm thinking we could restrict it to horizontal/vertical movement the first game (no diagonal) and have that wall-bounce rule. Maybe an additional thing later on could be a special spiral path you could also choose to use as your direction (instead of L/R/U/D) that starts from the outside and spirals to the center (or vice versa).

Here's a different option (hex-style) for 6 players that I just drew up:

post-733-010906800 1307317856.png

edit ~ to clarify, I put a compass in the middle for fun, but that would be the "un-possessed space" with tons of gems, under nobody's territory (and you can only pick up to start with piles from your own territory so the only way to pick that one up would be to land on it with your last gem (since when you do that onto a pile, you pick it up and keep going no matter whose territory it is). The six black rectangles arranged around that space would be the chests for the 6 players, and it's easy to see how the other spaces would be divided into 6 territories like slices. Or it could even be a more complex division, or entirely random. Then there are 6 ways to move each turn instead of 4

Edited by unreality
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Posted · Report post

I like that hex version.

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Posted · Report post

I like that hex version.

agreed

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Posted · Report post

then it seems we need some more players! :blush:

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Posted · Report post

One last question (maybe I missed)

In Mancala you have a side that you can (must) pick from. Will there be any such restrictions?

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One last question (maybe I missed)

you did but no biggie :)

In Mancala you have a side that you can (must) pick from. Will there be any such restrictions?

Yep, the territories. The island is divided into slices or somehow elsewise split equally (with the chests and the special center spot, outside of everyone's territories)

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Posted · Report post

so........... signup! :)

(1) unreality

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

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Posted · Report post

Add me please

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(1) unreality

(2) shadow7

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

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(1) unreality

(2) shadow7

(3) peace!

(4)

(5)

(6)

I warn - i will probably be horrable at first! :P

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(1) unreality

(2) shadow7

(3) peace!

(4) maurice

(5)

(6)

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Posted · Report post

Is that it? :dry:

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Posted · Report post

talk it up on MM :shrug:

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Posted · Report post

Yeah :blush: Will do!

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Posted · Report post

I like that hex version.

agreed

I am not really sure about the hex - shaped version.

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Posted · Report post

I am not really sure about the hex - shaped version.

worth a shot eh?

And I think we're stagnating here, we can just play with who we have already amirite? :unsure:

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Posted · Report post

I would have liked to play, but I'm not able to understand the rules. So, I'd prefer to watch.

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