Playable strategy games that can be built at minifigure scale.
About this creation
I while back I was thinking about the kinds of entertainment the crew of the Ember Rayne might play. This reminded me of the the holographic game played by R2D2 and Chewbacca on Star Wars and the 3-d Chess set from Star Trek. Unfortunately, it is impossible to make even a regular chess set in minifigure scale, since even the smallest 8x8 grid would be far too large.
I have therefore created three simple strategy games that can be constructed on the correct scale. These games are functional and playable, though I have not tested them extensively. They may not be well balanced between the two sides (one side may have a significant advantage over the other), but I do not know for sure. I will adjust the game rules as needed.
None of the games have names yet, so I am open to suggestions. I am looking for something simple, like real world chess or checkers.
The first game, shown here about to be played by two manikins, is the most believable on minifigure scale, since it has the smallest "footprint". The board is 1 Row of 4 white squares arranged diagonally flanked on either side by a row of 3 black squares. Players each get three circles of a single color (white or black) and sit on opposite sides of the board, so that three black squares are directly in front of each player. Each player places his pieces to his right, one Circle on the end of each row, so that opposing pieces are directly opposite. Pieces on the Black rows will be one square apart, while those on the white row are two squares apart.
White moves first, and players alternate moving one piece at at a time. As illustrated, circles may move one or two squares horizontally or vertically. They cannot be moved into a square occupied by a friendly piece, and can not "skip over" or "jump over" other pieces. A player captures opposing pieces by moving into the square occupied by that piece. Players may not "pass" their turns, even if it means moving a piece into position to be captured, except in the case of a stalemate, where one player has only one piece left and cannot move it without being captured on the following turn. Play continues until one player achieves victory by capturing all opposing pieces. In the event of a stalemate, the second (black) player is considered the winner.
The second game, shown here built on both minifigure and life sized scales, has the advantage of the most variation in pieces, making it look more like a real life chess set on minifigure scale. The board is a simple 4x4 grid of alternating black and white squares. Each player gets four pieces: two circles, one cone, and one cube. Players sit opposite each other and each places his pieces on his first row as follows: the circles at each corner, the cone in the center white square, and the cube in the center black square. As in the first game (and chess), the white player moves first. Play alternates one move at a time until one player achieves victory by capturing all opposing pieces. There are no stalemates and no "passing": players must move even if this means his piece (even if it is his last) will be in position to be captured.
This second game has more complex rules for movement than the first, as shown by the image. Circles may move one square diagonally. Cones and Cubes may move one square horizontally or vertically. Pieces capture opposing pieces by moving into the occupied square. Normally pieces can not move into a square occupied by a friendly square, with one exception. A circle may move onto an adjacent friendly circle, creating a Stack. Once created, a stack may not be separated; the stack thereafter moves one space in any direction. Finally, if a cube is captured, the capturing piece is also removed from the board. If a cube ever becomes a player's last piece, it is immediately downgraded to a cone.
The last game has more simple rules than the second game, but is played on the same 4x4 grid, allowing pieces more possible positions than the first game. Players sit across from each other so that a white square is in the right corner of the first row. Each player gets two circles and one cone. The cone is placed in the corner white square, with the two circles placed in the adjacent black squares. Like the other games, white moves first and play alternates until one player wins by capturing all opposing pieces. Like game two, there are no stalemates. In this game, as shown in the image, circles move one square horizontally of vertically, and cones move one square in any direction.
A final note: Some people may wish to try playing these games in real life (if only to see how viable they are). If constructing a board out of Lego is not feasible, you can use chess pieces. I suggest the following: Circle = Pawn, Cone = Bishop, Cube = Rook, Stack = Queen.
Thanks for trying these out! Incidentally, the Circles in the second game already can move onto an adjacent Circle to create a Stack: "A circle may move onto an adjacent friendly circle, creating a Stack." I may add a line indicating that this maneuver allows them to move vertically or horizontally to do so, just to clarify.
Other than this, though, did you find them playable. Ultimately, they are mainly to look right as games on the mini-figure scale, but I'd like them to present some interesting play as well.
Okay, I went and tried them out, and I found a flaw in the second game. Because the Circles move diagonally, it is impossible to move them onto the same space. How about making it so that if they move to spaces adjacent to each other, then you put them on top of each other?
Excellent job! Yeah, that has always been a problem for me. Thank for thinking of a solution! As for names: How about for the first one, Snakes (I dunno why), the second one, Square (it just sounded good), and the third one, Catapult (that, too, just sounded good).