Extreme Parcheesi

I started thinking about this project when my 3 1/2 year old son (not quite ready for structured boardgames) insisted on a family game of Parcheesi. Now just a little background info...my son is extremely high energy --even for a 3 year-old. He also has a long standing fascination with dice, and so to preserve dad's dice collection I have gotten my son his own dice pouch with his own collection of polyhedrals (big ones, so not a choking hazard).

With my son's current attention span, any game that we attempt lasts for maybe 2 or 3 turns, after which it quickly degenerates into bouts of: a) dice being thrown to intentionally knock over pawns; b) pawns being picked up stuffed into my son's pants pockets; or c) my son grabbing and rolling any polyhedral dice that strike his fancy rather than the dice that come with the game. It was in this degenerative phase of our family Parcheesi game that it occurred to me that this entropy could be harnessed for cause of Good. And so I started considering how one might mod Parcheesi into what (for the moment) I am calling "Extreme Parcheesi". Here is what I have so far.

1. Dice: Each turn one player is designated the "leader", and the role of leader rotates clockwise each turn. (Use a special unique token, marker, banner, funny hat, or viking hemlet to designate who is the current leader.) At the start of each turn, the leader decides what type of dice will be rolled that turn for movement (any two dice as a combination of d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, or d20 --no "tens" d10s marked "10", "20", etc are allowed). All standard Parcheesi die rolling conventions apply. So if you have entered all of your pawns and you want to minimize your opponents' chances of entering their pawns, declare 2d20 when you are leader and your opponents have much lower odds of rolling a 5.

2. Blocking spaces: This standard Parcheesi rule --that you can block a space by positioning two of your own pawns on it-- is removed and replaced with Combat rules (below)

3. Stacking limits: There is now no limit to the number of your pawns that may occupy a space, and no limit to the number of different players that may occupy a space.

4. Combat: Whenever you land a pawn on a space containing one or more opponent pawns, combat is initiated. Every player with one or more pawns on the contested space rolls one d20 for every pawn they have on the space. The attacker --the player that most recently entered the space-- gets one bonus d20 to roll. The player who has the high roll (that is, the single d20 showing the highest result) gets to send one opponent pawn of the winner's choice back to its starting space. If combat is between only two players and the high roll is tied, the defender automatically wins. If >2 players occupy the space and the high roll is a tie, then there is a roll-off to determine the winner. NOTES: Combat ALWAYS uses d20s regardless of what die combination the leader has declared for the current turn. Combat lasts only one round, not until all opponent pawns are eliminated. If pawns of >1 player occupy the same space at the beginning of any player's turn, no combat ensues unless a new pawn enters the shared space.

5. Species enemy (optional). Each player has a "natural enemy", and he/she will always get an extra bonus die (d20) to roll in combat when that natural enemy occupies the contested space. This option is more intuitive when you are playing the 2001 Milton Bradley  release that uses animal miniatures as pawns. If you are playing with a traditional Parcheesi set, then refer to the colors in parentheses.

Tiger (red) gets a bonus against Water Buffalo (green)
Water Buffalo (green) gets a bonus against Camel (yellow)
Camel (yellow) gets a bonus against Elephant (blue)
Elephant (blue) gets a bonus against Tiger (red)

If you are using a set with colors different than the ones I list here, just come up with a combination that all players can agree on.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm EST

Show #2.5 Session Report: Legions of Steel

NOTE: To download, right-click on the "POD" icon above, and choose "Save Target As..." Select a download location on your computer, and save. After saving, play the file from your downloaded copy.

As I note in the show's audio intro, Mark and I realized after-the-fact that for a short portion of the show we were talking about our tactics while looking at a map of the gameboard, and therefore it is a little difficult for the listener (who does not have the map) to know what we are talking about. As a fix, we posted an annotated photo of the game board to the Gameopolis Flickr Page (entitled Show 02_5 pic 04), to help guide the listener through our discussion. Thanks for listening! -Jeff

In this Session Report. We talk about a play session of Global Games Company's scifi combat boardgame Legions of Steel.

00:00 prelude
01:05 start of show 2.5
02:41 listener feedback
07:29 Session Report
24:47 Closing comments, Gameopolis Twitter accounts

Related links:
Mark's Twitter Acct
Jeff's Twitter Acct
Legions of Steel on Boardgamegeek.com

Stay tuned for Show #3, coming soon!

Direct download: Gameopolis_02_5.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:46pm EST

Show #2: Warrior Knights and Legions of Steel

NOTE: To download, right-click on the "POD" icon above, and choose "Save Target As..."  Select a download location on your computer, and save.  After saving, play the file from your downloaded copy.

We start this show off opening up a dusty old game box...we're not going to tell you what it is...listen to the show.

After that, in Mark's segment, Mark covers the original (1985) release of Warrior Knights, a medieval combat/political.  He covers all of the main game mechanics and strategies.

Then we zip forward in time to the distant ( or not-so-distant) future, for Jeff's segment on Legions of Steel, an out-of-print Sci-Fi tactical combat game.  We've put up a few pictures on the Gameopolis Flickr Page, so check them out!

0:00 Intro
1:54 Dusty Old Box-o-Somethin'
5:51 Warrior Knights
32:16 Legions of Steel

Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to write in or post comments.  We hope you enjoy this show.

Direct download: Gameopolis_02.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40pm EST