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We had some issues when it came to “any subject matter not covered in the rules is open to interpretation”, actually resulting in physical violence.  So a new rule has been instated: you cannot steal cards from other players and you cannot take more than one card from the deck at a time and you can only draw cards, trade, or fight on your turn.  Other than these simple changes, I really like the “subterfuge rule” as we’re calling it.  It really highlights the chaotic battlefield that is international (and interpersonal) relations.

Other than these changes, I feel the card game is pretty solid.  There had been some rumblings of multi-front fighting.  However, I believe this would be a development for future changes.  Overall fun, crazy, and powerful game.  I’m quite happy with how it turned out.



  1. Kyle,

    I agree that you’ve created a really powerful game here.

    Maybe you can consider changing the artwork on the cards to help add color to the game. Maybe your ‘weapons of mass destruction’ were actually left in the card box. In reality, nobody has them and you’re the only one holding the weapons.

    Your rules should be made a bit more clear on these factors:

    1. How long does a war last? (Can a player continue attacking, and does the winner get the cards at the end of each round or at the end of the war?)
    2. How many cards does the loser have to turn over to his opponent?
    3. War escalation – can other players get involved (say if you don’t want the opponent to get that set)
    4. What is the response for performing a false trade? Are false trades allowed?
    5. Do players have to get rid of all the cards in their set, or only trade the specified number of cards?

    Player interaction in this game is very powerful. This should be the most important lesson you get out of the game. I suggest you show this game to a different group in the class. Observe how the players interact, particularly how player interactions form. This is a very important element to game design, being able to get players to interact with each other in friendly, if competitive, ways.

    I would also ask players what strategies they used. When I played, I chose to give up some of my sets of two cards because I knew that other players would fight over them.

    The second is hiding the card in the box. I think this should be an explicit rule – that there is one or two resources that don’t actually exist. This is truly an element of ‘thinking outside the box’ that I don’t believe we would have discovered if we hadn’t been thinking about game design and rhetorics and this hadn’t happened by accident. As a result, always think of ways in which you might intentionally break the system and the kinds of interactions that might result from that.

    So: Write out a specific set of rules for this game and print them out! We should test this out with a different group of players.

    -Devin Monnens

    • Drew
    • Posted May 11, 2009 at 16:06
    • Permalink

    i actually really liked this game. I enjoyed the “open-endedness” of it. It gave the players many opportunities to be creative. It sucks that some people have to ruin it, by resulting to violence or what have you. There will always be people like that though, so some rules or guidelines can improve it.

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