The Fate of Atlantis



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Date02.02.2017
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The Fate of Atlantis


(a card game for 2 – 4 players designed by David Brain)


There were five possible Fates for Atlantis: Quake, Meteor, Volcano, Flood or Plague (Earth, Air, Fire, Water or Death). Scholars and academics have argued for centuries about which it was. But now the ruins of the lost civilisation have been found, and everyone wants to know if their theories were correct…

Game Set-up

Remove the Final Doorway and Final Chamber cards. Shuffle the remaining cards thoroughly. Deal five cards from the deck and shuffle the Final Doorway card into them Put these six cards on the bottom of the Draw deck. Turn the top card of the Draw deck face-up and place it beside the Draw deck. This will form the Evidence stack.

Now deal five cards to each player. Choose a player to start. They will be the first Active player and they draw the top card from the Draw deck (in addition to the normal card draws, to compensate for not being given a card.)

Turn Sequence (each step is followed in order)

1. The Active player draws the top 2 cards of the Draw deck.

If either card is the Final Doorway card, they must reveal it to all players. This card is now removed from the game and the remaining draw deck and Discard pile are collected up. If there are four players, the Evidence stack is also collected up (leaving the current top card to form the basis of the new Evidence stack.) The Final Chamber card is also added to these cards. The cards are then shuffled thoroughly and cut to form a new draw deck. The Active player then draws a replacement card. Note that this means that the Final Chamber could appear anywhere in the second run through the Draw deck.

If either card is the Final Chamber card, they must reveal it to all players and the round ends immediately.

2. The Active player may declare sets of exactly three cards of the same name (e.g. Flood or Death but not a mixture of Fire and Volcano, because although they are both Red Element cards they have different names) and/or extend sets that they or other players have declared by adding singletons by placing these cards face up in front of them. Note that the Active player may not extend other players’ sets with singletons unless they have at least one declared card in front of them at the time.

The Active player may not declare any cards that are invalid according to the top card of the Evidence stack (e.g. they may not declare Fire/Volcano or Death/Plague if the Evidence stack shows Water – see the Element chart.)

A Mysterious Tablet may be declared only as part of an Evidence set (never as a singleton to extend a set.) A player may only use one Mysterious Tablet as part of a set. Once a Mysterious Tablet card is on the table, any other player may steal that card during their turn to use immediately as part of one of their own sets. The Mysterious Tablet is considered to be the element of the set it is currently a part of. A Mysterious Tablet may not be discarded as a result of invalidated evidence (see 3 below.)

3. If they have any cards in hand, the Active player must choose a card from their hand to place on the Evidence stack. Any player with evidence cards in front of them that are invalidated by the new Evidence (see the Element chart and examples) must choose one of these invalidated cards and discard it to the Discard pile (this includes the Active player!)

4. If they have any cards in hand, the Active player must choose a card from their hand and pass it to the next player clockwise, who will be the next Active player.



Scoring

When the Final Chamber card is revealed, each player scores their declared and undeclared cards. Matching cards for scoring are those with the same Element showing – i.e. a Volcano card matches a Fire card and Flood matches Water.

Players with declared cards that match the top card on the Evidence stack score double for each of those cards. Players with declared cards that are not invalidated by the Evidence stack score normal. Players with declared cards that are invalidated by the Evidence stack score the negative value of those cards. If a player has a singleton Mysterious Tablet in front of them (because the rest of the set was discarded), they may score it as being part of the matching Evidence element (i.e. score double its value.) Otherwise it is considered to be the element of the set it is currently a part of.
Cards in hand that do not match the top card of the Evidence stack are discarded. However, cards that do match the Evidence stack score the negative value of those cards. A Mysterious Tablet in hand counts as –20.

Play a number of rounds (three is suggested.) The winner is the player with the highest score at the end of the game.




ELEMENT
chart


fire - volcano



water - flood

air - meteor











death -
plague

earth -
quake


Earth (Quake) disproves Water (Flood) and Air (Meteor) – symbol : jagged lines, colour : Green


Air (Meteor) disproves Fire (Volcano) and Water (Flood) – symbol : comet, colour : White
Fire (Volcano) disproves Death (Plague) and Earth (Quake) – symbol : volcano, colour : Red
Water (Flood) disproves Death (Plague) and Fire (Volcano) - symbol : raindrop, colour : Blue
Death (Plague) disproves Earth (Quake) and Air (Meteor) – symbol : skull, colour : Black

Scoring and play examples:

If FIRE/VOLCANO were the top Evidence card at the end of the round, then Fire/Volcano would score double, Death/Plague and Earth/Quake would score negatively, as would any Fire/Volcano cards held in the players’ hands and not declared, and Water/Floor or Air/Meteor would score normally.

If EARTH/QUAKE were the top Evidence card at the end of the round, then Earth/Quake would score double, Water/Flood and Air/Meteor would score negatively (as would Earth/Quake cards still in hand) and Death/Plague or Fire/Volcano would score normally.

If WATER/FLOOD were the top card on the Evidence stack, then players could not declare Fire/Volcano or Death/Plague sets until a new Evidence card replaced it.

If AIR/METEOR were the top Evidence card, then players could not declare Fire/Volcano or Water/Flood sets until a new element replaced it.

If a DEATH/PLAGUE card was placed onto the Evidence stack, then any players with either Air/Meteor or Earth/Quake evidence cards in front of them must choose one of those cards and discard it. If a player had both, they would only need to discard one card. If they only had a Mysterious Tablet, they need not discard anything.





Designer’s Notes:

Yes, I know it’s based on Atlantis, possibly the most hackneyed lost Civilisation there is, but the system seemed to fit it alright. And yes, it’s basically a Rummy variant but with a slightly different “discard” mechanism (passing cards round) and a restriction on declaring melds. The Final Doorway business is supposed to represent the idea that the explorers have found the Final Chamber, can’t get in just yet but it is only a matter of time, thus serving warning to the players that the game may well end unexpectedly soon (possibly within a single turn or two, depending upon how few discards there have been up to that point…)

Each element comprises two sets of cards numbered 1,2,4,6 and 10. The two Mysterious Tablets are both numbered 10. There are fifty-four cards in total in the set. The art for this prototype version is all Public Domain clip-art (I hope!)

Formally submitted to the “Board Game Designer’s Forum” 2003 Doomed Civilisation competition.



01 March 03
game concept, design and layout by David Brain (aka Scurra)
testing by members of The Games Club – thanks to everyone
comments to: games@davidbrain.co.uk


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