A Grand Endeavor, A Stonehenge Building Game by Dustin D. Trammell
After purchasing Stonehenge: An Anthology Board Game and reviewing the many imaginative ways to play that have been published via the Stonehenge Library, I was a bit disappointed to find that there were no rule sets which depicted the actual building of the complete monument. Being a huge fan of Stonehenge myself as well as a game designer, and Stonehenge: An Anthology Board Game seemingly being designed to allow people to create new rule sets, I decided to have a go. I tried to create a game that is overall cooperative but where the competition lies in how one helps complete the common goal. I also tried to involve three different aspects into scoring of the game; the Druidic faction's construction speed, craftsmanship (placement) of the stones, and their political influence. The game incorporates some basic strategy while at the same time has enough random properties to ensure that even a novice can win.
Number of players: 3–5
Object of the game: The object of the game is to work together with the other Druidic factions (Players) to build the complete Stonehenge monument and score the most reputation points while doing so. The game ends and is scored when all lintels, bluestones, and trilithons have been built and no construction sites are left undeveloped.
- The game board.
- 1 colored set of player figure, bars, and disks for each Player.
- 1 neutral colored set of bars and disks.
- All 5 trilithons.
- The deck of cards.
Setup: Each player receives a player figure, bars, and disks of one color. These are hereafter referred to as the Player's Druid, lintels, and bluestones, respectively. If the Stonehenge: Nocturne expansion is used to provide the neutral color bars and disks, up to five players may play using the five colors found on the game board and cards. Players initially receive a number of their color's lintels depending on the number of Players with the remainder being removed from the game. In a three person game, Players receive 8 lintels each. In a four person game, Players receive 6 lintels each. In a five person game, Players receive 5 lintels each. Players always receive all of their color's bluestones, regardless of the number of players. The Druid represents the player's Druidic faction and the pile of their color's lintels and bluestones constitute their materials pile. All of the trilithons should be dismantled into their individual component parts and grouped with the neutral color's lintels, which constitute the community materials pile. The neutral color's disks are used to represent political influence points. The game board should be oriented such that each player has a corner of the board or an area of the table top outside of the board which will serve as the Player's construction yard. Shuffle the deck of cards, deal each Player 3 cards, and place the rest face down in the center of the game board. Turn the top three cards of the deck face-up next to the deck. These face-up cards are referred to as available projects.
Playing the Game
One person is randomly selected to play first. Each round is considered one day, during which each Player has a turn. Each Player plays in turn and change of turn proceeds clockwise around the game board. A Player's turn consists of three phases, the Construction phase, the Draw phase, and the Commit phase. Players work toward completing construction projects until all available project sites have been developed, at which time the game ends and is scored.
If a player has a construction project underway, this phase advances the project by one step for the day. Any one of the following steps will take place, depending on which phase the project is currently in:
- If the player's project card is face down, it turns face up. At this point the player must claim a construction site. See the section entitled "The First Time a Card Faces Up" below for rules about claiming a construction site.
- If the player's project card is face up and the claimed construction site is a numbered space, a lintel is built. The player places one of their lintels from their materials pile onto the outer ring section for the numbered space. This is called constructing a lintel.
- If the player's project card is face up and the claimed construction site is a bluestone space, a bluestone is placed from the player's materials pile onto the project card. This is called carving a bluestone.
- If the player's project card is face up and has a bluestone placed on it the bluestone is moved from the project card to the Player's claimed bluestone space. This is called constructing a bluestone.
- If the player's project card is face up, is a trilithon card, and the Player hasn't collected a complete trilithon, the player receives one piece of a complete trilithon set.
- If the player's project card is face up, is a trilithon card, and the Player has collected a complete trilithon, they place a bluestone from their materials pile atop it's capstone to claim it.
- If the player's project card is face up, is a trilithon card, and the Player has assembled a complete, claimed trilithon, the trilithon is placed upon the Player's claimed trilithon space. This is called constructing a trilithon.
If a lintel, bluestone, or trilithon is constructed during the Player's turn, the space that the corresponding piece is placed on is now considered developed, their project card is removed from the game, and the Player's Druid is removed from the game board.
If a Player must build a lintel but has run out of the corresponding piece in their own materials pile, they must then use a piece from the community materials pile. The first player to do this claims ownership of the neutral color and may count all of the neutral colored pieces on the game board for themselves when scoring. Other Players who must build but have run out of their own materials still must build from the community materials pile. Players cannot claim a bluestone space if they have already built all the bluestone pieces from their materials pile.
If a lintel is constructed upon a numbered space who's color matches that of the Player who constructed the lintel, that Player receives 1 political influence point. These points are represented by the neutral colored disks. See the section "Defamation of Character" below for use of political influence points.
During this phase, the Player draws up to a total of 3 cards. Players keep the cards in their hands secret. A Player can only have a maximum of 3 cards in their possession at any time, including the project card they are committed to; if a Player has more than 3 cards in their possession at any time, they must immediately discard down to 3, placing the discarded cards on the bottom of the deck.
Players may draw cards from any of the three face-up available projects or from the top of the deck. Any available projects claimed by a Player are replaced from the top of the deck at the end of the Draw phase.
Because trilithons are the most prominent and important parts of the monument, if a trilithon project card is face-up as an available project, the next Player to draw must choose to draw the trilithon project card.
This phase takes place if a Player is not currently committed to a construction project. During this phase, the Player must commit to a construction project by either playing a card from their hand onto their construction yard or by stealing another Player's trilithon project. A Player may only be committed to one project at a time. If a Player cannot commit to a construction project during their Commit phase, they are removed from the game until the game is over and scoring takes place.
There are two types of Project Cards; numbered projects and trilithon projects.
If the player is playing a day card, the card is played face down. If the player is playing a night card, the card is played face up. This causes the building of daytime projects to take an extra day to complete, because let's face it, working in the hot sun is a lot harder than working at night.
Trilithon Project cards are the non-numbered cards with a depiction of a trilithon on them. Trilithon cards are always played face up. Each trilithon card has a colored dot on it indicating the color of the trilithon.
Because trilithons are the most prominent and important parts of the monument, if a Player has a trilithon project card in their hand during this phase they must immediately commit to it.
If a Player is committed to a trilithon project and has not yet claimed the trilithon by placing one of their bluestones upon it's capstone, any other player may take control of the entire trilithon project. Players may usurp a trilithon project during their own Commit phase by trading the player who is committed to the trilithon project two of their own cards. The Player receiving the two cards must immediately discard one of them to the bottom of the deck. A trilithon usurp trade is valid only when one of the following conditions is met:
- The usurping player trades two cards which match the trilithon card's color.
- The usurping player trades two cards which match the color of the Player committed to the trilithon project.
- The usurping player trades one card which matches the color of the trilithon card and one card which matches the color of the Player committed to the trilithon project.
During Any Phase:
Defamation of Character:
A player may spend one of their political influence points at any time during their turn to defame another Druidic faction's reputation, at which time the defamed Player must discard any numbered project card they may have been committed to to the bottom of the deck, move their Druid before the altar stone, and spend their next day (turn) performing a ritual to restore their faction's good name. Once the ritual has been performed, if the player had been committed to a trilithon project at the time of defamation, the Player may at the beginning of their next turn move their Druid back to an unclaimed trilithon space.
The First Time a Card Faces Up:
When a Player either plays or turns a project card face up, the player then must claim an unclaimed and undeveloped construction site space somewhere on the game board. Spaces include the numbered outer ring spaces, the bluestone spaces, and the trilithon spaces. Spaces are considered unclaimed if they have no Druid on them and undeveloped if they have no lintel, bluestone, or trilithon placed on them.
If any space on the game board matching the color on the project card is undeveloped, the Player may claim any one of those spaces as their construction site by placing their Druid on the space. If the space on the game board matching the number on the project card has already been developed, the Player may instead claim any one of the unclaimed and undeveloped bluestone spaces as their construction site by placing their Druid on the bluestone space of their choice.
If the card is a trilithon card, the Player must claim one of the unclaimed and undeveloped trilithon spaces on the game board by placing their Druid on it.
Players cannot play dead cards face up on the game board as there will be no construction site to claim. If a dead card is played face down and then turned face up during the Construction phase, it is removed from the game. See the sections on dead cards below.
If a Player has more than 3 cards in their hand at any time, they must discard down to 3 cards. Cards are always discarded to the bottom of the deck unless the discard is the result of a lintel, bluestone, or trilithon being constructed, which instead results in the card being removed from the game. If a project card under development is discarded from a Player's construction yard, any in-progress construction pieces associated with the project such as bluestones or trilithon pieces are returned to their original materials piles.
A card who's matching color spaces are all developed while all bluestone spaces have also been developed is considered a dead card. Dead cards cannot be played face up from a Player's hand.
Ending the Game
When all available construction sites have been developed, the game ends and is scored. Each player's Druid faction earns reputation points for construction projects completed, and some points are awarded for craftsmanship (adjacent pieces). Assign each player reputation points for construction projects completed in their faction's color, in the following manner:
- 7 points for each completed trilithon.
- 3 points for every two adjacent trilithons.
- 2 points for each bluestone.
- 1 point for every two adjacent bluestones.
- 3 points for every run of 3 or more adjacent bluestones
- 1 point for each lintel.
- 1 point for every two adjacent lintels.
- 5 points for every run of 4 or more adjacent lintels
The player with the most reputation points wins!
Dustin D. Trammell is an Information Security Research Scientist by day and a Game Designer and Gamer by night. Traveling the world, speaking at security conferences on a wide range of original research subjects, he has the opportunity to seek out unique and interesting games from a wide variety of cultures. Some of his favorite games include Go, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, more video games than he can count, and Mad's Spy vs. Spy board game. Dustin was attracted to Stonehenge: An Anthology Board Game due to it's flexibility in design and seemingly development platform-esque purpose.
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