Well, here are the version 4 rules for Duck Blind. This version is the result of playtesting at Unpub – Atomic Empire #1 and some subsequent playtesting with friends who are also game designers.
Duck Blind is an auction game where players are hunters competing to bag the best ducks of the weekend. Using shot cards to fire at the current flight of ducks, players bid on those ducks. The hunter that fired the most shots wins his choice of the ducks. The rest of the hunters collect ducks in order of shot number. The hunt continues until noon. At noon, hunters score their ducks and reload. The hunt continues for 5 more rounds to end the first day. Hunters again score their afternoon ducks and sum the scores for the day.
You can stop at this point or continue for another day as before.
Duck Blind by Tom Gurganus
Separate all the types of cards into their respective groups – Duck cards, Game Warden cards, Player Shot Decks, Timing cards, Action cards, Bonus cards.
Choose a start player.
Duck Cards and Game Warden Cards
For a two player game:
Shuffle the Duck cards. Deal out 28 Duck cards. Set the rest aside. Shuffle in 1 Game Warden card.
For a three player game:
Shuffle the cards. Deal out 40 Duck cards. Shuffle in 2 Game Warden cards. You are now ready to play.
For a four player game:
Shuffle the Duck cards and all of the Game Warden cards together.
Place the Duck Card deck in the center of the play area.
Each player gets a shot deck made up of cards with various shots on them. These are used to shoot at the ducks. Each deck contains a blank card – the blank card is used for bluffing, to hide how many cards you are playing. They do not count as a shot.
Set up the Timing cards in from Dawn to Dusk in proper chronological order. You are now ready to play.
Game Warden – when a Game Warden is flipped, play stops and players present their ducks. Anyone with rare ducks (King Eider, Hooded Merganser) must present their Special Permit or lose those ducks and those points. The Game Warden, ducks, and Special Permit are placed in the discard pile. The game resumes. If no one has any rare ducks, the Game Warden is reshuffled into the Duck deck.
These cards can be played for their effect along with shot cards. They are resolved BEFORE Ducks are taken.
Double Barrel – Play this card to kill two ducks this turn. Draw the second duck from the top of the Duck card deck. Discard this card once used.
Rogue Dog – Play this card to steal one duck from another player. Discard this card once used.
Choke – Play this card to change choice order with another player. Discard this card after use.
Duck Call – Play this card to retrieve one duck from the discard pile. Resolve this card BEFORE taking ducks. Discard after use.
Flush – Resolve this card BEFORE any player reveals/plays his shot cards. Play this card on your turn to ‘scare away’ the current line of ducks. Place all these ducks into the discard pile. All played shots return to the player’s hand. Re-draw a new line of ducks and replay this round.
Special Permit – This card may be used when a Game Warden arrives. It will allow the player to keep their rare ducks. It is discarded once used.
Shuffle the Bonus cards and deal three onto the play area. These cards are bonus points at the end of the game for the player that meets their criteria.
Start with the Dawn Timing card face up on the Timing deck. One player flips one Duck card from the Duck Card deck for each player and places them in the center of the play area. These are the ducks that are in play for this round. If a Game Warden card if flipped, resolve it as described below.
On a turn:
Players decide which Duck card they need/want and decide how many shots they will ‘shoot’ (i.e. bid) to get it. When everyone has made that decision, one player says “Take ‘em!“ and all players play the shot cards they are using to shoot (bid on) the duck they are after. Players may also play Action cards at this time.
Resolve any Action cards that need to be resolved before taking ducks. The player that fired the most shots get their choice of ducks. The player with the second highest shot total chooses next, etc..
If there is a tie, the player that used the most shot cards wins the tie. If it is still a tie, neither players gets any points.
Discard shots and Action cards (except the blank card).
Place the Duck in front of you.
Flip the next Timing Card.
Pass the Start player token.
Proceed as on Turn One with the start player drawing Duck cards and placing them in the center of the play area. Players choose their shots and play them at ‘Take ‘em!’. The player that fired the most shots get their choice of ducks. The player with the second highest shot total chooses next, etc..
Resolve any Action cards.
Pass the Start player token.
When the Noon Timing card is flipped continue with the turn but at the end of the turn players score their ducks. Each player adds up their points then moves his score marker on the score track. All player duck cards are placed in the discard deck. Play continues as before until the Dusk card is flipped. After that turn points are totaled and scores marked. If you are playing a second day, shuffle all the duck cards together for a new duck deck and reset the Timing deck.
Continue with Day Two as you did with Day One.
Scoring – Ducks are worth face value. Sets are worth face value plus one point for each card in your largest set. Each matched pair (one male + one female of a species) is worth an additional point. Lastly there are three Bonus cards that are scored at the end of the game according to the conditions on each card.
Wood Ducks – males worth 6 points, females worth 4 points – 2 of each in the deck
Mallards – males worth 5 points, females worth 4 points – 2 of each in the deck
Pintails – males worth 4 points, females worth 3 points – 3 of each in the deck
Blue Wing Teal – males worth 3 points, females worth 1 point – 5 of each in the deck
Canvasbacks – males worth 3 points, females worth 2 points – 3 of each in the deck
Gadwalds – males worth 2 points, females worth 1 point – 3 of each in the deck
Shovelers – males and females worth 1 point each – 3 of each in the deck
King Eider – worth 7 points, 1 in the deck
Hooded Merganzer – worth 7 points, 1 in the deck
Common Goldeneye – worth 7 points, 1 in the deck
Smew – worth 8 points, 1 in the deck
Total duck cards = 46
Total points in the deck = 138
Shot Cards – Each player has his own shot card deck. A player shot card deck contains:
4 shots – 1
3 shots – 2
2 shots – 3
1 shot – 3
There are 5 decks each a different color so that the game can accomodate 5 players.
Game Wardens – 4
Dawn, 6am, 830am, 10am, 1130am, Noon, 1pm, 230pm, 4pm, 530pm, Dusk
Action Cards – 30 total, 1 each for 5 players
So what do you think? I apologize for the odd formatting issues. WordPress doesn’t seem to like Word very well.
I’d really like your feedback. I’m working on the version 4 prototypes of the cards now. What’s good? What needs work? I’ve added back some of the things that I had taken out based on playtesting. I’m still having some trouble with the whole math/cards/balancing thing though. If you are interested in helping me with this, shoot me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org. I could really use some help.