Koi Pond - Prototype C

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UPDATE: Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game is now available on DriveThruCards!

Howdy folks! I'm happy to show off Prototype C of Koi Pond. This includes several refinements and polishing bits to help play go a little more smoothly.

  • Predators always score from the opponent to your left. No more switching between rounds. (I mean, you can if you want to, but explaining that was cluttering the rules presentation and otherwise didn't change the game mechanically.)
  • Hybrid koi now have an extra outer circle around their suits to help color-blind players notice them more easily. Hope that's sufficient!
  • Several people wanted predator cards to have a diagram or art showing where they score points from. I'm not ruling that out yet, but I'm compromising for now by including reference cards for use during play. This explains scoring at-a-glance.
  • The scoring example diagram is more organized and clearer so you an see which suits of koi score X number of points.

Aside from those and other small tweaks, I've included some experimental cards that I'd love to see tested out more thoroughly. These do not have art yet, so they're easy to distinguish from the core deck.

  • VISITOR (x18):
    Shuffle this into the deck. Between rounds, you may keep any visitors that were played into your pond. Keep them to the side, away from the pond or river.
    End game bonus: Score 5pts if you have the most visitors at the end of the game. Lose 5 pts if you have the fewest visitors at the end of the game.
  • RIBBON (x3 of each suit):
    Keep this card to the side of the game during play. If you have the most koi of a suit in your pond at the end of a round, take one ribbon of that suit.
    End game bonus: Score 1, 4 or 9pts for a set of one, two or three matching ribbons.
  • DOG (x6):
    Shuffle this into the deck. A dog in your pond will prevent one predator of your choice from scoring from your pond, house or river.
  • FISHER (x6):
    Shuffle this into the deck. To use the fisher, play it into your pond. Then, swap it for any opponent’s koi from their river.

I hope you enjoy the refinements and the new optional cards! I plan to go to DriveThruCards for production in a couple weeks. The final card layout will be polished up so they're friendly for left-handed players. The reference cards will also be fully designed and I'll hire a proper editor to go through the rulebook. Stay tuned!

» Download the Rules
» Download the Cards


  1. I haven't had a chance to play this, but that's never stopped me from evaluating rules on gut feel before, and it isn't gonna stop me now :)
    So, my unqualified two cents on the optional cards:

    I'm not sure how the visitor cards would play out over an extended game - since they are not replaced for each round, They feel like their effect could be mostly decided in the first round (when they're most abundant). Latter rounds might shift it a bit, but theres progressively less avialable to allow you to catch up to an opponents strong lead in round 1. I'm vaguely aware that this is a tried and true mechanic in sushi go!, so I'm totally willing to accept my gut feel being wrong here...

    On the other hand, I very much like the ribbon cards: they're external to the main deck, so they don't affect draws, but potentially create the dilemma "do i overplay a suit from my hand (lowering my points scored this round) to try and win the ribbon this round (raising my points at game end) - a nice wee trade that is potentially risky in early rounds, but with an escalating reward. Also, its nicely thematic of course :)

    Largely indifferent to the dog and the fisherman, probably its a bit harder for me to conceptualize them.

    Dog could be a bit powerful maybe, if you can be relative confident that your opponent should play at least one predator, playing a dog should completely negate a pretty strong-looking point source... Does it risk becoming a "must-play card", and woe to any player who doesn't get one that round?

    I don't know... If needed to be weakened (and i stress, I don't know if this is needed) you could make the dog only work on (one? all?) predators of its matching suit, reducing the affected predators:dog ratio and making it a less "sure thing"

    Not much to say on fisherman - it seems ok; a nice way to take advantage of your opponents discards.

  2. Hopefully you get a chance to play it and it turns out alright!


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