Dung & Dragons as a Trick-Taking Euro Farming Game?
While I've been exploring the mechanics of trick-taking games lately, I stumbled across this odd notion of using the trick you win to trigger a cascading series of mechanics that you would normally find in a more formal euro strategy game. Usually about farming. (Looking at Agricola here, mainly.)
What if by winning a trick, you also acquired various resources and quests from that trick? It's worth exploring, if for nothing less than just pure giggles. Naturally, when I start thinking about a farming mechanic, my mind drifts back to a theme that has so far eluded a really solid mechanical framework.
Dung & Dragons is about a group of people raising dragons for their valuable poop. See, dragon poop has lots and lots of gold coins in it. (Smaug was absolutely filthy, by the way.) So these ranchers raise dragons, feed them their favorite foods, and literally rake in profits.
Here's a loose outline of how I think it could combine very fast trick-taking tactics with more strategic Euro-style engine building.
Click the diagram above for a better look at the components, but here's the details:
The game is comprised of a deck of Supply cards, Dragon tiles, and Power-Ups.
Supply cards feature three types of icons: The top icons are the egg clusters, representing how soon an egg will hatch. The middle icons are a type of dragon, which will determine which dragon emerges from the egg. And the bottom icons are food bundles you can use to feed other dragons.
Each Dragon tile features a unique dragon you can raise for their poop. Dragons come in three types and three hybrids. Dragon tiles are arranged in their own stacks in descending order, with the #1 card on top.
Power-ups are special equipment, like laxatives. Because poop.
Each player has a hand of supply cards.
INCUBATING DRAGON EGGS
Taking turns, each player discards a supply card into one of three piles in play at any time. Whoever causes the total egg clusters in a pile to reach 7 or higher takes the pile.
HATCHING A DRAGON
Whatever has the majority of middle icons in the pile determines your dragon. You may take your dragon from the top of a Hatchery stack or from another player. You may only take a dragon from another player if you have more of the requisite icon than your opponent had to claim that dragon in the first place.
FEEDING A DRAGON
You can feed dragons you already own with the food icons shown on supply cards. Divide them up to your dragons as you wish. Each dragon has a different diet, preferring their own favorite food. The conversion rate for various amounts of food to 1, 2, 3, or 4 poops is shown at the bottom of the card.
For example, Earth Dragon #1 requires 4 grain to make the first poop, 8 to make the second poop, 10 to make the third, and 12 to make the fourth. Different types of dragons get better conversion rates depending on whether they’re hatched later or earlier.
Each poop is a victory point or may be converted to gold. The gold value of each dragon’s poop is shown on its card. Gold can be used to buy laxatives, buy extra food, buy a dragon from an opponent, and other stuff.
When you buy a power-up, you apply it to a dragon of your choice. These are just a loose smattering if ideas so far.
- Laxatives: Lowers the required food per poop by 1. So a 4/8/10/12 would then be a 3/7/9/12.
- Treats: Counts as any type of food, but each type of treat can only be used once per dragon. (They like variety.)
- Coop: Raises the cost of anyone else buying this dragon from you.
- Moon Statue, Sun Statue, Earth Statue: Counts towards the middle-icon total so you have more control over which types of dragons you hatch.
- Moon Prize, Sun Prize, Earth Prize: Grants bonus points for each of this type of dragon you have at the end of the game.
- Scooper: Raises the gold value of each poop from this dragon.