De Stijl, a trick-taking tile-laying game.

This is another one of those just-literally-dreamed-it game ideas, so excuse any fuzziness in the specifics. The aesthetics of it is just intriguing to me as an abstract gamer and art major.

De Stijl
This is the art genre created by, and pretty much synonymous with, Dutch abstract expressionist Piet Mondrian. You've seen his art on all sorts of merchandise, I'm sure. Here's a game loosely inspired by that art style.

Each card in the De Stijl deck is a 2x2 grid of five possible colors: Yellow, Red, Blue, Black, White. Each card is unique, so this creates a deck of 78 cards.

Each player has a hand of three cards at all times.

Each round, each player takes one turn. On your turn, play one card from your hand onto the table, trying to make the largest contiguous color. Whoever last added a cell to the largest contiguous group will win all those cards, while the other players score 1 point per cell in that group.

  • In the example at the top of this post, the player on the far right was the last to add a cell to the yellow group, thus winning the cards. (She could have added to the red group, she just likes yellow.) The other players win 4 points.

When you win cards, add them to your scoring tableau, which persists across rounds. Your tableau is up to three rows of cards, each with its own contiguous row of a color. Cards may not overlap.

After each round, you may score-then-discard a row from your tableau. This might occur if you close off both ends of a row or if you simply need to make room for new cards.

You score points from rows based on their length, at a triangular rate: 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, 28, 36, 45.

  • For example, after winning these four cards, the player could make two rows, one of red and one of yellow. This leaves an open end for both rows to grow. Alternately...
  • She could immediately close off this row of four yellow to score 10 points. She'd then discard those four cards, leaving behind the red card to grow from either end.

After each round, deal one card to each player's hand. The winner of the previous round starts the next round. Play three rounds per player. Whoever has the most points wins!


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