It’s summer vacation, the kids are all off school (sorta - this is Japan after all: the only really close the schools for about 5 days) and parents everywhere are wondering what to do with them. This gets worse when it’s so hot and humid you hardly want to move.
Enter the kaiju!
To deal with my own enforced monkey-wrangling I devised the below. Feel free to share and remix.
Kaiju: The Game
- 49 square tiles with markings on one face and blank or another marking on the other. I just used empty food boxes, but a cooler variant would be to paste or print an old city map on one side of card stock and pebble-scape (ahem, rubble-scape) on the other, then chop into squares.
- A handful of 6 sided dice
- A bunch of counters (these will be defenders)
- 1 monster figure for each player - needs to be small enough to fit in on tile (better yet, use big tiles - beer mat size would be sweet)
- Pack of playing cards, jokers removed (see variants at the end)
- Lay out the tiles in a 7x7 grid, map side up.
- shuffle the cards and deal each player 5 cards
- each player selects a monster by some means that prevents arguments.
- Optional: practice monster noises while the adult gets his or beverage of choice.
Determine who goes first by lot (jan ken/rock paper scissors is both easy and in keeping with the theme)
Start with the first player and proceeding clockwise as follows on each player’s turn:
- Draw one card from the deck.
- If you have a run of 3 or 3 of a kind, you may play it as a ”buff” (see cards below)
- Replace any cards played from the deck.
- Move your monster 1 tile in any direction horizontally or vertically (no diagonals - on the first move of the game choose any unoccupied edge tile. Monsters must attempt to move)
- When your monster enters an unoccupied tile, flip it over to the rubble side.
- If the tile is occupied by defenders (see 9 below) or another monster, you must fight:
- Each monster in a fight gets 2 dice.
- A tile with defenders gets 1 die per defender
- Monsters may spend buffs (discard them immediately) to gain 1 extra die per buff spent.
- Both sides roll dice and compare results as follows:
- Line up the dice in descending order.
- Compare the highest dice: the highest roll wins. On a tie defender wins.
- Compare each die in turn. Each die with no opposing die counts as a win.
- For a monster to monster fight, the monster with the most wins gets the contested tile, and that player may move the opposing monster into any unoccupied adjacent tile (diagonals allowed) or off the board if the contested tile is at the edge. Monsters pushed off the board are eliminated from the game (see variants below)
- When a monster attacks a tile with defenders, if all defenders are eliminated the monster moves into that tile. If any defenders remain the monster does not move.
- Discard one card (you should have 5 cards at the end of your turn)
- The next player proceeds from step 1.
- Once all players have gone, work together to place defenders: Any tile that has a total of 5 defenders this turn has all defenders removed and is flipped back to the city side. Each rubble tile with 4 or fewer defenders gains 1 defender counter.
- Start another round! Continue until 1 kaiju rules the city!
using a standard playing card deck, you can make “buff” sets as follows:
Run: a set of 3 cards of the same colour (red/black) in sequence - ie 4,5,6 or 10,J,Q. Aces may be either high or low, so could be placed as A,2,3 or Q,K,A. If more runs are desired try K,A,2!
3 of a kind: 3 cards with the same face value:
Jokers variant 1: jokers can be included as wild cards as normal,
Jokers variant 2: jokers can be used as a special “flying” power - discard a joker during the move phase of your turn to go to ANY other tile on the board. Fight as usual if occupied. If the tile has defenders and you fail to defeat them all, move to any adjacent and unoccupied tile instead.
Jokers variant 3: joker in hand can be played as a “secret buff” when fighting.
Secret buff: If you have a valid buff in hand you may play it at the beginning of any fight to gain 1 additional die.
Eternal war: When your monster is eliminated, discard your hand and all buffs, but on your next turn draw 5 cards and bring your monster back on any unoccupied edge tile.
McGuffin: One tile has a special marking instead of rubble. If you capture the tile your monster now has the treasure and must return to the edge to win. If you are eliminated, the treasure returns to the treasure tile to be captured by someone else.
Powers: Specific card combinations could be designated as powers.rather than buffs. Alternatively special city tiles could be prepared that have power-ups or specials on them, to encourage more exploration of the board.