Von Neumann Probe Game
2-4 player card game
300 Solar System Cards
8 Home System Cards
52 Probe Cards (13 for each player)
The goal of this game is to gather as much Dark Energy as possible. The winner is the player with the most of it when the game ends.
To collect Dark Energy players must send out probes and create more by gathering resources throughout 20 different solar systems.
Each solar system is made up of a deck of 15 different cards.
At the beginning of the game all 20 decks are set out on the table in a 4×5 grid. The order does not matter. Each deck has a unique backing that includes the name of the solar system and the requirements to get there.
Players are dealt all the home system cards in a 2 or 4 player game evenly. In a 3 player game, players each get 2 cards and the left over cards are removed from the game.
Players are also given their 13 probe cards. The starting probe is put into play for each player.
On each turn players spend action points enter new systems and draw cards from them.
Players receive 6 action points per turn
Actions cost the following:
Unlock a new System: 3 points
Draw a card from a system you have access to: 3 points
Play a home system: 0 points
Draw a card from a home system: 2 points
Build a new probe: 2-3 points
Attack a probe: 3-6 points
Accessing a new system:
When a player wants to access a new system they must be able to pay the exploration cost to get in.
This is different for each system. It can range from resources to specific probes.
When a system is accessed by a player, that deck is moved out of the grouping of decks and put to the side. The player then lays their probe next to it. This means they may now draw resources from a that system.
If you have the home system card you may play it at any point to access that system for free.
New players may access a system someone is already in by paying the price and laying their probe next to it.
At any time during their turn players may move their probe away from a system for no cost.
Standard Probe: This is what you start with it can move about and draw resources as normal. It has a defense of 5 but cannot attack.
Long Range Probe: Defense of 5, attack of 1
Armed Probe: Defense of 7, attack of 4
Super Mining Probe: Draws 2 cards for the price of 1, Defense 4, attack 0
Destroyer: This probe cannot do anything but go to a System and destroy everything in it, including itself and all other probes. It must pay the entrance fee to do this.
Programmer: Steals probes and resources.
When two probes are in the same system they may fight. The active player may attack by spending enough action points, plus their attack modifier to breach the defense of another probe.
To build a new probe you must spend the resources listed on the probes cost and pay the action points needed as well.
Let me know what you think!
-All ideas presented on this website are the property of the Building the Game Podcast.