In an effort to fake out their opponents, players with three dice can still play the recruit card rather than attacking, but no other kids will join their intimidatingly large gangs.

Defending the Jungle Gym

The player in control of the jungle gym does not attack or recruit. Instead, he defends the jungle gym from attackers. Whenever one or more players attack, the defending player rolls his dice to determine defense power.

Because of the strategic advantage offered by the jungle gym, the defending player receives a +2 defense power bonus, added to the sum of his dice. If the total defense power is greater than or equal to the attack power of an attacking player, the defending player retains control of the jungle gym.

If one or more attacking players' attack powers exceed the defense power of the defending player, the attacking player with the highest power takes over the jungle gym. The defending player must then discard one of his dice (unless he only has one die left).

If no-one attacks the defending player during a round, he automatically recruits a die just because he's that awesome.

End of Game

At the end of ten rounds, the player left in control of the jungle gym is declared the winner, and his gang declared the toughest in all of fourth grade.

Designing Turfy

Turfy is an attempt at making an adorably simple game about gang warfare. I wanted to take a theme robust and ultimately weighed down by its own controversy, and distill it to a single element. In Turfy, that became the notion of territories, or one territory in particular. In order to distance the game from the standard tropes of gang fiction, I set it in elementary school: a brutal and vicious environment in its own right.

For fear of incurring the wrath of a certain large non-digital publisher, I will not say that my game is in any way ripping off a particularly well-known war-based strategy title. I will say, however, that the concept of territorial battle was one I hoped to emulate and pay homage to.

Rather than having players fight over multiple territories over the course of the game, I preferred to have them battle over the same spot again and again and again, in typical "king of the hill" style. Inspiration also comes from the flash game Dicewars, which also uses dice to represent army units as they move across the playing field. As with most of my low-impact games, the design process was quick-moving and fluid, relying heavily on the fiction to determine the direction of the rules.

It's not a deep game. But as always, I hope it's a fun one for players.

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