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Free-er by the Dozen: The GGGames Dozen

Squirrel Roundup

by Kris and Rick Havlak, art by Brian Erickson
August 15, 2001
GGG logo  
Howdy everyone!

Welcome to Free-er by the Dozen, another series of free games on RPGnet. We're all lucky to have 52 card pickup slowly regaining its life forces, but we from Green Goblin Games are going to give you even more games because we're nice guys. Only part of it is blatant self-promotion. We'll have a free game up here every month, and not all will be as simplistic as Squirrel Roundup. Expect PDFs, tables, graphics, and a jolly good bunch of goofy games. Our first game, Squirrel Roundup, is based on our cool new card game called Shady Acres. You can find out more at our website, www.gggames.net. But you want the goods, so here goes:

A Shady Acres™ Preview Boardgame for 2 players.
Playing Time:
15 minutes

What you need:
One chess board or checkerboard.
Three checkers or poker chips of one color.
Twelve checkers or poker chips of another color.

One player plays the zombies. The other takes command of the scampering squirrels.

Zombie Briefing:
In life, you were a hunter. Or maybe an insect collector armed with a butterfly net. The net might have been for fishing, now that you think of it. In any case, you caught things, and caught them good.
In death, however, you found yourself rudely awakened by the dark magics of satanic rituals and the evil energies produced therefrom. Awakening in a funeral home undergoing rapid decline, you were soon pressed into service catching squirrels under the job title of "harvester." The reason for this is vague, but apparently their sacrifice is essential for the animation of more corpses into zombies like yourself. Unfortunately, your master was forced to chop down all the trees at his funeral home to make ends meet, and now the local squirrel population numbers only handful living down at the squirrel hole. Reluctantly, you grab your squirrel net and a pair of fellow zombies and head down to net some squirrels.
Your goal is to catch as many squirrels as possible.


Squirrel Briefing:
Life had always been pleasant at the Shady Acres funeral home. You danced and pranced and chased butterflies and ate the numerous tasty morsels found on all of the ancient trees inhabiting the expanses of luscious terrain. But then came the chainsaws, logging trucks and bulldozers. You were forced to flee from your happy home down to the only place left decent for squirrel inhabitance: the squirrel hole. Here life went on, although not particularly smoothly. This morning, however, something changed. A trio of strange, humanesque figures armed with nets approached your squirrel hole with great hostility. Sounding the alarm, squirrels began pouring from the squirrel hole and making a break for nearby tunnel systems. Hopefully most of you will maintain your liberty, as who knows what fate will befall one captured by the harvester zombies.
Your goal is to have as many squirrels escape from the board's four corners as possible.

Diagram 1: The four squares at the center of the board represent the squirrel hole, while the four corners are the safety and exit zones for the squirrels.


Setup:
The four squares at the center of the board represent the squirrel hole (see diagram). No pieces in play can enter the squirrel hole. Place the twelve similarly colored checkers or poker chips in a stack on top of the squirrel hole. These are the squirrels.
The three differently colored checkers or poker chips represent the harvester zombies. The zombie player distributes these three pieces anywhere in the outer 2 rows of the board (see diagram).
The squirrel player then removes the top three squirrels from the squirrel hole and places them anywhere in the center quadrangle of squares (see diagram).

Diagram 2: The zombie player plays her three zombies in the outer two rows. The squirrel player places all of his squirrels in a stack in the squirrel hole and then places the top three anywhere in the squirrel entry area.

Gameplay:
Players next take turns moving a single playing piece one space, beginning with the squirrel player. Moves can be diagonally as well as square. Play continues until all squirrels have either been caught by harvester zombies or have escaped. No pieces can be moved into the squirrel hole, and zombies cannot move into the four corner squares.

Diagram 3: Pieces can move in any direction, but cannot enter the squirrel hole until all of the squirrels in the hole have entered play.


Capturing Pieces:
A harvester zombie captures a squirrel by moving into the same space as the squirrel during its turn. The squirrel is removed from play and given to the zombie player.

Escaping:
Squirrels escape by first moving into one of the four corner spaces. Once there, they are safe from zombies. To free the squirrel, the squirrel player must take another move to free the squirrel. The squirrel is removed from play and given to the squirrel player.

Squirrel Entry:
The number of squirrels in play is always maintained at three. After every move by the squirrel player, squirrels are added from the squirrel hole to the circle of squares around the squirrel hole (the same area where the squirrels started) in order to bring the number of squirrels in play to three.

Emptying the Hole:
When their are no more squirrels left in the squirrel hole, two things happen. First, no more squirrels enter the playing area to regenerate squirrel numbers. Second, the squirrel hole is opened-- all pieces may now move into the squirrel hole.

Game over:
The game ends when all squirrels have been captured or have escaped and there are no squirrels left in the squirrel hole. Each player counts up the number of squirrels in her possession; the player with the most squirrels wins.

If you enjoyed playing Squirrel Roundup or are into kickass goofy games, head over to gggames.net and check out Shady Acres, our detailed card game of zombies, trees, and squirrels.

©2001 Green Goblin Games. Squirrel Roundup, Shady Acres, and the games' respective logos are trademarks of Green Goblin Games.

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