[ A Delicate Operation ]: Cut away the Chaff

Started by Sp4m, April 17, 2012, 12:53:35 AM

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I've play tested my latest game, and so far it's been fun with small groups, but the learning curve seems to be pretty steep. I'm hoping with your advice, I can simplify things.

[A Delicate Operation] is a fast paced parlor game, reminiscent of Mafia, where players are challenged to look each other in the eyes, and lie. Unlike more approachable social games, this one has a few layers to it.

First, there's a cooperative card game.
Players are cooperating to play a variant of Solitaire, where one or two players in the group are actively (but secretly) trying to make them lose.

On top of this is the social game. Players are challenged to create alliances by exchanging a "secret word" (that was recorded on your sheet) with other players. This can happen any time, but the solitaire game has built in discussion periods every 10 plays, where players are asked to make up details and stories about their homelands.

To make it easier to send a code in plain text, each player receives a word pair with another player. this is a card with 2 words on it, like Smoke/Fire. Both players receive this, and it can be used like call and response to indicate that they have each other's attention. These are distributed on cards, and it is ultimately elegant, but I am concerned that the game might ahve too much going on, and it may be too difficult for most people.

What are your thoughts?



I think you need a nutshell summary of the game, all in one spot.  Near the front.  Something that says, maybe in bullet form, these are the X number of things the player is trying to do, and how they do them. 

This is my attempt:

doctor player:
1) save the king by ... (one line summary of mechanics for saving king)
2) make alliances by exchanging a secret word with other doctor players during play.  Secret words are exchanged by (one line summary of mechanics for exchanging words)
3) avoid exchanging a secret word with spy players.  This is done by (one line summary of methods for detecting spy)
4) your special powers are to use all operation cards, and stop the last played operation card played

spy player:
1) kill the king by ...(one line summary of mechanics for saving king)
2) make alliances by exchanging a secret word with other doctor players during play.
3) avoid exchanging a secret word with spy players.
4) spys cant play all the operation cards, or stop the last op card played
5) spys can cheat

When I put it like that, what does cheat mean?  Does that mean if I am a spy I can ignore the rules for operations cards?  why have those rules then?  What does cheating actually mean in the context of this game?

I dont get the public key stuff, I dont have a good idea of how the key exchanges work at the table. 

I am being a purposefully obstinate abotu wanting to be spoon fed the answers to these questions.  If I took 15 minutes to read the rules carefully and do a further 10 minutes of thought experiements with them, I could probably work out exactly how it works, but for the sake of argument, Im not prepared to do that.  :)