Most of you won’t recognize this man, but you should. Before he passed away in 2002, he designed games, hundreds of games, and his name was Sid Sackson.
Sid Sackson is probably the most prolific and influential American game designer and is often referred to within the gaming community as “The Guru of Games.” He started designing games as a child and throughout his career he won numerous awards in the field, most notably the coveted Spiel des Jahres (the German Game of the Year) award, the most prestigious game design award. Some of his best-known games are Acquire, Domination, Can’t Stop, BuyWord, I’m the Boss, and Bazaar.
At Gryphon Games we have made it our mission to revive and revitalize Sid Sackson’s games and make them available to everyone in today’s generation who loves games. We are committed to keeping his legacy alive by continuing to publish his wonderful games so that the world can continue to enjoy his many games that are both incredibly fun and highly educational.
In 2011, we reprinted Can’t Stop, BuyWord, and Bazaar. In 2012, we would like to reprint I’m The Boss, and, hopefully, with your support, Sleuth, Venture, and Monad. Your support and interest are critical to us as we consider doing these reprints. There are many challenges in running a small game publishing company like Gryphon Games. Choosing which games to print (or reprint), and in what quantities, is one of the foremost challenges. That’s why we are turning to you at Kickstarter and BGG; we know that you are as knowledgeable and interested an audience as there exists for board games. So we would like to assess your interest in perpetuating the legacy, and availability, of Sid Sackson’s great games.
Below you will find three sections, one each for Sleuth, Monad, and Venture. We have decided to include all three games in one project to give people the opportunity to get all three games as soon as possible, and receive significant savings on shipping costs.
The Dealer shuffles the Gem Deck and removes one card, placing it where no player may accidentally see it. This becomes the Missing Gem. The remaining cards are then dealt secretly to each player to form their hands. The players then record the information from their private cards on their personal information sheets. Left over cards that do not deal out evenly are placed face up for all players to note and record on their information sheets.
Each Gem Card has three elements—gem (diamond, pearl, or opal), color (red, yellow, blue, or green), and type (solitaire, pair, or cluster). Players use Search Cards to try to determine what cards the other players hold in their hands. For example if a player had the “Blue Opals” search card, that player could request that any other single player show them all the blue opals they hold in their hand and record this on their information sheet. Other search cards, called “one element cards,” have only one characteristic of a gem—i.e. just opals, or just blues. With these cards the interrogated player must reveal only the number of the corresponding cards they have and not reveal the cards themselves.
Play continues around the table with each player using one search card per turn until one player believes they have solved the mystery. They make a note of their guess on their information sheet and check the missing gem.
If correct, the player reveals the card by turning it face up for all players to see and wins the game! If incorrect, the player replaces the missing gem and the game continues. This player is now out of contention but must continue answering any interrogations while not otherwise participating in the game.
The second game in the new Sid Sackson Signature Series is Monad, originally produced by 3M as a “Gamette” in 1970. Because it’s been out-of-print for years and expensive to obtain, it’s not as well-known as other Sid Sackson games - Acquire, Can’t Stop, Sleuth, and I’m the Boss. But those who have played it, consider it to be just as good as many of those games. And with this new Gryphon edition, you can now get to know another Sid Sackson classic.
Monad is a fascinating and skillful card game for 2 to 4 players. Advance planning is essential as each player attempts to strategically trade, buy and leap his way from the lowest cards to the highest.
The special deck of playing cards is sorted into seven different sets. Each set contains six different colors – three warm colors (red, orange and yellow) and three cool colors (purple, blue and green). Each Bonus card shows three bonus combinations of these colors; only one of the six colors appears on each of the other cards. Each of the Common, Bi, Tri, Quad and Quint cards has a point value which appears in the center of the card; the Bonus and Identity cards function only as reference cards and thus have no point values.
A game of Monad begins with all the bi, tri, quad, and quint cards dealt face up on the board. Each player is dealt 6 commons, with the remaining commons placed face down to create the draw deck.
The object of play is to advance from the Commons through the Bi, Tri, Quad and Quint cards to the Monads by trading, buying and leaping. During your turn, you may make as many trades buys and/or leaps as you wish. (All transactions are made with the table, not with other players.) If you cannot or do not wish to make any of these plays, you may use your turn to either draw from the Commons deck, or “flip” it.
Monad is one of Sid Sackson’s best games—though still relatively unknown. It’s a highly strategic game, yet game play is easy enough for any novice to learn quickly. Partnership play is also an option.
In Venture, players follow in the footsteps of Carnegie and Rockefeller, as they try to acquire lucrative conglomerates, manipulate vast holdings, and instigate proxy fights to gain control of key corporations from other players.
The game comes with two decks of cards -- Resources and Corporations. The Resource cards picture prominent venture capitalists of the era and provide the millions of dollars which players will use to purchase Corporation cards in six different industries: Steel, Oil, Railroads, Real Estate, Automobiles, and Shipping.
During their turn, a player can 1) take over Corporations and form conglomerates with two or more corporations; 2) play Proxy Fight cards to win opponents’ corporations; and 3) if they can afford it, reorganize their holdings.
When a player gets a second Corporation, he can place it on the first one to form a Conglomerate – providing the two Corporations have at least one letter in common and are from different industries.
A player can take over a Corporation from an opponent by using a Proxy Fight card. However, he may take only the top uncovered Corporation from a Conglomerate or a Corporation which stands alone.
At any time during his turn, a player can pay $1,000,000 per corporation he owns to reorganize his holdings in any way he chooses –provided all Corporations in each Conglomerate are from different industries and have at least one letter in common.
Within the Resource deck are 2 profit cards. Whenever a profit card is drawn, play stops so that profits can be scored. These cards get reshuffled into the deck when needed, so this will happen multiple times during the game.
A game of Venture ends when the last corporation in the deck is purchased. One final round of scoring occurs and the player with the most profits is the winner.
In an effort to help out our friends across the pond, we will give international backers the option of picking up their game at Essen. If you would like to pick your game up at our booth (#10-55) at the Essen Spiel Fair on October 18-21, 2012, simply add $10 to any level.
We sincerely hope you have enjoyed learning about Sid Sackson and these three great games. If you like what you've seen please help us in keeping Sid Sackson's games available for generations to come.
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