Land, Tools, and Gold: a card game
After starting to read "Capital in the 21st century", and thinking about how some people get rich by working, whereas others get rich by doing nothing other than selling access to something they own, I made up this card game yesterday.
It works as follows:
- The game is played with special playing cards, of three types: "Land", "Tools", and "Gold".
- There are 10 Land cards, 30 Tools cards, and 50 Gold cards.
- All 10 Land cards start out in the middle of the table (the Commons).
- Each player starts with 1 Tools card in their hand.
- The rest of the Tools cards and all the Gold cards are left as stacks on the side.
- One of the players starts, then you go clockwise to take turns.
Each turn consists of three steps.
Step 1: Calculate your Power.
Count the number of Land cards you have access to: the ones in your hand, plus the ones in the Commons (in the beginning, this is 0 plus 10). Now count the number of Tools cards you have access to, again by adding up the ones in your hand and the ones in the Commons (in the beginning, this is 1 plus 0). To be powerful you need both Land and Tools, so whichever one you have less access to, will determine your Power. In the beginning you have access to only one Tools card, so despite the many Land cards you have access to through the Commons, your Power is still only 1.
Step 2: For each unit of Power you have, take one card from anywhere.
For each unit of power, you may take one card. From anywhere, just take it. It may be from the Tools stack, from the Gold stack, from the Commons, or even from one of the other players (this part probably works best if players play an open hand and don't hide their cards).
Step 3 (optionally): Give, talk, and trade.
You may want to move some of your cards from your hand to the Commons, give them to other players, propose deals, trade, talk politics, negotiate pacts, and form coalitions.
The game ends when the stack of Gold cards is empty, and the winner is the person with most Gold cards.
What would be your strategy?