Home > Uncategorized > GDCU: Sailing the Seas of Cheese

GDCU: Sailing the Seas of Cheese

Chapter 2 of Challenges for Game Designers Challenge 2 is entitled “It’s Mine.” The design challenge is for acquiring territory, and is to be played by 2-4 players. The win conditions are as follows:

  • player who gets all the territory wins, or
  • player who has the most territory after x number of turns wins.

The game could be a board, card or tile-based game.

I’ve spent the afternoon playing Sid Meier’s Pirates!, so it was fairly natural that I would go nautical for this design. With apologies to Primus.

Sailing on the Seas of Cheese


  • # of islands = 1d4 + 2
  • # of moves/turn = 1d4
  • # of players = 2-4
  • 1 move = 1 ship length
  • tokens
    • ships (e.g. dimes)
    • islands (e.g. quarters)
    • main base


  • Determine the number of islands by rolling 1d4+2. Place islands in random locations, away from the base (e.g. center of playing area) around the play area
  • Place all ships at base (center of playing area). Determine play order by rolling die. Highest roll goes first.


  • Player rolls die to determine number of moves ship will move in one turn (1d4). One move = length of ship. For example, if you roll a “3,” your ship moves three ship lengths towards the island of your choice.
  • To capture an island simply land on it. If the island has never been captured before, you successfully capture the island and your ship is returned to base and can then begin the process of capturing other ships.
  • To capture an island captured by another player determine the island’s hit points by rolling 1d4+2. The result is the number of turns it will take until you successfully capture the island.
    • The owner can prevent the island from being taken over by landing on the island before the number of turns expires. Ownership of the island is retained and both ships are returned to base.

Win State

  • The game ends when all of the islands are captured by one player.

Notes and Observations

I wanted to create some sort of conflict in terms of stealing islands from other owners. I couldn’t get the mechanic down (I think this is because I feel limited being used to dealing with computer designs rather than table-top design), so any suggestions on how to improve this aspect of the game, or any aspect for that matter, is truly welcome.

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