For September’s 24-hour contest on BGG, I put together a very light dice rolling game called Circus Divas. In it, you run a Depression-era circus, roaming from hick town to hick town and fleecing all the rubes you can. It’d be a great gig if it weren’t for the jerk who had the same idea you did and is hitting the same towns you are.
So, being the upstanding gentlemen you both are, you make a deal: the first circus that can put away $100 is clearly the best – and the other one will have to head elsewhere. Get your performers, get your dice, and, hopefully, get $100 first.
- Arrange the cards face up on the table between the two players. This is the hiring pool. Put out at least one full set of polyhedral dice: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20.
- Get a bunch of change (pennies to quarters). One penny represents one dollar and will be referred to as such in the rest of the rules.
- Give each player 10 dollars (a dime) to start.
- Decide randomly who goes first; that player buys his or her performers from the hiring pool, then the other player does the same from the remaining performers. To buy a performer, you must spend a dollar for every side of that performer’s die.
- Because both circuses are performing in the same town on the same night, it doesn’t matter who performs first. You could both perform at the same time, but then you couldn’t heckle the other circus, which is half of the fun. (The other half is choosing whether you’re going to threaten or sweet-talk your performers – or some combination of the two – and then doing it!)
- Earn your “gate fee” – one “dollar” for every performer in your circus.
- Starting with your lowest-valued die, roll in ascending size of die, earning the amount shown on the die in dollars.
- However, if a 1 is rolled on any die, a few bad things happen.
- You earn no money for that performer’s show (though you still earn the gate fee).
- In addition, that performer throws a full-blown diva’s tantrum, threatening to leave your circus if you can’t draw bigger crowds.
- Immediately, you have to choose to let the performer leave and return immediately to the hiring pool or to console the diva, spending the rest of the night telling that diva that he or she is so special and so wonderful.
- If you do not console the diva, he or she leaves your circus immediately and returns to the hiring pool. You may rehire this diva as normal at any later point in the game.
- If you console the diva, he or she stays with your circus and rolls as normal next performance. However, you cannot console another diva that night, so a more valuable performer who rolls a 1 and throws a tantrum immediately leaves your circus and returns to the hiring pool.
When both players have rolled for all of their performances, the player who earned the least money that round gets to hire new performers first. Then the other player gets to buy. The round is over, and the next one begins.
End of Game
The game ends at the end of the round when one player has $100. If both players are over this total, the player with the most money win. In the rare event of a tie, put on one more show and the player with the highest total wins.
The more you can get into character, the more fun this game will be! This isn’t a super in-depth Eurogame…so have some fun with it! Yell at your performers! Heckle the opposing circus! Get into it – and you’ll have a lot of fun with it.
Let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org! And if you don’t want to scroll to the top, click here to get the PnP!