Hack Your Old Boardgames: Monopoly
Friday the 11th of December 2020
The snaddering system just needs a doodled board and some pieces to put on it. You've probably got at least one old boardgame in your cupboards that's seen better days - instead of bringing it back out this Christmas and spending two hours playing something you've all played too many times before, why not take the pieces and try making your own game together?
Here are a few ideas for reusing bits of an old Monopoly set, and the rules in the Board Games To Create And Play book that you can use them for.
The bits and pieces
- The most useful stuff in the box is probably the paper money: it can even be worth picking up a second-hand copy of the game just to add a stack of paper notes to your snaddering toolbox. As well as being handy for any game you make that uses the Money rule, you can also use paper notes to keep track of players' scores if you're using the Victory Points rule.
- The little silver playing pieces are an odd bunch, and a worthy addition to your snaddering collection. They can be used as playing pieces, Non-Player Pawn enemies, Tokens to collect from the board, or whatever you need them to be.
- A regular Monopoly set has 32 green houses and 12 red hotels (unless you've lost some). For a two player game, that's enough
to build one colour each under the Making Your Mark rule. Maybe each player has 12 buildings and they get built
equally; maybe the green player can build houses more quickly but with each house having less effect. For three players, you could
paint 12 of the houses a third colour, or have two players team up as the green team.
You can also use houses to play a cooperative Teamwork game. Instead of the board filling up with tokens that the players have to race to remove, flip it around and have the board start with buildings on 44 of its squares, and something that's demolishing them.
- Dice are dice, it's always good to have some around.
- The cards are less useful, as they're all very specific to the game. Use the general concept of Chance cards as inspiration, instead: make yourself a deck out of blank cardboard, and have some squares that let you draw and play them like an Action Card.
Example game: Dogzilla
This is a two-player game combining the hotels, pieces and dice from Monopoly with the Making Your Mark and Non-Player Pawns rules and the Downtown board from the book. Each player also has a coloured pawn.
One player is red, the other green. They get 12 buildings each and at the start of the game take turns to place them on the board, one per square. The little silver dog is Dogzilla, who starts in a square on the edge of town and moves one square per turn towards the nearest building (resolving ties at random), demolishing any he tramples on. The little silver boat moves around on the river, giving players a free move to any other riverside square. The last player with any buildings of their colour left standing is the winner.
Board Games To Create And Play is a book describing the snaddering game design system, with 58 blank tear-out boards and dozens of suggested rules to try (from barricades and secret identities to card-based movement and worker placement).