Recently we had a game night with some friends of mine. At the start of the night we played the game “Happy Salmon“. It is a very simple game but really energetic. Every player gets a set of cards. Each card resembles an action. The goal is to get rid of your cards as fast as possible. You will have to find another player with the same action and perform it. To find another player you simply shout your action out loud in the open. The actions are either:
High five, players high five each other
Pound it, players fist bumb each other
Switcheroo, players switch places
Happy Salmon, players flip there hands against each other very fast, like two fish splashing.
The following video describes the chaos in my living room when we played the game.
As you can see the game is very energetic. However since we simply threw our cards in the air these would most likely do not hold that long. Therefor, I created my own “Happy Salmon” such that I could simply print out, cut it in pieces, and would not have to worry about cards being destroyed. In the process of creating these cards I also added some more actions. These new actions will make the game more challenging when playing with a large crowd.
The cards background are transparent, meaning that if you simply use colored paper you will nice colored cards. Most pictures are self explaining but nevertheless, the following new actions are defined:
Bro Bump, more or less the same as pound it but only with the knuckles and on shoulder height as in the picture.
Bro Shake, handshake in the air
Pinky Swear, pinky swear with one another
Hug, bit more intimate but should be fun nonetheless
Handshake, seems obvious
Teamspirit, for this action you need three people instead of two. You put each other hands on each other and cheer afterwards, something like, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGmp3zdRLyY
Teamwork, for this action you will need four people instead of the regular two. Simply hold each others arms as shown on the picture.
The cards are simply created in office. Below you can either download the source file or download the original card set or the card set with the new actions. Both files are for one player.
Codenames is played between two teams, red and blue on a set of twenty-five codenames. Each team consists of a single spymaster who knows the secret identity behind each codename, with the remaining players as field operatives who will contact the codenames. On each turn of the game, the spymaster provides a clue to their field operatives. The field operatives will then attempt to contact at least one of their aligned agents based on the codenames clued. The first team to activate all of their agents wins the game!
Codenames is an interesting game since it can be adapted to a variaty of themes. For instance, it can be themed to Harry Potter. As such it is also a very good game to be played with children. Therefor, I created an excel file(Update 2017-04-30: I updated and added two additional word lists to the file; i) the official word list and ii) an extensive noun word list. Download here) from the original game which includes all the necessary items for the basic game:
Codenames (two categories, general and Harry Potter)
You can print these on sheets of paper and cut them out. Now follows a set of detailed instructions for playing the game.
Players are divided into two teams, Red and Blue. Each team consists of one spymaster, with the remaining players as field operatives. All players observe a set of twenty-five words, representing codenames for agents aligned with each team. While field operatives do not observe the identities of each of the codenames, the spymasters each get to see the identity of all codenames on the map card.
There are four different agent identities: red agent, blue agent, bystander, and assassin. One of the teams will have nine of their-colored agents in the set of codenames, while the other team will have eight agents. The team with nine agents will take the starting turn in the game. Among the eight codenames not aligned with either team, there are seven Bystanders and one Assassin. Effects for contacting these agents are described in the following section.
On a team’s turn, their spymaster must start by providing their field operatives with a clue for the identities for their own agents. A clue consists of a single word and a number. The word should be related to the codenames that are aligned with the acting spymaster’s team, while the number represents how many codenames are related to the clue word. Further guidelines, including two special number rules, follow in the section below.
Once a clue has been given, the field operatives are free to discuss which codename(s) should be contacted. When the field operatives have decided on a guess, they may register their guess by touching the codename. The host or spymaster will reveal the identity of the codename by putting an identity card (Red Agent, Blue Agent, Bystander or Assasin) on top of it.
If the revealed agent is of the same team as the operatives, then they may continue making guesses. A maximum number of guesses may be made equal to the number given in the spymaster’s clue, plus one. Alternatively, the field operatives may pass to end their turn, so long as they have made at least one guess already on their turn. If the revealed agent is not of the same team, then the turn ends. In the special case that the assassin was revealed, then the team that performed the reveal immediately loses the game.
Spymaster Clue Guidelines
Spymaster clues consist of a single word and a number, with the following guidelines:
Words must be related to the meaning of the codenames being clued.
The number following the word cannot be used as a clue itself.
Clues may not include codenames or related forms of codenames. For compound codenames, this includes the constituent words that comprise the compound word. Once a codename has been guessed, it can be used in clues.
Overall, be reasonable about rules; spymasters may consult with their opposing spymaster and the host for the validity of a clue. If an invalid clue is provided, then the turn immediately ends and the opposing spymaster may declare an agent of their own color before making their own clue.
Spymasters have two special options for numbers associated with their clue words. First, spymasters may declare zero (0) as their clue, suggesting that none of the codenames are related to their declared word. In the case that zero is declared, the field operatives do not have a limit to the number of guesses that they may make before passing. The second special option is to declare “unlimited” as their clue, suggesting at least one codename is related to the declared word. As with zero, the number of guesses that may be made by field operatives before passing is unlimited.
From 28th of May to the 1st of June GEMOLD14 takes place. GEMOLD14 is the GEWIS version of the popular Dutch television program wie is de mol?, literally translated who is the mole?. The program is about 10 candidates who have to complete several assignments with which they can earn money. However, one of the candidates is the mole, it is his solely purpose to make sure that assignments fail and the team of candidates earn as less money as possible. At the end of each episode there is an execution, the candidates have to answer a number of questions about the identity of the mole. The candidate who answers the least amount of questions correct has to leave. Candidates can earn jokers, which turns a falsely answered question into a correct one, or free-cards with which they do not have to do the answer the questions at all and guarantees continuation to the next episode. At the end of the program there are only three candidates left, the mole and two candidates. The winner is the candidate, who is not the mole of course, who answers the most correct questions about the identity of the mole.
On the 23rd of February I got an e-mail from the GEMOLD14 committee with the message I was selected to participate as a candidate. Together with the e-mail I received a questionnaire which I immediately filled in. You can download it here, however, it is in Dutch. I also had to write a small introduction about myself for the website, which you can view here, also in Dutch. After that it was just waiting for the 28th of May.
On the 28th of May all 14 candidates gathered at GEWIS in the Metaforum at the university. Before I went to GEWIS I made a visit to the bathroom where I wrote mole on mirror with soap just as a tease for the other male candidates who might had to go to the bathroom after I went. Later we were delegated to come to balcony of the Metaforum. After a group picture with all the candidates GEMOLD14 was finally about to start. Tim the host of GEMOLD14 showed up and welcomed us. He explained some organizational matters and how jokers and free cards looked like. We handed in our mobile phones, wallets and everything else that we were not allowed to have in our possession during the weekend. Afterwards, he told us to prepare ourselves for execution! With only the questions from questionnaire someone was already going to leave the group. Everyone was in shock, while I only had an eye for the joker and free card which Tim showed us as an example and left on a small table. With an easy pace I walked up to the table and grabbed them while everyone was gasping and watching me. Unfortunately however, one of the other organizers came up to me and told me to give them back. As polite as I am, I gave them back. Very stupid afterwards since they really lay in the open and the organizers were only to blame themselves to leave them so in the open. In the meantime the monitor was placed. Ruben, the host who did the executions, called the first name: Rik — who I think is the mole by the way — got a green screen. He was followed by Celine, Mark, Jos, Arno and Levi who all got a green screen. Then it was Wout’s turn, he was one of the finalist of GEMOLD13. Unfortunately for him he got a red screen and we were left with 13 candidates.
Wout was executed and the remaining candidates and myself gathered between the Metaforum and the Main building. Tim showed up. He asked for two volunteers who were lazy, Jos and Annebel presented themselves after which they were escorted away from the rest. Tim asked for someone who still had to recover from the shock, Mike presented himself and he was also escorted. At the end Tim needed two more volunteers who would enjoy a little walk, Ingmar and Leroy presented themselves. The rest had to fetch our bicycles and were escorted by two people from the organisation, Merel and Serge. For clearance here a list of the people:
Two volunteers who were lazy: Jos and Annebel.
One volunteer who still had to recover from the shock: Mike
Two volunteers who enjoyed a walk: Ingmar and Leroy
The rest who were gonna travel by bicycle: Wouter (me), Jorik, Celine, Wim, Levi, Rik (mole!), Patricia and Arno.
We drove to the Opwettense Watermill. Tim was waiting for us, after we parked our bicycles Tim explained us the assignment. Two people would arrive at the Watermill in approximate 10 minutes. From there on we had to guide them within one hour to the camp location were we would spend the night. We were to act as a traffic signpost and were not allowed to communicate by any other means than that. We were given three maps in which not all roads were clearly visible. On the left side the street directions were given in plain text. After the instructions of Tim we gathered in a circle around one of the maps, discussing which positions were best to post someone as a signpost. In this discussing Levi took the lead. Celine also got hold of one of the maps, I asked her if I could have a look at it. She gave me the map, but not before saying that she wanted it back afterwards, of course I never gave it back. At the first point were we had to leave someone behind I told the group we had to leave Celine as a signpost, I took the lead in this discussion since I did not suspect her. Celine was left at the first street crossing and the rest bicycled further. During the road there was some discussion whether or not someone had to be left at a street junction however of course our logic kicked in and we decided to post no-one as long as the directions was straight ahead. Jorik was left next at a roundabout. Then Patricia was left at a crossing. After that there was some discussion if we took the correct turn. I quickly ended that discussion because from reading the map and street names I knew we were correct. It was very funny and suspicious to see that no one seemed to be bothered to actually look at the street names and the ones on the map. The discussions were more like — when you look at the scale of the map and the distance from this crossing to this crossing, this had to be the correct crossing. At the next crossing I told the group which was left, that I want to act as a signpost and to be left behind. Levi did not like that and wanted to leave someone else behind — I guess he did not trust me. Rik (mole!) however told Levi however that we could keep discussing but that it was useless and he should accept the situation as it was. I was left behind as a signpost and the rest continued. However at the end of the road they stopped and were discussing. Later I learned that there was confusion about the map since there should have been a straight clear road ahead but there was not. However during their discussion Ingmar and Leroy arrived at my location, quickly I acted as a signpost and pointed them to the correct direction. Ingmar and Leroy were gaining upon the rest of the bicyclists, since they were still discussing. Suddenly they saw them and drove of, however, leaving Wim behind as a signpost. From this point on I could only guess and learn from others what happened further on. Suddenly however Mike arrived, I was kind of surprised and without thinking I pointed him in the correct direction, very foolish of me so it appeared afterwards.
While I was waiting to be picked up by one of the organizers I started to write in my mole booklet. After a while the group reappeared and we drove back to the starting point to pick up everyone after which we drove straight to the camp location. At the camp location we had to step off from our bicycles and one by one we had to go to the gates from the encampment. Jorik went first, he however came back and told us that he did not get in. He told us that we were getting a yes or no question about if we wanted to get into the encampment for -500 mole money. In the meantime Arno did went to the gate and got in. At first I thought he told yes. Then Wim and Celine got in as well. I got to the gate and got the question which Jorik told me I would get, I clearly said no and got in. From what I learned afterwards Jorik told not clearly no but said “euh no“. Inside the main building of the encampment I learned that while there was some confusion on the road, after I was left behind, we succeeded with the assignment. When every candidate was inside Tim greeted us. He told us that Ingmar and Leroy were inside the encampment in time with which we earned 500 mole money. However, Mike also made it also into the encampment with which he earned a free-card. This did however cost -1000 mole money. So actually we did fail with the assignment, since we got -500 mole money in the end. The mole had succeeded and we went to sleep.
The next morning all candidates gathered in a small room. Tim joined and explained the lie and cheat assignment. The moles of the three previous editions of GEMOLD would join us they would act as a jury. Tim would then ask each candidate two questions, one had to be answered truthfully the other with a lie. The jury would then try to guess which answer was a lie. Each candidate could earn mole money when the jury did not manage to find out which answer was a lie. When a previously candidate managed to fool the jury the next candidate could choose to call. The mole money earned by the previous candidate would then be safe. If he continued and the jury would guess correctly which answer was a lie then the previously earned mole money would be gone. The amount of mole money earned would raise by:
First Ingmar and Patrice who both did not manage to fool the jury. Then other candidates told me I had to go, I resisted a bit but gave in to the pressure. Tim asked me two questions, if I had a part-time job and what my favorite book was. Since I did not quiet understand the game at that moment, I was wondering if the question which were asked stood in the questionnaire, I decided to answer the first question falsely and the second truthfully. The jury then guessed wrong. The next candidate did not decide to call and unfortunately he did not fool the jury. The 10 mole earned by me were gone. After my question, I gave the assignment some more thought and I believed that we could have lied always regardless what type of question we were asked because the questions did not actually come from the questionnaire. Hence it could never be checked if the candidate was actually lying towards the jury. After I got executed, I looked it up and indeed both questions which I was asked were not in the questionnaire. As such I think I was correct during the game and we could all just have lied towards the jury. Unfortunately everyone was to truthfully towards the jury and we only managed to obtain 100 mole. We could have earned a lot of mole money very easily. This time the mole was not clever, we were dumb.
After the next assignment, I unfortunately got executed. I wrote this blog almost immediately after I was executed. However, I did not describe the events during the last assignment, I did plan to finish it at a later stage. However, as you can see that never happened. Because the episodes are being aired now, I decided not describe these events anymore from my point of view.
The Smuggling Game is another running game which can be played inside the forest. The game takes place inside the forest. The group is divided into two teams. One team is called the smugglers and the other the police or customs. The goal of the smugglers is to smuggle goods (cards) from one part of the forest to another part. In both parts of the forest is a game leader, one who hands out and one who collects cards. The goal of the police is to make sure that the smugglers fail at their goal. The smuggler has to hand over his card to the police when he is tapped by them. The police then hands out the collected card to a third game leader who is located in the middle of the two other game leaders. The game leader who hands out cards to the smugglers has a fixed number of cards. Shortly after the game leader is out of cards the smugglers become the police and vica versa. Of course this team switching can also be time dependent.
To actually play the Smuggling Game there is one required accessories and one optional.
required: game cards (see below)
optional: sash, for identification of both teams
A few alterations can be made to the game to make it more difficult or exiting.
If the police taps a smuggler, they do rock-paper-scissors or another simple game, to determine if the police wins the card from the smuggler. If the police loses he has, for instance, to stand still for at least 5 seconds.
Instead of one location where the smugglers can bring their cards towards to, there are multiple locations.
First the smugglers bring their cards to the first location. They can then decide to double the value of the card by bringing it to a second, more difficult to reach, location. Then they can bring to a third, et cetera.
Click on the figure to go to the Google drawing. You can download a A4 paper sheets here with the cards in the correct ratio, to be printed on colored paper. The Dutch version can be found here.
One week in the Summer I work voluntary as a camp leader at a summer camp for children. Each year there are at least three summer camps for different ages. The camp accommodation is located in the Veluwe which is a forest-rich ridge of hills in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. Hence a lot of the activities take place inside the forest. Every camp leader organizes some games/events for the children. This year I organized four events.
The last two games I want to share with you. In this blogpost I explain the details of Stratego Alive. In another blog I will give the details about the Smuggling game.
Stratego Alive is a variation on the strategy board game Stratego. It is a running game and is to be played in the forest. The group is divided in two or more teams. All teams have their own playing field, i.e. part of the forest, in which they hide their flag, note that the flag must still be, partially, visible . The flag can be for instance a colored towel or an old ripped bed sheet with some colored paint on it. The goal of the game is to capture the flag of the opposing teams.
Every team has at least one game leader. The game leader sits on a fixed location somewhere in the part of the forest of that particular team. The game leader hands out every player a card. On the card the rank is shown and depending on the card also some extra info. The table below shows the ranks. In general it holds that the card with the highest rank wins. If a player wins the player who lost gives his card to the winning player. Both players must then return to their respective game leader, the winning player is to hand in the card of the losing player. The losing player is to obtain a new card.
Loses against the Spy if Spy taps first.
Wins against Bomb
Wins against the Marshal if Spy taps first.
Loses against the Miner. Cannot tap anyone
The Marshal is the highest rank and wins from all other cards, except if it is tapped by the Spy. The Spy is the only character which wins from the Marshal if he taps first. It is to be noted that sometimes children fight over who tapped first regarding the Marshal and Spy, therefore the rule can also be changed such that the Marshal always losses against the Spy regardless of who taps first. The Bomb is somewhat similar to the Marshal it also wins from almost every card accept that the Bomb cannot tap other players by himself and loses against the Miner.
If the rank is equal there are two rules which one can enforce, (i) either the two players exchange cards and return to their game leader or (ii) the two players ignore each other and continue playing.
This is Stratego Alive. This game can easily be themed when the game is to be played into a certain setting, for instance, pirates. You simply change the name of the Marshal to Captain Hook, General to Jack Sparrow, et cetera.
To actually play Stratego Alive there are two required accessories and one optional.
required: game cards for every team (see below)
required: flag for every team
optional: sash, for identification of each team
Click on the figure to go to the Google drawing. You can download a A4 paper sheets here with the cards in the correct ratio, to be printed on colored paper. The Dutch version can be found here. Credits regarding the graphics of the cards go to Sjoerd.