What is Lots?
Lots is designed and created by Thomas Wells
Lots is an abstract shareholding game with an unusual method of valuation.
Players will build 5 “Lots” of objects collectively, taking shares in lots of their choice as the game progresses. Each lot’s ability to score is dependent on the objects in lots to the right of it, so players will have to be clever to maximize the value of their own lots, sometimes sharing the spoils with other players to win.
Lots is a game for 2-4 players and takes around 10-15 minutes to play, making it a perfect after-dinner or lunchtime game.
What makes Lots unique?
- Weight as a game mechanic – Some of the lots are valued according to how much they weigh, meaning that players can use a scale—or argue about how much each pile of object weighs using their intuition(s).
- Each game is unique and handmade – This is a small-scale project, and I (Thomas) the game’s designer, will be assembling each game by hand (likely with the help of some volunteer pizza friends). Each game will include a unique set of 25-30 objects for play.
- Unique valuation – As each lot holds value relative to the lots to the right of it, determining who is winning is a challenging prospect that will make you scratch your head and say, “huh.”
How to play Lots
You can watch the main video above to see a broad overview of how the game plays, but at its core, Lots is a simple stock game. Here are the main aspects of gameplay:
Lots is a shareholding game. To win, you will be building “lots” or collections of objects, and then taking shares in each lot. There are five piles of lot cards, each with 5 available cards in each pile.
Between each lot card pile is a value card, which is how endgame scoring is determined. As you play, you will assign objects from a shared pile to each lot, as well as taking shares from those lots. These shares and the number of objects associated with their lot will be a part of scoring at the end of the game.
For a lot to score, it must be valid.
At the end of the game, a lot’s objects are evaluated using the value card directly to the right of it against all the lots and their objects to the right of it. If the condition of the value card is met, the evaluated lot is valid. If the condition of the value marker is not met, the lot is invalid. Remember these terms for scoring.
Playing the game
On each players’ turn, they must take 2 actions. The same action may be taken more than once, except for two of the actions. The actions are:
- Add 1 object from the supply to their personal supply.
- Add 1 object to a lot from their personal supply.
- (Once per turn) Take 1 lot card from a lot card pile. The lot must have at least 1 object in it for a player to take this action.
- (Once per turn) Return 1 lot card to its respective pile and swap the place of 2 lots. The lot cards and the objects beneath journey together.
A lot becomes locked when a 4th object is placed within it. Locked lots may not be moved.
The game’s end is triggered when 1 lot card pile is empty, the object pile is emptied, or 3 lots become locked.
Finish the round so each player has had an equal number of turns.
Each lot is evaluated to see if it is valid. If a lot is valid, players holding cards of that lot receive points equal to the number of objects in that lot multiplied by the number of lot cards in that lot that the player holds. Lot cards from Position 5 are worth nothing, as Position 5 does not have an associated value marker.
To determine weight, players can use a scale, or just come to a consensus about which piles weigh more or less by holding them in their hands and arguing.
The player with the most points wins!