You have dreamed your whole life of adventure, exploration, and treasure…. You grab your compass, a map, pocket knife, some rope, and put on your best hiking boots. You were able to obtain funding from a wealthy benefactor so you're off to see the world, discover artifacts and treasures, and possibly make it rich. The rules may seem simple, but the decisions will be tough. At the start of the game, you are going to place the expedition board in the center between the two players. Lost Cities (2019) has a 5 expedition board on one side and a 6 expedition board on the other side. So you have the option of a regular game or a long game. For a 6 expedition game you are going to shuffle up the 72 cards and give each player 8 face down. The remainder of the cards will form the communal draw pile. The rule book says the oldest player goes first. However, I personally feel you can decide this whichever way you deem fit (flip a coin, rock paper scissors, or just trade off). Play is easy to grasp as you are going to play a card then draw a card. You MUST do both in that order! The player that best manages different expeditions to explore Lost Cities (without overextending themselves) wins the game. Rounds last roughly 10 minutes and the rule book suggests you play 3 rounds. Game play is fairly straightforward, or is it….. remember on your turn you are going to play a card then draw a card. Cards played can be used to start an expedition, continue an expedition, or be discarded. Let's discuss the cards for a moment as it is important to understand how to play them. There will be wager cards (they look like 2 people shaking hands) and card sets in each color numbered 2 through 10 and 3 wager cards. Wager cards can only be played at the start of the expedition once you play a number card; a wager can no longer be played on your expedition in that color. Number cards can only be played in increasing amounts. So if your expedition had a 3 played on it last, then you could play any card higher than that (never lower). If you can’t or don't want to play a card on an expedition, you can discard it. To discard a card, place it face up on the matching color on the expedition board. Now it's time to draw a card. You can either take a face down card from the draw pile or you can take a face up card from the discards on the expedition board (you may only take the top card). The round ends when the draw pile is depleted (as soon as a player draws the last card). Do not let the simple rules and fast game play deceive you. There are so many tough choices to be made. Decisions, decisions, decisions….
How many expeditions should you attempt to build?
Should you start a new expedition mid-game?
How long should you hold onto cards before beginning an expedition?
Should you play a wager card? Is the potential double (or triple or quadruple) score worth the risk of the big negative?
Should you play more than one wager? The reward could be great, but could also be catastrophic!
Which card should you discard? Does your opponent need that card? What if you really like all of your cards?
Should you snag a card from the discard board, or take a chance at the top of the draw pile?
What if you start an expedition just to realize you can’t complete it successfully?
What if you and your opponent are both playing the same expedition?
Flex your math muscles as you work your way towards scoring positive points in the end. Successful players in this game will be players that think through and use quick mental math to decide when to play an expedition and when to let one go. Once you’ve exhausted your draw pile, it's time to tally your scores! Scoring is where things get fun. You know that benefactor that spotted you cash when you began? Well…... They want it back! So before you can even think about making some cash you’ll have to ante up the expedition cost (-20 points) for every expedition you started and each expedition will score on its own. Your round total is the sum of your expedition(s) totals. I’ll give you some scoring examples shortly but before I do I have a few things to note. Each expedition (color) has 3 wager cards that can be played. If one, two, or three wager cards were played at the start of the expedition then multiply by two, three, or four respectively. Also, if you happen to have played at least 8 cards in an expedition, you’ll get a bonus 20 points at the end. Check out some of the scoring examples below!
Scoring example 1:
An expedition has 2,4,6,8,10 for a total of 30. This expedition is worth 10 total points: 30 plus the initial -20 (expedition cost). -- (2+4+6+8+10 = 30 - 20 = 10)
Scoring example 2:
An expedition has 2 wager cards, and 3,5,6,7,9,10 for a total of 40. This expedition is worth 80 total points: 40 points for cards, plus the initial -20, ×3 for the two multipliers, plus the 20 point bonus for playing 8+ cards. -- (3+5+6+7+9+10 = 40 - 20 = 20 x 3 = 60 + 20 = 80)
Scoring example 3:
An expedition has 1 wager, and 4,6,7 for a total of 17. This expedition is worth -6 total points: 17 plus the initial -20, ×2 for the multiplier. -- (4+6+7= 17 -20 = -3 x 2 = -6)
So if these 3 scoring examples were your expeditions for the round. Your round total would be 84. -- (10 + 80 + -6 = 84)
]]><![CDATA[Secret Code 13+4]]>Tue, 04 Aug 2020 04:00:00 GMThttps://www.fireflytoysandgames.com/educational-games-highlight/secret-code-134
You have been chosen for a special mission! Well you and a few of your closest…. Rivals. The night you have been planning and preparing for has come. The precious Mask of Amun Re has arrived and is now on display at the Museum. You pack your trusty dice, run through some precise calculations, and off you go to break into the museum. You know you’ll have to think quickly and combine numbers (add, subtract, multiply, and divide) to deactivate the light barriers and obtain the Mask of Amun Re! Will you be named The Best Arithmetic Agent? Will all your planning and preparation pay off? Set up is easy so you will be off solving problems and deactivating barriers in no time at all.
Place the game board in the center of the table.
Shuffle up the light barriers and randomly assign them to the various spaces for the light barriers. It does not matter which side is up.
Each player picks a secret agent and places them at the entrance to the museum. Your objective is to traverse the light barriers and obtain The Mask of Amun Re! In order to do so, you will have to deactivate 10 different barriers numbering from 1 to 20 (with the final barrier being 20) by getting to the number mathematically with your dice.
Whoever can recite the 7 times table the quickest goes first. They will grab the dice and roll them to begin the game.
On your turn you are going to grab the 6 dice and roll them. Each time you can use one or more die to reach a target number that allows you to traverse the light barriers hindering your progress through the museum to obtain the Amun Re Mask. You may use a single die if the number matches the barrier, you are trying to maneuver past. For example, if the light barrier is a 5 and you roll a 5 then your agent can move forward. Congratulations! You have deactivated that light barrier! If, however, the light barrier does not match a single die, you will have to add, subtract, multiple, and/or divide to reach that target number. After you use a die/dice to deactivate a barrier, then set them aside and re-roll the remaining dice and continue to work past as many barriers as you can. Your turn ends when either you have no dice left to roll or you are unable to reach the target number. Pass all the dice clockwise to the next player. Play continues until one Secret Agent cracks the last barrier (20) and obtains the Amun Re Mask. However, the game will continue till all players have an equal number of turns so it is possible that more than one Agent will be named the Best Arithmetic Agent(s) and will share the treasures. The light barriers themselves provide some variety as they come out randomly and are double sided. This will ensure you’re not exactly playing the same game twice. (Well at least not twice in a row. If you think about it, it is probable you could repeat the same numbers and pattern at some point if you play enough games. In any case, the random distribution of the tiles provides some variability to the game.) Below are three other variants that can be easily implemented into your game.
The guards saw movement but did not find anyone lurking around. To be safe they have changed the code for this security barrier and have gone to find coffee. Each time a number tile has been deactivated the tile is turned over. Thus, providing a slightly different challenge for the next agent to tackle.
One Die roll. That’s right you only have use of the numbers you rolled at the start of your turn. Try and calculate as many of the code numbers in front of you as possible. Remember you may only use each die once and there is no re-rolling allowed.
Did we mention other agents are out to obtain this precious treasure? Once you have obtained the Mask of Amun Re you must make your way back to the entrance before you are caught or before another agent lifts it from your backpack. Be warned though those light barriers you deactivated…. Well there was a timer that reactivates them to ensure the safety of the precious treasures. You are going to have to make quick arithmetic work to make it out with your prize in hand. If another Agent passes you on the way to the exit, they lift the mask. The first agent to make it out the exit with the mask wins!
We love Secret Code 13+4. Not only is it fun to play but it is a true Math game at its core! It reinforces mathematical equations using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. When you think about the mathematical factors involved in traversing the light barriers, you will realize the game is more than basic math. Numbers 1-9 can be obtained by using a single die. However, numbers 10 -20 will require multiple dice (factors) and will sometimes require more than just addition to meet their targets. For example, 12 can easily be obtained (6+6, 9+3, 8+4, 7+5, 2x6, 3x4), 18 is a bit harder (9+9, 9x2, 6x3), and numbers like 7, 11, 13, 17 will require some form of addition, and/or subtraction as each is a prime number and only has 1 as possible multiplication factor. The higher numbers will require not only addition and/or multiplication but will require subtraction and/or division to meet their targets. This is a great way to show how different target numbers have different mathematical equations and factors.
Educational Connections:
Math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division)
Mental Math
Number Sense
Problem Solving
Quick Thinking
Decision-Making Skills
Turn Taking
Good Sportsmanship
Probability
Strategic Thinking
Each roll of the dice will present new mathematical challenges and can provide great insight as to the student’s mathematical ability.
Check out our Secret Code 13+4 lesson plan for use with 3rd-5th grade math students!