So Shelly’s been trying to think of ways to study chemistry that aren’t mind-crushingly tedious, and we’ve started working on a chemistry game similar in some ways to trading-card games like Magic: the Gathering. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far:
The game is played with decks of cards, each of which represents an element. For example, there are oxygen cards, hydrogen cards, sodium cards, chlorine cards, and so on. Each player has one deck of cards.
Each player begins the game with twenty hit points.
Each player has a field in front of him, consisting of eight spaces where hydrogen and oxygen cards can be placed, and consisting of three slots in front of him where defensive molecules may be placed. All these fields are empty at the beginning of play.
Game play takes place in turns. On each player’s turn, that player does each of the following, in order:
1. The player may place up to three Hydrogen or Oxygen cards from his hand into the field in front of him. At no point may the field contain more than a total of eight cards.
2. The player may then create molecules by combining atoms which are not hydrogen or oxygen from his hand and combining them with hydrogen and oxygen atoms from his field to form molecules. These molecules may be used to neutralize any molecules which his opponent has previously played against him which continue to cause damage until neutralized (see below). The molecule thus formed and the molecule played against him are then discarded.
3. The player then builds defensive molecules by taking atoms which are not hydrogen or oxygen from his hand and combining them with hydrogen and oxygen atoms from his field to form molecules. For example, if a player has a Sodium atom in his hand, he may combine it with a Hydrogen and an Oxygen card from his field to form sodium hydroxide, NaOH, which is an alkali of Rank 3. This means that if it is in his defensive field, it neutralizes acids of up to Rank 3. A player may place no more than 2 defensive molecules per turn.
4. The player then builds molecules with which to attack his opponent by combining atoms from his hand which are not Hydrogen or Oxygen atoms with Hydrogen or Oxygen atoms from his field to form molecules. For example, if a player has a Sodium atom in his hand, he may combine it with a Hydrogen and an Oxygen card from his field to form sodium hydroxide, NaOH, which is an alkali of Rank 3. This means that if the player plays this molecule to attack his opponent, the molecule will do 3 points of damage immediately to the opponent, plus one additional point of damage per turn until it is neutralized. If the opponent has an acid of Rank 3 or higher in the defensive position, it is neutralized and both the NaOH and defensive molecules are discarded from the table, the defending player receiving no damage.
5. As soon as a molecule is played on a defending player, that player may immediately combine atoms from his hand with Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules from his field to counter the attacking molecule. For example, if the attacking player plays HCl, hydrochloric acid, an acid of Rank 3, the defending player takes 3 points of damage if he has no defensive molecules on the table which can neutralize acids. However, if he has a sodium atom in his hand and a hydrogen and oxygen in his field, he may immediately play NaOH to neutralize the HCl. In this case, he takes 3 points of damage, but the HCl and the NaOH are immediately removed from the table and he does not continue to take damage on subsequent rounds.
6. Some molecules are special; for example, fluorsulfonic acid (HSO3F), is a superacid of rank 4 which will inflict 4 points of damage on the defender, 2 points of damage on the attacker, and an additional 1 point of damage on each player on each turn thereafter until it is neutralized.
7. When the player no longer has enough atoms in his hand to form molecules, he then takes any damage from any remaining cards played against him that do periodic damage, and both players draw cards (if necessary) until they each have 7 cards in their hand. That player’s turn is then over and the next player’s turn begins this same sequence.
For the purposes of simplicity, organic compounds are not part of the game. Atoms in the decks include all the halogens, all the alkali metals, sulfur, nitrogen, and so on.
So…whaddya think? Too geeky?