The Business Card Games
A Game for Two Players
Reflector is a game about giving and taking. Specifically, it’s about giving and taking pieces of territory. Two players fight to claim each other’s territorial claims one little square at a time. Seek out your opponent’s territorial control nodes to claim vast swaths of territory at once. But be warned…with every new space you gain, you sacrifice another. Stay alert, or you could turn out to be your own worst enemy.
Doug Lynn’s Business Card Game Board is set up to work with Reflector. The Game side of the card contains a grid divided into two boards of 100 squares each. Each grid is built of ten rows (numbered 1-10) and ten columns (lettered A-J).
To play, you will need at least two copies of Doug Lynn’s Business Card Game Board and a pencil with a good eraser. (Note: You can always set up your own 10 x 10 grids in the event you lose the existing cards.)
For Reflector, each player will need two different 100-square game grids. One grid serves as the Private Grid. Players keep this grid to themselves, using it to display any and all necessary information about their game board. The second grid serves as the Public Grid. This grid is displayed to both players as a reference, displaying only information uncovered over the course of gameplay. Depending on the number of cards you have, there are a few different ways to set up the game board for play.
- For Two Cards
o Option A – Fold the card in half along the center line. Stand the card on end such that you and your opponent can each see a different half of the grid. The side facing you is your Private grid, while the side facing your opponent is your Public grid.
o Option B – While destruction of this precious business card is not preferred, it provides a more logical and intuitive layout for the play of Reflector. Cut the card along its center line so as to divide the grid in two. Retain one half of the grid to serve as your Private grid. Place the second half of the grid in the center of the play surface. Lay your grid such that its top end (Row 1) is facing the top end of your opponent’s grid. Combined, these two Public grids represent the entire game space.
- For Three Cards
o If you have the luxury of access to a third card, there is no need for folding or cutting of any kind. Place one card in the center of the play surface, grid side up. One grid faces you, while the other faces your opponent. This represents the Public grid space. Each player retains a separate card. Choose one half of the card to serve as your Private grid.
To begin, each player chooses the location of five Control Nodes on the game grid. These Control Nodes are marked out only on each player’s Private grid, and they mark out the initial territory controlled by each player.
- A Control Node covers a territorial area surrounding the node in a diamond shape
o Including the Node at the center, this territory is an area encompassing 5 spaces horizontally, 5 spaces vertically, and 3 spaces diagonally in both directions.
- Nodes CAN overlap each other or be placed on edges, but the territory they control is limited to the grid space.
- A Node is marked out on a player’s private grid by a single dot.
Control Nodes represent a player’s territory.
- Each player’s territory is represented by a different symbol. For example, territory controlled by Player 1 may be identified with an ‘X’, Player 2, with an ‘O’. Stars, boxes, or any chosen symbols can be used.
With the boards established, the game begins.
Taking turns, players work to slowly expand territory and gain control of all of an opposing player’s Control Nodes.
To begin, players can flip a coin to choose who will make the first move.
The player making a move (the “Shooter” player) selects a location adjacent to any territory he owns. In doing so, the Shooter lays claim to the selected space, capturing that piece of territory. When a space is captured, the opposing player (the “Target” player) must reveal the status of the space and mark it as one of the following:
- “Null”, a space not covered by any Control Nodes. The Target player simply marks this space with the Shooter’s I.D. symbol.
- “Owned”, a space within the control range of the Target player’s Control Node. For reference, the Target player shades in this space. Once shaded, the space is then marked with the Shooter’s I.D. symbol.
- “Node”, a Control Node owned by the Target player. By capturing this space, the Shooter takes possession of all of the spaces the Node controls.
HOWEVER, if that territory overlaps with that of another Node still controlled by the Target player, the Target retains control of any overlapping territory. For reference, all spaces within range of the Node are shaded in, but only those outside of the overlap area are given an I.D. symbol. The Target player marks the Public grid as such.
After a player captures a space on the opponent’s board, the player must concede that same space on his or her own board. For example, if Player One takes possession of grid space (F,3) on Player Two’s board, Player Two also gains possession of space (F,3) on Player One’s board. Thus, a Shooter is selecting not only a space to claim, but a space to concede. This 1:1 exchange of territory is a key aspect of every move.
- The only exception to this 1:1 exchange is the capture of a Control Node. If the Shooter claims an opponent’s Control Node, he gains access to all of the territory that Node controls. However, upon reflection, only the space containing the Node is conceded to the Target player. Thus, while the Shooter can earn up to 13 spaces by claiming a Node, the Target gets only one in return.
- Be advised, however, that this situation also applies in reverse. If the Shooter concedes a space on her own board containing a Node, the Target player claims all of the territory controlled by the Node.
Once a space has been claimed and subsequently conceded, the Shooter and Target reverse roles. Players continue to take turns as such for the remainder of the game.
Each player’s first move can be made anywhere on the top row (Row 1) of the enemy’s board.
However, each subsequent move can ONLY be made in a space directly adjacent to each player’s existing territory. Players cannot simply pick and choose points, but must work forward from previous claims. Additionally, in Reflector, players may not claim new territory on their own game boards.
When all Control Nodes on one side of the board have been captured by the opposing player, the game is over. The player with remaining unclaimed Nodes is declared the winner.
In rare cases, the final Node on both sides of the board may be in the same location. When captured, the reflection of this move results in the capture of the opposite Node, as well. As a result, both players lose at the same time. In the event of such a draw:
- Players count the number of spaces they control on the opponent’s board.
- The player controlling the greatest number of spaces wins.
- In the event these values are identical, the game results in a True Draw. Neither player is the victor.