Designed by Jacob Valdez
Players 2-2
Length 10 minutes
Extra Material None

A game of ending border tensions.

This game is in development.

According to an online translator, Saldo is Finnish for "balance."

I hadn't seen any games yet making use of the antipathic suits, although I did see it used to determine the color of a second tower in an Ivory Tower variant.

Initially, I thought of a climbing game, restricting the beating card to one of the opposite suit, but that rapidly got too complex for my tastes, so I rethought it as below. I'd like to see if anyone else has time to playtest, and their thoughts and ideas.


Shuffle the Standard Deck, dealing 6 cards facedown to each player, and 6 cards faceup to the center of the table.

Game play

Your goal is to neutralize the table cards, bringing balance to as many as possible. (Once I get the rules down, I'm thinking of a story relating to a neutral border between to kingdoms)

On your tun, you will play a card to one of the center piles, then end your turn by drawing a card. When you play a card, it must contain an antipathic suit (Moons on Wyrms, Suns on Leaves, Waves on Knots) versus the card where you play it. You will then check the total difference between the suits:

  • If it balances out (the totals of the two suits subtracted from each other totals 0), then you've captured that pile. Place it facedown next to you, and immediately replace it with a new card from the draw pile.
  • If it does not, that pile remains in play, and your opponent may attempt to capture it by balancing it on their turn.

Examples of Play:

  • Play the 9 of Moons/Suns against the 9 of Waves/Wyrms. The Moons balance the Wyrms, and that pile is captured.
  • Play the 4 of Moons/Suns on the 7 of Moons/Leaves. That pile is now set as Suns versus Leaves, and will require 3 more Leaves to balance.
  • Play the 2 of Suns/Wyrms on the 4 of Moons/Suns. That pile is now set to only count Moons versus Wyrms. Currently, it requires 2 more Wyrms to balance. If the opponent plays the Ace of Moons, that brings the total to 5 Moons against 2 Wyrms. By playing the 3 of Leaves/Wyrms, that pile would be captured.
  • Play the 6 of Moons/Waves on the 5 of Wyrms/Knots. The difference is 1 point, but the opposing suit has not been set, since you have both Moons/Wyrms and Waves/Knots. The Ace of Wyrms or the Ace of Knots would capture the pile.

Once the deck has run out, players continue trying to balance and capture piles until neither has any more valid plays. Any remaining cards, whether in player's hands or on the table are discarded before counting scores. I haven't yet decided the best way to score. In my first test game, just playing from open hands, I wound up with the following results:

  • Count tricks (piles) captured - Player 1: 5 to Player 2: 4
  • Count total cards captured - Player 1: 11 to Player 2: 12
  • Antpathic Aces - Check Aces captured. If you have a pair of antipathic suits, none of those two suits count. Then count cards captured - Player 1: 6 to Player 2: 2


Like I said, I need to get more plays in to see how this one works over time. I'm debating whether I need to adjust the difficulty by changing the number of cards dealt to the middle, or by allowing multiple cards to be played out of one's hand, then draw back up to 6. Another thought is whether to allow multiple moves - if you capture a pile, make another play before drawing cards.

I'm also torn on scoring the game. Thematically, I like the third method. It would also encourage players to be careful which piles they capture, to avoid collecting two Aces of opposite suits. If that proves to have a tendency to allow one player to run away with the game, going with the number of piles captured would probably be the most fair.

Any comments, ideas, or playtest results would be appreciated.

The extended deck





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