I worked very hard in the last weeks to update the material needed to play The Last Responsible Moments Game. You will find in this post the newest version of the Game Manual for the simplified variant of the game. Both the full and the minimal version of the game will be published later.
Download the game cards and boards here: LRM_Game_Cards_v20110725 simplified
The Last Responsible Moments Game Manual
Version 2011-07-25 simplified
Participants experience the complexity of influences on their personal task list. They learn to devise strategies to plan for the unknown. By amplifying unexpected changes to your backlog above what happens in real life, in the Last Responsible Moments game you can devise and try strategies to deal with it faster.
Have you ever felt like you needed strategies to better anticipate changes to your To-Do-list? The Last Responsible Moments game throws you into condensed chaos where you need to finish tasks that are easy, hard or outright impossible. The tasks can change every round, sometimes in your favour. By strategically investing your work efforts or purposeful non-work (aka procrastination) you might manage to get more value for your time invested than you ever thought possible.
- The Game has seven rounds, played with task cards.
- The number of each round is announced when it starts.
- Tasks have value, due date and effort, each measured in numbers from one to seven.
- Participants have three points of effort to spend each round (aka “work”).
- Event cards, drawn at the start of a round, add complexity and surprise to the flow of work.
- Instead of working, you can procrastinate to draw a bonus card.
- Bonus cards give you flexibility.
- For starters, all cards are placed open on the table, experienced players can decide to play with “closed” hands of cards.
- Value is accumulated throughout the game, the player with the highest value wins.
A task card has a unique number and carries a value, a due date and an effort.
In reality, for most if not all tasks you have to do, you can adjust the actual effort you invest by a wide margin. Perfect preparation usually is not possible anyway, so the interesting question you have to find an answer to is: “How much is good enough?”
Tasks can be declared “done” before you’ve spent all the needed effort. The value you get is reduced by the missing effort points.
Tasks may not be finished late. They don’t earn you any value in that case.
Value – The value can be any number between one and seven. If the task is done by the due date, you get the assigned value.
Due Date - The due date can be any number between one and seven. It’s the number of the round in which the task has to be finished.
Effort – The effort can be any number between one and seven. You can invest up to three points of effort every round, so that, depending on the due date, some tasks are easier and some are harder to finish on time – and some outright impossible. For these, you need the action cards…
The Event Matrix
Event cards change your workload. In the Event Matrix every task slot gets an event card assigned which is applied to each player’s task slot at the beginning of the corresponding round. Following events may appear throughout the game.
You draw the next task from the backlog pile unless all your seven task slots are full.
According to the event card, the task is increased or decreased in value. Note: the task’s value may change to less than one or more than seven.
According to the event card, the effort of the task decreases or increases. Note: the task’s effort may change to less than one or more than seven.
According to the event card, the due date of the task is postponed or preponed. Note: the task’s due date may change to less than one or more than seven.
You can delete the task from your backlog. You earn no value for that task.
You can instantly collect the value of the tasks without actually finishing the planned work.
According to the event card, you choose the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd neighbor to your right or left. You add a dependency to the task in her task slot by writing its number onto one of yours. You may not continue working on that task until hers is finished. Example: In round 3, task slot 5 gets the following event card: “Dependency 2⇒, T 1”. The task in your task slot 5 is now depending on the task in your 2nd right neighbor’s task slot 1.
Procrastination Bonus Cards
Bonus cards are drawn when you procrastinate, i.e. when you decide not to work (spend your 3 effort points) in a round. You can save bonus cards for later use.
You can play this bonus card whenever you get an event card you do not want. Simply ignore the event card for your task and throw away this bonus card.
When you play this bonus card, you invert the value of the event card that you got. So, instead of decreased you will have increased value, a later instead of an earlier due date etc. Apply the change on your task card and throw away this bonus card.
You have one additional effort available to work each round. This card stays on the player’s card board.
You may take a look at a future event card on the event matrix. Throw away this bonus card after sneaking. It’s up to you to share or withhold your gained wisdom.
You may take a look at two future event cards on the event matrix. Throw away this bonus card after sneaking. It’s up to you to share or withhold your gained wisdom.
You may take a look at three future event cards on the event matrix. Throw away this bonus card after sneaking. It’s up to you to share or withhold your gained wisdom.
Prepare the Game
- The players decide who starts. Deal a player’s board to each player.
- Place the game board at the center.
- Shuffle all card decks.
- Put all card decks on the game board (up-side down).
- Shuffle the backlog deck (all task cards).
- Each player may pull and commit to as many tasks from the backlog as wanted. If no one is going to pull another task, the player’s initial backlogs are set. Give players some time to think about their strategies and let them assign their tasks to the single task slots on their player’s board.
- During that thinking time, fill the Event Matrix on the game board with 49 event cards (up-side down). Optional: do not fill round 1 and 2 of the Event Matrix to speed things up and get more quickly into the game.
- optional: create as many task dependencies as you want before playing the game.
Play the Game
Each round is played clock-wise.
- Each player may pull as many tasks from the backlog as wanted.
- Turn around all event cards of the current round. Apply the events to the corresponding tasks of each player. Each player optionally may apply a bonus card to the event card to influence the event for her own good.
- It’s up to the players to collaborate or not; exchanging tasks is possible during “round planning”.
- Each player makes her move (does some work or procrastinates a bit).
- Each player collects some value points for this round.
Finish the Game
- Sum up all values for each player.
- Decrease the value sum of each player by the sum of undone task’s values.
- Take some time to reflect and discuss what you’ve experienced and learned.