Card, Dice And Bowling Games At The Spring 2016 Bill Hart Merit Badge Midway

For the second time this year I volunteered at a local merit badge midway to run a workshop for the game design merit badge that I helped to create for the Boy Scouts of America. Last weekend I ran one session of my three-hour workshop at the Bill Hart District Merit Badge Midway in Santa Clarita, near Los Angeles.  I also ran a Digital Technology Merit Badge workshop, but — come on! — it’s the games we’re interested in!

To playtest a game in my workshop, scouts must first contact me with a vision statement, play value description, and initial set of rules for a game they want to make, and if I approve it, they can proceed with making a game to bring in.  Only three scouts did the prerequisites this time, but the rest who attended the workshop got to playtest their games.

by Alan, Troop 2222

Vision Statement: Blitz is a 2-to-4 player card game in which each player tries to match all their cards before the other players do.

Play Value: Surprise and luck.

Set-Up: Shuffle the deck and deal each player 7 cards.

Progression:  The youngest person draws cards one at a time until the draw one matching the face value of a card in already in their hand.  The player then puts down the two matching cards.Play continues from youngest to oldest, and then back to the youngest.

Resolution: The game ends when all the cards have been drawn.  The player with the most matches, wins.

Resources: Cards, matches.


Lucky Strike
by Andrew, Troop 2

Vision Statement: Lucky Strike is a game of chance bowling board game in which each player races from home to the bowling alley. The first one to the bowling alley wins.

Play Value: This game is fun to play because it has an imaginative property where you imagine you’re bowling for fun at a bowling alley.

Set-Up:  Place the player pieces on the “home” space. Line up the bowling pins on the bowling lane. There will be a foul line where the the person playing will flick the ball down the lane. The marble will be placed at the foul line. There will be spaces on the main game board for the following cards:  Gutter, 1-4, 5-7, 8-9, and Strike. The cards will be shuffled and placed on the spaces.


The play starts with the youngest player and the oldest player goes last.

The player will flick the marble down the bowling lane, knocking over pins. When flicking the marble, it must stay behind the foul line. The player cannot pass the foul line when flicking the marble. If they do, they lose a turn.

The player will pick up the card corresponding to the number of pins knocked down.  If the player knocked over 5 pins, they would pick up the 5-7 pin card. That player would then follow the directions of the card and move their piece on the game board down the path to the bowling alley.

  • You get 1 Credit every time it’s your turn
  • There are 4 types of land forms — Mountain, Ocean, Forest — each with a different cost
  • You can gain one of the following items when you take down a different land form — Ammo, Wild Cat, Wild Dog, Damage x2 — each with a different cost and damage
  • There are four types of cities — City, Airport, Skyscraper,
  • Metropolis — each with a different cost
  • There are 8 types of weapons — Combound Bow, Shotgun, Sword, Revolver, Uzi, Long Sword, AK 48, Mini-Gun — each with a different cost, damage and ammo

Resolution: The first player to reach the bowling alley wins.


  • Bowling lane: Separate from the game board. (made of cardboard)
  • Game Board: There are places for 4 game players. They will follow a path which starts at home and finishes at the bowling alley.
  •  Marble (bowling ball)
  • Bowling pins: ( If unable to find small pins, I plan on using toy soldiers or frosting tips)
  • 7 cards each of the following values: Gutter Ball, 1-4, 5-7, 8-9, Strike


War of Chance
by Jake, Troop 2222

Vision Statement: War of Chance is a free-for-all card and dice game where players compete to get the most points.

Play Value: Competition and surprise.

Resources: Gold

Set-Up: Deal out all the cards among the players.  Give each player one die.

Sequence of Play:

  1. Each player rolls their die
  2. Player with lowest number finds the difference between his roll and the highest roll
  3. Player with the lowest score gives player with the highest score an amount of cards equal to the difference between rolls
  4. Repeat for 15 rounds

Resolution: The game ends after 15 rounds.  The players then tally their points (cards at face value, Jacks=11, Queens=12, Kings=13, Aces=15 ***If playing with Jokers, Jokers= -7points***).  The player with the most points wins.

Resources: Cards, die rolls, points.


The two card games were a good deal of fun for the scouts, but it was Andrew’s Lucky Strike board game that really bowled them over.  There can be fun in simplicity, but immersion is a great tool for drawing players into the magic circle of play.



About David Mullich

I am a video game producer who has worked at Activision, Disney, Cyberdreams, EduWare, The 3DO Company and the Spin Master toy company. I am currently a game design and production consultant, a game design instructor at ArtCenter College of Design, and co-creator of the Boy Scouts of America Game Design Merit Badge. At the 2014 Gamification World Congress in Barcelona, I was rated the 14th ranking "Gamification Guru" in social media.

Posted on April 11, 2016, in Game Education and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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