Tag Races

One of the things I do I organize game events for my friends in the style of Running Man. One of the main games is the tag race, a game where we work in teams or as individuals to rid the opposing members of their paper wrist tags. I’ve come up with several variations of the game.

First, there’s the free-for-all. That’s pretty fun on its own, but alliances will definitely form and the game degenerates into a standoff after a while. There are several variations of this version, depending on the story or theme we use for the actual event. As a game on its own, I think it serves as a good warm up and practice session for everyone, as well as a training session for new players, but it does get boring if played too many times.

The next obvious format would be to split into two opposing teams. Several variations of this format that I’ve seen done in Running Man were Hunters and Prey, Spies, and Attack and Defense. Hunters and Prey and Spies are actually pretty similar, except in Spies, you don’t know who the Hunters are. Usually there’s some sort of limit or restriction on the Hunt team, such as eliminating all the prey before they complete their mission (usually a puzzle or treasure hunt), or a time limit. In Spies, there are a certain number of spies in the game, and their job is to secretly eliminate the rest of the members. In Attack and Defense, the two teams swap roles every 15 minutes. The Attackers are immune to elimination for the time period and the Defending team has to hide. Very much like an extreme version of Hide and Seek.

One of the variations that I came up with was Assassins. I found this game in a book called Squirt and I’ve wanted to play it ever since. In the book, there were over 300 players. Each player was an assassin and a target, also known as a mark. As the assassin, you had a mark that you were supposed to take out by shooting him or her with your water gun. Once you eliminate your mark, you acquire your mark’s mark as your new mark. Then you hunt down this new mark, take him or her out, and continue until you find your own name. There were other rules in the book, but those had to be in place since the whole game was supposed to take place over two weeks. I just took the basic rules and ran with it.

The last obvious major variation was to have more than two teams. I created two games, King and Immortal Princess, and here’s how they work.

King is played with seven, ten or 13 people, consisting of one king while the rest are split into teams of three. The king has X number of lives, where X is the number of teams there are, and can only be eliminated once by each team. The other players have one life each, but work in teams. Essentially, its 3 vs 3 vs 3 …. vs 1. Also, there is a “Princess” on each team. If the Princess is eliminated, the whole team is out. Note that there is a possibility that the King will be immortal. I.e. One team has been completely wiped out before they could eliminate one of the King’s tags, thus rendering the King immortal.

Immortal Princesses is like King, except that there is no King and the Princesses are immortal until all her Bodyguards are taken out.

I think Assassins was the most fun game we played, since there was politics involved. Also, it was consistent and didn’t degenerate. It was also fun to watch too, if you were eliminated. However, it does require more thought and planning than the other, more straightforward variations.

I’m definitely going to create more variations to play.

-Jace

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