Save our Leader!

A game for 2 players (or multiples of 2) based on "chaos theory" and GM'd by computer simulation. By Richard Smith 2020.

In April 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was very ill in hospital with COVID-19. It was the virus versus the NHS and the good guys won! Huzzah!

In this medically inaccurate but mathematically interesting simulation, one or more (male) world leaders are stricken by a deadly virus and the doctors must save them.


There are two players per leader - one taking the role of the virus and one the doctor. Where two or more leaders are stricken it is possible for doctors to glean information from reports of the other cases. The virus somehow can do the same, much to the bafflement of scientists.

The virus is attempting to infest different parts of the host's body whilst the doctor is attempting to fight the infection with antibody cells. By a pure coincidence there are three types of virus cells (black, green and yellow) and three types of antibody cells (red, white and blue).

There are 6 locations which can be infested: The brain, heart, lungs, liver, colon and testes.

At the end of the game, each location is checked to see if the virus has the majority of cells. If the virus has the majority in more locations than the antibodies, the leader dies. If the reverse is true, he lives. In the event of a tie the total number of cells in the body of each side are tallied to see if he lives or dies.

The game runs over 5 turns and orders work as follows:

1. Placement

1.1. On turn 1 you have 10 cells of each of your side's three colours to deploy. On turn 2, you place 20 of each, turn 3 30, turn 4 40 and for turn 5 it's 50.

1.2. The cells of each colour can all be sent to the same location, or split between two locations.

Example 1: 10 reds to the brain, 10 whites to the liver and 10 blues to the colon.
Example 2: 10 reds and 5 blues to the brain, 10 whites to the colon, and 5 blues to the testes.

1.3. Orders may also include the destruction of any of your own cells (any number in any combination of locations).

2. Stimulation

2.1. Both players have 6 Stimulation cards that can be played over the course of the game. Stimulation cards are played after cell placement but before interactions.

2.2. Each card is played on one location, and this has the effect of doubling the number of cell interactions at that location. Stimulation cards played on the same location are cumulative.

3. Interactions

3.1. After cell placement and possible stimulation, 500 (or 1000 with one stimulate card, 2000 with two etc.) interactions take place in each location - a random cell meets another random cell. The possibilities for each interaction are:

a) Nothing happens
b) One of the cells is destroyed
c) A new cell of a different colour is created

3.2. Whilst in general enemy cells will fight each other, odd effects can happen with different cell combinations. It's chaos theory, just like when a butterfly farting in Mongolia causes it to rain during your barbecue.

4. Specials

4.1. These take effect after the interactions are completed.

4.2. The doctor has a single Castration card that can be played one per game, but not on the first two rounds. This removes the leader's testicles in an attempt to save his life. Any cells in the removed testicles die.

4.3. The virus has one Grow a Pair card which also cannot be played on the first two rounds. This has the effect of cloning the leader's testicles with the cells they currently have.

4.4. The new pair will be a 7th location called Testes2 and will be able to receive cells in subsequent rounds, however...

4.5. If both cards are played in the same round, they cancel out (the new pair appears in place of the surgically removed originals instead of elsewhere on the body, so no new location is created).

4.6. If the doctor plays the Castrate card on a leader that had already grown an extra pair, only one (nominated) pair will be removed unless the player burns an unused stimulation card.

4.7. If the virus plays the Grow a Pair card on a leader who was castrated in a previous round, only one new pair will be grown unless the player burns an unused stimulation card.

5. Other

5.1. Conditional orders are not allowed in this game

5.2. In the event of no orders being received, no stimulation or special cards are played and the new cells of each colour are sent to random locations (all of each colour to one location).

5.3. The turn report consists of a status table and some commentary but no other information.

5.4. The computer program is written in Javascript and code won't be made available until after the game has finished. Thereafter any GM's wishing to run the game will of course have to amend the interaction rules.

  Brain Heart Lungs Liver Colon Testes
Red 10 0 0 0 0 0
White 0 10 0 0 0 0
Blue 0 0 10 0 0 0
Black 0 0 0 10 0 0
Green 0 0 0 0 10 0
Yellow 0 0 0 0 0 10