Fightin' an' Drinkin' an' Stealin'!, A Stonehenge Humor Game by Evan Shultz
After reading The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett, it became obvious that Stonehenge was an ancient sporting arena built by clans of Scot-like fey trapped in our world. As I looked at the board, I began to wonder just what these sporting events might have looked like. I believe I've captured the strategy and excitement of those ancient contests, without quite so much mess.
Number of players: 2
Object of the game: You control a clan of kilt-wearing fair-folk at the Umpteenth Occasional Games, trying to earn awards in three events: Fightin', Drinkin', and Stealin'. The clan that gets the most awards not counting their best event wins! (You didn't really win if you got all the Killing Monsters awards but lost in Quaffing, Thieving, Not Passing Out, and Not Getting Clobbered).
Equipment: Fightin' an' Drinkin' an' Stealin'! uses the deck (divided into three decks), the board, all of the little colored disks, and all six of the figures.
Setup: Set the board between the two players so that one player has the number 23 right in front of them and the other is sitting behind number 8.
Sort the cards into three decks: all of the black cards plus the two white 25's and the five trilithon cards (the Monster deck, seventeen cards in all), all of the remaining day cards (the first player's deck), and all of the remaining night cards (the other player's deck). Shuffle each deck and set the Monster deck aside for now. Each player deals out three random cards from his or her deck face up: one to the trilithon spaces (the Fightin' Event), one next to the altar stone (the Drinkin' Event) and one to the place where it says "STONEHENGE" (the Stealin' Event). If a player deals out his or her white 1 card (the Gonagal, see below), he or she should shuffle it back into his or her deck and deal out a replacement card. Once each player has dealt a card to each event, they each draw a hand of five cards.
Turn the top card of the Monster deck over onto the center trilithon space, and then set the rest of the deck by the side of the board. Place the neutral figure (the Big Lawyer) on space 30 of the outer track, and set the other five figures (the Wee Lawyers) and the colored disks (the awards) aside for now.
You should now have seven cards on the board: a card from each player at each event, plus the monster card.
Playing the Game
The game is played in seven rounds. To begin each round, each player plays one card from his or her hand face down to each of the three events, where it joins the face-up card already there. Once each player has chosen and played three cards, so that each event has two cards from each player, the three events are played out one at a time in the following order.
The Fightin' Event: There are few things you and your lads love so much as a good fight. Luckily, the inter-dimensional gateways that masquerade as trilithons provide plenty of challenging monsters. Now the only problem is fighting the other contestants to see who gets to fight the monsters!
First figure out which team is the best at fighting: each player turns his or her newcomer face up and adds it to the fighter already there. The pair of fighters with the highest sum gets to fight the two monster cards. That player flips over the next card in the Monster deck and adds it to the one already there. Trilithon cards count zero, but double the other Monster card's value.
If the two players tie with each other, then each player discards his or her highest fighter and nobody fights the monsters this round.
The Drinkin' Event: If there's one thing that beats a good fight, it's a good drink. Or maybe a good fight over a good drink. The object of this competition is to drink the most drinks out of any drinker while still vertical.
First serve up the drinks: take a blue award from stock and put it on the altar stone. Then each player turns his or her newest drinker face up. Figure out which of the four cards is the highest: that card is the biggest drinker. If it's a tie for biggest drinker, each player discards his or her biggest drinker, they leave the blue award on the altar stone for next round, and then they move onto the next event. If it's not a tie, add up the numbers on all the drinkers to figure out the total drinks. If the total comes to...
The Stealin' Event: After everyone's had a drink it's time for some stealin'. Technically, the competition is to see who can steal the most gold from the haunted tombs below Stonehenge--but if you're really good at stealin', why go down into the tombs when you can just steal awards from the other team?
- Less than fifty: Buy another round. Leave the blue award on the altar stone. Each player, starting with the player who has the biggest drinker, chooses and discards a drinker.
- Fifty, sixty, or some number in between: We have a winner! The biggest drinker earns all the awards on the altar stone. Each player, starting with the player who has the biggest drinker, chooses and discards a drinker.
- More than sixty: The biggest drinker passes out. Return all the awards on the altar stone back to stock. The player with the biggest drinker card discards it. The other player chooses and discards a drinker, then earns a green award for Not Passing Out.
To start with, figure out which thieves actually steal anything this round. Turn over the newest card from each player, then see which of the four thieves is the highest thief, and which is the second-highest. If two thieves tie for one of the two positions, they cancel each other out and that position is skipped this round.
Now for the stealin'! First, the player with the highest thief may steal all the awards from an opponent's thief, or if none of the opponent's thieves have awards he or she may steal a single award of his or her choice directly from the opponent's awards. The player may choose not to steal anything. Next, the player who owns the second-highest thief may choose to steal a yellow award from stock. Again, the player may choose not to steal any Yellow awards at all. Whenever a thief steals awards, put those awards on the thief, not directly into your own awards. Thieves don't deposit the goods until they're done stealing.
Now that both thieves have had a chance to steal, it's Lawyer time. The Big Lawyer moves counterclockwise (from 30 counting down to 1) one space for each award among the thieves. Once the Big Lawyer stops, check it against the thieves.
After the Big Lawyer moves, any player who avoided getting Habeascorpusized chooses one of his or her thieves to scarper off. When a thief scarpers off, it adds any awards it's carrying to its owner's awards and then is discarded.
- If each thief card is lower than the number the Big Lawyer is on, then all is well and no one gets Habeascorpusized.
- If one or more of the thief cards equals or exceeds the number the Big Lawyer is on, then someone is about to get Habeascorpusized! The lowest thief to equal or exceed the Big Lawyer's number returns all its awards to stock and is discarded. If there's a tie, the thief with the most awards gets Habeascorpusized. If it is still a tie, then both thieves get Habeascorpusized! They each get discarded, returning any awards they had to stock.
If only one player got Habeascorpusized, then that player must take the Wee Lawyer of the color that the Big Lawyer stopped on. If the Big Lawyer stopped on a black space, the opponent chooses which Wee Lawyer he or she takes. Having a Wee Lawyer does two nasty things to you:
The only way to get rid of a Wee Lawyer is for your opponent to get Habeascorpusized with that color on a later round, in which case you give the poor bloke yours.
- All of your cards of that color are worth zero instead of their number.
- All your awards of that color are halved for scoring.
The End of the Round: Once all three events are over, each player draws back up to five cards (or three, if there's only one card left in your deck) and chooses three cards to play for the next round.
The Final Round: The seventh round is worth double. The player who wins the Fightin' Event gets two red or white awards, plus two bonus awards if he or she kills a trilithon card. Place two blue awards on the altar stone instead of one. If a drinker passes out, the opponent gets two green awards instead of one. If a thief steals from the opponent's awards it may steal any two awards instead of any one, and the second-best thief can take one, two, or zero yellow awards from the stock.
The Gonagals: That white card with the number 1 on it isn't just anybody--that's a Gonagal. Gonagals play tiny bagpipes and recite poetry so bad it can slay enemies. Whenever a player enters a Gonagal in an event, the Gonagal automatically wins that event on account of everyone else lying on the ground with their hands over their ears:
At the end of the event, the Gonagal must be the card discarded. If two Gonagals both show up to the same event, they cancel each other out and just count 1 for numerical purposes. And if a player is stuck with the white Wee Lawyer, then his or her Gonagal isn't a Gonagal--it's a zero, just like all his or her other white cards.
- A Gonagal in the Fightin' Event chooses and kills any monster, then chooses which of the opponent's fighters gets discarded, all of which earns both a red and a white award (or two of each if it's the last event) plus the usual bonus if it kills a trilithon card.
- A Gonagal in the Drinkin' Event chooses which opposing drinker gets discarded, then takes all of the blue awards on the altar stone and one green award (or two if it's the seventh round) for being the only one not passed out.
- A Gonagal in the Stealin' Event steals all the awards from the opposing thieves, then takes a yellow award (or two if it's the seventh round) from stock, and even prevents the Big Lawyer from Habeascorpusizing anyone this round (though the Big Lawyer still moves). A Gonagal may not steal awards directly from an opponent. The player with the Gonagal chooses which thief the opponent discards.
Ending the Game
Once the seventh and final round is over, each player discards all the awards of whichever color he or she has the most of (remember that each Wee Lawyer a player has halves the value of his or her awards in that color). If two or more of a player's colors are tied, that player picks one to discard. The player with the most awards left after discarding his or her best color, wins.
Evan Shultz is an amateur writer and game designer. You can find some of his written works, as well as some from his friends, at www.redfenceproject.com.
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