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TRICKY
======
A trick-taking dice game for two to five players by Clark D.
Rodeffer, February 2006, submitted as an entry for the 2006 Game
Design Competition sponsored by About Board Games and GameTable
Online.
GOAL & SUMMARY
==============
The goal of Tricky is to score the most points over a series of
hands by bidding for the right to name trump, then winning tricks.
Game is 1000 points times the number of players.
EQUIPMENT
=========
Each player needs three sets of common "role playing" dice. That
is, each player needs 3d4, 3d6, 3d8, 3d10, 3d12 and 3d20. Colors
and styles don't matter, but uniform dice for each player makes
end-of-hand sorting easier. Players also need something to use as
screens (such as open books or folded cardboard) to hide their
hands of unplayed dice. One player also needs pencil and paper to
keep track of bids and scores. Optionally, players may agree to
use extra sets of 4d10 (ones, tens, hundreds and thousands digits)
as play aids to track running point totals after each trick.
ORDER OF PLAY
=============
Tricky is played over a series of hands, and each player starts
each hand with 3d4, 3d6, 3d8, 3d10, 3d12 and 3d20. Hands proceed
in four stages: ROLLING, BIDDING, TRICKS and SCORING.
1. ROLLING. Each player rolls all 18 dice behind a screen so no
other player can see their values. The players then have one
chance to re-roll any or all of their dice. Each player must
announce how many dice are being re-rolled, and all of them
must be rolled at the same time. Thereafter, the dice values
remain fixed.
2. BIDDING. The player who scored the most points in the previous
hand bids first. If this is the first hand of the game, the
youngest player bids first. Going around clockwise in turns,
players bid the number of points they think they will win in
tricks and for the right to name a number as trump.
The minimum opening bid is 30 points times the number of
players. Each subsequent bid must exceed the highest previous
bid by at least as many points as there are players. Any player
may pass instead of bidding, and may re-enter the bidding in a
later round without penalty. If no players wish to make an
opening bid, all players lose 20 points, and a new hand is
started with the same first bidder.
Bidding ends when all players but the highest bidder have
passed in succession. At that point, the highest bidder may
name any number from one to 20 as trump, or optionally declare
that there will be no trump for this hand.
3. TRICKS. The player who won the last trick leads (plays first)
to this trick, or, if this is the first trick of the hand, the
highest bidder leads first. Going clockwise in turns, players
place any two dice from their hands in front of their screens,
being careful not to change their values. Players are under
no compulsion to try to win tricks, but, if possible, one of
the two dice played to a trick by each player must match one of
the two dice played by the leader. After all players have
placed their dice, the values are compared to determine who won
the trick.
If no dice showing the trump number were played, or if there is
no trump for this hand, the player whose pair of dice had the
highest total value wins the trick. In case of a tie, the
player who played earliest wins the trick.
If any dice showing the trump number were played, one of the
players who played a trump will win the trick. Among them, the
player whose second die was also a trump wins the trick. If no
player played two trumps, then the player whose second die had
the highest number wins the trick. In a tie, the player whose
trump die had the most faces wins the trick. Should the tie
continue, the player whose second die had the fewest faces wins
the trick. Finally, if there is still a tie, the player who
played earliest wins the trick.
Being careful not to change their values, dice won in the trick
are collected near the player who won them, and are left
exposed for all to see throughout the remainder of the hand.
After all nine tricks are won, scoring begins.
4. SCORING. First, players total the number of points showing on
all the dice they took in tricks.
If the highest bidder won at least as many points as were bid,
he or she scores the number bid (NOTE: not the number of points
won) times either the trump number or the number of players,
whichever is greater. All the other players individually score
as many points as they each took in tricks.
If the highest bidder did not win at least as many points as
were bid, he or she scores nothing, and all the other players
individually score one and a half times as many points as they
each took in tricks, rounding down.
After scores for the hand are recorded, all the dice are sorted
so that each player has 3d4, 3d6, 3d8, 3d10, 3d12 and 3d20
before starting the next hand.
The first player to score at least 1000 times the number of
players in points wins. If more than one player exceeds the
winning total in a given hand, the highest bidder for that hand
wins. If none of the players who exceeded the winning total was
the highest bidder for that hand, the player who scored the
highest wins. If there is still a tie, additional hands are
played until there is a clear winner.
PLAY TEST TEAM
==============
Matt Arnold, Don Beyer, Stephen Beyer, Amanda Rodeffer, David
Whitcher