|Designed by||Justus Pang|
An asymmetric climbing race game for two.
The tortoise and the hare are staging a series of races!
To be the champion just keep getting rid of your cards first.
The player who most recently held a bunny shuffles the basic deck, discards two cards (to introduce uncertainty) and deals one face up to each player to be their starting positions for their race tracks.
Take the remaining cards and deal them face down equally to each player (sixteen each). The hare then draws the top eight cards off his deck, while the tortoise draws none (zero). The hare starts first.
As a "climbing game" the card play will consist of a player leading with a set of cards to his race course (the allowable plays are described in the following section). The second player may then play an equal or higher ranked set of the same type to her own race course. The second player must pass if she does not have a playable set. If the second player passes then the first player may then lead with a set of any type. If the second player follows with a set then the first player may then either play an equal or higher set or pass, giving the lead the the second player. Note: unlike most traditional climbing games, players are not restricted to playing the same number of cards as the previously played set to continue the series.
There are three types of sets: Singles, Multiples (groups of cards with the same ranks), and Straights (ascending consecutive ranks of two or more cards). The hare may play as many cards as he desires, but the tortoise may play at most two cards at a time.Note: straights are not required to share a common suit
A set must always be connected to the player’s race course. The first card played must either share a suit, or share the rank, or be of one higher rank than of the top card of his or her race course. Each player's race course will always remain their own, they will never play cards on their opponent's course.
At the end of the race, each player's course should be completely connected from beginning to end. It is suggested that the players announce their plays and mention how it is connected (such as "I play a 6,7,8 straight, the 6 is connected by the sun to the orange crown")
After the lead, the second player may either pass or play the same type of set and the final card must be of equal or higher rank than the first player’s final card (and yes, it must be connected the second player's course). Only the final card matters in determining the rank of the set. When a player passes, the series ends and the other player may then lead with any type of set on their race course. The newly lead series does not have any relationship to the previously played sets, but it must still connect to the player's race track. A player that captures the lead may pass his or her turn, and will still draw the appropriate number of cards from doing so.
Because the hare and the tortoise may play different numbers of cards in a play, the amount of cards (aside from minimum of two(!)) in a multiple or a straight is irrelevant. Even though the hare must follow type, he may always play as many cards as he wishes to the play (ie 3-4-5-6 in response to a 5-6 straight played by the tortoise). Similarly, no matter how many cards the hare plays, the tortoise must merely follow type (ie she may follow four Aces with a pair of Aces or higher)
As mentioned previously, the tortoise starts with an empty hand. However, she will draw two cards at the beginning of each turn until her deck runs out.
The hare does not replenish his hand regularly, he will draw cards only in three situations:
1. If he passes and has cards remaining in his hand, he will draw a single card.
2. If he passes and has no cards remaining in his hand then he will draw the remainder of his deck.
3. Finally, he will draw the remainder of his deck after the end of the series during which the tortoise draws her last card.
The hare will never draw a card without following a pass. In the second situation, even if the hare won the series where he shed his last hand card, he will still have to pass the lead to the tortoise as he cannot play until he draws his cards. In the third situation, he will not draw the remainder of his deck until someone passes.
The first player to play all of his or her cards is immediately the winner of the race. If both players are unable to play their final cards, the winner will be whoever has the fewest cards remaining. If they are tied in remaining cards, then the race is declared a draw. The winner of the race scores 1 point for every card remaining in their opponents hand. In the case where neither player was able to empty their hand they score the difference in number of cards between the two remaining hands.
A full tournament of races would involve four rounds with the players alternating as the hare and the tortoise, and see who has the best record. If after four races, the series is a draw, then continue racing and the next winner is the champion badger.
//Example 1: Jen plays her last card to her race track and is declared the winner. Brad has 3 cards left in hand so Jen scores 3 points.
Example 2: Angelina and Brad both pass because they have no legal plays remaining. Angelina has 2 cards left while Brad has 4. Angelina is declared the winner of the race and scores 2 points. (4-2).//
The extended deck
The pawns and courts could be inserted in the deck, they would rank between the nine's and crowns. As such the setup would still involve discarding two cards and starting with two cards, but instead of starting with eight cards, the hare would start with ten cards.
If the Excuse has no rank and no suit and is considered lower than an ace. As such it can only be played as the very first card of a series (the one who plays it must have the lead) but it can be played onto any card and any card may be played to follow it. It counts as leading a series of Singles. If you use the Excuse you should discard 3 cards at the beginning of the game.
Playtested with Jing Gu.
Thanks also to Kenny VenOsdel who reviewed the rules and suggested clarifications.