Carbondale

There are two ways to find happiness in this town: money (♢) or love (♡). You will need to build a good network at the local clubs to win hearts, and you will have to have a good supply of spades to mine for diamonds. But it's not easy: when you try to gain social status, people will challenge you. When you try to buy better mining equipment, people will try to undercut you.

This draft is a 2 player game. It can probably be extended to 3-4p by using one deck per player, but we haven't tested that yet.

Play time: ten to fifteen minutes.

Objective

Build a network with ♡ cards whose value adds up to at least 45 and ♢ cards with values adding up to at least 25, or ♢ cards with values adding up to at least 45 and ♡s adding up to at least 25. The game ends as soon as a player reaches one of these goals.

Setup

This two-player game is played with two standard decks of cards, with the same backs. [Tip: we used a ball-point pen to draw a line between the rank and suit of every card in one deck, which is unobtrusive but makes it easy to separate the decks after the game. For this game, both decks will be shuffled together and any deck markings will be ignored.]

Each player gets two starting cards to lay on the table, one next to the other. One player gets an A ♠ and 2 ♣ and one gets an A ♣ and 2 ♠. This is the beginning of your network, which you will build by adding cards to the left, right, or above other cards, so leave room accordingly.

Play is in turns, going clockwise around the table. However, every player will have the opportunity to challenge other players' actions at any time.

When it is your turn: network building

In your turn, you will add one card to your network, or take a turn to clear out your hand.

Then, you will draw to replenish your hand. Some additions cost one or more draws, reducing the number of cards you will have in your hand at the end of your turn.

Adding a card to your network

First, announce the suit of the card you are about to play, pause to allow others to challenge you, and resolve any challenges (see below).

If you are not challenged or win the challenge, place the new card above, to the left of, or to the right of the card(s) you are building from. The costs of each type of addition are listed below and in a summary table at the end of these rules.

Then discard exactly the number of cards that you must pay this turn—no more, no less—to your personal discard pile, face-up. Keep your personal discard pile fanned open---your opponent will be able to take any of your cards when it is his or her turn to draw.

When you add a card to a blank space in your network, you will need to build from one or two source cards which are adjacent to the space. A card above the space is not relevant, because you can't build downwards. If the space has cards below, to the right, or to the left, select one or two of them as the source of your build. See Figure 1 for examples.

Throughout the game, Ace=1. Note that in all cases below, adding a card of smaller rank is an option.

♣ → ♣
♠ → ♠
Rank out Cards/Draws
≤N+1 0/0
N+2 1/2
N+3 2/3
♣ → ♠
♠ → ♣
Rank out Cards/Draws
≤N 1/1
N+1 1/2
♣ → ♡
♠ → ♢

Rank out always ≤ rank in

♡/♢ Rank Cards/Draws
3–4 0/0
5–7 1/2
8–10 2/3

For example, given a 7♣, you could add a 4♡ for free, or a 7♡ for 1 card and 2 draws. The 8♡ through 10♡ are still out of reach.



Figure 1: A player's network, with several places to add new cards, including: adding a 6♠ above, to the left of, or to the right of the 5♠ (free); adding a 5♢ or a 5♣ at the space by both the 5♠ and 3♠ (free); adding a 7♣ above or to the right of the 5♣ (ignoring the 4♣, costs 1 card and 2 draws); or adding another 6♢ to the left of, but not below, the 6♠ (costs 1 card and 2 draws).

Figure 1: A player's network, with several places to add new cards, including: adding a 6♠ above, to the left of, or to the right of the 5♠ (free); adding a 5♢ or a 5♣ at the space by both the 5♠ and 3♠ (free); adding a 7♣ above or to the right of the 5♣ (ignoring the 4♣, costs 1 card and 2 draws); or adding another 6♢ to the left of, but not below, the 6♠ (costs 1 card and 2 draws).

Cleaning your hand

If you can not or do not want to add a card to your network, you may instead discard any number of cards from your hand (including none). Put them face down in a discard pile, separate from the face-up discard pile you fanned out to reveal cards you spent to buy new additions to your network. You incur no costs.

Drawing new cards and city growth

To conclude your turn, replenish your hand.

For example, if you added a 10♡, you paid 3 draws, so your hand will have 2 cards at the end of your turn.

As the game progresses, your options for new clubs to join and new equipment to buy will expand. At the moment a player needs to draw from the draw pile but the pile is empty (and no sooner), form a new draw pile.

At setup, you formed four piles of extra cards: two of cards 5-7 and two of cards 8-10. When you need to form a new draw pile, take the next of these spare piles plus the discard piles, and shuffle them all together to form the next draw pile. If you are out of spare piles, keep shuffling the discard piles together to form new draw piles.

When it is not your turn: challenging

The active player will announce the suit of what he or she is about to play, then pause. At that point, you may challenge your opponent.


Reference


Turn summary

Either add to your network or clean your hand, then draw.

The cost of things

Read "N" as the rank of the card being built from. So in the first box of this table, if you had a 7♣, read N as 7, so for 1 card and 2 draws you can add a ♣ two ranks higher, N+2=9.

♣ → ♣
♠ → ♠
Rank out Cards/Draws
≤N+1 0/0
N+2 1/2
N+3 2/3
♣ → ♠
♠ → ♣
Rank out Cards/Draws
≤N 1/1
N+1 1/2
♣ → ♡
♠ → ♢

Rank out always ≤ rank in

♡/♢ Rank Cards/Draws
3–4 0/0
5–7 1/2
8–10 2/3
♣+♣ → ♡ or ♠
♠+♠ → ♢ or ♣

Rank out ≤ max of rank in

Always free