Carbondale

There are two ways to find happiness in this small 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.

Carbondale is a tile placement and resource-building game played with two standard decks of cards.

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: twenty to thirty minutes.

Objective

Build a network with at least 6 ♡s and at least 4 ♢ cards, or at least 6 ♢s and at least 4 ♡s. The game ends as soon as a player reaches one of these goals.

Setup

Shuffle together two standard decks of cards with the same backs. [Tip: we used a ball-point pen to draw an unobtrusive line between the rank and suit of every card in one deck. The marks are ignored for play, but make it easy to separate the decks after the game.]

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. You wil build forward, to the left, and to the right, so put these starting cards at the edge of the table.

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.

Adding a card to your network

Figure 1: A player's network, with several places to add new cards. Some
examples will be given below.


Below is the table of allowable builds and their costs. Your options follow a few general principles about how you as a networking businessperson can progress:

Each build is from some card with some suit and a rank (let us call it N) to another card. The boxes below show the suits you can build from→to, and the rank the built card can have.

♣ → ♣
♠ → ♠
Rank out Cards, Draws
≤N+1 0, 0
N+2 1, -2
♣ → ♠
♠ → ♣
Rank out Cards, Draws
≤N 1, -1
N+1 1, -2
♣ → ♡
♠ → ♢
Rank out Cards, Draws
≤N 1, -1



A few examples using the figure above:

Cleaning your hand

If you can not or do not want to add a card to your network, perhaps because you did an expensive build last round, 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 showing cards spent to buy new network additions. You incur no costs.

Drawing new cards

After either cleaning your hand or adding to your network, replenish your hand.

For example, if you started with four cards and built a 9♠ on an 8♣, you played the 9♠ on the table and paid one card in building costs, leaving you with two cards in your hand. The draw penalty is two cards, so draw until you have 4-2=2 cards in your hand---that is, draw no cards.

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 a few piles of extra cards, each an opportunity for your range of clubs to join and equipment to buy to expand. When you need to form a new draw pile, take the next of these spare piles (if any) plus the face-up and face-dowm discard piles, and shuffle them all together to form the next draw pile.

When it is not your turn: challenging

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

Reference

Turn summary

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
♣ → ♠
♠ → ♣
Rank out Cards, Draws
≤N 1, -1
N+1 1, -2
♣ → ♡
♠ → ♢
Rank out Cards, Draws
≤N 1, -1