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The Great Minicon 48 Haggle Game

At Minicon 48, my father designed a trading card game in the vein of Sid Sackson's Haggle.  I facilitated its creation and scored its entries at the con.  Haggle is a game where half the challenge is figuring out the rules, and several players were interested in knowing all the rules after the game was finished.  I printed out 34 copies of the rules for the Dead Dog Party, but I expect not everyone was able to get a copy who wanted one.  I'll therefore post them here.

Rules marked with an ampersand (&) were rare; there were only 19 of them in circulation.  Unmarked rules were uncommon; there were 38 of each.  Rules marked with an asterisk (*) were common; there were 57 of each of these.

1.  A Saucer card is twice the value of a Robot card.
2. A BEM card is twice the value of a Raygun card.
5. Exactly 5 BEMs and 5 Zeppelins may be turned in as a legal hand. &
6. You may draw a black X across one of your Dodos to add 2 to its value. &
7. A Dodo card is worth 2 points less than a Robot card. &
8. There are ten different types of card: the BEM, the Rocket, the Dodo, the Ducky, the Robot, the Spaceman, the Raygun, and three others.
10. A Spaceman card is worth half the value of a Raygun card, times three.
11. A Zeppelin card is worth 7 points. *
13. A Beanie card will only be counted if you color its propeller red.
14. You may color a Beanie's propeller red or blue legally. *
15. If a hand contains no more than one of any type of card, its entire value is doubled. &
17. A Robot is worth 1 point more than a Zeppelin is.
19. If more than three Dodo cards are handed in, the hand is invalid. &
20. The BEM is the highest valued card in the game.
21. Any hand with more than 9 cards is invalid, with two exceptions. *
23. Each Saucer in a hand causes 1 Ducky to be discarded.
25. Five Zeppelin cards in your hand prevent all BEM cards' special powers from working.
25. Each Dodo card in a hand is double the value of the preceding Dodo card.
27. Add 4 to each Rocket's value if you include exactly 2 in your hand.
29. The Raygun is worth 5 points less than the Spaceman, and 2 points less than the Rocket.
30. If you include exactly 3 Robot cards in your hand, they all triple in value. &
33. A BEM card destroys the point value of all non-BEM cards it is handed in with. *
34. If you color a Rocket's nose cone red, it doubles the value of one BEM card.
35. Each Ducky card in a hand is double the value of the preceding Ducky card. *
37. You may hand in more than seven cards. *
39. There are 10 different types of card: the Saucer, the Zeppelin, the Beanie, the Spaceman, the Raygun, the Rocket, the Ducky, and 3 others.
40. A Raygun is twice the value of a Ducky, and a Saucer is twice the value of a Robot. *
42. If you turn in a copy of Rule #5 with your hand, it will add 5 to your total after scoring. &
43. If you color the nose cone of a Zeppelin blue, it adds 3 to its value.
44. A Ducky is worth five points.
46. A Beanie is worth half the value of a Saucer.
48. If the top-scoring hands are ties, the highest unmatched hand wins.
49. A single Beanie with its propeller colored blue may be turned in with your hand but won't count as part of it. Its value is added to the total. &
50. A single 1973 penny turned in with a hand adds 1 to its score.
52. If you color a Zeppelin's nose cone red, it doubles the value of the Zeppelin.
53. The BEM card is worth 5 points more than the Spaceman.
54. Each Raygun handed in removes one BEM from the hand.
54. If more than 4 Ducky cards are handed in, the hand is invalid.
56. If you hand in nothing but Spaceman cards, you may hand in 10 of them.
60. There are 40 rules in the game. Ignore the numbers (with one exception). *

The maximum possible score was 196, which could be obtained in two ways:
(A) 2 BEMs, 2 Rockets with red nosecones, 5 Zeppelins with red nosecones, a Beanie with a blue propeller, a copy of Rule 5, and a 1973 penny.
(B) 1 of everything except a Ducky and/or a BEM, with the Zeppelin's nosecone and Beanie's propeller colored red and an X drawn over the Dodo, plus a Beanie with a blue propeller, a copy of Rule 5 and a 1973 penny.

Two entries consisted of the first of these (David Stemple, Liz Fish) and one consisted of the second (Team Lessinger-Is-More, which included Dee Dee Lessinger, Margie Lessinger, Judy Byers, Jane Kline and Liz Fish).  Due to Rule 48, however (which was clarified in the BBT), these tied entries were disqualified.  I threw out all the entries under 120 points; there were no ties among among the eight that remained.  The top eight entries were therefore:

#1: Team Lessinger-Is-More--195 points.  The first maximum hand above, but lacking a 1973 penny.
#2: Team Lessinger-Is-More--194 points.  9 BEMs, a blue-propellered Beanie, a handwritten Rule 5 and a 1973 penny.
#3: Sharon Kahn--181 points.  6 Saucers, 3 Robots, a blue-propellered Beanie and a handwritten Rule 5.
#4: Sharon Kahn--178 points.  5 BEMs, 5 Zeppelins with red nosecones, and a blue-propellered Beanie.
#5: Emily Stewart--171 points.  3 Duckies, 3 Dodos (one X'd), 3 Robots, and a blue-propellered Beanie.
#6: Thea & Avery Winkle-Somdahl--158 points.  4 BEMs, 5 Zeppelins with red nosecones, and a blue-propellered Beanie.
#7: Anton Petersen--154 points.  3 BEMs, 5 Zeppelins with red nosecones, a Saucer, and a blue-propellered Beanie.
#8: Rhiannon--129 points.  2 BEMs, 5 Zeppelins with blue nosecones, a Saucer, a Spaceman, and a blue-propellered Beanie.

Richard, when asked at Closing Ceremonies whether handwritten Rules 5 would qualify for the bonus, decided that they would.  Other amusing things that people turned in included cards advertising a casino event involving the collection of poker hands and an advertisement for Level-Up Games.  Some players included the rules they started with, and one entry was stuffed with rules.  Many entries included the instructions for the game itself.  One entry tried to slip a tarnished 1975 penny by me, but I have good near vision and wasn't falling for it.

Two entries were disqualified for including too many Dodos (Rule 19), and one for including too many cards (Rule 21).  At least two fake rules were in circulation on people's mobile devices.  A fake rule 30 stated that three extra Zeppelins would not count against your hand limit, and a fake Rule 54 stated that any hand with more than three of the same type of card would be disqualified.  You can see how believing either of these would severely damage your chances.

There were 50% more Zeppelins than any other card.  All the other cards were of equal rarity.

1973 pennies were available at the Bozo Bus Office to anyone who could solve a simple puzzle, but only a couple players asked about it. It's possible that the missing Medallion #10 was used in an entry, rather than being redeemed for 10 Dealer Dollars.  It's also possible that someone at the con was giving out 1973 pennies in connection somehow with the 2073 Worldcon bid, though the Dodo level pre-supporting membership rate is -1 ribbon, not -1 cent.

For the record, the third best hand (assuming that you always include the bonus Beanie, Rule and penny) is 9 BEMS (194 points).  The fourth best is 4 Duckies, 3 Robots and 2 Rockets (193 points).  The fifth best is three Dodos (one X'd), 3 Robots, and 3 Saucers (or 2 Rockets and a Saucer) (190 points).  No one entered any of these, however.  Other noteworthy hands include 5 BEMs and 5 Zeppelins with red nosecones (184 points), 3 Robots and 6 Saucers (182 points), 3 Dodos (one X'd), 3 Duckies and 3 Robots (177 points), 4 BEMs and 4 Rockets with red nosecones (174 points), and 10 Spacemen (164 points).

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
bibliofile
Apr. 3rd, 2013 03:29 am (UTC)
This game is so cool! I know a bunch of people who would've loved to play it. Wow.
skylarker
Apr. 4th, 2013 01:12 am (UTC)
I participated in helping the winning team, if only as a collector of rules, so I am proud. :)

You and Richard did a great job of putting this together, and fie upon whoever circulated those false rules!
mle292
Apr. 5th, 2013 08:43 pm (UTC)
You and Richard did an excellent job with this. This was the best convention-wide game I've ever played.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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