Agincards, is a reference to Agincourt a french town not unlike Carcassonne and is intended to indicate that this game is related to Carcassonne but playable with a pack of cards.
Required: One standard pack of 52 cards. Five similar coins to use as tokens. For more than one player each player needs five and they should be distinguishable. A piece of paper to write running total scores on and a writing implement. A reasonable area to place cards on. The game can spread itself out so please give yourself a lot of space.
Agincards is designed to not need any strange parts and most people should be able to round up these modest materials. I shall now detail the basic game rules for single play. Multiple players take turns and keep track of separate scores. The game play remains exactly the same as single play although you may want to use more than one pack of cards for games with many players.
Shuffle the pack of cards.
Deal five cards to your hand and also take your initial five tokens.
Place the rest of the pack face down, this is the draw pile.
Draw one card from this pile and place it in the middle of the table, this is the seed card of the map.
Set your initial score to 0, this is a running total, as you score in the game this number will go up so keep track of it as you would in a game like scrabble.
Play one card from your hand onto the map or pass if you so wish.
If you now have less than five cards in your hand then take one card from the draw pile into your hand and begin to plot your next move.
Please note, that you must play a card first and then draw a card, not the other way around.
When there are no more cards in the draw pile simply play what is left from your hand without drawing any new cards. The game is over when no player wishes to play any more cards. Probably because they have run out of cards but play may end at any time if a consensus to stop is reached.
The map is where cards and tokens are placed, whenever you play a card by placing it on the map you also have the option of placing a single token on top of it. This is the only time you may play a token and you may only play one token at a time. This will instantly score you points and probably more whilst it remains on the map. However you have a limited number of tokens and it may be some time before you can remove that token from the map.
Each card represents a number and a color, red or black, the suits are ignored. Aces are 1, Jacks are 11, Queens are 12, Kings are 13 and of course the numbers are their face value.
You can only place a card next to another card already on the map, either to the left/right or top/bottom.
You may not place any card next to another card of the same value, all touching cards must be different.
When two cards are placed horizontally or vertically to each other they begin to form a run. Any two different cards can be placed next to each other but to have three or more then you must observe the direction of the run.
A run is a numerical series of cards that goes higher in one direction and lower in the other. EG if 4 and 6 are placed next to each other then only cards less than 4 can continue the run past the 4 and only cards more than 6 can continue the run past the 6. You can never break this placement rule, all runs of cards must ascend in one direction and descend in the opposite.
By following this placement rule when you place an ace or a king you end the run in one direction as no card can be higher than a king or lower than an ace. This causes a dead space to exist that no card can possibly be placed in after this card. Another way to create this dead space is when two runs intersect and no card can be placed that would satisfy the conditions of both runs. EG less than 6 but more than 8. These dead spaces are important as they can help you reclaim previously placed tokens.
A score run is a run that goes up/down or left/right from a placed token and is made up of cards only of the same color as the card the token was placed on. Gaining score for a score run happens instantly when you place a card continuing the run. The score is the length of the run, eg 1 point for a single card, 2 points for two cards and so on and is awarded to the owner of the token. Multiple tokens possibly even from multiple players may score for the same score run. So a score run with no tokens in it is worthless and a score run with more than one of your tokens in it is highly desirable.
After placing a card you may then choose to place a single token on it, at this point any score runs that this token is now part of are instantly scored. This means that placing a token will at the very least score 2 points. 1 point for a single horizontal score run and 1 point for a single vertical score run.
Any token that you prove can no longer possibly score any more. EG its score run in both directions can not possibly be continued. Either because a card of the opposite color has been placed ending the score run or dead space prevents any further cards from being placed may be returned to your hand. It is up to the player who owns the token to spot and reclaim them when these conditions are met.
You may not argue that the cards needed to continue scoring are no longer available in what is left of the pack. Only deadspace or a change of color can end a score run.
That's all the rules, when the game ends you will have a score and a pretty map of cards. In solitaire play you are just trying to score as high as you can (or trying to beat the pack, see below for alt game) and when playing with two or more people then highest score wins you the bragging rights of a weaner.
You can adjust the number of tokens each player has to balance the game, Eg a strong player only gets 4 tokens and new player could be given 6.
Played on 19th January 2007. As you can see it requires space.
Single player no score variant.
Because it is preferable to play patience games with a simple win/lose outcome here is how to do the same with AginCards.
Don't keep a score, however every card played must score at least 1 point, if you can not play a card then you lose. If you play all the cards you win.
So as long as you have tokens you can always play a card and place a token on it, otherwise you must continue scoring runs.
This means you must place a token on the first card you play (not the initial seed card).
Most of the strategy comes from planing to reclaim tokens.
The difficulty can be adjusted by changing the number of tokens you have, If you keep losing with 5 tokens try playing with 6 and so on.
I suspect it may not be possible to win with only one token, no matter how lucky you are.