100 Years War

A Card Game, Adapted by Alan Smithee For 2 to 4 players. Based on the game "Havoc: the Hundred Years War"
by KC Humphrey, published by Sunriver Games, 2005

Introduction

"Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war." [Mark Antony, Shakespeare's Julius Caesar]

In the 1330's, fighting started in the Hundred Years' War because the Kings of England -- descendants of William the Conqueror who still spoke French -- wanted to rule France as well. France was temptingly weak and divided, and many battles raged for over a hundred years.

Game materials:

A regular deck of playing cards, including 2 jokers.
Scoresheet.

Preparation

Shuffle all 54 cards and deal five face down to each player, which are taken in hand. The rest are placed face down in the center of the table to form a draw deck. The top two cards of the draw deck are flipped face up adjacent to it.

Goal of the game

Each player tries to win as many battles as he can during the game, and amass 100 Victory Points.

Flow of the Game

The game starts with the player to the left of the dealer. Each player must perform one of the following two actions on his turn:

  • Select a card -- either the top card from the face down draw deck, or one of the two face up cards, and add it to his hand. In the latter case, immediately flip the top card from the deck so that two face up cards are available for the next player.
  • Cry "Havoc" and initiate a battle. To do this, perform the following:
    • Flip the top card of the draw deck and place it face up to create a discard pile. (Be sure to keep the discard pile distinct from the two face up cards.) The numeric value of the top card of the discard pile plus the two face up cards equals the amount of VPs at stake. Face cards count as 10 VPs, Aces and Jokers 15 VPs.
    • Place two (or more) cards from your hand face up in front of you. Going clockwise, all other players must then do the same or pass. (If you pass, it means that you may not add more cards during this battle.) This card placement then continues, one (or more) card(s) at a time, around the table until all players have either passed or played a maximum of five cards. When players pass, their cards stay face up on the table, and they are still in the battle.
    • The player with the best poker hand on the table wins the battle -- and the number of VPs as noted above. The player who came in second scores half the VPs, rounded down. Record the VPs on your scoresheet; do not remove any cards from the table.
    • Players who played one or more deuces ("Dogs of War" cards) may now select a card (one for each deuce) which has been played face up by any player during this battle, and add it to their hand. You may not select a deuce. (Players may not select a card from the draw deck, from either of the two face up cards, or from the discard pile -- they may select only from the cards played during the battle.) This selection process begins with the player to the left of the winner of the battle and proceeds clockwise. Note that deuces function normally during battles (e.g., three 2's make three-of-a-kind) in addition to their "dogs of war" ability, but they are not wild cards.
    • The remaining cards played during the battle are placed in the face up discard pile.
    • The winner of the battle takes the top card from the draw deck or one of the two face up cards as his reward for supremacy in battle (i.e., the "spoils of war").
    • The player to the left of the winner of the battle continues the game by either selecting a card or "crying havoc."

Another Deuce Use

In addition to its use during a battle, a deuce can be employed when you choose the "select a card" action during your turn. Simply place your deuce in the discard pile and select an extra card from the draw deck or one of the two face up cards. You may do this before or after your normal card selection. (For example, if you chose a face up card and its replacement is one you want, you may immediately place a 2 from your hand into the discard pile and take the second card. You may have to tell the player to your left to "hold on" for a few seconds while you decide whether you want to play your 2.) You may play multiple deuces in the same turn.

Jokers

The jokers represent powerful monarchs. To use one, place it from your hand into the discard pile during your turn. (You must choose the "select a card" action.) You may then look through the entire discard pile, choose any one card that you wish from it, show it to your opponents and add it to your hand. You may not, however, choose a Joker or a deuce, or change your mind about using your Joker. Playing a Joker is the only way you can ever take a card from the discard pile. Jokers may not be played during battles.

Miscellaneous

  • Aces may not be played as a "1" in straights; deuces are the lowest ranked cards.
  • When the draw deck is depleted, reshuffle it immediately.
  • A player may never have more than 10 cards in his hand. If, at the start of his turn, he has 10 cards, he may not draw cards and must "cry havoc."
  • In a two-player game, do not score any points for second place in a battle.
  • Two or more deuces played during a battle can be quite powerful, as it may allow the immediate taking of a high pair due to the deuces' "Dogs of War" ability.
  • If two or more players have equal poker hands in a battle, the player who cried havoc has highest priority, followed by the other players in clockwise order around the table. The tie is won by the highest priority player who was involved in the tie.

Winning the Game

The first player to reach 100 points or more wins. If two players both reach 100 after a battle, the higher total wins. In case of a tie, the tied player with the best poker hand remaining in his hand wins. (No "victory card" is drawn after the battle when someone reaches 100.)