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Counterweight

A two-player card game by Adrian Morgan

This game was invented by Adrian Morgan and first tested against another player on 31 January 2006.

Requirements:

Two players and a standard 52 card pack. The cards should be well shuffled.

Instructions:

Deal six cards to each player, then turn the next two cards face up to begin the two "permanent discard piles". The remaining 38 cards become the stock.

Play alternates as in most games.

On a turn, a player can either "place a couple" or begin a new "temporary discard pile", both of which are defined below. In some circumstances, the player may then be allowed to collect one or more of their temporary discard piles. Each player seeks to win the game by getting rid of both their temporary discard piles and the cards in their hand.

End of Game:

Play ends either when one player has an empty hand and no temporary discard piles, or when the stock has been emptied and a player is unable to place a couple.

The winner is whoever has the lowest number of penalty points. To calculate your penalty points, multiply the total number of cards in your temporary discard piles by the number of temporary discard piles you have, and add it to the number of cards in your hand.


AMENDMENT

I have identified a serious weakness in the game; here I explain that weakness and suggest ways to overcome it.

A person might play Counterweight either aggressively or defensively. It boils down to what a player does when there is a choice between playing a card on a permanent discard pile or on an opponent's temporary discard pile. A defensive player will generally choose the permanent discard pile, whereas an aggressive player will generally choose the opponent's temporary discard pile. Both strategies present a problem.

The game works best when players are not too defensive and not too aggressive. But how to force people to play that way?

I suggest the following ammendment.


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Last updated 29th January 2010