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Royal Ace-assin

Invented by Thomas Edward Gale (tomgale@yahoo.com); December 2000

A simple card game for 2 players. A 1,3,or 4 player variant could easily be devised. Imagine Blackjack with bluffing.

Quick Introduction:

Face cards are royal figureheads. Numbered cards are influential members of the royal court. The Aces are royal assassins. There are 3 "years" of play. At the end of the 3 years, the assassins are sent out. After all murders occur, a winner is determined. Figureheads total the political strength of their supporters. A player wins by owning the most powerful living figurehead.

Rules for 2 players:

Each player selects a suit (Hearts, Spades, Diamonds, or Clubs). The youngest player has first choice. All remaining cards from the other two suits (and Jokers) are taken out of play. They won't be needed.

In order to set up the game, both players should do the following:
Lay out your 3 face cards (face up) in a row before you (Jack, Queen, King).
Set aside the Ace. The ace is your assassin and will be played last.
Keep the other 9 numbered cards of your chosen suit in your hand (obscured from the other player).

Turn 1:
Both players should:
Once both players have placed their first round of supporters, then both point out ONE enemy supporter card for the enemy to flip over. To be fair, the pointing should be done simultaneously. Flip the chosen cards.

Turn 2:
Both players should choose and place 3 more cards face down to show support for each figurehead. Once both sides are ready, both sides point out TWO enemy support cards to flip over. The 2 cards can only be chosen from the supporters just placed this turn. Again, point simultaneously, and then flip the chosen cards.

Turn 3:
Both players choose and place their last 3 cards face down, aligning them with a figurehead. Each figurehead should now have three supporters. Once both sides are ready, each player flips over all THREE of their most recently placed cards.

Final Gambit:
Players total the numbered value of their own exposed support cards. Whoever has the lowest total must send out their assassin first. If the exposed totals tie, then the oldest player sends out his assassin first. When a player sends out an assassin she places her ace on one of the enemy figureheads (King, Queen, or Jack). That figurehead is now dead. Then the other player chooses an enemy figurehead to murder by placing his ace on one of the enemy figureheads. That figurehead is now dead.

Determining the Victor:
Now all face down support cards are turned face up on both sides. Total the columns of support for each living figurehead. The living figurehead with the highest numeric support total wins. If there is a tie, then the winner is the figurehead with the highest existing rank: King (high) , Queen, and Jack (low) respectively. If there is still a tie then each player should gather all their own supporters, shuffle them, fan them out, and let the enemy select a card. Whoever owns the higher card breaks the tie and wins. If still tied, repeat.

Example Game:

Turn 1: # # #
K Q J

J Q K
# # #
---> 3 # #
K Q J

J Q K
# 8 #
Turn 2 # # #
3 # #
K Q J

J Q K
# 8 #
# # #
---> 6 # 4
3 # #
K Q J

J Q K
# 8 #
2 9 #
Turn 3 # # #
6 # 4
3 # #
K Q J

J Q K
# 8 #
2 9 #
# # #
---> 2 5 8
6 # 4
3 # #
K Q J

J Q K
# 8 #
2 9 #
5 3 4
Final Gambit: 2 5 8
6 # 4
3 # #
K A J

J Q A
# 8 #
2 9 #
5 3 4
---> 2 5 8
6 7 4
3 10 9
K A J

J Q A
7 8 10
2 9 6
5 3 4
---> 11 n 21
K A J

J Q A
14 20 n
---> 21
J

Q
20
---> J wins

The Story:

Once upon a time there were four countries that hated each other's guts. Each country wanted to rule the world and smash the other countries into smithereens. By a freaky coincidence, each country's royal family traditionally consisted of a King, a Queen, and a young prince named Jack. The Kings and Queens and Jacks never trusted each other, even those within the same family! Every single one of those royal egotists knew that if he or she could just gather enough political power within their own country then it would be cake to trounce the other countries. Or so they dimly thought. The path to smashing the other countries and declaring oneself Supreme Ruler of the World actually proved rather tricky indeed. So the royal snoots spoke in their endless debates: "Yes, the one that should succeed in conquering all must gain power on the home front, but one also must disable the enemy abroad. Quite so." Even today, the saying still goes: Keep an eye on your kin and you just might win; but watch your back or you'll end up whacked. And as the royal families and their courts bickered, nickered and knackered, time passed. Each royal snoot asked themselves questions of great import: "Forsooth, who to invite over for a nice game of cards? ...And who to murder in their sleep?" They went about collecting keen tabs on each other. For instance, while Queen So-and-So was stealthily bribing her reputable followers, King Whats-his-face was painting a big red target on himself by flaunting his power. Eventually everyone knew the deal was going down... climax was imminent... the goose was getting crispy... the stars were lining up... Things were getting downright desperate for a few. It was time to send out the assassins. Ouch! Glub! Aaag! After all the stabs were stabbed and the poisoned drinks were drunk, it often turned out that someone unexpected had ascended to the throne of Supreme Ruler. Fancy that. Although fairly soon the next generation of would-be rulers came of age and the whole game of coercion and deceit started again.

The End.


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Last updated 6th January 2002