Trumps, sheep, and old dice

P.D. Magnus' ruminations on gaming, along with shrill promotion of his own designs.
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Carousel Nonesuch

P.D. Magnus
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Here's a Nonesuch variant, which has been tried once.

Comments are welcome.


Shuffle the basic deck and the Excuse. Each player needs a pawn, meeple, or counter to serve as their scoring piece.

Deal cards face up in the middle of the table until there are several different ranks: four cards in a three-player game, five cards in a four-player game. If you deal out the Excuse or a card that matches rank with a card already on the table, set it aside and shuffle it back into the deck after you have dealt four cards.

Arrange the four cards in a circle, in the order that they were dealt.

The player who has the Excuse reveals it and exchanges it for the lowest-ranked face-up card. If the card that the player takes is an Ace, then the suit of that Ace is trump for this hand. If the card is a number rank card, then the player picks one of its two suits to be trump.

The face-up cards form the carousel. All the scoring piece start on the Excuse. You advance your piece around the carousel each time you win a trick, and your score for the hand is the rank of the card that your piece occupies when the hand ends.

Game play follows the regular rules for Nonesuch.

After the last trick, each player scores points based on the rank of the carousel card that their piece occupies: the Excuse scores zero, a number card scores its rank, and a Crown scores ten.

If any player has cumulative score of 33 points or more, the game ends and the player with the highest score wins. Otherwise, play another hand.
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