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Songbirds» Forums » Variants

Subject: Five Player Variant rss

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Jerry Chiang
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While I think the game is best with the listed number of players (3-4 for competitive games), there have been occasions where I have had 5 players that wanted to try the game, and so with the 2017 Homosapiens Lab Chinese / English edition, I have used the following variant:

1) Put both the owl and the crow into the deck (30 cards total). Shuffle and deal out all the cards. Each player should have 6 cards.

2) The starting player is the person with the crow card. That person may play any card from their hand anywhere on the table, with one exception: If they play the crow card, it must go in the center of the board. They choose the side the crow goes on.

Notes:
1) Only the crow card may be played in the center of the board. No other card may be placed there.
2) The crow card must be played - it cannot be held until as the last card for scoring.
3) The owl cannot move the crow card to another location.

The game might feel a bit harder to control given 1) players have fewer cards and 2) more cards are played between their turns, but I still like it enough to put this out there in situations where you have five players.
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I like this. I like this a lot. 5 is something of the sweet spot I've found in my group; we don't usually have 6, but 5 comes up fairly often, with usually me sitting out and playing "host" to the others playing. Having a 5 person variant tucked into my back pocket is very helpful!
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Jerry Chiang
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Now with the Shrike card as well as the Hummingbird / Mockingbird, you may also have a few more options to mix it up by picking any 2 out of the 4 (except for the Crow / Hawk + Hummingbird / Mockingbird combo since only one card can go in the middle).

Another option is to pick 1 of the 2 center cards and add in both the Owl and the Shrike and randomly discarding one more card before shuffling those cards in.
 
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