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Subject: Iron Chef — A rule set for Haggle rss

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Lindsey Dubb
United States
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Just in case you haven’t played Haggle — Beware that if you read a rule set, you can’t be a participant in that game.

If you want to host a game, on the other hand, read on...

There are a few overall rules changes (of the sort told to everyone before the game) —
- Scoring is determined by the Tasters, of which you will be dealt two at the beginning of the game. (That’s not a rule change, just a renaming of the rule cards.)
- Each player is putting together three courses: An appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. At the end of the game, you have to split your ingredients among those three courses (or you can choose to leave ingredients entirely out of the courses, if you like).
- You may not relate the rule for any Taster to another player. But you may say the name of the Taster. (This one might be tough in a group of rule lawyers, since “relate the rule” is kind of vague. But in the group I was with, it was no problem.)
- Trades may not be for Tasters alone. You may trade Tasters along with another card, though. (So you can’t trade a Taster for a Taster, but a Taster and a melon could be traded for a Taster and pepper.)
(Those last two rules avoid the usual rule for a rule trades at the start of the game.)
- This isn’t really a rule, but... I purposefully made all the tasters directly affect a player’s score, and tried to avoid the “red is worth twice as much as blue” style of rule from the Gamut of Games book. That way, the players weren't nearly as lost when they started the game, since the Tasters they had read guaranteed a certain number of points. I suspect that’s a very good idea when playing with more casual gamers.

The “ingredients” consisted of 90 cards for use by 10 players. In practice there were only 8 players, so I removed 18. I’ll show the removed cards with an asterisk. (But aside from removing all the Dairy, it was pretty ad hoc, since I was in a hurry to get the game going.)

The ingredients each had a category (vegetable, herbs & spices, sweets, meat, dairy, and a couple silly ones) and a name. For the most part, it was category which mattered, but the names made the courses more fun. (It’s more interesting to have leeks and celery with flank of weasel than to have 2 vegetables, 1 meat.)

For clarity, the category of each ingredient was written in all caps at the top of the card, and the name in title caps in the middle of the card.

The Tasters were written with “Taster” at the top of the card, and their name underlined at the bottom of the card. The rule was written in the middle. As for the version in Gamut of Games, there were two of each Taster card.

The Tasters were —
“The Gourmand” - 3 points for each exactly repeated ingredient name (i.e., two or more broccoli, but not any two vegetables) in any course.

“The Carnivore” - 8 points for every appetizer and entree with at least one meat.

“The Seasoned Cook” - 12 points for each course to whichever dish(es) have the most herbs and spices.

“The Crazy Cook” - 4 points for each dish in which two or more ingredients have the same first letter of their first word, but are not the exact same ingredient.

“Mom” - 10 points for every appetizer and entree with more vegetables than meat.

“The Sampler” - 3 points for each different kind of ingredient in each appetizer and entree.

“The Diabetic” - 4 points for each sweet in a dessert.

“The Sycophant” - 15 points to whichever entree(s) otherwise get the most points; 10 points to whichever appetizer(s) get the most points; 10 points to whichever dessert(s) get the most points.

* (not used in our 8 player game) “The Minimalist” - 5 points for every dish with two or fewer ingredients.

* (not used in our 8 player game) “US Dairy Board” - 3 points for each dairy ingredient in any course.

The ingredients were — (again, stars indicate the cards taken out of the game with 8 players)
VEGETABLES (30, * +3)
Parsley x2
Heart of Palm
Carrots x2 (* +1)
Green Beans x2
Squash x2
Celery x2
Kohlrabi x2
Broccoli x2
Eggplant x2
Peas x2 (* +1)
Rutabaga x2
Cabbage x2
Bean Sprouts
Endives x2
* Natto

* DAIRY (These were all excluded in the 8 player game) (* 11)
* Cream
* Cheese (x3)
* Milk (x2)
* Whey
* Paneer
* Ghee
* Butter
* Yogurt

Salt x3
Pepper x2
Fenugreek x2
* Ajwon
* Saffron

MEAT (19, * +1)
Ox Tail x2
Leg of Llama x3
Roast Eel x2
Shark Fin
Flank of Weasel x2 (* +1)
Kippered Calfs' Liver x3
Smoked Trout
Potted Meat x2

SWEETS (5, * +1)
Honey x2
Sugar (* +1)
Candied Plums



Additional suggestion —
I’d suggest putting the day's real menu among the ingredients, since it can lead to some confusion. (We were eating smoked trout that evening.)

Some notes from our game —
Probably there should be some more cards in the set -- With just three cards per meal, there isn't room for quite enough trading. I'd lean toward adding more Herbs + Spices first, to add to the competition for Seasoned Cook. Some more Sweets might also be nice, so the desserts would be more contentious.

I strongly recommend that you have each player read out their meals at the end of the game. There’s guaranteed to be some pretty silly ones. Some of our recipes sounded edible — Bananas in honey was one. But most were, of course, ghastly. Anyhow, the winning dishes for each
course were
Best Appetizer — Chef Tom — Green beans with MSG and Mace
Best Entree — Chef Rose — Leg of llama, double peas, and pepper
Best Dessert — Chef Misty — Candied plums, eggplant, and cumin

Misty had the best overall menu, with
Appetizer — Sweetmeats with double endives
Entree — Cabbage and chitlins in horseradish
Best Dessert — Candied plums and eggplant with cumin

Hope you have a chance to enjoy the game.
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Rich Lallatin
United States
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I've played this (slightly modified) with my high school math classes. I limited it to only six rules and only 4 types of food. It generally takes about 5 minutes of explaining and showing how, and then off they go. It's nice to help them stretch their brains in new ways. Thanks for the rule set.
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Lindsey Dubb
United States
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Very cool! I was wondering whether Haggle would make a good classroom game. What kind of changes did you make?

And was it a background activity while they worked on something else, or the main event? In a gaming group, Haggle is fun as a sort of side game. But in a class, my guess is that the game would be too distracting.

I wonder how the rule set in the Gamut of Games book would work for teaching? The "blue is worth twice as much as red" kind of setup might be a good way to show some algebra concepts.
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