A downloadable card game

A CLUTCH OF CHICKENS

IN THE POST-APOCALYPSE,

ONE THOUSAND STRONG

This is a solo card game. No videogame files here. (VMJ#5/10)

~

Write down 100 CHICKENS somewhere. You'll need to constantly update this number, but I don't recommend just keeping it in your head; it's easy to lose count.

Get a shuffled deck of cards (no jokers). Form a deck of 12 cards, and set the remaining 40 cards aside for now.


The remainder of the game will proceed as follows:

  1. Deal out a 3-card spread
  2. Choose a card to keep (the other 2 are discarded)
  3. Apply the effects of the card you chose (if applicable)
  4. Repeat.

Choosing a Card from the Spread

Draw 3 cards and place them face-up -- this is "the Spread" -- from lowest to highest. (In ascending order, like this: A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K.)

Choose one card to keep, and discard the rest.

If you chose the smallest number card available (including Aces, which are just "1" cards in this game), lose a number of chickens equal to the card's face value.

  • in case of a tie for smallest (e.g the threes in a spread of "3 3 6"), all cards tied for smallest count as smallest

If you chose any number card that was not smallest, it's more expensive: lose a number of chickens equal to ten times the card's face value.

If you chose a JQK card, lose 1 chicken and add it to your chicken court.

Instead of paying the chicken cost for a card...

You may sacrifice a member of your chicken court (JQK of any suit) to possibly take a card for free or to skip choosing a card from the spread entirely, depending on its suit.

Sacrifice a member of your court, and then select any card from the spread that matches its suit. If no card matches its suit, you don't have to pick a card -- all 3 cards in the spread are discarded.

If you run out of chickens, you lose the game.

If you have no  choice but to take a card that reduces your chickens to 0 or below, even if it would increase your population right afterwards, you lose the game. Your clutch has been eliminated.

Card Effects

Taking a number card (A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10)

When you take a number card, if its suit matches the previous number card you took, that suit's EVENT occurs and you discard both of them. Otherwise, simply discard your previous number card.

 ♧ ♧ CLUBS

If you have KINGS in your court, gain +250 chickens for each KING.

Otherwise, just gain +100 chickens.

 ♢ ♢ DIAMONDS

If you have QUEENS in your court, gain +100 chickens for each QUEEN.

Then, RESHUFFLE. (Shuffle discard pile +10 aside cards into your deck. If you're out of aside cards, you lose the game. See "The Reshuffle" section below for full details.)

 ♡ ♡ HEARTS

Double your number of chickens.

Then, if you have at least 1000 chickens, they rise up and you lose all cards in your chicken court. (JACKS protect QUEENS/KINGS, 1 for 1.)

 ♤ ♤ SPADES

If you have QUEENS in your court, gain +100 chickens for each QUEEN.

Then, if you have at least 1000 chickens, you win the game.

Otherwise, you lose the game. (One JACK can be sacrificed to avoid losing the game.)

Adding to your chicken court (J Q K)

When you take a court card (J Q K), you add it to your chicken court! 

Each member of your chicken court has effects as described in other parts of the rules, but here's a quick list for reference:

  • JACKS: When losing your chicken court, each JACK that is lost saves one QUEEN or KING (your choice). You can sacrifice one JACK to avoid losing the game due to a failed SPADES event or an exhausted "aside" pile.
  • QUEENS: Before the DIAMONDS and SPADES events, you gain 100 chickens per QUEEN in your court.
  • KINGS: During the CLUBS event, you gain 250 chickens per KING in your court. (If you have no KINGS, the event still gives you a minimum of 100 chickens.)
  • ANY: Sacrifice any member of your chicken court instead of paying for a card from the spread. Take a card that matches the suit of the sacrificed card without paying its cost -- or if no card matches, discard the entire spread.

IMPORTANT: The Chicken Crypt

Whenever a member of your chicken court is lost or sacrificed, do not put them into the discard pile -- instead, immortalize them in the chicken crypt, where they are permanently removed from the game.

The Reshuffle

When your deck runs out of cards, RESHUFFLE.

Remember the 40 cards you set aside at the beginning? Every time you reshuffle the discard pile back into the deck, also add 10 cards from that pile. If you can't, you lose the game. (One JACK can be sacrificed to avoid losing the game.)

When your deck runs out, the RESHUFFLE comes with consequences:

  • You lose half your chickens. (Round your population up! Headless chickens still run around for a while just fine.)
  • Lose all cards in your chicken court. (JACKS protect QUEENS/KINGS, 1 for 1.)

When a DIAMONDS event occurs, the RESHUFFLE is consequence-free.

  • Your chicken population holds steady.
  • The integrity of your chicken court is maintained.

Closing Notes

Made for Variety Megajam 2020. The cover art for this game is the theme that inspired it. I wanted to make a card game, but... cards were too abstract. The chicken imagery was really silly, but very helpful in making something feel a lot more real and grounded :)

I hope you enjoy!

Credits:

I (droqen) made the game! Farbs played the first draft and gave me some excellent feedback & suggestions (esp. suggesting i draw a diagram for the board state). thx Farbs!

Development log

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