Imagine, if you will, the scene at the time-honored "Club Antique" in London. Five assembled Lords are making an unusual wager as to who among them can obtain the most extensive collection of rare items from a long list of esoterica: in essence a rich man's scavenger hunt. The Lords will be called upon to display their ever-changing collections at various castles as the game progresses. The winners of those exhibits will advance towards the successful completion of the contest. However, an understanding that the "wager justifies the means" prevails, and each Lord is prepared to hire thieves to loot the collections of his fellows and detectives to protect his own. With this understanding, ready yourself to assume the role of a Lord and embark upon the hunt.
The gameboard displays the Lord's "club room" which serves as the starting space for the game and the club's "dinner table" which is the finish line. The two are connected by a track of spaces extending along the outer edge of the board belonging to the various castles at which the exhibits will be held. The center of the board contains two storefronts where items can be purchased, a cash register for payment of those purchases, and five prison cells in which to detain captured Thieves.
Each player gets a set of ten small cards matching the color of his pawn. These are the resources he may use to shape his collection. Each set consists of:
-- Two Location cards (one Castle, one Auctionhouse),
-- Four checks with a total value of 50,000,
-- One Exhibit,
-- Two Thieves,
-- One Detective.
The 45 large collection cards are the sought-after items in this Scavenger Hunt. They consist of six series labelled A through F. Each item contains the date in which it was made. The older the object, the more valuable it is as a tie-breaker in determining the value of a collection.
PREPARE TO PLAY
Sort the small Location/Action cards by color into five piles of ten and place them face down. Each player (hereafter referred to as a Lord) then draws one of the piles as his color and places the matching pawn in the Clubroom start space. Any remaining card sets are removed.
Shuffle the large Collection cards and deal four face down to each player. The remaining Collection cards are split into two roughly even piles and placed face down in the two Auctionhouse spaces of the board. Turn the top card in each pile face up.
HOW TO PLAY
The game is played in turns wherein all players interact simultaneously. Each turn consists of four phases.
All players decide whether they'll go to the Auctionhouse or a Castle this turn. They cannot do both. They choose by playing one of their two Location cards (either the Auctionhouse or the Castle) face down before them, simultaneously revealing their choice once all players are likewise committed. The Location cards contain a "1" on the back and a red underline on the front to distinguish them from the Action cards in each set.
Each player, having observed the Location choice of his opponents, now selects an Action card from his set and plays it face down before him to be simultaneously revealed once all players are likewise committed. All the Action cards list at the top, after a black arrow, the Locations in which they can be played, and the Location cards likewise list the Actions that can be taken there. Checks can only be played at the Auctionhouse. Detectives and Exhibits can only be played at a Castle. Thieves can be played in either location.
All Lords who have played their Auctionhouse card this turn reveal their played Action card. Those playing Checks compare values. The Load playing the Check of the highest value places it in the Cash Register and takes one of the visibly displayed Collection cards from the Auctionhouse space of his choice. All defeated checks are returned to their owners. A Lord who has played a Thief card may steal the just-played Check from the cash register, unless two or more Thieves were played. Multiple Thieves interfere with each other at the Auctionhouse (but not at the Castle). All Thief cards are returned to their owners and any Check still in the cash register is removed from play. Turn over the next Collection card from the selected pile. If either pile becomes empty, continue play with the remaining pile. Only one item is then available on each visit to the Auctionhouse.
All Lords who have played their Castle card this turn reveal their played Action card. After observing the number of Thieves played, those Lords who played Exhibit cards now decide which of their Collection cards they will display and place them face down in a pile in front of them. Once all exhibiting Lords have done this, they reveal their Collections simultaneously and determine who has displayed the best collection. The Lord with the best collection may advance his pawn on the outer track a number of spaces equal to the top number in the octagon of the Castle containing the currently leading pawn. The Lord with the second best displayed collection (if any) may advance his pawn a number of spaces equal to the lower number of that same octagon. Any other exhibitors gain nothing.
Each Lord who played a Thief in the Castle may now steal a Collection card of his
choice from EACH displayed exhibit at the Castle. If more than one Thief is present, the
one with the highest number on his sack selects first from each displayed collection,
followed in numerical order by any other Thieves present. If no detective is present, all
Thieves are returned to their respective Lords. All remaining cards in the displayed
Collections are returned to their owners.
If any Lord has played a Detective at the Castle, all Thieves played at the Castle that turn are caught and sent to prison. However, the caught Thieves still deliver any stolen Collection card(s) to their Lord before being imprisoned. All respective Lords may advance their pawn a number of spaces equal to their current standing in the game after the just-completed exhibitions. Detective cards are always returned to their owners.
EXAMPLE: Black 4th Green & Yellow 3rd Blue 2nd Red 1st
In this case, assuming its Detective was successfully employed, Red could advance one space. Likewise, if their Detectives were successful, Blue could advance two, Green and Yellow three, and Black four spaces.
END OF TURN
The turn is now over. All Lords pick up their played Location cards and prepare for the next turn.
In order to play an Exhibit card in a Castle, a player must have a SET of at least three Collection cards. To be part of a set, all cards must have the same letter and/or be adjacent alphabetically to another card in the set.
EXAMPLE: AABB, CCD, EEE, and DEF are all acceptable sets. AAC, BCF, DE, and AAACE are not acceptable sets.
The exhibit with the most cards is the most valuable. If several exhibits have the same number of cards, the one with the oldest object is considered the better exhibit.
Each Lord may play only one set per Exhibit. Having two sets of three is therefore of less value than having one set of four. However, the Lords should consider their options before deciding which items to exhibit. It may not be wise to exhibit everything. If, for example, a player is the only exhibitor at a Castle on a given turn he will win that Exhibit automatically and need only show a minimum set of three cards. On the other hand, the more players who exhibit, the greater the need to show as large a collection as possible to win the exhibit. Yet, this should be weighed against the value of advancement for winning that exhibit and the danger of loss to Thieves. After the chosen Action cards are revealed, an exhibitor will discover how many Thieves are present and consequently how many Collector items he will lose during the display.
EXAMPLE: Two players have chosen to exhibit at Culloden Castle. Both wis to win the exhibit to advance their pawn three spaces. However, a third player has played a Thief allowing him to select one item from each Exhibit. Lord X has a six-card set (AABBCC). Lord Y has a seven-card set (BBCDDDE). However, Lord Y is reluctant to play his entire set because if the Thief takes his "C" item, Lord Y will be reduced to a four-card set with two spares. Consequently, he plays a four-card set (DDDE) and concedes the Exhibit honors to Lord X, satisfying himself with a second place two-space advance for his pawn and the knowledge that he will retain a six-card set next turn no matter which card the Theif steals.
Whenever one or more Detectives are played at a Castle on the same turn in which Thieves are also played there, all the Thieves in the Castle are caught and sent to Prison AFTER securing and stolen items for their respective Lords. Thieves enter prison in cell #1 and advance to the next numbered cell whenever another Thief is caught and moved into his cell. If several Thieves are caught at once, the one with the lowest number on his sack enters first, and is immediately bumped to the next cell, and so on for each additional Thief caught.
Thieves leave prison whenever the number of caught Thieves exceeds the number of players. So, if there are four players, only four jail cells are used and freedom beckons for the prisoner in cell #4 when the fifth Thief is caught. Released Thieves are returned to their owner and may be used again.
HOW TO WIN
The game ends the turn after any pawn enters one of the pink spaces surrounding the Club Antique's dinner party. All Lords display their largest and most valuable exhibition. The Lord with the best collection advances his pawn eight spaces. The Lord with the second-best collection advances four spaces. The winner is the Lord whose pawn has advanced the furthest. If tied, the Lord with the most valuable collection is the winner.
TWO PLAYER RULES
Much of the element of surprise is lost when playing with only two players, but a reasonable game can be had nonetheless by using either of the following variants.
The Location and Action Phases are combined so that both players play their Location and Action card choices automatically.
Players openly alternate locations so that each is the same location at the same time every turn.
c 1991, 1990 F.X. Schmid, Germany
Author: Klaus Teuber
All Rights Reserved throughout the world
This site is created and maintained by: Carl-Gustaf Samuelsson