Refresher on Egyptian Rat
much worse word Strut
Cards are mostly elements of suspense in this fast-paced action card game. BEWARE: destroyed cards will not be refunded/replaced — you may wish to practice with less cool looking cards or wait until your Civil Four deck is dog eared and well loved.
Object of game
Collect the whole deck!
Dealer distributes all cards to all players as evenly as possible. The two Minions are optional.
54 cards divided by 2 players = 26 cards each
54 cards divided by 3 players = 18 cards each
52 cards divided by 4 players = 13 cards each
You can also start with two players and have other players "slap in" (see below). One way to decide who starts first is to determine which player left of dealer has a higher number of cards.
Players take turns drawing the top card of their deck and placing it face up in a unified pile. The actions possible are then determined by the cards shown.
If a matching card is played directly on top of another, any player (even one sitting out with no cards) may slap their hand down on the pile and claim all cards beneath it. Before you slap, you must touch your forehead with the same hand used to slap AND you cannot touch your forehead with a card in hand (no cheating).
If a player is fast enough, they may simply place a card on top of the matching cards, which voids the slapability of the pile. If a player slaps the cards anyway, then they must put three cards (all their cards if they have three or fewer) from the top of their deck, face down, in a booty pile. Whoever wins the main pile also gets the booty pile.
3. Three Power Challenge Rounds
Some cards initiate a Three Power Challenge Round if one has not already begun. These are Ace, King, Queen & Jack. (The effects of Minions are discussed in the next section.) Each challenger card has three powers and if a challenger appears, the three power challenge round begins.
The player who first placed the challenger chooses a power (Intel, Might or Magic) whose level is above zero. A zero in any power does not permit a challenge in that power. The next player must deal out that number of cards (the number on that power) to the central pile, one at a time. If the number of cards is reached without an A,K,Q, J or Minion appearing, then the challenge ends and anyone may slap the pile and take the pot. Matching cards (pairs) may still supercede this result before the end of the challenge so watch carefully.
Any challenger defeats the previous one, no matter their stats, but the same power cannot be used again once a series of challenges has started. You cannot challenge on Might if that was already done in the challenge round, or if the next card has no Might. When all powers are exhausted the last challenger "wins" and takes the entire pile. But even here, matching challengers (e.g.; two Queens in a row) make the pile a free-for-all.
If a challenge is lost (the card number reaches the amount of the last power before a valid challenger appears) any player may slap the cards and claim the whole pot.
e.g.; The previous challenge was Might level 3, but Franklin appeared on the third card. The player who played Franklin, who has a Magic level of 4, declares, "I challenge you on Magic." The next player has a maximum of four cards to come up with a challenger that has an Intelligence level above zero (since Might and Magic have already been part of the challenge). If the next challenger has zero Intelligence, then the person who played that card wins the pile. If the next challenger has Intelligence level 2, then a 2-card challenge passes to the next person. Even though everyone knows the second card makes the whole pile a free for all, because it results in a loss of the challenge, everyone must wait until that second card is placed because it might still be a Minion. (Even if we all KNOW it's not a Minion, it's just the rule.)
A Minion played is an automatic 5-card challenge that also ends the three power challenge round. The next player must deal out five cards to the central pile, one at a time. If the number is reached before an A,K,Q, J or Minion is played, then the person who played the Minion takes the entire pile, no free-for-all slapping. If another challenge card shows up, however, then the player who placed it automatically wins the Minion challenge AND simultaneously begins a new three power challenge round (and therefore must pick the first power of the challenge; see above).
Some people may be shoving their hands up under others' and, well, you get the idea. The rule of thumb is don't break any digits or draw blood. We cannot be held responsible for the roughness of your group's play. Besides, some of the fun of the game is deciding together who really was first.
6. Claimed cards
Once a player has exhausted their deck (or they just slapped in) they may combine all their claimed cards and shuffle them, with all card backs facing the same direction. It is best to do this on your turn so that you do not miss an opportunity for more cards. Each time a player uses their turn to form and shuffle a deck from their claimed cards the other players must wait. (A player may take their sweet time with this activity). If you feel you have too few cards to randomize, you may ask another play to shuffle them for you.
The first player with the entire deck (and all the fingers they started with) wins!