The Civil Four: Playing Cards for New & Traditional Games
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A rummy game

Players: 2, 4 or 6 players
Game Time: 15-45 min.
Order of play: Player left of dealer, then clockwise
Materials: Civil Four Deck, way to keep score

Refresher on the object of Rummy
Rummy (Gin, Canasta, Rummikub and so on) are set making games that challenge players to make all their cards or tiles fit into some grouping, without stragglers, and to be the first to do so. It's a "bide your time while keeping things moving along" sort of game.

1. Choose teams

Divide players into even teams. One team plays blue and the other plays gray. Put all blue cards together with one Minion. Put all gray cards together with the other Minion. Shuffle each deck separately. Players arrange themselves so that they do not sit next to any player on the same team. Each team picks a dealer to deal all cards to the other team. The dealers split the other team's deck so that a player from the other team may draw the top card and place it face up to form the first discard pile for that card color.

2. Deal

For 2-player games, deal 8 cards of their team color to each player.
For 4-player games, deal 5 cards of their team color to each player.
For 6-player games, deal 4 cards of their team color to each player.
The youngest player on the blue team goes first.

3. Play

Each player on their turn draws one card. They may take from the deck or from a discard pile. Teams may have a maximum of two discard piles by their deck. However, they must have at least one.

After discarding, the player may optionally place their entire hand down for the team. If they do so, they may take an entire discard pile as their next hand to end their turn. If the pile has fewer than their starting number of cards, they draw from the deck until they have the minimum number.

4. Running out of cards

When a deck is out of cards, all the discard piles for that team are immediately shuffled together and reformed into a single deck. The opposing team splits the deck and the team forming the new deck draws and upturns the first card of a new discard pile.

5. Placing cards

Cards may only be placed if they are a Champion (J, Q, K or A)
Runs of cards from/between appropriate Champions.

A run is "forged" when it has a Champion on each end of the run. You may not forge a run on the same turn that you create it and runs may not contain more than one color of card.

Each Champion has up to three powers represented by the power pips (Intel, Might & Magic) and therefore can have up to three runs extending from them following these traits:

1. Each run needs only one Champion to have that power in order for it to be forged.
2. You can match any power to any run but each power can only represent a single run.
3. A Champion cannot forge a run that is longer than any of its available powers.
4. Intelligence runs may optionally have a single card out of order e.g.; 2-card Intel run: 2,7
5. Might runs may optionally have a single duplicate e.g.; 4-card Might run: 3,4,4,5
6. Magic runs of power level 1 or 2 may optionally have one more card e.g.; 1-card Magic run: 5,6
7. Magic runs of power level 3 or 4 may optionally have one fewer card e.g.; 3-card Magic run: 5,6
8. A run cannot utilize more than one power,
9. Both champions on either end of a run must have an available power that matches the length of the run, though only one power type can be assigned to the run.
10. You can switch the power type of the run if it doesn't conflict with another run using that power in order to exist.
11. Any color Champion may "forge" any color run, but runs can only be initiated from a like color Champion.
12. Two Champions cannot have more than one run between them.
13. Runs must be able to be completed without "jumping" across the playing field or cutting into other runs. That is, generally runs form the sides of triangles and squares and not unreal 2D shapes.

6. Short-circuiting

A Champion with 0 in any power is subject to short-circuiting. This is when a player of any team places a Champion next to the 0-power Champion and gains the ability to "borrow" that Champion's power with a zero level and apply it specifically to an existing power. A player may not short-circuit their own Champion on the same turn they played it. Short-circuiting may not connect more than two Champions (no chains of Short-Circuits).

NOTE: A Champion still cannot use the same power twice, however this allows the change of one power into another if it's available, so the number can be used more than once if it is for different powers.

e.g.; Champion with zero Magic is short circuited by a Champion with level 3 Might and level 1 Magic placed next to it. Now that new Champion may optionally use its 3 Might as a 3 Might AND a 3 Magic (if its Magic is not being claimed by a one-card run). Another way of saying this is the friendly Champion's low Magic is "boosted" to the level of the same Champion's Might due to it "stealing" the Magic of the adjacent card with a zero Magic.

7. Rearranging cards

Once a run is forged, it cannot be undone. At the time of placing all your cards, the following rearrangements are permitted:

1. New cards may be played anywhere into existing runs if it satisfies the rules of an available run before the run is forged.
2. Cards can be removed from or added to forged Magic runs (as long as it fulfills "Placing cards" rule 6 or rule 7) but cards taken from Magic runs must be placed in another run on the same turn.
3. Champions that are not in a forged run

8. Dead ends

At the time of placing all your cards, if you attempt to rearrange too many things and you find you miscalculated and do not have a place for a card, your team automatically forfeits that round.

If your turn is over and you have placed a Champion in a place such that your team cannot satisfy winning conditions (see below), your team automatically forfeits that round.

9. Ending the Game

When a team places all eight of its Champions in forged runs (even if any Champion has unforged runs) then the other team forfeits the round.

10. Scoring

One point is awarded per forged run that has a winning team's Champion on both ends. After an appointed number of games, the team with the most points wins.


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