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Pigeon Race, rules writing exercise.

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Okay, as I said in this thread I would write rules for that race game. So here they are. If you could be so kind and read them trough. And critizise rules and even more, how the rules are written. Any feedback is welcome.

To my defence I have to say, this is longest piece of text I have written in english for years. So you can notify me about biggest grammatical errors as well.

Game has only been playtested in my head so far, so everything might not work as I have intended them to. But I can live with that.

Tables are a bit scrambled, I'll post downloadable version later tonight.


Pigeon race

By Panu Kinnari


Group of elderly ladies were feeding pigeons at park. When they realized that pigeons made mad sprints to get even the smallest of the small bread crumbs they were tossing towards them, ladies decided to start a race. Each lady got three pigeons which she was then supposed to finish in exact order.

What do you need?

Deck of cards
6 pawns to represent pigeons
Playing area of 6x30 grid


To get your own pigeons past finish line in correct order

How to begin

Number the pigeons 1-6.
Depending on number of players each one gets few random pigeons and gets to pick one additional pigeon. Pick cards 1-6 of any suite and use these to decide who gets which pigeon. After cards are dealt between players each player gets to pick one pigeon more. This can't be any off those she al-ready has in her hand. Pigeon numbers are written on a piece of paper and kept as a secret until end of game.

Example: Elizabeth, Margaret and Silvia are playing three player game of Pigeon race. One of the la-dies takes six cards from the deck, and deals these between players. Elizabeth gets pigeons 2 & 6, now she must pick one extra pigeon, she picks pigeon number 5. Elizabeth decides finishing order of 6-5-2 for her pigeons and writes this down on piece of paper. Once all players have decided order for their pigeons cards are reshuffled back to deck. [{i]

<br />
Number of players	Random pigeons	Pigeons picked by player<br />
           2	                           3	                          1<br />
           3	                           2	                          1<br />
          4-6	                          1	                         1<br />

Pigeons are set on start grid and then we are ready to start the race. Shuffle the deck and deal all play-ers hand of 5 cards. Take one card from top of the deck and show this to all players, this suite is trump and it's importance is explained later.

Decide who starts

All players take one card from top off the deck and reveal them. Player who gets biggest number starts the game and turns proceed clockwise.

Playing the game

Each turn players have opportunity to move any of the pigeons on the board, even if it's not on their list. Pigeons are moved by playing cards from players' hand. Red cards move pigeons forward and black cards move pigeons backwards. Trump suite allows player to move two pigeons in a single turn.

Player nominates which pigeon she wants to move and reveals a card she wants to move it with.

Pigeon is moved forward(or backward) according to value in the card. If card is trump, player is allowed to move two pigeons for as many squares as card value indicates. Aces are 14. Played card is then moved to discard pile and new card is drawn from the deck. If deck runs out of cards game ends and pigeon currently in the lead is declared a winner.
Once player has moved pigeon(s) of her choice she moves two pigeons right next to moved pigeon for half of the amount indicated in the card, rounding up. If moved pigeon is next to a wall, two pigeons next to it are moved, i.e. Pigeon #1 is moved, then pigeons #2&#3 are moved half the amount.

[i]Example: Elizabeth decides to move pigeon first in her list, Pigeon #6. She plays 6 of hearts, so she moves pigeon#6 six squares forward and then pigeons #4 & #5 three squares forward. Then she dis-cards her card and draws new one. Then it is Margaret’s turn.

Ending the game

Game ends when three pigeons have crossed the finish line or deck runs out of cards. When three pi-geons have finished the race the remaining three pigeons are counted as being finished in order they are at the board.

Winning the game

When the game ends every player reveals order in which she tried to finish pigeons. For each pigeon finished in correct place player gets 6 points and then 0 to 4 points depending on how far away pigeon is from position player tried it to finish it in. Points can be seen from following table.

<br />
		Position at end of race<br />
		1  2  3  4  5  6<br />
	    1  6  4  3	2  1  0<br />
	    2  4  6  4	3  2  1<br />
Target	 3  3  4  6  4	3  2<br />
Position 4  2  3  4  6	4  3<br />
	    5  1  2  3	4  6  4<br />
	    6  0  1  2	3  4  6<br />

Player with most points is the winner. In case of draw, player whose pigeon won or came closer to winning is declared winner.

Example: Pigeons finished in following order: 1-5-2-6-3-4. So Elizabeth would get following points 2+6+6=14.

Thanks for reading :)

Rick-Holzgrafe's picture
Joined: 07/22/2008
Pigeon Race, rules writing exercise.

Since you asked to be told about grammatical errors, here's an odd one that's probably difficult to get right: you've been forgetting to use "the" and "a" -- not always, but a lot.

Number the pigeons 1-6.

That's exactly right. But in this example:

Depending on number of players each one gets few random pigeons and gets to pick one additional pigeon.

You should say: Depending on the number of players each one gets a few random pigeons and gets to pick one additional pigeon.

Use "the" to indicate that the item (or set of items) in question is unique or distinct: "Take the top three cards from the deck." Use "a" (or "an") if the item is any one of a multitude: "Take a gold piece from the Bank." You can omit the articles if you are speaking of multiple, indistinct items: "Cards drawn from the deck are held in your hand" refers to "all and any" cards drawn from the deck.

I hope this helps. Your English is really excellent, and this is the only pervasive error that I noticed!

I haven't fully reviewed the rules themselves yet, so I may be back later with comments about your explanations as opposed to this picky comment about grammar.

Pigeon Race, rules writing exercise.

Thank you for your comments. I am aware of that problem, but it's just something that I have had problem with as long as I have written english :)

Writing more in english should help on that though..


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