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The Gist of the Game

Skuncum is a rousing and lively card game of shifting player alliances that constantly form and change during the play out of each round of cards. The game progresses through a continuous series of "5 card" hands dealt and played out until there is an ultimate winner.

Each round of cards is called a "Race". The Race has two parts: The Scrum and the Play-Off. During the Scrum each player plays one Suit card. The Play-Off follows the Scrum with certain players participating in an "elimination series" of "war" style head to head match play senarios, or "Sets". The last standing player of the eliminaton series is the winner of the Race.

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Players record (mark) their winnings as they are gained during and/or after each Race on their own score boards, which are actually imprinted on the game board and visible to all players. The first player to mark his entire score board first wins the game. (Scoring marks are made with a white Dixon "china marking pencil" easily erased with soft cloth or tissue)

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While each player always keeps his eye on the score boards of the leading players (Front Runners) during each Race, the "trailing" players try to slow or stop the Front Runners by either combining their cards played on the board into alliances, or by some other individual "back of the pack" players playing their cards in a "stand alone" direct attack against one of the Front Runners.

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The card deck consists of proprietary custom SUIT cards, BONUS Action cards, and ATTACK Action cards (having various number values of 1 through 100 - but while most Action cards do have numeric values, some simply have some other either positive or negative effect on the Suit cards or play position of a player involved in the play), which when played with the right strategy and combinations these cards can do any of the following, and much more:

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The various "strategies" and "ways" to win or gain and score "assets" in a Race are (but not limited to):

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Two Front Runner players are "neck and neck" and very close to a game win. After the start of a new Race that could possibly be the final game winning Race for either one of them --- suddenly one of the Front Runners gets really creamed by a suprpise "Sting" play and must erase some previous winnings on his score board, and as a result falls too far behind.

So now the other Front Runner, anxious to win but having a weak hand, is maneuvering to win barely enough to complete his score board and take the final game win!

But amazingly an unlikely, "back of the pack" player springs from behind with a big time play by making a direct "stand alone" attack on the Front Runner with a "Freeze" card play --- freezing the Front Runner in place and stopping him from making any more plays in this Race (the total card value of his cards already on the game board is still valid, but no more plays "for or against" this player can be made in this Race).

This allows the trailing attack player to a follow on play with a BONUS Action card that doubles the numeric value of his cards already on the board, boosting him far enough ahead (while the Front Runner is still "frozen" and cannot retaliate) to win the Race, collecting not only enough assets to completely fill his score board but with enough extra to be sure that no other player can possibly pass him. What a stunning win and turn of events to end the game!!!


The veritable kaleidoscope of play scenarios that develop during each game gives players myriad opportunity for play decision making - and tons of fun.

Co-workers, whether at the office or on the assembly-line, say SKUNCUM is an especially good card game for a refreshing break from the boredom and tension of the work day. For many fans the lunch hour game session is a daily event. The game board and scoring method allow any game session to be interrupted at any point and resumed for completion by the same players at a later time - a particularly convenient bonus for lunch hour players.

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© Campaign Politiks 1988 T. J. Testa
© SKUNCUM 2002 T. J. Testa