- The card game of the ROYAL STING! -
STARTING THE GAME:
Combine and shuffle all cards. Deal 5 cards to each player. Set aside the remainder of the deck “intact”, from which succeeding “5 card hands” will be dealt. Each full round of cards played is called a RACE. Select a player to make the Lead opening play in the first Race, after which the lead opening player in each following Race will be the player who won the previous Race.Each Race has two consecutive but distinct rounds of play - The SCRUM and the PLAY-OFF.
The lead player of a Race always starts the Scrum round by playing any one Suit card in the CANDIDATE Action circle. Each following player (clockwise) plays any 1 Suit card in any one of the three other Action fields (Bandwagon, Challenger, or Coalition).
Groups, or “alliances of players” called FACTIONS naturally develop and take form as the cards are played out in the various Action fields. There are only three types of Factions that can “develop”: The CANDIDATE / BANDWAGON Faction, the individual CHALLENGER Factions, and the “rainbow” COALITION Faction. All cards in any Faction are summed to determine the “Total Point Value” (TPV) of that Faction.
After the lead CANDIDATE card is played succeeding players may make any one of the four following “strategic” plays:
1. You can JOIN the CANDIDATE / BANDWAGON FACTION - by playing a Suit card in the *BANDWAGON Action circle., but the point value of the card may not exceed the value of the Candidate card. The Candidate player is the Faction leader.
2. You can CHALLENGE all other FACTIONS - as a “Stand Alone Faction” by playing a Suit card in your own Challenger Action field space. Challengers may not be partnered or joined with other players (but other players may overlay Action cards on the Challenger faction).
The CANDIDATE AND CHALLENGER SUIT CARD COLORS:
3. You can JOIN or start the “Rainbow” COALITION FACTION by playing a Suit card in your own COALITION Action space. All Suit cards played by various players within the entire “Rainbow” Coalition Action field may be any mix of Suit colors. The highest card in the Coalition Faction attains the status of KINGMAKER (KM), and is the Faction leader. In a “tie” for KM status the card first played prevails.
(If there is no KM/COALITION Faction after all players have made an opening play, play action moves directly to the PLAY-OFF).
4. You can make a POLITIKS PLAY (see Guidelines)
After scoring his reward Votes the KM has the option to make a KM POWER PLAY or pass. If the KM passes play will move directly to the “PLAY-OFF" Series”.
(see Action scard rules)
The KM POWER PLAY may consist of:
the KM overlaying his KM card with one BONUS Action card and/or one SUIT card --- and / or
overlaying the CANDIDATE CARD, and /or each CHALLENGER CARD with one ACTION card --- (Suit cards may not be overlaid on the Candidate or Challengers in the KM POWER PLAY)
the KM scores 2 Votes for each card he played in making the POWER PLAY and may “Hijack” Votes with ATTACK cards.
The “MATCH-PLAY ELIMINATION SERIES”
Each Challenger is required to participate in the elimination series, which consists of a succession of head to head match-play “Sets“. (BANDWAGON and COALITION players do not actively participate in the Play-Off)
The first match “Set” is between the two Challengers having the lowest TPV. The opponent with the lower TPV in any match always makes the first play to best his adversary, after which they proceed by making “single” alternate counter plays (war style) until one concedes, (the cards of the match-play loser should “remain in place”). If a “tie” exists before a match begins the opponent whose previous play caused the tie will make the first move. However during a match-play "set" a player may not make a tying move, he must best his opponent or concede.
During a match, at your turn, a single play to top your opponent’s TPV may be any one of the following:
If you cannot, or if you choose not to make the play to best your opponent you must concede.
The matches continue with winning Challengers being paired against any remaining “lowest TPV” Challenger. The last standing Challenger is matched against the Candidate. The winner of this final “Candidate vs. Challenger” match is the winner* of the Race.
HOW THE KM / COALITION CAN WIN THE RACE:
The winner of the final “Candidate vs. Challenger” match may yet not be deemed the ultimate winner of the Race if his TPV does not exceed the TPV of the KM/COALITION Faction, in which case the COALITION Faction would win the Race.