GL: Ratfink: Scurry & Scamper

Start Time: Thursday 4:00 PM
Location:Grand Ballroom 80
Duration:1 hour
Player Max:6
Signed up:2
Track(s):Game Lab
Event Type:Play Test
Experience Level:Beginner
Age group:All Ages

"Ratfink: Scurry & Scamper" is a trick-taking, take-that action card game set in the walls and countertops of your house. Players are rats scurrying and scampering to amass the largest cheese hoard, while trying to stick their fellow rats with the biggest pile of traps (Finks)!

Ratfink is based on an obscure variant of the ancient trick-taking game Whist. Players familiar with trick-taking games like Spades or Pinochle should feel comfortable with the core of the game but it is easy to pick up for beginners as well. In addition to the trick-taking element Ratfink adds strategic action cards which help players mitigate the random luck that can plague some trick-taking games. Also, the scoring mechanism rewards those best at managing the negative scoring of the Finks instead of those with the luckiest cards who earn the most Cheese. This helps prevent runaway leaders and keeps everyone in the game until the end!

One game of Ratfink lasts seven rounds, and each round is divided into three main phases. First, players have a chance to play a Scurry card which can improve their chances during the trick-taking phase by doing things like challenging the Dealer's Trump call, randomly selecting a new Trump, gaining extra cards or even stealing cards from other players. Then the players play out the hand in a set of tricks, receiving a piece of cheese for every trick taken. Any players who fail to take a trick during the hand receive a rat trap, or Fink. In the third phase, players can play a Scamper card which can alter the outcome from the trick-taking phase by gaining them extra cheese, stealing cheese from other players or even blocking or giving one of their Finks away to another player.

Whoever wins the most cheese each hand becomes Dealer for the next hand and has the advantage of calling a Trump suit based on their cards. Play always starts left of the Dealer and proceeds clockwise unless a Scurry or Scamper card alters it. The game begins with each player receiving four cards from the shuffled Scurry & Scamper deck and seven cards from the playing card deck. Each round one less card is dealt for the hand making it increasingly more difficult to win a trick. The winner is whoever has the fewest Finks by the final round. If there is a tie the player with the largest cheese hoard wins!