2022-08-08

I wanted to play a game of cards with my kids the other day, but I wanted it to be relaxing and non-comptetitive. After thinking for a little while I came up with this co-op game for four players using a standard deck of cards which I decided to call Bring Down the Mountain.

I hope I can explain this well enough!

First place the cards like this on the table, with the spokes between the players.

Because I want the lingo to be a bit, y'know, mountain-y I've decided that the spokes are called "ridges", the pie slices between them are called "valleys" and of course the hub is the "peak". The cards facing each player is the beginning of their pile.

Let's lay down some guidelines!

- The players take turns clockwise.
- The goal of the game is to tear down the mountain one card at a time and sort them into 4 stacks of 13 cards each.
- In their turn a player has two phases: move and draw.

A player can reach their own valley, and those adjacent to it. They can also reach the two nearest ridges.

In the move phase the player is free to move any number of cards from one valley to another any number of times under the following restrictions:

- They move cards from one valley at a time.
- They can take any number of cards from the top of a pile in a single move but may not change their ordering.
- No card can be placed on a card with a lower or equal value.
- An Ace can be either in the bottom or the top of a pile, never between other cards (i.e. it can be either a 1 or 14).
- Any card or pile of cards can be placed in an empty valley.

Note that a player may be unable or unwilling to move any cards. That's okay.

When the player is done with the move phase they must draw one card from one of the two nearest ridges, if and only if that card can be placed in any of the three valleys the player can reach in accordance with the restrictions above.

As soon as a pile in a valley has the full 13 cards ranging either from Ace to 2 or from King to Ace in order from bottom to top that pile is completed. It's moved away from the table, leaving the valley empty.

A completed pile must not contain two Aces.

The game comes to an end either when there is no more mountain and the players have completed 4 piles or when no amount of moving cards about allows any player to draw a card from a ridge, in which case the players have lost.

It's a co-op game! Just decide which person or persons lives in which valley, so to speak.

I've played it with three players, and as a solitaire game. It's great fun. I hope you'll like it as much as I do.

-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal