"The Thrill of the Race"

A Mini Game Set in Flintloque's World of Valon by Matthew Hartley


Matthew Hartley once again returns to the ever popular Tales of Albion setting with this fun and fast mini-game in which two teams compete against each other in the annual Orcsfud and Kambrig boat race.


"When one rows it is not the rowing which moves the ship: rowing is only a magical ceremony by means of which one compels a demon to move the ship."

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche



Orcsfud and Kambrig, famed seats of learning, dream spires. Scholastic home to Albion’s Society youthful cream (being both rich and thick). These fabled institutions strive to extract the largest sums from their dull-witted undergrads, whilst keeping the scholars (by ancient custom, all called Don) in a permanent state of inebriation.

Over the years the Don’s have become adept at devising cunning diversions for their supposed charges to distract them from their studies and thereby free more time for the copious consumption of alcohol (and rodents, glazed in honey). Events include regular riots, distance vomiting competitions, ritual humiliation of social inferiors and foreign students, and the theft of traffic management devices and signage (Dwarven speed bumps are usually given a hearty meal before being returned to duty). With each event, the winner receives a ritual tattoo, or “blue”, which carries a certain status which is bound to grant the bearer entry into the upper echelons of Londinium society. No blue is more prized than that for the fiercely contested boat race between the two institutions...

The race itself involves two teams each with a boat attached to a minor aquatic demon with large webbed hands (caught, most like, in the mist-shrouded Fens abutting Kambrig, or from farther afield in Norfcuk). The demon is encouraged to move faster by the team who beat it with long handled paddles (you don’t want to get too close to a demon, after all). The route for the race is fixed, and, obviously, cheating abounds.

The Game

The game requires a set of playing cards for each player, plus one additional set. All sets should include the jokers and court cards. Players will also need a Flintloque model to represent the position of thier boat.
Each deck is shuffled separately. Player’s decks are set out in parallel lines, with cards face down. These cards represent the course of the river. Each players sequence of cards is called a line.

Each player draws five cards from the 3rd deck. These cards are kept hidden from the other player and represent a variety of dirty tricks the players can inflict on each other.

Players place their boat model on the first card on their line. This card is turned over.

Players determine who goes first. This can be done using a dice or flipping a coin, or through the traditional method of speed drinking a pint of beer, the first to finish being the first to start.

Movement follows an 'I Go, You Go' sequence.

Aces have a value of 1 and all court cards have a value of 11. Jokers represent an automatic failure.

The first player must state whether the card in his line in front of his current card is of a higher or lower value than the card is boat is currently on. If the play guesses correctly, he moves onto the next card and repeats the process with the next card in his line. There is no limit to the number of cards a player may move in his turn as the result of correct guesses.

If he guesses incorrectly or the card is of the same value as the card he is currently on, he moves onto the next card but does not get to guess the value on the next card, his turn ends and the next player being his turn.

Another player may interrupt the players guess by placing a card from his hand on the others players line. This must be done AFTER the player has guessed if the next card in his line is of higher or lower value but BEFORE that card is revealed. The played card replaces the card in the sequence. Players are limited to the 5 cards they draw at the start of the game and these cards are not replaced as they are played.

The winner is the first player to reach the end of his line.


Webmaster's Note

An Orcs in the Webbe Original! "The Thrill of the Race" was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe's 2010 Advent Calendar and was first published on Thursday 1st December 2011.