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From Principia Twaddlae - the Quarterly Newsletter from the Society of 'Twaddlers (Established 1534), Summer 1938; being a description of the popular Gallic Coppertwaddle variant of the same name by Alain De Lups
We French, being of a volatile nature, have often found the traditional structure of Coppertwaddle to be too random and subject to luck. This, of course, has not proven to be a problem amongst the English or American communities, because you are always accepting of loss and, as a result of much experience in this area, have become overly philosophical and gracious in defeat! On the other hand, the continental European player, frustrated at his inability to draw an appropriate Threlm or Favour, often expresses his dissatisfaction in violent outbursts and tantrums. To combat such temperamental behaviour, the French Society (Le Societe Francais Fadaise De Cuivre, SFFC), meeting at their offices on the Rue Nellyshels in 1927, proposed the following variant of Coppertwaddle in an attempt to pacify the fringe elements of the sport.
In summary, the game is now divided into two distinct sections: in the first section, players alternately pick Threlms, Favours and Declarations from a set presented to them, in order to construct their own Trumpet (half-size deck of Coppertwaddle cards). In the second section normal Coppertwaddle play ensues, in which each player shall draw from their OWN Trumpet and discard to their own Midden. A greater element of skill is required, because one needs to select the optimum cards from those presented and then make best use of those cards during regular game-play.
a. Remove Dread of Night from the Trumpet, reducing the total (standard) deck size to fifty-four cards. This means that each player shall have twenty-seven cards in their Trumpet at the start of each game.
b. Determine who shall start and then shuffle the Trumpet.
c. Deal out the top NINE cards from the Trumpet, proud (face-up) upon the table.
d. The starting player selects one of these cards and adds it to his Trumpet, followed by the opposing player, who similarly selects and stores a card. Repeat this process, alternating between the two players, until all of the nine cards have been selected. At this point, the starting player should have FIVE cards, and the opposing player FOUR.
e. The starting player now becomes the opposing player and vice versa. Repeat this selection process from step c above, until all of the cards have been selected. Each player shall have twenty-seven cards.
f. Each player must now comprehensively shuffle their own Trumpet.
(Editors Note: At this point players may wish to put their 'drafted' cards into sleeves, a different colour for each player, to allow easy 'resetting' of Trumpets between games)
Each player draws from their own Trumpet, following the normal Turn Sequence and rules of Coppertwaddle. Likewise, if any player is unable to draw further cards from their Trumpet, the game is regarded as a Draw. Stolen Threlms, Declarations in foreign Domains, etc should be easily identified, so that they may be returned to their 'owner' between games, and discarded cards should be placed in their owner's Midden. Now you are fully conversant with this most agreeable variation.
Be warned! Choisissez Une Carte expects you to intimately understand the merits of each of the cards and their flexibility of use, as well as their value relative to the other cards!:
a. Remember to select enough Threlms, especially of the Noble Rank, for without these, you will be unable to either Rob or place enough Threlms to win - experience suggests that a minimum of four Nobles and six to eight Peasants is sufficient;
b. The Divisors (Capstan, The Wheel, Sextant, and Compass) are tremendously powerful, as are cards such as Assizes, Land Ho! and (of course) Coppertwaddle;
c. Selecting both halves of The Marriage (The Old Hag and The Curmudgeon) is particularly advantageous;
d. Remember what cards your opponent is selecting also - pay particular attention to cards they have that could disrupt your own strategies, e.g. Coppertwaddles, high-powered Threlms, Divisors and/or Threlm discard cards (such as Assizes or Thrust & Parry);
e. Practice! The best way to improve is to play!
Deuxieme is a four-player Coppertwaddle variant which incorporates the pre-game selection process of Choisissez Une Carte with the Canterbury Variant (opposite pairs attempt to build their shared Domain). The teams shuffle TWO Coppertwaddle decks together and select as described previously - thus four players will each have a deck of twenty-seven cards.
Alain De Lups