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To the Four

Being A Study Of The Integration Of The Worcester Variant Into The 16th Folio Of Coppertwaddle, Submitted by Esther Wafercoat (of The Worcester F.A.A)


I must, at the out-set, offer my gratitude to the Society for commissioning this article from the Worcester F.A.A, as this is, surely, the most appropriate source of information with regard to the subject matter! For those who have no awareness of our history, it was one of our earlier Presidents, Castor Featherew, who introduced the popular 'Worcester Variant' of Coppertwaddle. Featherew was not only a keen 'Twaddler, but an avid amateur historian - famously combining these twin passions in the (re-)discovery and publicising of the Worcester Variant. It was gratifying, therefore, (if long overdue) that Castor's granddaughter accepted a certificate in his honour from the Society, last year, when the variant was finally accepted as part of the core rules of Coppertwaddle (with the release of the 16th Folio).

Rules For Playing Winds

The rules of the 16th Folio describe the playing of the Wind Threlms, somewhat cursorily, as follows:

"Instead of laying any other Threlm, the Guardian may lay one of the Wind Threlms (North, South, East and West) from his or hand into any Peasant Rank Ditch, that is either vacant or contains a covered Threlm. The Peasant Rank Ditch may be in either Domain. A covered Threlm with a Wind on top of it is described as 'Pressed'. Pressed Threlms cannot be made proud until the Wind has been removed."

Extrapolating from this description, the following conditions are true and correct for the Wind Threlms:

  1. When a Wind Threlm is played it is considered as the 'one Threlm' playable by the Guardian in their turn;
  2. A Wind Threlm may be played in any vacant Peasant Rank Ditch in the Guardian's Domain;
  3. A Wind Threlm may be played in any vacant Peasant Rank Ditch in the Challenger's Domain;
  4. A Wind Threlm may be played on top of a covered Threlm in a Peasant Rank Ditch in the Guardian's Domain; or
  5. A Wind Threlm may be played on top of a covered Threlm in a Peasant Rank Ditch in the Challenger's Domain.

Thus, from the above clarification, it is clear that you can do one of two, highly-summarised, things with a Wind Threlm:

a. Play it into your own Domain, or
b. Play it into your opponents Domain.

The rest of this article will discuss the thoughts and reasoning behind both destinations.

Finally, a reminder of sorts: Winds have their own ability text which states that they cannot be Robbed (though they may still participate in a Robbing), neither can they be Covered.

Playing Winds Into Your Domain

Often ignored (and discarded!) as a card of little worth, why should it be that one would possibly need to place such a millstone of a Threlm in one's own Domain? Of the three reasons we could determine, two are purely situational and (as a consequence) rarely occuring; these are:

(Editors Note: For the unfamiliar, 'The Lock' is a situation whereby a player is prevented from victory by the presence of The Curmudgeon in one Domain and The Old Hag in the other - during the Challenge step, one is activated to force the covering of the other)

The third, purely strategic, application of self-inflicted Wind is the surprising opening gambit known as 'Boydell's Commencement' (after Arthur Mayhew Boydell), where the Guardian plays a Wind into their Peasant Rank during their first turn. Often greeted with bemusement from the Challenger, this unusual start is a wicked psychological taunt from the Guardian. How so?

Whatever your opinion of Boydell's Commencement, it is a stratagem that has provoked many hours of debate amongst players.

Playing Winds Into Your Opponent's Domain

More commonly, the Winds find their way into an opponent's Domain, for the following reasons:

The "Windy Fish" Puzzle

A popular challenge to new Coppertwaddle players is the "Windy Fish" puzzle; the base parameters for which are as follows:

The challenge: Which three other cards do you need in your hand to successfully rob The Bentham Fish from your opponent?

(Editors Note: To retrieve the solution, please refer to the following 'hidden' page on the Coppertwaddle website: http://www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk/CopperTwaddle/windyfish.htm)

In Summary

I trust you will not regard the North, South, East, or West Winds with disdain in the future, instead treating them as either a worthy ally, or a dire threat, to your 'Twaddling strategies.

Esther Wafercoat



Bloody Legacy / Confucius / Coppertwaddle / Fzzzt! / Guilds of London / Ivor the Engine / On The Cards / Paperclip Railways / Scandaroon / Snowdonia / Tara, Seat of Kings / Totemo

Surprised Stare Games Ltd.

Carrier Strike / Mission Command / The Cousins' War

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