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MICE CAKE RULES v. 2 ( last edit 11.27.2011)

 

CREDITS

  • Created by Thomas Gale, © 2002 - 2011
  • All copyrights belong to the attributed creators. All rights reserved.
  • Please do not redistribute in any form without permission.
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  • Please send comments about the website to tomgale(@)yahoo.com.
  • Thanks to David S for feedback.

STATS

  • Number of Players: 2
  • Duration: 15-40 min
  • Atmosphere: light race-to-grab-points game
  • Theme: mice stuffing their cheeks

COMPONENTS

  • set of double-six dominoes
  • 4 six-sided dice for each player
  • 4 dark pawns (mice) for player A (could use pennies)
  • 4 light pawns (mice) for player B (could use nickels)

INTRODUCTION

Two families of mice are racing to collect the best pieces of cake for themselves.

HOW TO WIN

Count up the pips on your collected cake pieces (dominoes), and the highest total pip count wins.

TIEBREAKER- Highest count of dominoes breaks tie of pips. Owner of double-six breaks any further ties.

PLAY SETUP

SHUFFLE- Mix up all 28 dominoes face down.

MAKE CAKE- Arrange into a square 4 dominoes wide by 7 dominoes long. players sit facing sides with four dominoes in the facing front row. Turn the 1nd, 3th, 5th and 7th rows face up. See diagram below.

POSITION MICE-Set 4 mice and 4 dice before each players.

mice cake setup

PLAY

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Play continues until all the cake is taken. Each round of play mice are given an opportunity to haul away more cake pieces. Each mouse is matched with one die. Together or individually mice may try to claim a piece by rolling higher or equal to the pip value of the cake piece. The more valuable the piece, the more combined the effort is needed to take it. Risky choices yield greater danger with the chance of some mice losing a turn in recovery from exhaustion. Resolution is simultaneous but turns may be taken for ease of play until a conflict arises.

PHASE 1 - Assign Mice

Each player has a family of four mice represented by pawns.
Both players simultaneously assign mice to any of the 4 columns facing them in any combination.

For example, you may have all 4 mice before column A; or you may assign 2 to column A and 2 to column C; or you may assign one to each column A,B,C,D. etc.

Mice may only eat cake from their own side. They may not jump on or around to eat from the side or middle. Once all the mice of both players are assigned move to phase 2.

ASSIGNMENT CONFLICT: If both players can't settle on placement of mice simultaneously, then the assign mice secretly with a sheet of paper blocking view until both declare readiness.

PHASE 2 - Collect Cake

Both players resolve success from left to right or in another consistent manner. This may be done in turn even though it is technically simultaneous.

ROLLING DICE-Count the number of your mice assigned to column"A". Roll that number of dice. It helps to point to the current domino in question while you roll.

COMPARING RESULT-Compare the resulting sum of dice to the total number of pips on the nearest domino in that column. Generally if the mice rolled equal to or higher then that cake piece is won and may be taken immediately to your stash of winnings, with two important exceptions.

EXCEPTION 1: Conflict with enemy mice.
If a column is reduced such that there is only one cake piece left in that column, then whichever opposing group of assigned mice rolls the highest thereby gains the hard won piece provided not even 1 assigned mouse becomes exhausted (see below). If both sides are exhausted then the prize remains for next round.

EXCEPTION 2: Exhausted mice lose 1 turn and prevent cake piece from being taken.
There is a risk to gorging on cake. All cake pieces (dominoes) have 2 halves. Some have pips on both halves, while a few have pips on one half and are blank on the other half. If the piece of cake has pips on both halves and the count on each half matches exactly the pattern of pips on the dice rolled, then two of the assigned mice (belonging to that player) are EXHAUSTED and both lose the next turn. Place the exhausted mice on the cake piece to show they are exhausted and remove them during the following turn when they recover. If the cake piece has pips on one half and is blank on the other half, then one mouse is exhausted if the exact pip count is matched by a roll. Note that in both cases the dice must match the domino pip pattern exactly to be exhausted.

LOW ROLL- If the mice rolled lower than that cake piece's pip count then the piece is simply not won this turn. The mice are ok. Move on to the next column.

THE STASH- Won cake pieces are stored face up away from the cake near the players. When a piece is taken the next adjacent cake piece in the same column is turned face up (if not already).

END ROUND-When all 8 mice have taken actions the round is over. The next round begins with new assignments for the mice. Newly exhausted mice may not be assigned and simply wait for recovery during phase 2. Exhausted mice do NOT block subsequent attempts on the same cake piece. The game ends when there are no more cake pieces left.

DOUBLE-BLANK
When mice are assigned to the double-blank domino they get a chance to steal a cake piece from the enemy. You choose a target piece to steal from the enemy. You roll against the value of the target enemy domino not the value of the double blank. The same rules apply and if you are exhausted you place your mice atop the blank. If the double-blank is used by enemy players on the same turn, then the players may steal from each other. If both players are successful in stealing then nobody gets the blank but the stolen stash cake pieces do get exchanged. Remove it from the game after the synchronous stealing occurs. Otherwise the first successful steal stashes the double-blank piece too and there can be no more stealing. Any exhausted mice on the other side would still lose 1 turn. If the enemy has no cake to steal during mouse assignment, then you can't assign mice to the double blank. If one or more attempts to steal fail (and the enemy does not succeed) then additional attempts can be made in subsequent rounds provided at least one mouse is assigned.

Some further EXHAUSTION clarifications:

No more than TWO mice may become exhausted from an attempt on a single cake piece with values on both halves.

For example, if 4 mice try for an 5/6 cake piece and the resulting rolls are 5,5,5, and 6, then only 2 mice become exhausted because the limit is reached. The piece can't be taken.

No more than ONE mouse may become exhausted from a cake piece that has a blank half.

For example, if 2 mice try for a 0/3 cake piece and double-threes are rolled only one mouse becomes exhausted and loses the next turn. The piece can't be taken.

If a single mouse attempts to take a cake piece with pips on both halves, and only matches one half, then it is NOT exhausted.

For example if a mouse rolls a 4 on a {4:4} domino then the mouse is not exhausted. The piece still can't be taken.

ANY EXHAUSTION DURING AN ATTEMPT PREVENTS CAKE PIECE CLAIM: If any mice at all become exhausted during an attempt on a cake piece it can't be taken to the stash even if the rolled sum would normally succeed (i.e. be an equal or higher value).

For example, if 4 mice attempt to take a {0:6} domino and the dice result is 6,5,4,4. Because just one mouse became exhausted by matching the 6 the piece can't be taken.

EXAMPLE

A
B
C
D
4 yellow mice pawns + 4 dice
1/2
3/4
5/6
0/3
&/&
&/&
&/&
&/&
0/0
1/3
5/5
6/2
&/&
&/&
&/&
&/&
0/4
1/5
0/6
2/4
&/&
&/&
&/&
&/&
0/1
4/4
3/6
2/5
4 blue mice pawns + 4 dice
A
B
C
D

PHASE 1- Blue assigns 2 mice to column B and 2 to column D. Yellow assigns 1 mouse to column A and 3 mice to column C.

PHASE 2 BLUE- Blue rolls for column B. Result=2,4. Nothing. Blue rolls for column D. Result = 3,4. Success (pattern not sum must match for exhaustion). Adds piece to stash + flips over next piece in line.

PHASE 2 YELLOW-Yellow rolls for column A. Result=4. Success. Adds piece to stash + flips next. Yellow rolls for column C. Result=6,6,5. Failure. Two mice are exhausted and lose next turn. Places exhausted mice on top of 5/6 domino. Remaining 3rd mouse is ok.

next round cake looks like this:

A
B
C
D
2 yellow mice (+ 2 exhausted mice)
-
3/4
5/6
0/3
2/3
&/&
&/&
&/&
0/0
1/3
5/5
6/2
&/&
&/&
&/&
&/&
0/4
1/5
0/6
2/4
&/&
&/&
&/&
1/1
0/1
4/4
3/6
-
4 blue mice
A
B
C
D

 

OPTIONAL RULES

Face Up or Face Down: Play starting with all dominoes starting face up or face down.

Boost Rather than Exhaustion: Instead of mice getting exhausted they get a boost and any 2 exact matches (or 1 on a half blank) get to roll again for the next piece in line.

 

NOTES AND DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

VERSION 1 - This one was rather tricky in developing as it came together and fell apart and generally changed shape many times. It was once a mining game, but I was hoping to make it a little more lighthearted than cave-ins crushing poor miners. The idea was that it was a race to go down tunnels and mine the richest veins of gold most efficiently, but something wasn't working when the dominoes snaked around. The idea of digging in as fast as you could and follow veins of precious goodies still held. Then the theme totally switched gears and it was to be a space game where the shape of the ship as represented by dominoes affected combat outcome. Finally falling back to the mining consumption theme and with the sound of mice skittering in my attic I decided to add the more friendly sounding characters. I wanted to make a solitaire game actually but it didn't fit so well. It's another domino and dice combo game that for some reason I can't get away from. (v.1 written 11.6.2002)

VERSION 2 - Minor changes after feedback and encouragement from David S. ( v.2 written 11.27.2011) Extra clarifications about exhaustion and double-blank.

 
 

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