Dominards

Overview:

Dominards is a game that uses dominoes, cards, and dice. The game is played much like "Five Up" Dominoes (hereafter simply called Dominoes), with different scoring mechanisms introduced by the cards and dice. A typical game of dominoes consists of multiple minigames, each ending when one player runs out of dominoes. Dominards has that structure, too, and the entire game as a whole ends when one player runs out of cards.

Computing the best possible move is simple in both games. This isn't rocket science, but hopefully it's diverting for a while. Dominards is a step up in complexity from Dominoes, and gives the player a little more flexibility.

Game Setup:

You will need a typical 28-piece set of dominoes, 52-card deck (no jokers), and 4 regular 6-sided dice. Deal all players 5 cards and 6 dominoes. As in regular Dominoes play, the player to take their turn first is decided by whoever has the highest double domino.

Game Play:

The first player rolls the scoring dice in one of two ways, to be explained later. The result of this die roll applies to the scoring opportunities of all players for their next turn. After all players have taken one turn affected by the die roll, the player who originally rolled them plays one more turn under that die roll's influence. Then, control of the dice is passed to the next player.

During a player's turn, they lay a domino from their hand onto the playing field. They must place this domino into play in a manner consistent with the rules of the original Dominoes game. If players are not familiar with the original Dominoes game, its placement rules are provided here for reference.

Domino placement rules:

Dominoes are divided into two numerical halves. Dominoes with two identical numerical halves are called "doubles". The numerical values on any given half are usually indicated with dots, called "pips".

```
+---------------+
| O       O O O |
|   O   |       |
|     O   O O O |
+---------------+

a typical domino, having the
numerical halves 3 and 6,
from now on illustrated as:

+------+
| 3  6 |
+------+

```

Dominoes are played so as to touch other dominoes already on the field. As a matter of terminology, a domino "played onto" another domino is one that is just being played now so as to touch that other domino already on the field. A domino already on the field may be "played off of" by a domino just now being played.

An example of a valid structure of dominoes already in play would be:

```
+---+
| 2 |
|   |
| 6 |
+---+
+---+        +---+        +---+
+------++------+| 4 |+------+| 6 |+------+| 3 |
| 0  5 || 5  4 ||   || 4  6 ||   || 6  3 ||   |
+------++------+| 4 |+------+| 6 |+------+| 3 |
+---+        +---+        +---+

```
A verbal description of the interaction of dominoes:
• The first domino laid onto the playing field will be the highest double that any of the players have in their hand. In the example given, the (6:6) domino is the highest double and was played first.
• Non-double dominoes touching other non-double dominoes are played end-to-end, with their like numbers touching (like the (0:5) and (5:4) dominoes).
• Doubles touching non-double dominoes are played with their broad side touching the shortest edge of the number they match (like the (4:4) domino played against the (4:6) domino).
• Non-double dominoes touching doubles are played with the short edge of their matching half touching the broad side of the double (like the (5:4) played against the (4:4)).
• Doubles touching doubles- never happens in the conventional set of dominoes used to play Dominards!
• The first double (as illustrated, the (6:6)), and only the first double, can be played off of its short sides (as the (2:6) is) or its broad sides (like the (4:6) and the (6:3)).

If a player is unable to place a domino onto the field because none of the numerical halves of the dominoes they possess matches any of the dominoes they may play off of, they must continue to draw dominoes from the face-down common pool of dominoes until they draw a domino that can be legally played on the field. As soon as they draw a domino that can be legally played, they must play it.

A player may score from playing their domino. After scoring any points from playing the domino itself, they may score additional points for ending a round of domino play, or for ending the game.

Scoring:

In both Dominoes and Dominards, there is a certain total that is of interest when calculating the scoring from a given play. Consider the outermost dominoes of the structure. In the example given, (0 5), (2 6), (3 3), and (6 6) are considered the outermost dominoes (the central domino (6 6) is always considered outermost until it is played off of in all 4 valid ways). Any halves of these dominoes that are not connected end-to-end with a like half are considered "showing" and are included in the total. Therefore, the 0 of the (0 5), the 2 of the (2 6), both 3s of the (3 3), and the bottom 6 of the (6 6) are all showing. The total is then 0 + 2 + 3 + 3 + 6, or 14.

Dominards is scored differently from Dominoes. In typical dominoes, players score by playing a domino that brings the total to a multiple of 5. On such a play, the scoring player earns a number of points equal to the total. Likewise, in Dominards, players score by bringing the total to some target values of interest, and get a number of points equal to that total. However, in Dominards, the target values of interest are not simply multiples of 5.

• Players may score on any of their turns by bringing the total to equal the value of one of the cards in their hand. Jacks count as 11, Queens as 12, and Kings as 13. The player may choose whether an Ace in their hand is worth 1 or 14 at the time of scoring. When a card is scored off of, the card is dropped out of its owner's hand.
• If the player in control of the dice has rolled 2 dice (called rolling for multiples), then players may score by bringing the total to a multiple of the number showing on those 2 dice. This is a generalization of the Dominoes concept of scoring on multiples of 5.
• If the player in control of the dice has rolled 4 dice (called rolling for a virtual card) then players may score by exactly matching the total to the number showing on all 4 dice. If a player scores in this way, they may drop any card of their choice from their hand.

If a player plays the last domino in their hand, they receive an additional 1 point for every domino in their opponents' hands, all players return their dominoes to the face-down common pool, and a new round begins.

If a player drops the last card in their hand (either by matching its value to the total, or by matching the total to the "virtual card"), they receive an additional 2 points for every card remaining in their opponents' hands. The game ends, and the player with the highest point total is the victor.

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