TALK.BIZARRE, The Board Game !!!

Game by Michael Rigler (copyright 1992 by Rigler-Labs).

The game is played on a square board, with four corner squares plus 23 squares between two corners of each side. In addition, there are places in the middle of the board reserved for stacks of cards and counters:

    (start here) ----------->                                 
   |lur | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |new | |
   | ker| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | bie| |
   |zone| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |zone| |
   |----+---------------------------------------------+----| |
   |----|                                             |----| V
   |----|       / \                        / \        |----|
   |----|      /   \                      /   \       |----|
   |----|     /clue \                    /flame\      |----|
   |----|     \      \                  /      /      |----|
   |----|      \ cards\                / cards/       |----|
   |----|       \     /                \     /        |----|
   |----|        \   /                  \   /         |----|
   |----|         \ /                    \ /          |----|
   |----|                                             |----|
   |----|                                             |----|
   |----|                                             |----|
   |----|                                             |----|
   |----|                     __                      |----|
   |----|                    /  \                     |----|
   |----|                   /vol \                    |----|
   |----|                  /  cano\                   |----|
   |----|                 /        \                  |----|
   |----|                /  cards   \                 |----|
   |----|                \__________/                 |----|
   |----|                                             |----|
 ^ |----|                                             |----|
 | |----+---------------------------------------------+----|
 | |old | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |cave|
 | | bie| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |newt|
 | |zone| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |zone|


The "T.B, the Board Game" duplicates all the action of a typical month of talk.bizarre! From the creative postings of most respected oldbie, to the hapless struggling of the most mediocre cavenewt, and yes, even down to the pathetic mewlings of the rankest newbie--you will be there! You will cringe from the heat of the flamewars and the razor sharp wit of the repartee! You will experience the thrill of posting great articles, the shame of posting pathetic articles, and the surge of triumph as you show no mercy, pushing your fellow players over the brink of the volcano...

Yes, "T.B, the Board Game" brings all the action straight to you. Now you can play in your home, in your car, in the nude, with family and friends... anyway you like it! No more need to bother with expensive computer accounts and bothersome electronic gear like computers and modems. Each boxed kit contains all you need: one (1) t.b. gameboard, two (2) six-sided dice, one (1) deck of "flame" cards, one (1) deck of "clue" cards, and one (1) deck of "volcano" cards. Open your kit now and examine its contents, beginning with the gameboard...

The corners are four "zones" which represent levels of attainment in t.b: Player begin as "lurkers" in the Lurker Zone, and try to progress through the Newbie Zone, the CaveNewt Zone and the Oldbie Zone, with the ultimate goal of traversing the entire board and becoming a "Respected Oldbie." On their journey, the players will encounter many pitfalls, such as flamewars, "Carasso traps", and the dreaded "misc.test trick." If players are not care- ful, they will lose their accounts or face interrogation by the F.B.I. The most fortunate players, however, will "get a clue." Now, shuffle and place the cards in their respective positions on the gameboard, and proceed to the rules section...

THE RULES (for 3-10 players)

  1. The players each select a game piece. A game piece is any solid object that can be found in the immediate vicinity having dimensions less than or equal to 2cm x 2cm x2cm and a density of not more than 400 gm/cm**3. Highly reactive substances such as plutonium, antimatter and very small robots are permitted. When every player has selected a game piece, all of the pieces are simultaneously placed within the Lurker Zone on the gameboard and left alone for 60 seconds. After 60 seconds, any pieces remaining in the Lurker Zone are still in the game.

  2. The remaining players each throw one dice to see who goes first. Ties are re-rolled. The player rolling the highest number goes first, and play proceeds counter-clockwise around the table for the rest of the game.

  3. A player's "turn" will generally consist of rolling two die and advancing his or her playing piece that many squares forward (clockwise around the board), and following the instructions on the final square occupied. These instructions may require that the playing piece be further moved, either forwards or backwards, in which case the playing piece is moved to its new position immediately but the instructions on that square are ignored.

    The exceptions to this rule are when a player enters or leaves a Zone (see below), or enters the "All Out Flamewar" square (see below).

  4. Entering and leaving a Zone (one of the corner squares): When a player advances his piece into a Zone (from either direction), he or she must stop and end the turn on that Zone. When exiting a Zone, only one dice is rolled instead of the usual two die. This includes the first move of the game, during which a player exits the Lurker Zone.

  5. A player whose piece occupies the first side of the board (not including the Newbie Zone), is called a "lurker." On any turn after a lurker's initial turn, he or she may opt to advance directly to the Newbie Zone instead of rolling two die and progressing sequentially along the side of the board. The advantage in doing this is that it gets a player out of the lurker side more quickly, but at the cost of "clue points" (see below).

  6. When a lurker's game piece is advanced to a lurker square, the message on the square indicates the key articles that that player was fortunate enough to read during a Usenet session. The number after the messages is the number of "clue points" gained by reading those articles. Players should keep track of accumulated clue points using a pencil and paper (not included -- oops, I should have mentioned that above, oh well).

    Some of the square give the player the option of continuing to lurk (i.e., moving their playing piece the designated number of square backwards).

  7. Players become "newbies" by advancing to the Newbie Zone. Newbies try to advance up the second side of the board, where the square contain messages requiring the player to either (a) move an additional number of squares forwards (+) or backwards (-), or (b) draw a card from the flame, clue or volcano decks, and follow the instructions on that card. Some cards carry instructions, while some reward the player with additional clue points or take clue points away (see description of cards below)

    Player become "cavenewts" by advancing to the CaveNewt Zone, and "oldbies" by advancing to the Oldbie Zone. The rules for cavenewts and oldbies are the same as those described above for newbies, except that we all know who is better.

  8. When a player who is a newbie, a cavenewt or an oldbie ends his turn on a square containing the gamepeice(s) of another player or players, he or she has the option of "flaming" any one of those players. A player flames another player by rolling one dice and adding that number to the total number of clue points that he or she has at that time. The player being flamed then "counterflames" by rolling one dice and adding his or her total number of clue points. The two number are compared and the player with the higher total has "outflamed" the other and gains a number of clue points equal to the total showing on the two dice, while the victim loses a corresponding number of clue points (down to a minimum of zero clue points). Note that it is possible for the outcome of a flame war to be preditermined if a flamer has many more clue points than the victim. C'est la fucking vie, as they say.

  9. After a player rolls to move, he or she may opt to convert clue points into additional squares of forward movement at a rate of ten clue points per square of movement. This maneouver is typically used to avoid some cruel fate (like landing on a volcano square), to end a move on the square of another player in order to flame, or to reach some desired goal like the final square.

  10. The final square (adjacent to the Lurker Zone) is the "All out Flamewar" square. A player whose gamepiece reaches this square stops all movement and immediately proceeds to "flame" all other remaining non-lurker players, in any order, using the flaming rules described above. This is the final battle, to determine whether or not the player becomes a "respected oldbie" and wins the game:

    If the flamer outflames every other player, he or she wins the game, but if the flamer fails to outflame one of the other players, then the flamer must stop flaming and immediately move back to the Oldbie Zone.

    Additionally, any of the other non-lurker players who is outflamed by the flamer is moved backwards to the nearest Zone, except newbies, who are blasted out of the game. But if any other newbie or cave-newt players manage to outflame the flamer, then they immediately advance forwards to the next Zone. Oldbies who outflame the flamer do not get to move forwards.


(squares are listed in sequence, moving clockwise around the board):






For a real challenge, play the game with a three coffee stirrers instead of two six-sided dice.

This article is actually intended to present the skeleton of a rather crummy board game which could be fleshed out and refined to suite the reader's individual tastes. It might be fun to play at a FAX.BOB, for example, after everyone has had ten or twenty beers.

Or maybe not, now that I think about it. After ten beers I'd probably be more interested in getting into gypsy's pants. After twenty beers I'd probably be trying to screw anyone or anything still twitching, even if it said "Eep!" or called me a mysogynist or told me to "Garnish with beak."

Oh never mind.

"God, sometimes you make Bur seem creative." --R. Dobson


Game by Michael Rigler
December 11, 1992

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell