Würmeln - Diced Worms

Author: Alex Randolph

Translated by Ken Tidwell, November 12, 1994.

The tricky, bidding race game for 3-5 players.

Materials (with which you dice worms)

Besides nerve and a crafty bent you need Diced Worms:

Preparation (before you dice worms)

Install the posts. Two posts mark the start and two others mark the finish. Put the finish posts through the finish line. There should be around 24 inches (60-70 cm) between the start and finish (approximately 3.5 times the length of the box) at the start of the game (the length of the race course may change during the game).

Each player takes the dice and 7 worm tiles in one color.

Construct the worms behind the starting line. Each player arranges their worm tiles in a string such that each tile touches the tile before and after it (except for the head and tail, of course). [ken - It doesn't say that the worms have to be straight at the start but that may be a simplifying assumption.]

Dicing Worms

1. Bidding

Take care when dicing worms. Curiously, dicing these worms involves bidding. The following instructions should be followed when dicing them:

The dice are used to bid for movement.

A bid shows how many tiles of their worm a player would like to move this round.

The X bid means that you can choose to move any number of tiles that has not been bid by any other player (that is, 3-7 tiles depending on what other players have bid and how many tiles you want to move). Also you can move either of the posts on the finish line (you'll find out how to do this later).

If two or more players bid the same number (or X), the bids are invalid. Their worm does not move this round.

The bids are made in secret: the number the player wishes to bid is placed at the top of their die and it is kept hidden. When all of the players have decided on their bids, all of the dice are revealed simultaneously.

No rule is without exception: the 7 and the X may not be bid twice in a row by the same player. If their previous bid was invalidated, however, then they are allowed bid 7 or X twice in a row. For example, if two players bid 7 then their bids are invalid. Naturally, they are allowed to bid 7 in the next round.

2. Movement

After the bidding, the player with the lowest bid moves their worm first. Then the player with the next highest bid moves their worm and so on.

On their turn, the players move their worm according to their bid. Movement is very simple: you always move the last of the worm to the start (or 'head') of the worm. When the bid is 5, for example, you move the last five tiles from the tail to the head. The front tile is now the new head.

The worm does not have to move straight ahead. You are allowed to hinder and vex your opponent by twisting and turning, curving left or right, and blocking other worms. All of the tiles must still form a string when the worm stops.

Before a worm begins to move forward it is allowed to reverse direction so long as it meets the following criteria:

  1. The last tile of the worm cannot be moved because there is no room at the head.
  2. The tiles of the worm remain touching each other.

If a player bid X, they may move their worm forward by any legal number (3-7) which was not bid by another player. They may also shift one of the finish posts and so move the finish line. The distance between the finish posts must naturally remain the same. (ken - Place your pointer finger on one post and your pinkie on the other then swing one or the other around.)

Game End (you've diced your worms)

The game ends when the first worm puts its head across the finish line. This worm is the winner and craftiest of all the worms.

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell