Game by by Stefan Doria.
Published by Hans im Gluck.
Translated by John Webley.
Those were the days: Olympic games without doping or big business, no television, no sponsorship. The winners in those old-time Olympics received nothing more than a barrel full of olive oil. Competition was hard but fair, and the favourite didn't always make it onto the podium, since, in the days of the ancient Greeks, all athletes competed in all five disciplines, Discus Throwing, Marathon Running, Long Jump, Archery and the Combination event, a contest to find the best all-rounder from the other four disciplines. And naturally enough, the best archer wasn't always so good at running marathons!
To win, players need to put together a team so that each athlete competes in his strongest event and so comes back with the victor's laurels. Hold back your stars a little too long and you'll be standing empty handed in the arena when the prizes are given out. Not even consolation points will compensate.
The Olympic athletes compete against each other in the various, constantly changing, disciplines. The value of the contests rises steadily as the game goes by, and the winner claims the laurels at the end of each round. The overall victor is the player who has won the most laurels by the end of the game.
The competition card is placed in the middle of the table, the laurel chips are laid out in rows beneath the relevant disciplines in ascending order. When completed, each of the five discipline symbols on the card should have a set of similarly coloured chips beneath it, ranked from 2 - 6.
The consolation chips are placed to one side of the card.
Two chips are now chosen at random from the uppermost row, for example Marathon 2 and Combination 2, and are placed onto the spaces marked I and II on the card.
A Start player is chosen, the cards are well shuffled, and each player is dealt 4 cards face down, which they may look at. The remaining cards are placed face down on the table in front of the start player.
Each card is divided into two parts. The numbers on either side of the card show the athlete's position in each of the five disciplines. The lower the number, the better the position. The picture in the middle of the card shows which of the five groups of athletes this one belongs to. The handicapped athletes (on crutches), have a special function, (see, "It is better to compete....").
Each round of play can be divided into three parts.
1) The Laurel chip on the I space is the prize for this round. (In our example Marathon 2). All players choose one of their four cards and place it face down in front of them. Then all players simultaneously turn over their cards, and the various positions of the athletes in that discipline are read out. The winner is the athlete with the highest position, ie the lowest number, in that discipline. The player who played this card takes the Laurel chip and puts it face up in front of them. The cards are left face up in front of the players until the end of the round.
2) The player whose athlete achieved the worst position, (had the highest number) in this discipline, now chooses a new chip. Athletes with a word against them in this discipline, (Disqualifizert (Disqualified) or Ubergetreten, (Broke a Rule)), did not get a position, and so do not count.
First the player moves the chip from the space marked II to the I space, this chip will be competed for in the next round. Then the player chooses the uppermost chip in any discipline and puts it on the II space. The chip chosen must be the uppermost in it's column, ie Marathon 3 can only be chosen after Marathon 2 has been moved onto the competition card. Now the cards played can be removed, they are laid to one side and play no further part in the game.
3) The Start player now draws a card and looks at it. This they may keep or pass on. The card may be passed to any player who has not yet been dealt a card in this round, (if the start player has already passed cards on to all the other players then they must keep the last card they draw themselves). Then they draw another card which again they may keep or pass on. Once they decide to keep the card, they then deal one card face down to every player who hasn't already had one, so that at the end of the round all players once more have four cards in their hand.
The dealer then passes on the deck to the player to their left who will deal the cards in the next round.
In the unlikely event that no athlete manages a position in the discipline (all four are disqualified etc.) then all players draw a new card and the chip is competed for again.
If one or more losers (athletes on crutches) are played in a round, then each player who played such a card receives a consolation chip as a symbol of the audience's appreciation of the effort the athlete has put in merely to get to the Games.
As soon as the deck has less cards than there are players, no more cards are drawn. The players then play three more rounds using the cards from their hands, or until all chips have been won if this comes sooner (two player game). The remaining cards in the deck, if any, play no part in the game.
If there are 4 or 5 players, all the value 6 chips should be removed before play starts.
The cards come in five groups. The quality of the athlete in each group can easily be seen from the picture, the more sporting the athlete looks, the better his performance.
1) The 12 Olympians in the first group each achieve at least one position in the top three of one of the five disciplines. They each have a name, and an individual portrait.
2) the 12 Olympians in the second group each achieve at least one position in the top seven in one of the five disciplines. All members of this group are represented by the same athletic-looking portrait.
3) the 12 from the third group each achieve at least a position in the top 12 in one of the five disciplines. All members of this group are represented by a slightly weedy looking portrait.
4) The 12 members of this group are represented by a distinctly pot-bellied portrait. Every member of this group achieves at least a position in the top 20 in one of the five disciplines.
5) The 7 members of the losers group are represented by a portrait of a figure on crutches. They fail to achieve a position in the top 20 in any of the five disciplines.
For their part in tiring but enjoyable test games, for careful rules checking and for useful tips, our grateful thanks goes to Barbara and Dieter Hornung, Andreas Seyfarth, Martin Wehnert and Hannes Wildner.
Copyright 1994, Hans im Gluck Verlags GMBH, Munich
Distributed from The Rules Bank by Mike Siggins
The Game Cabinet - firstname.lastname@example.org - Ken Tidwell