fragmentsby Allan Stagg

Original Game

1. Fragments from two headlines are presented to players each turn. Players have to identify the year the headline refers to.

2. When a headline is first presented, players are told the number of characters (not including spaces) in the headline, and one in ten of these characters are revealed.

3. For each headline, a player may either make a guess at the date or nominate a character to be revealed, either by position or by letter (e.g. '8th letter' or 'an S'). For one of the headlines a player may, instead of guessing the date or nominating a character, ask for an analysis of the headline. That player will be informed of the number of words in the headline, and the number of letters in each word.

1) ****a **Ni* ****p ***h* ***** wat** g**** *and* l (41) - guess at 1974
2) So*** **ib* **y** ***** eE*** ***ia ****a ****M ***a* h**** **B** (55)- ask for analysis
3) ****o r**** ***** q**** ***** **** (29) - reveal first letter
4) I**** ***** ***** ***** ****e ***n (29) - reveal a C
The requested letters are revealed in the next turn report in addition to the random 10%. The analysis sent exclusively to the player, in this case it is 10 words (4,2,7,8,4,5,7,2,13,3)

4. In the game report the GM will reveal unsuccessful guesses at the year of each headline, and will disclose another ten percent of the characters (rounded but always at least one) in headlines that were in play at the beginning of the turn. The GM may also reveal two new headlines. Note that for wrong guesses, the guesser's name is not disclosed, and for correct guesses it is but obviously not the answer itself.

5. Players who correctly guess the date of a headline will score a number of points that is determined by the number of turns that the headline has been in play. If the date of a headline is guessed after the first turn, the player will score ten points. If it is guessed after the second turn it will score 9 points, reducing to 1 point after ten turns. A headline that is more than ten turns old will always score 1 point.

6. The first player whose score reaches a limit set at the start of the game is the winner. Alternatively the game can be played over a fixed number of turns, or a combination such as "first to 50 points, 8 rounds maximum". If there is a tie, the player with the highest total score is the winner. If two or more players finish with the same score, the player who made the fewest number of requests for analysis is the winner.

7. Headlines may be straightforward or cryptic. For instance, "Normans win victory near Hastings" pretty clearly refers to 1066. But so could "One in the eye for Harold as William wins at Hastings".


Categories Variant

1. Instead of headlines describing historical events, the fragments can be a description of anything, and players need to guess the name of the thing rather than a year. The fragments in the game can be any combination of categories.

2. Example categories are: geographic feature, book, film, song, town or city, building, sports team and historical event (name not year). E.g. "The Mona Lisa is on show here and eight million visited last year" answer: The Louvre (building)

3. The categories of the fragments are not given in the turn report. However, on one fragment per turn, a player may ask for the category to be revealed to them privately. A player choosing this action may not also ask for an analysis on the same turn. Category revelations count the same as breakdown analyses for tie break purposes.

4. The game can also be run on a one-category basis, where for example the GM states in advance that all the answers are (say) famous novels. The category request option can be removed or modified as desired, for the books example perhaps the genre could be requested.


Movie Madness Variant

added by Richard Smith 2018

The category is movies, and the fragments can be one of four types:

  1. Crossword - A cryptic crossword style clue to the movie's name.
  2. Sound Charade - A verbal sketch describing the movie in a humorous way.
  3. Cougar Town - As per the game played on the US sitcom - the answer is a composite title made from two movies, the last word of one being the first of the second e.g. "From Russia With Love Actually". The synopses of the two movies are jumbled together.
  4. Mouse of Games - As per the Richard Osman game show, the synopsis is for a movie with one letter changed in the title - e.g. "Robocod", "The Germinator"

Instead of one "special" that can be an analysis or category request, each player can use up to 2 specials per round from three request options:

Option 1:  Analysis of word breakdown (as per standard game).

Option 2:  Type of clue (Mouse of Games, Crossword, Cougar Town or Sound Charade).

Option 3:  Year of the movie(s). This is qualified as follows: