Kubb, also known as Viking Chess is a popular lawn game that originated in Sweden.
The postal game is for two teams of 2 or 3 players (2 vs. 2 or 3 vs. 3).
There are several variations on the rules. For the postal game the following are used:
1. The GM tosses a coin to determine which team goes first. The throwing order of players within each team is also determined randomly. This throwing order rotates throughout the game. The first thrower also has the job of placing the field kubbs if any.
2. The team going first gets to throw 6 batons at the opponents' kubbs. Two per player on a team of 3, three per player on a team of 2.
3. The team going second must then throw any of the knocked down kubbs to the opponents' half of the field as field kubbs. To be legal the kubb must land in the white or yellow area of the board (except for G10 or G11). In the event of a failed throw, a second attempt is allowed. If this too is not on a legal square, the GM places the kubb in an unfavourable position, but this must be at least one clear square away from the King (i.e. not in the yellow area)
4. Players must throw at the field kubbs first. Field kubbs that are knocked over are replaced on the baseline. Alternatively, for a shorter game, when they are knocked over they are removed from the field of play (this option will be used in the first game in Variable Pig). Any baseline kubbs knocked over at this stage are put back up.
5. Once the field kubbs are cleared players may throw at enemy kubbs on the baseline.
6. However, if the team fails to clear the field kubbs, in the standard game this allows the opponents to throw from the nearest field kubb to the centre line, instead of the baseline. In the postal game this is rule is not applied (so there is no effect on the hit probability).
7. Play then switches back to the first team and the throwing order rotates.
8. This process continues until one team knocks over all the opponents' kubbs, at which point players may throw at the King. Players must throw with their bad hand. The king piece straddles the two squares G10 and G11. A hit on either of these squares has a 50% chance of knocking over the King.
9. If the King is accidentally toppled prematurely the game is forfeit.
In the F2F game, some players like to consume alcoholic beverages. In the postal game this is compulsory. At the start of every round each player MUST consume one of the following drinks. No player is allowed to choose the same drink more than twice during the game. Note that where the first player in a team has to place one or more field kubbs, he may do so before or after consuming his drink.
Each drink unsurprisingly causes a player to become more intoxicated (see below). There is also an additional effect which is known to the GM but not the players, though they may be able to deduce this from the results of subsequent throws.
Each player at the start of the game is allocated a number of booze points. This number is rolled secretly by the GM using 3D6 + 2 (5-20). Each drink removes a number of points known to the GM but not the players. Players are informed of their reduced total after each drink (so after the first round the number is the starting points less the value of the first tipple), and anyone whose total falls to 0 or lower becomes drunk, and this occurrence is reported in the zine.
Should a player's total fall to minus the original booze points (e.g. -15 if started with 15) then he passes out and can no longer have any throws. These throws are lost by the team, they cannot be taken by other members. Should an entire team become comatose they forfeit the game unless the same fate also befalls their rivals in which case it's a draw.
When throwing a baton or a kubb the player nominates a target square.
Sober / Good Hand:
Drunk / Bad Hand
The effects of every drink consumed are then applied to the throw to determine the square where the baton lands.
Each player should choose a drink that might be beneficial (?).
Next if he has to place field kubbs (first player only), specify if he will do this before or after consuming his drink, then name the target square for each, plus optionally a "safer" square if the first throw lands out of bounds.
Thereafter for each baton throw, a player may specify any legal kubb to aim at (remember field kubbs must be cleared before baseline kubbs), and give a preference order to cater for not knowing how previous throwers (if any) will fare.
For each throw, the player may deliberately aim short, long, left or right simply by specifying the target square, or if the kubb's location is unknown (which might be the case with field kubbs) use orders such as "aim one square short of the first field kubb on the left".
By default, a player chooses a random drink (D12 or D6,D6[4-6 add 6] reroll if drink already taken twice), then throws any field kubbs (if required) aiming at a random legal square (not in yellow zone). Next he throws a baton at any field kubbs from left to right aiming at the exact square (repeat if required). With one or more batons left to throw and no field kubbs remaining, throw at the baseline kubbs from left to right, again aiming at the exact square. Finally if no kubbs remain, throw at the King.
Brian the Bunger is going second for Team Thor. His team is throwing down the board, so "long" is a higher number and "left" is a higher letter. From the turn report he knows that player 1 in his team, Sue the Slinger, will have to add two field kubbs (previously none). Brian has information about the effects of the different drinks, some from personal experience, some from collusion with team members, and he must consume one that he has not already had two of.
Team members may collude with each other. Press is encouraged.
This game is still in testing and has not yet been played in the zine.
Variable Pig magazine supports responsible drinking.