ARROWGAMÉ (pronounced "arrow-gah-may") follows a grand tradition of games of battle, and achieves a zen-like balance of aesthetics and destruction. Two forces stand opposed, seated, with an index card between them. Playing is poetry. Each time the card is creased, hell breaks loose on the lined battlefield. Arrows against arrows. It is gruesome to watch, and yet I cannot look away. Here's a haiku:
Arrows rain down upon it-
they all point to death.
Play Time: 5 - 25 minutes
Materials: index card (preferably lined), pen or pencil
Fold the index card in half the short way (Image 1), and have both players choose a side. The crease down the middle of the card represents the center of the battlefield. You'll be using the lined side of the card to play. Choose a player to go first.
How to Play:
ARROWGAMÉ is a game about drawing arrows. Each arrow you draw goes up against your opponent's arrow on the opposite side of the index card. The object of the game is to have the most arrows remaining after the "battle."
The first player draws 10 arrows on his side of the index card in a straight line (Image 2). Don't let your opponent see your arrows!
The second player then does the same on his side.
After both players have drawn their arrows, unfold the index card to compare arrows (Image 3), score, and see who won. Don't worry, there's more explanation below.
How do the Arrows Work?
Understanding the arrows in ARROWGAMÉ may seem daunting, but it's really simple.
Anytime an arrow is pointing directly at an enemy arrow on the battlefield, that arrow is attacking.
Normally, an arrow has an attack power of 1. If two arrows attack each other, they cancel each other out and both get destroyed (Image 4).
But if an arrow attacks a non-attacking enemy arrow, it destroys the non-attacking arrow and doesn't get hurt (Image 5)!
If there's one thing arrows do well, it's pointing to each other. When your arrows point to your other arrows, they reinforce them and make them more powerful. Each reinforcing arrow adds +1 attack power. Remember those two arrows that destroyed each other? What if one was reinforced? (Image 6).
Originally, the two attacking arrows canceled each other out, but now the arrow with a combined power of 2 destroys the arrow with an attack power of 1.
Reinforcing arrows can even be strung together! Just follow the flow, and count the number of reinforcing arrows to determine the additional attack power (Image 7).
Any time an arrow is pointing in the opposite direction of the battlefield, that arrow is feinting. If attacked, a feinting arrow isn't destroyed. Instead, it counter-attacks and destroys the attacking arrow, regardless of the attacking arrow's attack power (Image 8).
If it's opposite a non-attacking arrow, however, the feinting arrow feints for no reason, and, humiliated, destroys itself (Image 9).
Next page: How to Score a Game