THE STEAMPUNK GAMES
Here you can find out about all the Very Serious Games and Sports that we play at Convivials! With rules!
Every loves a game of Jenga. Many Victorian parties would have an ice-breaker game, to give everyone a chance to get to know people they hadn't met before, and we tend to have a Jenga Tournament table available to all. It's the place where you not only meet new people, but get to gently battle with their engineering skills and combat their minds in a game so simple that it is open to all ages and skill levels.
A classic Jenga game consists of 54 precision-crafted, specially finished hard wood blocks. To set up the game, use the included loading tray to create the initial tower. Stack all of the blocks in levels of three placed next to each other along their long sides and at a right angle to the previous level.
Once the tower is built, the person who stacked the tower plays first. Moving in the game Jenga consists of:
1) taking one block on a turn from any level of the tower (except the one below an incomplete top level), and
2) placing it on the topmost level in order to complete it.
Players may use only one hand at a time; either hand may be used, but only one hand may touch the tower at any time.
Players may tap a block to find a loose one. Any blocks moved but not played should be replaced, unless doing so would make the tower fall. The turn ends when the next player touches the tower, or after ten seconds, whichever occurs first.
The game ends when the tower falls -- completely or if any block falls from the tower (other than the block a player moves on a turn).
The loser is the person who made the tower fall (i.e., whose turn it was when the tower fell).
Battle Croquet is a Steampunk sport that was developed by members of the Nonsuch Steampunk Guild, and has been played at Steampunk events up and down the country (Up being Surrey, down being Brighton...) The rules are simple.
This version is a sport invented by Steampunks in the UK who supposedly "rediscovered the original rules of Croquet." The idea was first discussed by Conrad Ormsson and Kevin Leech at a planning meeting in New Malden, UK, in 2013 and was developed into a game by a small team of Steampunks.
It is a competitive team game, and is raucous, surreal and fast paced. The game is played by two teams of three players, but requires at least four referees (three line referees and one head referee), as well as one 'bomb warden'.
Battle Croquet requires a set of six mallets and eight balls, coloured in pairs, and sixteen hoops, plus four pegs. Additional items include: at least four Fez, and six bouquets of flowers, (three of one kind, and three of another), and one 'time bomb', which is essentially a timer which may be set by minutes which rings when it goes off. One of the mallets must have a signifier (usually a coloured band) which means that the player using that mallet is the 'Spy'. The other two mallets will have bands of the same colour, and the two players using these mallets are called the 'Grenadier Guards.'
Each team has four balls, two of which will be one colour (for example yellow) which are 'Grenadier balls', the other two (for example red) will be the 'Spy ball', and the remaining ball is placed on an upturned egg cup - which is the teams 'Field Marshall.'
The hoops are laid out in a four by four square in rows known as trenches. Hoops in each trench face the same way, but trenches alternate: Trench 1 has hoops facing East/West, Trench 2 has hoops facing North/South and so on.
The four pegs mark the boundary of the Battlefield. Balls that stray beyond the perimeter have a penalty applied by the Head Referee.
The aim of the game is for the team's Spy ball to make it through the trenches by going through one hoop of each trench and to knock the opposing team's Field Marshall off his egg cup. The Spy ball is the only ball that is allowed to touch the Field Marshall. The role of the Grenadier Guards is to protect the Spy as he makes his way through the trenches, and to protect their own Field Marshall from the opposing team's Spy.
Teams take turns to play: all three members of a team play simultaneously, taking three strikes each to their own ball, attempting to cross the trenches. If a player crosses a trench without going through a hoop this is a foul - a line referee must stop play, and draw attention to the foul by throwing a fez onto the Battlefield. The referee then attempts to communicate the nature of the foul using sign language or interpretive dance, and these are interpreted for the benefit of the spectators by the head referee, who then applies a penalty.
Each player also carries a bouquet of flowers whilst they play, and if a player throws a bouquet of flowers onto the Battlefield (which they may do at any point in the game), all the referees become distracted and walk over to the flowers, picking them up and discussing how beautiful they are. Whilst this is happening, and the referees are distracted, players may cheat.
Splendid Teapot Racing
1. The Vehicle
Vehicles shall consist of a teapot of the Contestant’s choice, mounted upon a radio-controlled chassis. It is recommended that Contestants consult their local hobby shop or electronics shop for a suitable base vehicle, which may then be modified, tittivated or accessorised as the Contestant sees fit.
Multi-band controls are available for some brands of radio-controlled vehicles, which may be useful should they wish to compete in any drag race.
No vehicle shall exceed 30 centimetres in height, 30 centimetres in width or 40 centimetres in length (including any flags, aerials, &c.). Vehicles which exceed these measurements will be permitted to compete, but will be penalised and may encounter difficulties in negotiating the Hazards noted below.
2. The Course
The Course, which shall be laid out according to the whim of the Judges and without regard to the wishes of any other party, shall consist of a number of Hazards, possibly including a Ramp, a Tunnel, a Jump and/or divers Obstacles of a breakable nature.
Vehicles must negotiate the Course as specified by the Judges, one Vehicle at a time, within the allotted time of two minutes. Points will be deducted for every 10 seconds over the allotted time. Vehicles which have not completed the course within three minutes will be disqualified. Contestants may, if they wish, walk with their Vehicle as it negotiates the Course.
At the discretion of the Judges, the contest may also include a drag race. This will partly depend upon there being Vehicles capable of racing together without interference to each other’s radio control systems, although exceptions may be made in the interests of amusement.
Points will be awarded for:
The overall look of the Vehicle
Each Hazard successfully negotiated
Completion of the Course
Bribery of the Judges
Showmanship (dress, singing, dancing, jokes, etc)
Points will be deducted for:
Any manual assistance given to the Vehicle (whether by the Contestant or another party)
Failure to negotiate a Hazard
Exceeding the specified two minutes’ time limit
Exceeding the specified size limits
Inadequate bribery of the Judges, or in any other way vexing said Judges
Prizes may be awarded at the Judges’ discretion for:
Best overall Vehicle
Best first-time Contestant
Most entertaining attempt at the Course
Most rapid completion of the Course
Most rapid drag
Steampunk tea duelling rules are rigorous. That’s because the noble sport of tea duelling is a noble one. It requires audience participation, honour, biscuits and piping hot tea. Let the tea duelling commence!
Tea duelling is a Steampunk hobby that is played whenever three or more Steampunks gather in what is known as a “Tiffin Party”. It works best when the tea duellists are surrounded by a throng of excited onlookers eager to cheer on the victor and point out any instances of cheating to the wise and patient referee, known as the Tiffin Master.
You don’t need to be a Steampunk to incorporate tea duelling into your daily world. You just need to be a fan of tea.
Professor Elemental will challenge miscreants to a tea duel at any time of day or night.
TEA DUELLING REQUIREMENTS:
Tea pourer, known as the Pot Master
Biscuit supplier and referee, known as the Tiffin Master. This role may be seconded to the Pot Master if insufficient players are available.
Two opponents, or Dunkers
TEA DUELLING RULES
Only tea may be used. Coffee? Chocolate? Don’t be facetious. Only tea. Milk and sugar may be applied to taste.
Biscuits are traditionally all of the same variety to ensure fairness. As tea duelling has evolved, biscuits may be varied to allow for opponent tactics and strategies. Will you take a round chocolate digestive or a sturdy little Custard Cream? The choice, sir or madam, is yours.
Opponents must have cups of the same size and shape to avoid any ugly discussions of cheating.
The opponents must first shake hands and bow, then sit opposite each other across a table on which the tea and biscuits will be placed. They may eyeball each other and make desultory comments designed to wilt the opponent’s focus as desired, but they must shake hands before the duel commences.
The Pot Master must pour tea for the opponents, taking care to ensure that the tea is sufficiently hot to allow for biscuits to crumble, and also ensuring that the same quantities of tea are poured into each cup.
The Tiffin Master hands the Dunkers a choice of biscuits on a serving plate and invites them to select their biscuit of choice with an announcement of “choose your weapon”. The Dunkers will each select their biscuit of choice. Once a biscuit is handled, it must be chosen, with no substitution.
The Dunkers will hold their biscuits by the edge not more than six inches above the cup of tea.
On the Tiffin Master’s command of “Dunk”, both opponents will immediately lower their biscuit into the tea and hold it there, ensuring that biscuits are fully dunked with not more than half an inch above the surface of the tea.
The Tiffin Master will forcefully count to five. On a count of “five”, the Dunkers will raise their biscuits and attempt to eat them. The entirety of the biscuit must be consumed for a clean “Nom”.
If both opponents secure a clean Nom, the Dunker who last ate their biscuit is judged to be the victor.
TEA DUELLING STRATEGY
Opponents and umpires may consider the following:
Featuring a variety of biscuits is not traditionalist but does lead to added consideration of strategy.
If an opponent is too slow to dunk, or fails to hold their biscuit in the tea for the required length of time, this is not a clean dunk and the process must be repeated.
Opponents will do well to hold their dunked biscuit in the air for as long as possible. A speedy Nom is easily achievable – the goal is to be the last person to resort to a Nom.
If a biscuit falls into the tea or onto the floor, table or opponent, the opponent has been defeated.
Opponents may consider their holding strategy for dunked biscuits. Different biscuits require different strategies.
Practice hard, train yourself and organise a tea duelling association in a locality near you. Let battle commence. DESTROY THE OPPOSITION. But do, do shake their hand before battle commences.
Fervent traditionalists take note: Tea Duelling should conform in full to the Articles of the Honourable Association of Tea Duellists THIRD EDITION 1899 (As compiled by the signatories of The Hague Convention, December 1899)
And finally… we bestow Earl Grey libations upon the head of the man first credited with inventing this sport, the marvellous Dr Geof of the First Tea Company. Good man, that man.
Bumbershoot Baritsu (the correct and official term for Umbrella Fencing) is a Steampunk sport that has been played at Steampunk Shenanigans in Essex, and at Peterborough, and the (fairly dangerous) sport has been developed into a sport (that is equally dangerous but for different reasons) with its own safety equipment (which is partly the cause of the danger) - by The Nonsuch Steampunk Guild, and duels regularly take place at The Surrey Steampunk Convivial.
Here are the basic Surrey rules for Bumbershoot Baritsu (Umbrella Fencing):
1. Two space helmets which entirely cover the head (which still do not have airholes in - so although they protect the head admirably, there is a mild danger of asphyxiation).
2. Two flour sieves, each of which having two egg cups firmly secured to the upper part: on which are balanced two balls of mostly equal size. These balls are connected to the egg cup holders by strings of slightly uneven length.
3. Two duelling umbrellas which must have small leather boxing gloves attached to the pointy bit.
HOW TO PLAY
You and your opponent should each have a second, who helps you get your helmet in place. With your non-fencing hand, you must hold the sieve in front of your face with the balls balanced atop it. You must select your weapon (the thumbs of the boxing glove should face the spectators), and grasp the weapon firmly, pointing it at your opponent. After the referee's count of "three, two, one" - you "Fence!"
HOW TO WIN
The first one to make your opponents balls both drop is the winner. Bashing each others helmets is permitted. The sport requires three rounds to be played - the winner is the best of the three.
The seconds must be on hand to readjust players balls as required. They must also allow the players to replenish a lungful of air in between rounds.
There must be (at least) one referee who commentates on play as it unfolds.
Indefinite wins are put to the public vote to choose the winner - however a draw demands a decider round.
Any euphemisms that occur must be entirely accidental. The audience should stifle their laughs. This is a serious sport.
Now, many Steampunks seem to carry with them a "Familiar" or little stuffed toy that may or may not be dressed in miniature Steampunk clothing, be given a name such as Lord Bletherington-Smythe Bear...some even have their own Facebook pages.
Universally Acclaimed Author Kit Cox professed that this was driving him to distraction, so it was discussed that perhaps a Familiar-flinging catapult might be a good idea? Months of planning later, and the Familiar-flinging cannon was being developed.
Eventually, this developed into the Fling-a-Familiar bazooka.
Flinging familiar bazookas have since sprung up at various Steampunk events in the Great Britain. And now there is a target.
Let me say that there is no harm that befalls Familiars. Neither is there any cruelty involved. On the contrary, Familiars show incredible courage - it is almost that they have been given an opportunity to demonstrate their bravery in a similar way to the Human Cannonballs of old. Except they are not human. And it is a bazooka, not a cannon.
There may be other Books of World Records, but the Genius Book of World Records - Steampunk World Records that is - should not be confused with other, inferior Books of Records.
No, our very own Steampunk Genius Judges have been on hand to test the World Record Attempts held at The Surrey Steampunk Convivial - and we have had Attempts such as "The Most Hipflasks Concealed on a Steampunk" (111), the Most Muffs gathering in one place, and the (now traditional) "Most hats in a hatstack".
In order to make things fair, we have two Judges, so they can debate and argue a bit before agreeing on an outcome.
There are only two rules:
1 The Steampunk Judges are always right!
2. The steampunk judges are never wrong!
3. There are only two rules!
Health and Safety Thumb Wrestling
When competing in a Thumb Wrestling contest players hook the four fingers of their right hands together such that both hands are clasped tightly.
Then a short pre-contest starting chant is repeated, the variant as used for The Surrey Steampunk Convivial is as follows: One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb-a-war!
The idea is to trap your opponent's thumb underneath your own for a count of three, in order to win.
In accordance with recent Health and Safety guidelines, each contestant is first equipped with a highly padded Safety Glove.
This is an attempt to encourage people in the fine art of ventriloquy.
But using a mouth en-widener, so they cannot move their lips at all.
It's an experiment.
Real Snail Racing
Real snail racing requires a table cloth with an embroidered circle on it - contestants bring their own snails and place them in the centre of the circle - and on the count of Ready, Steady - Slow! The snails........race.
The first to cross the line of the circle is the winner!
No Convivial would be complete without a bit of Ostrich Racing! We tend to start in the Royal Oak, and disregarding all notions of safety, race them down a flight of stairs, through a busy pub, under a tiny doorway which serves no purpose, (yet is a listed part of the building) then down the road, across a pelican crossing and into the church - right through the busy market and to the back wall - and then back again. The first to enter the pub function hall once again is the winner!
Clockwork Snail Racing
Now this is where contestants have purchased their own clockwork snail (Steampunk'ing and modifying your snail is highly approved of!) They are wound and placed on a table, or the floor - and this is a race of endurance - the snail to travel the furthest is deemed the winner!
After a superb trial run of extensive research and development in Jeanette's back garden, we are pleased to announce that we will have an outdoor sport ready for playing in the pub garden.
Played with a net, and two rackets, this is a gentle game for two. It may require several umpires, though.
No shuttlecocks though. Basically there is a balloon tied to the net with a piece of string. (The same piece of string we used during testing. We saved the string).
The rules are easy to follow. You hit the balloon multiple times until it goes over the net...then it is your opponent's go. Don't let the balloon hit the ground! That's pretty much it.
Scoring is simple. If the balloon falls to the ground on your side of the net (determined by which side of the net the string lies...), you lose a point. The first person to minus five points is the loser. Oddly, this means that neither player actually wins a point. Only the losers lose points. A really good player will therefore win by having zero points. (It seemed to make sense at the time, but orange gin was involved).
You may have heard of Badminton. Well, this is a mild variation of the game. We call it Worseminton.
The Finest Tossers
When GK, my grandfather taught us this game, he insisted that it be played with an upturned top hat.
Also required are a standard decks of 52 cards: one pack for small groups, two or more for larger groups.
Two or more, equally-sized teams are created. The hat should be placed, top down so that it can hold cards, at one end of the room, and a mark is determined from where each team member will play, known as the "oche". Each team puts forward one team member at a time, and each team plays alternatively, with the youngest in each team playing first.
The first player steps up to the "oche" with 8 cards and attempts to throw, one at a time, a card into the hat. Each card landing in the hat gains one point for the player's team. After all of the players have taken their turns, then the first player returns to the oche again with 8 cards. This time the players throw two at a time into the hat, and each player follows to do the same, again with the points for each player being accumulated. After the pairs of cards all team members try to throw 4 cards at a time, and finally all 8 cards are thrown into the hat in one go.
A full point is given when a tossed card lands into the hat completely, and a half point is given when the card lands on brim. Further more, if a player knocks cards from the brim into the hat the tosser's team receives a full point for each card that falls into the hat on that turn.