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Road Game

Road Game

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The Official Road Game of Plucky Survivors sounds simple... you count cows... but you'd be amazed how cut-throat and competitive it can get. It's a great way to wile away the hours as the scenery flies by but be warned: friendships and loyalties will be tested.

Basic Rules - Two Players
As you wind your way through the countryside, the driver counts cows (in fields, pastures, barnyards, etc.) on the driver's side of the car while the passenger counts cows on the passenger side of the car. You are totally responsible for the cows on your side of the road. If you miss a bunch, it's your own darn fault and your opponent cannot be blamed if you don't see a herd until its too late.

The cows must be real, live cows. Pictures, statues, signs, or other inanimate versions of the animal do not count. Similarly, it is worth noting that a bull is not a cow. It's a bull. Admittedly it can be difficult to tell when the four-legged beasties are in a far off field and you're whizzing by at 70 miles per hour, but try to be honest about it.

For your cows to count, you must count them off out loud - individually for the passenger and by twos for the driver so he or she doesn't have to take their eyes off the road for too long.

Now here comes the kicker... pass a cemetery on your side of the car and your score gets wiped out - you go to zero and start over. Players should be on the lookout for cemeteries on their opponent's side of the car since some people (who shall go nameless) have been known to conveniently "not notice" the big, freakin' cemetery that is right outside their window.

To be fair, the passenger should be limited to cows that can be seen ahead and immediately to the side as the vehicle passes. No craning of necks to count cows after they have passed since the driver can't do that unless you want to wind up in a ditch.

Likewise, some drivers have been accused of cheating by speeding up when a field of cows appears on the passenger side or slowing down when one appears on the driver's side. Some drivers merely suggest this is playing defensively, however it is still frowned upon. Stopping the car, turning around, and backing past a herd so they will be on the driver's side is also discouraged.

The game is over when you hit the official city limits of whatever burg in which you are ending your day's journey. The reason for this is that in our experience, there are usually a lot more cemeteries past the "Welcome to..." sign than there are cows and this has ended in a heartbreaking 0-0 score for us more times than we'd like to acknowledge.

Whoever has the most cows wins!

The Police Car Variant
If you feel like upping the cut-throat nature of the game, try adding in the Police Car Variant.

The way this works is if you see a police car on your opponent's side of the vehicle, you must shout out "You should flag down that cop because I've just stolen all your cows!!" Your opponent's cows are then added to your score and your opponent goes to zero.

Official city or town police, sheriff, and highway patrol all count but things like school police, parking enforcement, or park rangers do not. It must be some sort of vehicle - occupied or otherwise, moving or parked - such as a car, truck, or motorcycle. A cop walking down the street does not count.

Important: the police vehicle must be OFF the road on which you are traveling. This means parked on the side of the road, in a parking lot, at a cross or parallel road, or similar. This makes it a little more fair for the driver since most of the police vehicles you see on the road are passing by on the driver's side while on the same road.

Customized Cow
You can customize your game of Cow by adding in any arcane rule you want as long as both players agree to it ahead of time. For instance, you could decide that if you pass a donut shop that your cow score is doubled (although why you'd want to pass a donut shop is beyond us). Or, enter any town with a name that ends in "town," "ville," or "burg" and you and your opponent automatically trade cow scores.

The only advice here is to not make up a rule that will cause you to be adding, subtracting, or changing your score every other mile. For instance, don't make a rule that says "pass a church and...". There are a LOT of churches out there. It'll end in tears. In other words, stay away from common things for your arcane rules.

Four Player
The rules for four player Cow are the same as above only the passengers in the back seat are counting cows on the opposite side of the car. The cemeteries are still counted on the player's side of the car. This should mean that no two players are counting the exact same thing.

Three or Five Player (AKA Cow-Horse)
The rules for the two or four player versions apply to the driver, the front passenger, and two rear passengers if present. However, if there is a third or fifth player, that person counts horses instead of cows.

The Horse player (no pun intended) is allowed to count horses on either side of the car (there are surprisingly fewer horses than you'd imagine) but watch out because cemeteries on either side of the car count as well.

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