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A Sample Game

Coppertwaddle

Examining the Sequence

An Examination of the Formal Ordering of Cards Within the Standard Coppertwaddle Deck Most Commonly Referred to by the Title "Sequence" by the first Comptroller of the Coppertwaddle rankings F. S. Crousson.1

For the enquiring Coppertwaddle player, the game possesses a depth rarely encountered in other card games which can, of course, be attributed to its long and turbulent history. It should come as no surprise that, following multiple rule revisions (currently we are approaching a 16th Folio), many elements of the original game have been lost, adapted, updated, or simply made obsolescent.

Many articles have been written about the previous Folios and their inherent quirks so, instead, I shall concentrate on a curious 'hidden feature' (some would refer to it as simply an in-joke) that has been represented in the latest published version of the game: the Abbot's Puzzle. I shall not, of course, provide the solution to this cheeky conundrum but there is a distinct drought of materials relating to a key component required to attain the solution, namely the concept of the 'sequence'.

Forms of The Sequence

In simple terms, the sequence is a specific order in which the standard Coppertwaddle cards are listed. This ordering bears no relation to methods of play or the resolution of situations within the game, it is just an accepted way of listing the cards. To make things more difficult, there are several different forms of the sequence in (published) existence, although only one will allow deciphering of the puzzle.

The Abbot's Sequence

Rule 1. Card duplicates are removed. This form orders distinct cards only.

Rule 2. Cards are first grouped by their Nature (Threlms, Favours, and then Declarations).

Rule 3. The Threlm group is further ordered according to Power, then divided into Rank (Peasant, then Noble), and then alphabetically within Rank (if more than a singleton Threlm exists, i.e. at the lowest Powers), e.g. the Threlm sequence would begin with East Wind at the first position, followed by the three other winds, then at Power 1, the peasants Hammer & Anvil and Lecturn are placed before the Noble Trepaner, etc.


Strength


Peasant Rank


Noble Rank

0

East Wind, North Wind, South Wind, West Wind

-

1

Hammer & Anvil, Lecturn

Trepaner

2

Steeple, Yeoman

Mother Milk

3

Flibber-de-Gibbet, Narwhal

Leper

4

Hissoppe, The New World,
The Ocean

Squire Haversack, The Abbot

5

The Curmudgeon

The Old Hag

6

Two Swift Horses

Father Time

7

Lock & Key

Hemlock

8

Spleen

Mount Ararat

9

Lute & Bellows

The Bentham Fish

Rule 4. The Favour group is sorted alphabetically, with prefixes such as 'A', 'An', or 'The' being ignored for these purposes2.

Assizes
Bugle, The3
Capstan
Captain's Reversal
Compass
Coppertwaddle
Dread of Night
Favour At Court
Land Ho !
One Hundred Buttons
Peaked Cap
Sextant
Thrust & Parry
Wheel, The
Woe

Rule 5. The Declaration group is sorted alphabetically, with prefixes such as 'A', 'An', or 'The' being ignored for these purposes.

Birthday, An
Hazelnut, The
Long Climb, A
Massinger's Protection
Of A Bastard Line
War With France

Rule 6. Position numbers are assigned to the ordered cards. In this configuration, there are expected to be 49 elements in the Abbot's Sequence.

Thus is the Abbot's Sequence exposed - good luck with your quest !

Federico Crousson


Notes:

1Please note that this article was first published in the Quarterly Gamers Newsletter "Principia Twaddlae" in March, 1929

2One immediately notices the alphabetic sorting disparity between the Threlm group (where The Abbot follows Squire Haversack) and the Favour / Declaration groups in so far as the pronouns are excluded in the latter; this, perhaps, is a curio designed to throw the explorer from the scent!

3At the time of the puzzle's conception, Call To Arms was known, instead, as The Bugle.

 

 

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