CRUMBS is a game of battle and conquest for 2 to 4 players taking on the roles of either the ducks, pigeons, squirrels, or chipmunks. Each animal provides its own unique abilities while players scuffle over the spaces in the park. They will try to gain the best position before the big crumb drop every round where 20 crumbs are dropped onto the board, spreading out at random and turning the tides of power for better, or for worse.
HOW TO PLAY
An in depth explanation of the rules!
(a) 39 wooden critters (11 grey pigeons, 9 brown chipmunks, 9 yellow ducks, 9 orange squirrels, 1 black dog)
(b) 36 daily buzz cards
(c) 20 beige bread crumbs
(d) 9 brown stockpile crumbs
(e) 12 blue wet crumbs
(f) 4 tracker crumbs
(g) 4 checkpoint markers
(h) 4 black plastic fences
(i) 4 animal sheets
(j) 4 green feeder dice
(k) 2 white scuffle dice
(l) 2 park map boards (double sided)
(m) 1 score sheet (double sided)
(n) 1 daily buzz & dog house sheet
(o) 1 granny’s favor token
Choose which park map to play with. Lay it on top of the other park map board, and place all 4 plastic fence pieces through the slots along the sides of the boards to create a fenced-in area.
Shuffle the Daily Buzz card deck and set it aside.
Roll all of the green feeder dice and place them randomly on the marked spots on the map. (After this initial setup, to keep track of which die belongs to which space, roll and place them one at a time).
Each player then chooses an animal (at random or by choice), then takes its corresponding animal sheet and wooden pieces (critters).
On the score sheet, place the tracker crumbs at 5 on the crumb trail (the checkerboard area on the right) and place the checkpoint markers above the checkpoint track (the area on the left counting from 1 to 5).
Place the Daily Buzz and Dog House Sheet near the board with the dog critter in the dog house.
To determine who gets the first player token (Granny’s favor), find out whoever last fed an animal. Or decide randomly!
That animal receives the Granny’s favor.
The animal with Granny’s favor takes 2 critters from each animal playing this game (except the pigeons who start with 3 critters if they are playing) and perform a drop (a drop will be described in detail later). Immediately resolve any scuffles (see “Scuffling” below).
The game begins.
Play takes place in a series of rounds, each consisting of four phases, until one animal passes the fifth checkpoint. When an animal reaches the final checkpoint, everyone finishes that round, and completes one final crumb drop and scoring before determining the winner. The four phases comprising a round are:
Whichever animal has Granny’s favor takes their turn first, followed by the other animals in clockwise order. A turn consists of two parts:
(a) Draw and Resolve a Daily Buzz Card
(b) Take Actions
Daily Buzz Cards:
The active animal draws a Daily Buzz card at the beginning of their turn. They read it aloud, and resolve its effects immediately, placing it in the next available space on the Daily Buzz Sheet.
Cards can affect all animals. If any card has a more permanent effect (such as +1 to attacks this round) that card’s effects continue for the rest of the round, throughout the remainder of the other animals’ turns, with card effects stacking, if possible.
After drawing a daily buzz card, animals may do the following actions in any order they see fit. Each animal may perform one free movement action during their turn. All other actions cost crumbs. Whenever an animal must pay crumbs to perform an action (or for any other reason), they do so by moving their tracker crumb back down the crumb trail the respective amount. An animal may do as many actions as they can afford to do during their turn, or want to do. Once the animal has finished performing actions, they pass, and the next animal takes their turn. The actions include:
Movement - Cost: 2 Crumbs
Move up to 3 of your critters from one space (including the fountain space) into any adjacent space. Adjacent spaces are those which share a side (NOT a corner). If an animal ends their movement in an enemy-controlled space, a scuffle begins automatically, with the active animal considered the attacker (see “Scuffling” below).
Spawn a Critter - Cost: 5 Crumbs
Take a critter from your resource pool and place it onto a space already containing one or more of your critters, or on the fountain space.
Dog Drop - Cost: 2 Crumbs
Take the dog critter from the dog house and perform a drop with him. The dog critter is a special piece that scares the park animals from coming out to collect crumbs. Wherever he lands, the dog gives that space a value of zero, meaning that any crumbs in that space do not get scored for the rest of the round. The dog may be purchased multiple times in one round. He will be removed from the board and placed back in the dog house during the Reset Phase.
Dog Placement - Cost: 5 Crumbs
You may instead choose to pay more crumbs to place the dog critter on any space of your choosing. Wherever he is placed, the dog gives that space a value of zero, may be purchased multiple times in one round, and will be removed during the Reset Phase.
Special Action - Cost: X Crumbs
You perform the special action described on your animal sheet. Each animal has a special action that only they can use!
The animal with Granny’s favor performs a crumb drop by picking up and dropping all 20 crumbs at once. If any fall or bounce out of the board, pick them up and drop those stray crumbs again.
Immediately following the crumb drop, adjust all of the fallen crumbs to clearly distinguish where they are. Sometimes, crumbs will fall onto the border between two spaces, or on the line between grass and pond. If it is unclear, a majority of players must agree on which space or area most of the crumb sitting on. Move the crumbs accordingly so the are clearly distinguished.
Each space has a value associated with it. Some spaces have static values (printed onto the park map), while others have dynamic values that can change over time. These values are determined by the feeder dice (which reside on the spaces with white squares on them). This value is a multiplier for any crumbs in that space whenever those crumbs would be scored (including bread crumbs, wet crumbs, and stockpile crumbs).
Scoring takes place in turn order, starting with the animal with Granny’s favor and moving clockwise. Animals multiply the number of crumbs that land in a space they control by that space’s value to determine the crumb points gained from that space. Once they’ve added up all their crumbs points, they move their tracker crumb up the crumb trail according to the total they received during this scoring.
Any crumbs that land in a pond are not scored, unless the space containing the pond is controlled by the ducks. The fountain space is considered to have a value of zero, therefore crumbs that fall in it are not scored by any animals that may have critters residing in there.
Example: The pigeons are scoring. 2 crumbs fell into their space with a feeder dice set to 3, and 1 crumb is on their space with a static value of 2. The pigeons will score 8 total crumbs this round.
Whenever a player scores crumbs, if their tracker crumb lands on or surpasses the amount needed to pass a checkpoint, they move their checkpoint marker up to the correct point value on the track on the score track sheet.
In order to get to the 1st checkpoint, a player needs to reach 10 crumbs. To reach the second checkpoint, a player needs to reach the 20 crumb space on the crumb trail, and so on. While the number of crumbs a player has may change during the course of a game as they spend crumbs on various actions, a player will never move their checkpoint marker back down the track once they’ve passed that many checkpoints.
Once an animal puts their marker on or past the 3rd checkpoint, that animal may use its upgraded animal ability!
Example: The ducks are on checkpoint 1 and are at 12 crumbs on the crumb trail. During their next turn they spend 5 crumbs spawning a critter, moving their tracker crumb down to 7. This means they must gain at least 13 crumb points during the next Scoring Phase to reach 20 crumbs, and be able to move the 2nd checkpoint.
After all animals have scored, pick up all of the dropped crumbs from the board and place them off the the side. Remove the dog from the board (if it was dropped or placed during the round) and put it back in the dog house. Finally, clear up the Daily Buzz cards and place them in a face-up discard pile next to the deck.
WINNING THE GAME
Once an animal reaches 5 game points, the game ends following the end of the current round. The animals finish their turns, do one final crumb drop and scoring. The player with the most total crumbs wins the game!
If there is a tie for winner, the animal with the fewest critters on the map wins.
A scuffle is a great battle between two or more ultra-powerful armies of cute lil’ critters in the park. They occur automatically when an animal moves its critters into a space controlled by an opponent.
The animal with the highest combat value wins the scuffle. An animal’s combat value is determined by two primary things: the number of critters they have participating in this scuffle, and the result of their scuffle die roll.
When a scuffle begins, all players involved roll a single scuffle die, and add the result to the number of critters participating said scuffle, as well as any other modifiers (such as Daily Buzz cards). Any animal that wants to modify its combat value using an ability must do so before scuffle dice are rolled. Once the winner is determined, the loser/s move all of their critters that were involved in the scuffle into the fountain space. The winner controls the space.
Example: Pigeons move 3 critters and attack the Ducks in a space in which the ducks have 2 critters. The Pigeons roll a 1 and the Ducks roll a 3. The Ducks win with a total combat value of 5 against the Pigeon combat value of 4. Because they lost, the Pigeons move all 3 critters to the fountain space.
Ties in a scuffle always go to the attacker. However, in a scuffle where there is no clear attacker or defender (such as two or more players’ critters are knocked into a space and neither controlled the space beforehand), then players simply keep making combat rolls until one player rolls high enough to win.
The attacking animal or animals are the ones who enter a space that another animal controls and triggers the scuffle. This is usually the active animal or animals whose critters have just been knocked into a space.
The defending animal is the one who controls the space being fought over in a scuffle.
An “attack value” refers to the combat value for the “attackers” and the “defense value” is the combat value of the “defenders”.
Additions to attack or defense from Daily Buzz cards add to the total attack or defense combat value of a player during a scuffle respectively, and can stack on each other if multiple Daily Buzz cards like these are drawn in one round.
Any time a card or rule refers to “a drop”, whether that be a dog drop, crumb drop, or dropping critters—it is always done in the same way. Pick up all of the game pieces you are instructed to drop, and hover your hand/s about a foot (30 cm) above the center of the board. Be as central as possible, and release all of the pieces at once over the board, trying not to drop the pieces off to one side or the other. If any pieces make their way over the fences and out of the board, simply gather the stray pieces and drop them over the center of the board in the same manner until everything is settled. It is up to the players at the table to enforce correct dropping etiquette and form.
If your group finds that there isn’t quite enough (or there is too much) “bounce” when dropping pieces, try adjusting the drop height or playing on a different surface (the harder the surface the higher the bounce and vice versa).
How Pieces Land
When a critter is dropped, if it is unclear which space the critter has landed in, it is determined by where the majority of its head is, no matter how much of that critter’s body may be in the other space. Similarly, if it is unclear where a crumb landed because it is on a line between two spaces, whichever space the majority of the crumb sits on determines which space it is in.
Generally speaking, it will be quickly apparent which space pieces are in and the majority of players will decide the truth. However, in the rare instance that the opinions around the table are totally split and both sides think the piece has fallen into their space, both players simply roll a scuffle die until one player rolls higher and wins.
Pieces Affected by Dropped Pieces
When any game pieces including crumbs, the dog, or critters are dropped onto the game board for any reason, pieces on the board that are moved around stay where they are and are resolved immediately, even in the middle of a turn.
This means that if a critter lands in another animal’s space, they must scuffle with the other animal/s in that space. Whatever animal controlled that space prior to the drop is considered the defender, and the player/s that entered the space are considered the attacker/s. If critters are knocked during a crumb drop, any scuffles must be resolved before the Scoring Phase.
If any special crumbs (brown stockpile crumbs, or wet crumbs) are knocked into a space by dropped pieces, they are scored immediately by the controller of the space they were knocked into.
Positioning Critters on the Board
During an animal’s turn, they may alter the positions and placements of their critters within the spaces they reside however the see fit. No animal may move around another animals’s critters, nor may they move their own critters around during any time other than their own turn (unless picking up knocked over pieces). Critters may not be placed up against or touching the fences, and they may not be placed lined up side by side (that is, there must be some space between each critter).
The fountain space is the large area of grey on each park map with an illustration of a fountain. It is where critters go when defeated in a scuffle. It has a permanent value of 0. It is a neutral space, all animals share it. It is the only space on the map where animals may peacefully coexist together without triggering a scuffle.
Animals may voluntarily move critters into and out of the fountain space as though it were a normal empty space. They may also spawn a critter in it, even if they don’t currently have any critters there.
First/Last Player Ties
If a Daily Buzz or anything else calls for something from the “player in first” or “player in last”, look at the checkpoint markers to determine which player this is. If it is unclear, then look at the crumb trail. If there ever is an absolute tie to determine this, the effect is simply not resolved (unless otherwise stated).
+Crumbs or -Crumbs
When a card says “+2 crumbs” or “-2 crumbs”, the players affected move their tracker crumb up or down the crumb trail as is necessary.