Christopher Kline


A brief introduction:
Some people don't like to play baby games.  Others don't mind.  This game uses logic to create a fun, fast-paced, and at times mind-numbing experience for all ages.  Be sure to read all of the rules before you start playing or even thinking about playing.
The important thing to remember about baby games is that to win, you have to transcend your own out-moded beliefs.  Throughout the duration of the game you may get, at times, a hankering.  Just ignore this and any and all hankerings.  Simple.
There are certain beverages colloquially permitted and prohibited during the game.  These are not official rules, but more "gentlemen's rules", if you know what those are.  The best is no drink, that way there is less to carry as things heat up and also less in your stomach so you will feel and even appear much lighter on your feet, more bounce in your step, and will not need a bathroom break as your undivided attention is crucial as this, like many baby games, could go on for hours, days, even weeks.  But if you must, milk is acceptable.  Coffee is frowned upon, but tolerated.  Mixed drinks are a no-no.  Sorry.
Before we get into the real rules, how about a bit of history?

The original version of this game was invented by Winston Churchill in 1933 for his son Elvin.  It had fewer words and was made on an old flipped-over cereal basket.  It was brought to America after the second World War by a few G.I.s who had committed, by technicality, some minor war crimes.  A blind eye was turned towards their confused and cowardly acts, and the boys returned happily to rural Pennsylvania where the game almost died along with them in the 1949 Tuca Train crash. No one was killed but after that people got tired of playing games. 
Anyway, enough history, let's get down to business.

You'll need to find other players as it's forbidden to go through this alone.  The game is probably ideal for 3-6 players as fewer is less challenging and more is annoying.  But note that it is possible to play three or more simultaneous games using the same board and pieces.

SET-UP: (look at this map, fig. 1, if you have problems)
You will see a gameboard and some game pieces.  For the most part you can ignore these, except in cases in which you wish to win.  To win you will need to fashion a masterful understanding of these objects and their use.  This can take a veritable lifetime.  But for beginners, who will undoubtedly lose, don't worry much about the pieces.  Novices would do well to focus mostly on observing the other players, picking up on unconscious facial give-aways and even reading into their potential personal short-comings.  For example, are they dressed appropriately for their age?  How much care do they put into their appearance? and is it warranted?  Do they come off as lack-luster or as a person of dignity?  and at what point might dignity swell over into a superficial ego-centricity?  Do they care for their finger- and toe-nails?  Do they avoid eye contact?  Can you detect a history of great sorrow in the area below their eyes?  These are just some basics to get you started and to begin learning who you can trust.  You might be surprised!

Set up the game board roughly as shown in either diagram A1 or A2 depending on if it is an odd or even day, keeping in mind that "odd" or "even" is often more of a frame of mind than a criteria of objective reality. 

Set-up of Baby Game is highly dependent upon the players themselves and due to this fact it will be more fun if the players are at a similar skill-level since expert-level players have been known to set up the game in such a manner that makes any move by other players absolutely impossible.
Once you're all set up, it's time to start!

fig. 1

A 1

A 2


1. Each player finds a piece of string somewhere and they wet it with the inside of their mouth, then suck out whatever dampened material they can.  Whoever does this the best goes first.

2. Player 1 chooses a piece and can either roll the dice or just move it wherever.  Rolling the dice is preferable because moving without rolling will cost you a 100 point penalty without appeal.  It is the responsibility of all players to keep vigilant watch for rule-breakers, -benders, and cheaters as there is no official referee in Baby Game.  You are are the subject, judge, jury and warden of yourselves.  Until Round 2 when someone becomes king.

3. Each player goes and plays their turn.  Anyone too frustrated should be politely asked to leave or go to time-out.  The remaining players can divide the quitter's gold coins.
TIP:  Once we're at this point it's pretty important to pay attention.  You don't want to do anything stupid that will screw up your chances, so watch each player take their turn and look for idiosyncrasies and mis-steps.

4.  If you roll the dice and get a color, you can choose any color at all involved with that color.

5.  There are rarely gold coins in daily life these days, just the sad state of things I guess.  But if anyone playing has a pouch of gold coins, that's fine.  Just use them to trade for things like supplies and food.  If you yourself have gold coins on your person, it may also be advisable to keep this fact to yourself in these times of economic woe.

6. Play ahead as you would any normal game.

7.  Once each player has gone 2-5 times (including skipped turns!), it's STRING TIME!  Tie some string to each game piece and see how it reacts.  If it's going well, anchor the piece to something around.  Not until all pieces are anchored can the game continue.

8.  Now it's time for Round 2!  This is when it gets exciting-- the game quickens its gait and becomes a bit more competitive, usually knocking out the two least competent players.  Back when England had a monarchy they called this round "The King's Round", but since the fall of the crown people just call it "Round 2".  Classic.  What you want to do is begin encircling other pieces and making your way to the center of the board, keeping in mind the colors.

9. Roll the dice.  Now there can be up to 100 different dice.  See what you can find around.  Anything can be a die as long as it has the capability of settling.  Move your piece accordingly.

10.  REMEMBER: Round 2 is also a card-based round, so draw a card but ONLY if the cards have remained unhandled.

11.  A lot of other things can happen during the game, and many of them will.  But stay focused on the goal: to be the first to move all around the board and reach the end spot. (See diagram B)
12. The game is over.  Winners can collect up all of their gold coins and add up the points.  The most points wins.  If anyone has won tickets, you can redeem them at the snack bar.

Why not take a moment to hand-sketch a stereograph (Magic Eye) illusion of an ancient pyramid or an easily recognizable bird?  While you might miss a few turns, it could save you some face in the long-run.

Q: Are Wormholes permitted?
A: No!
Q: Who goes second?
A: Use local common etiquette.
Q: Does it cost money to play?
A: Yes.  There is a fee of $16 payable by cash or check.
Q: Are there websites where I can learn cheat codes and secret tactics?
A: Wikipedia maybe?  Not sure.