Aqua-Chicken By John Cooper
A game within a game. (Aquarius is by Andy Looney)
Playing Andy's Aquarius game can be made a little more stressful by following these simple steps:
  1. While the Goal cards are being shuffled, casually ask if anyone wants to play Aqua-Chicken.
  2. When your victim raises an eyebrow or otherwise seems curious,
  3. tell your victim that both of you will agree to not look at Goal cards as long as possible.
  4. An otherwise normal game of Aquarius is played,
  5. and the last player who looks at his or her Goal card is the winner of Aqua-Chicken.
DON'T LOOK.
DON'T PANIC.
 Details
  • When someone plays "Shuffle Goals", it is OK to look at your old Goal card (before turning it in), but your new Goal card must be left face down in order for you to stay in the game of Aqua-Chicken.
  • Trading Goals is different; do not look at the Goal card that you are trading, or at the one you exchange it for.
  • It is sometimes possible, during a series of Aquarius games, to convince other players to play Aqua-Chicken just by pretending that they're already playing. Just try not to look at your Goal card as long as you can without losing the Aquarius game, and let the other players know whenever you have won the Aqua-Chicken sub-game. They'll come around
Aqua-Chicken is just a sub-game of Aquarius. Not all of the players in the Aquarius game have to play Aqua-Chicken to make it work, and the winner of Aqua-Chicken will not necessarily win that particular game of Aquarius. In a four-player game of Aquarius, two Aqua-Chicken players can drive the "normal" players nuts. A player who wins both the game and the sub-game within it should be congratulated, because it is most difficult.
Strategies
  • Since you don't know what your Goal card is, pay attention to the board and try to take apart or surround groups of elements that are growing too fast. Also, try to figure out what Goals the "normal" players are shooting for.
  • Trade Goals with a player who is obviously knowledgeable of his or her Goal. That way you know what your Goal is without having to look. (Unless the player you traded with was bluffing, of course.)
  • If you can't surround a group or make it smaller, make another group larger.
  • If an element group gets entirely too large, and it's obvious that the owner of the element is not you -- provided that the person connecting cards to that group isn't bluffing -- and you can't do anything about it, make panicking chicken noises.
  • If, on the other hand, the element that is on the cusp of winning the Aquarius game might be yours, well, then you have a decision to make. Are you going to step off the metaphorical tracks to look at your Goal card? Are you going to hope that yours is the winning goal and play to it until the metaphorical train runs you over? Or, will you play elsewhere, quietly clucking and hoping that your chicken opponents look at their Goals before your next turn comes around? 
  • Come to think of it, I don't know why there's a strategy section here. You've gotta be suicidal to play Chicken with an Aquarius deck.
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last updated 4/5/99