Emergency Games Kit
109 games in one pocket
Wednesday the 24th of August 2016
I've been carrying this around for a few years now: a collection of game components that's small enough to carry in any bag or
pocket, and which unpacks into a decent number of card and dice games. It's inspired by the huge plastic toolboxes of the
Seattle Cosmic emergency games kits, which I admired
but never really understood the "emergency" aspect of, until I realised that everyone involved presumably had a car.
This kit began in 2013 as dice, plastic poker chips and a half-sized deck of
regular playing cards. The deck was later replaced with a custom-printed one which included added corner numbers (0-5 in six
"circle" suits, and numbers 1 through 35, which is enough to play a lot of things) and scanned-in chunks from games I already owned.
It's the portable MP3 version of my games collection.
As of April 2017 the kit stands at 29 interesting games playable with the card deck
and/or poker chips, and 80 in the Freeze-Dried Games Pack (a mixed bag of 100-word rulesets for card,
dice, paper and word games that I've been compiling), for a total of 109 games.
(I've since published a cut-down CC-licenced version of the card deck as The Skeleton Deck.)
- A cheap 5" x 3" Tuff Bag pencil case.
- A one-off 2" x 2.5" (half-sized) mini deck of cards, customised with
game art, icons and corner numbers.
- 36 stackable mini poker chips (five each of seven colours and one extra brown one) from Koplow Games.
- Six 12mm dice, the colours matching six of the chips (six being enough to play Farkle; the white die has
some red dots to double as a Cinq-O hi/lo die).
- A few sheets of squared paper for pen-and-paper grid games.
- A couple of blank crossword grids for Lynx.
- A two-sides-of-A4 PDF printout of the rules for 80 simple paper/card/dice games from the Freeze-Dried Games Pack.
- A slip of rule reminders for the games in the card deck.
- A Zebra Expandz ballpoint pen.
- A bidding reference card for The Bottle Imp.
- One black and one white plastic pawn. (not pictured)
- Two small pre-printed score sheets for Yahtzee.
It all fits inside the pencil case, the chips being bound with two rubber bands in a single stack.
List of games
Games in and around the card deck:
- Babylon (poker chips)
- Backgammon (dice, poker chips; "warm" colours vs "cold")
- The Bottle Imp (coloured 1-35 corner values, coin icons, pawn)
- Bunte Runde (circle suits, poker chips, pawn)
- Córdoba (standard deck)
- Coup (icons)
- Dead Drop (circle suits)
- En Garde (circle suits, pawns)
- Get Bit (standard deck, dice)
- two-player Haggis (scoring stars on standard deck odd/face cards)
- Heimlich & Co (corner values, meeple icons, poker chips, dice)
- slightly cut-down Hey, That's My Fish! (standard deck played in a brick pattern, poker chips)
- Hive (tile images, again played in a brick pattern)
- In a Grove (2-8 corner values, joker, black and white pawns, poker chips)
- Incan Gold (1-17 corner values with some tweaks for duplicates, other cards for hazards and artifacts, poker chips)
- James Rizzi (standard deck)
- Khmer (circle suits)
- Kobayakawa (1-15 corner values, poker chips)
- Loco (circle suits, poker chips in matching colours)
- Love Letter (card scans)
- No Thanks (3-35 corner values, poker chips)
- Pecking Order (standard deck, poker chips to mark special cards)
- Pico 2 (4-16 corner values)
- R (corner values and icons)
- Santorini (cards for board, chips, one pawn and die per player)
- Skull (skull icons; game isn't quite Skull as non-skull cards are distinguishable)
- Werewolf (werewolf/seer/doctor/vigilante/hunter/mayor images on cards)
- Welcome to the Dungeon (card scans, icons)
- Westeros Intrigue (poker cards, chips)
The kit also includes 80 small games from the Freeze-Dried Games Pack
(Yahtzee, Boggle, Lynx, etc), all playable with dice, standard poker cards and/or a pen and paper. And the deck of cards can
obviously be used to play any card game that takes a single poker deck.