The Filler

a card game for the graveyard shift

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Nobody likes zombies - especially not the living. To prevent zombie outbreaks, cemetery owners hire Fillers, individuals who pack suspicious graves with concrete to prevent the undead from rising.

As a Filler hired to take care of a particularly troubled area, your job is to sniff out the bad graves and fill them in before the zombies awaken. Sadly, hard times have fallen on the town, and there's not enough cement to completely fill every grave. To make matters worse, the graveyard keeper has his eye on you, and one too many escaped zombies will mean you and your trusty cement mixer will have to find work elsewhere.

And with the human population dwindling, it's just getting harder and harder to find honest work these days.

Players: 2
Play Time: 5-10 minutes
Materials: Standard deck of 52 playing cards

Overview:
Each game lasts four rounds, with one player acting as the Filler and the other player acting as the zombies.

The Filler's objective is to keep his job. If four or more zombies escape from their graves during the night's work, the Filler is fired, and the zombies win.

If after four rounds the Filler still has his job, the Filler wins.

Setting Up:
Remove any Jokers from a deck of 52 playing cards, and separate the cards into three piles: red number cards (including Aces), black number cards (including Aces), and all face cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings of both colors).

Choose one player to play as the Filler, and the other to play as the zombies. The Filler takes the deck of 20 black number cards (called "cement cards"), and the zombie player takes the deck of 12 face cards. The red number cards will not be used.

How to Play:
Each round, the zombie player lays down three graves, and the Filler must choose which graves to pour cement into.

The zombie player's turn:
The zombie player's task is to have as many zombies escape as possible. A zombie is any face card that's red, while a normal corpse is any face card that's black. The zombie player's deck, therefore, consists of six corpse cards and six zombie cards.

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At the beginning of each round, the zombie player chooses three cards from his hand and plays them face down in a row. Each card is a grave.

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Once he's done that, the zombie player's turn is over.

The Filler's turn:
Once the zombie player has laid out three graves, the Filler must decide which graves to fill in with cement and how much cement to use.

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There are three different types of zombies, with varying amounts of strength. More powerful zombies require more cement to keep them buried.

The values on the number cards in the Filler's hand represent pounds of cement, and the Filler can use any combination of cards on any grave to accomplish his task.

The Jack requires 10 pounds of cement to prevent escape, the Queen 15 pounds and the King 25. A grave can be filled with more than the minimum-required cement, but using less than the minimum for any zombie will allow that zombie to escape.

To fill a grave with cement, the Filler plays cement cards on top of that grave, face-down. The Filler does not have to fill every grave and can choose to save his cement.

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The Reveal:
After the Filler has played his cards, the zombie player flips over the three grave cards, one by one, revealing which ones hold zombies and which ones don't.

Then, the Filler flips over his cement cards, revealing how much cement was poured into each grave.

Zombies whose graves were not properly filled escape the cemetery. Place any escaped zombies in a row off to the side, face up.

Corpses and successfully cemented zombies go into the discard pile, face down. Any cement cards used during the round should be collected and placed into their own discard pile, face up.

Repeat for four rounds, or until the Filler loses his job.

Next Page: Designing The Filler

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