S John Ross' Points in Space1 includes a bonus game at the end, a poker-like game played with a deck depicting the face of the alien god Emoch. The deck consists of five kinds of cards, each depicting part of the mad god's face: the left gova, the right gova, the left eye, the right eye, and the maw. Although I liked the idea of the game and said so in my review of Points, I've never actually played it. I printed out the deck, however, and got to thinking about other uses for it. Here's a little solitaire game that spacers call...
Shuffle the deck and deal three cards face up. These form the base of three stock piles, and the three cards on the top of the piles are called stock cards. You want to complete the visage of Emoch by providing one of each type of card; the objective of the game is to complete his face as many times as possible.
If two or more of the stock cards match, then you may take one of the matching cards and set it out in an attempt to complete the face of Emoch. If there is already a card of that type in the face that you are attempting to complete, then you may put one of the matching cards to the side in a pile called the hole. If you complete the visage of Emoch by putting out one of each type of card in the face, collect the five cards from the face and set them to one side.
If none of the stock cards match, then deal a card from the deck onto one of the stock piles. You pick which pile-- but you have to pick before you see the card. Repeat until there is a match or until you've played all the cards in the deck.
When all the cards in the deck are gone, pick up the cards from the hole, flip them over, and use them as a new deck. When those cards are gone, repeat until there are no cards left in the hole or it becomes impossible to put any more cards in the face.
The game is scored by counting the number of faces that you've completed, including cards in a last partial face. Krome typically express this as a number in base five-- so if you completed three full, five-card faces and put down a maw and a left gova for a fourth face, you have a score of 3.2. Since there are only six maw cards, the maximum score is 10.4. This is sometimes offered as an explanation for the slang spacer salutation "10.4, good buddy" which is roughly equivalent in meaning to the more familiar "Clear ether!"
The text of this page is ©2003 by P.D. Magnus. The mad god graphic is by Dan Smith; 'Emoch', 'Krome', and 'Points in Space' are trademarks of S John Ross.