Cafe international

A tactical tile placing game for 2-4 players 10 or older.
Author: Rudi Hoffman
Translation: Jeff Goldsmith and Alta Vista's babelfish


1 Game Board
100 Guest Tiles: 48 ladies and 48 gentlemen from 12 nations, plus 4 Jokers: 2 ladies and 2 gentlemen, who can sit anywhere.
Point chips: 60 black (value: 1 point), 30 red (value: 5 points), 10 blue (value: 10 points)
1 Cloth Bag
These Rules

Goal of the Game

The game is about placing guests at the Cafe International. At the end of the game, whoever has the most points wins.

Prepare for Play

Carefully punch the guest tiles from their sheets. Put them in the bag and mix them up. Each player draws five tiles and places them face up in front of himself.

Placing Guests

The board has 24 tables for guests from 12 nations. At each table, 2 ladies and 2 gentlemen may be seated. They must be of the same nationality as the table indicates. Some chairs are shared by two tables. A guest of either nationality may sit there. Only one guest may sit in each chair. The joker tiles may sit at any table.

Apart from nationality, guests must sit so as to maintain proper gender balance. The same applies to the joker tiles.

At any table, one may seat only:
1 lady and 1 gentleman
1 lady and 2 gentlemen
2 ladies and 1 gentleman
2 ladies and 2 gentlemen

No other distributions are allowed. No single guest may sit at a table, he must belong to a group.

The area in the center of the board represents the Bar at the "Cafe International." A guest who does not find a seat at a table, must sit at the bar. At the bar, nationality and gender are irrelevant.

A guest, once seated, may not move. (Exception: Exchange of a Joker.)

Play of the Game

The first player is determined in any way one sees fit. Play thereafter proceeds clockwise. The player whose turn it is must do exactly one of the following three action:

Placing of Guests on Chairs

If a player chooses to place guests on chairs, he may place one or two guest tiles on appropriate chairs at suitable tables. The seating constraints must be satisfied. The player must score some points by his play. If a player places a guest at an empty table, he must, on the same turn, place a second guest at the same table unless the first guest scores points. Esception: if the first player cannot score points, he may place a single guest at a table. Normally, a player may play two guests at different tables, but they must each score.

The more guests at a table, the more valuable the table becomes. If a player places a guest at a table during his turn, he scores points for the whole table as follows:
1 pair (lady and gentleman)= 2 points
1 pair (lady and gentleman) + 3rd Guest= 3 points
2 pairs (2 ladies and 2 gentlemen)= 4 points
2 pairs of the same nationality= 8 points
If one plays a guest on a chair between 2 desks, then one scores the value of each table affected individually and scores the sum of the two point values.

If one obtains points with each guest placed, the first tile is scored and then the second is scored.

Example of a point valuation:

Figure 1
Player A places an American gentleman at the first American table. He must place a second American guest as his 2nd tile placement, because the first placement did not score any points.
Figure 2
Player B plays the Indian gentleman and Indian lady and scores 2 points for the Indian table. There is only one guest at the American table, but since the guest scored, the tile placement is permitted.
Figure 3
Player C plays the American gentleman and receives 2 points for the second American table.
Figure 4
Player D was lucky. First, he plays the American gentleman and takes for it 6 points (3 points for each of the two American tables). Then he plays the American lady and gets 8 more points for the 1st American desk ("one-country" bonus). On this turn, player D scores 14 points.
Replacing Tiles
After a player is done placing tiles, he refills his hand to five by drawing from the bag randomly. The only exception is that if one creates a "Single Nation" table, one draws one fewer tile, reducing one's hand size permanently. This is useful as at the end of play, each tile in a player's hand counts -5 points; jokers count -10.

Placing a Guest at the Bar

The bar has 20 spaces (seats). They are filled in ascending order (see the small number in the corner). A player may (or must if it so happens), instead of placing a guest at a table, may place one guest in the next empty seat at the bar. One may not play more than one guest to the bar in a turn. Jokers may not be placed at the bar. The player gains or loses the indicated number of points for placing a guest at the bar. If one cannot pay, one is out of the game. [I think. --Jeff] Refill one's hand after playing, as usual.

Exchange of a Joker

There are 2 female and 2 male Jokers. These can represent a guest of any nation and score points as if they were.

End of the Game

The play ends as soon as one of the following 4 possibilities occurs: Players count points, subtracting for tiles in hand and high score wins.


Tables Reserved for Regulars

If using this rule, a player may place three or four guests at the same time, as long as they are all men or all women and are at the same table.

Such a table is worth 20 points. If it's also a Single Nation table, it's worth 40.