on 27-10-2010 02:24 PM
This is a guide I wrote on PlayStation Future on the basics of playing caravan in Fallout: New Vegas. Hopefully it will be more helpful than the note given in the game, this guide has been adapted from that very note, only I've tried to elaborate a bit on some points. Let me know what you think!
OBTAINING A DECK
(Minor Spoilers - from beginning of game)
At the beginning of the game, you'll find yourself in Goodsprings, a small town in the central portion of the map. Going to the bar and witnessing several events take place will reveal that a trader by the name of Ringo is holed up in the Gas Station nearby.
Talking to Ringo will net you a free 54 card deck for you to play Caravan with (only 30 cards are required to play). Once you've got these cards, you'll notice that throughout the Mojave Wasteland you occasionally find chances to play the card game with characters - with Ringo being the first one you meet.
Additional cards to add to your deck can be found throughout the Mojave Wasteland too, some can be just picked up off of the floor, others can be stolen from people, but you'll most likely get most of your additional cards by purchasing them from various merchants.
RULES OF THE GAME
At the beginning of each game, there will be six empty piles for cards as shown below. The lower three piles (D, E and F) are for you, and the upper three piles (A, B and C) are for your opponent. The aim of the game is to build your pile to a value between 21 and 26 inclusive by use of numbered cards and aces - with aces valued at 1 and each numerical card valued at their respective numbers, these numbers are then summed to get the pile's total value.
Each pile is pitted against the pile immediately below or above it (i.e. A is placed against D, B against E, and C against F), and whichever pile is valued highest without being overburdened (valued at over 26) is awarded a win. The winner of the game is decided by the player with the most winning piles - either by 2 piles to 1, or 3 piles to 0.
At the start of the game, each player will draw eight cards from their deck - this becomes their current hand. Each player must lay a numerical card or an ace on each of their piles so that there is one card on every pile. After these initial turns, each subsequent turn follows the same basic pattern, with each player carrying out one of the following moves in a turn. These are:
Players are somewhat limited in which card they may place on their piles, any numerical cards (or aces) placed on a pile should either be the same suit as the top card of the pile or should continue the direction of the caravan. The direction is based upon the top two cards in a pile - for example if the second card is a 3 of spades, and the top card is a 5 of clubs, then the player may only place a club, a picture card (these will be explained shortly), or a numerical card of value 6 or higher.
VALUES OF THE CARDS
As explained above, each numerical card had a value equal to its number - a 7 of clubs has a value of 7 - with ace cards holding a value of 1. Unlike picture cards, numerical cards cannot be placed on your opponent's piles. Picture cards add more strategy to the game and affect the various piles as follows:
When played on top of a numerical card or an ace, that card is removed, along with any picture cards attached to it.
Although you may want to use this card on your own piles, the most useful device for using this card is actually placing it on your opponent's piles. Say you are drawing with a player on one set of caravans, using a Jack on their pile will reduce the value of their pile, allowing your caravan to be 'sold'.
When played on top of a numerical card or an ace, the direction of the caravan is reversed - a caravan of descending value will now only allow numerical cards of a higher value to be placed on it. Multiple queens may be placed on top of each other.
The Queen may also be used to hinder your opponents progress, perhaps by changing the direction of their caravan from ascending to descending when their caravan is of a low value so that they can only put lower valued cards on their caravan. In the same way, changing your opponent's caravan direction from descending to ascending when their caravan is at a high value may stop them from gaining the best value caravan possible.
When played on top of a numerical card or an ace, the value of that card is added again to the caravan's total value - placing a King on top of a 5 will add another 5 points to the caravan. Placing multiple Kings in succession multiplies the value - placing a King on top of the previous example will add an extra 10 points to the caravan, making the total 20.
When played on top of an ace, all numerical cards and aces of the ace's suit are removed from the table (excluding the ace beneath the Joker). Placing a Joker on an Ace of Spades will remove all other Aces of Spades and all numerical Spades.
When played on top of a numerical card, all numerical cards of that value are removed from the table with the exception of the numerical card beneath the Joker. Placing a Joker on top of a 9 of clubs will remove all other 9s from the table.
THE AIM OF THE GAME
To win the game, you need to have the most caravans of value between 21 and 26 inclusive. If two opposing piles are both within the winning values, then the caravan of the highest value without being overladen wins. Two opposing caravans of the same value results as a draw and does not count as a winning caravan for either player.
However, if you have two winning caravans, and the third pile has not been won by either player, then the game continues - the final condition for the game to end is that three caravans must be 'sold'. To complete the game shown above, you may want to place a Jack on your drawing caravan so that the opponent's caravan wins, this would mean there are now three caravans that have been 'sold', of which two are yours, leaving you to take the win - as shown below.
Hopefully this guide has made the rules of the game clearer in your mind. Knowing how to play this little mini game can prove a lot of help in earning currency and acquiring a few of those pesky trophies! Not to mention the diversion it generates, you can literally spend hours roaming the wasteland, and sometimes its nice to have a break and play a game of caravan with an inhabitant of the Mojave Wasteland.
on 27-10-2010 02:47 PM
Edit. (spoiler) Shame i lost the pack that Ringo gave me
How'd you manage to lose the pack? Did you just drop all the cards out of your inventory or something?
Oh well, guess you're gonna have to get 30 cards the harder way
on 27-10-2010 02:51 PM
on 27-10-2010 03:49 PM
Im guessing it glitched. I got Ringo out of Goodsprings and i think i remember being given a deck of cards.. but when i tried to play with someone i didnt have them
Really? A glitch in Fallout: New Vegas? You must be talking nonsense my friend
on 27-10-2010 05:21 PM
on 27-10-2010 05:28 PM
Nothing beats putting a King on your opponent's caravan and making their score in the 30's
Everytime I do something like that I start signing this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBjEcAPybsE
This game is so easy now, won 27 (3 off the trophy) Completely cleaned out a trader I was playing with
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