|Suggested Age||7 and up|
In the card game Cowtown, you want to move cows into the right herds so that you can score points and empty your hand.
At the start of each round, each player receives a hand of six cards, then four more cards are placed face-up on the table; the deck includes cards in four colors, numbered 1-10 twice, along with two "Cowtown" cards of each color. Cowtown cards are always played on the table immediately in order to give the little dogies a place to settle.
On a turn, you play a card from your hand onto a stack on the table. The card you play must be one higher than the top card on a stack. (Cowtown cards are effectively numbered 0.) If you can play multiple cards in numerical order – a Horn-to-Tail Sequence – you can do so; in addition (or alternatively) you can play multiple cards with the same number – a Stampede – onto different stacks when those stacks have the same lower number. Playing a three-card Horn-to-Tail Sequence or a Stampede is worth 1 "scorecow".
Whenever you play a card of matching color onto a stack, you're safe, but if you play at least one card of a different color – a bullish play – then you must draw and discard the top card of the deck. If that card shows a red bull's eye, then you've been kicked and must draw a card. Lay a 10 on a stack and you close that barn, getting to take another turn or pass one of your cards to another player.
The round ends as soon as one player is out of cards or the deck runs out. The player with the fewest cards earns 4 scorecows, the player with the next fewest 2 scorecows, and everyone other than the player with the most cards earns 1 scorecow. After four rounds, whoever holds the most scorecows wins!