Spotlight on Games > Translations
English Translation
Sun Nov 9 14:23:50 PST 2003
Nichts als Ärger
[Don't Be Annoyed]
[Translation by Rick Heli. All editorial additions in square brackets. ]

Important! To play Nichts als Ärger you need a standard dice game with board, pawns and dice as can be found nearby in every game collection.
The setup corresponds to that of the classic dice game. Three of the SOFORT cards (Nimm, Gib and Gesetz) are first removed from the deck and the rest shuffled. Then these three cards are shuffled into the bottom half of the deck.

The following basic rules of dice games are in effect:

  1. A player with no pawns in play may roll three times.
  2. The A spaces are the entry spaces; the B spaces are the bases where the pawns are located before they enter play.
  3. When a 6 is rolled, a pawn must be moved from the base to the entry space.
  4. The entry space must always be vacated as long there are pawns on the base.
  5. There is no requirement to hit another pawn! But whoever wants to, can – right?! Hit pawns placed back on their bases.
  6. On a roll of 6 the player receives another roll.
  7. A player wins when he gets all of his pawns to the goal.
  8. Take turns in clockwise order.
Nichts als Ärger Rules:
Drawing! Each turn the player has the choice to either play a card or roll the die. Only one or the other is allowed. Dice pips must, when possible, be fully used to move a single pawn. It is not allowed to play a card which is not fully executable. If a card permits several players to move their pawns, it is done in turn order beginning with the player of the card.
Receiving Cards! At the start no one has any cards. After a normal turn of rolling the die a player may take the top card from the deck. If he forgets, he may not draw the card later – punishment must be served. In addition a player who rolls the die outside his turn as a result of card play does not get to draw a card. If a player already has 5 cards he cannot draw any, unless an already played card expressly permits this. When all of the cards have been drawn, shuffle them to create a new deck.
Six! Whenever a 6 is rolled, a pawn must be moved to the entry space from the base as long as pawns remain there. This also applies when a 6 would be rolled in the context of a card action and the 6 used for movement of any pawn (e.g. not with the MARATHON card).
Mass Meeting and Striking! In contrast to the classic dice game more than one pawn may end on the same space. Thus it is possible to hit several pawns in one turn. The active player decides whether he belongs to the group or would like to hit them. If a player wants to throw a pawn out, he must hit all the pawns in the space; he cannot spare any individual ones. In addition, all pawns moved by a card may hit other players when this is not disallowed by the card.
Entry Spaces! Some cards enable pawns on the entry spaces to move forward or backwards. It is never allowed to move into the goal by going backwards.
Base Spaces! Pawns on bases may always be moved with the help of cards if this is not explicitly disallowed by the card. The entry space simply counts as the first movement space.
Cards! There are 2 special types of cards:
SOFORT Cards must always be revealed immediately after being drawn from the deck. They (almost always) involve all of the players and no card can cancel its effects.
ANYTIME Cards can be played at any time in any number, even when not the owner’s turn. After executing the card actions turns continue as before the card was played.
Countering! An ANYTIME card played in reaction to another card in order to neutralize it must be played as soon as the first card is known. If some parts of the card's actions have already been executed (e.g. pawns moved) it may not longer be played.
Goal! A pawn which has reached the goal remains in the goal. Goal pawns may be jumped over. If a player’s pawns are only either in the goal or on the base, he is again given the chance to roll three times. The goal pawns do not have to be completely moved up to it. When a player has all of his pawns in the goal the game ends and he has won.
Alternative Endings: After a mutually agreed time period the player having the most pawns in the goal wins. In case of tie, the next player to get a pawn into the goal wins. Or: The game ends after the last card in the deck has been drawn.
Nichts als Ärger for 5-6 Players: In a game with 5 or 6 players only 3 pawns are used. It requires a board intended for it (or a lot of creativity) and sufficient pawns. The "Trio" card must be removed from play (logical actually – right!?).
Team Variants: In each case two players on opposite sides of the board form a team and try to bring 4 of their own pawns into the goal. An additional possibility is to end the game when 3 (of the same colored) pawns reach the goal. Each pawn in the goal counts a point. The winner is the team with the most points.
Krokospiel thanks all of the clubbers, as well as Annette, Peter, Diana, Edwin and all others who have lent Nichts als Ärger the proper seasoning.
Cards Translation at
Copyright 2003 Richard M. Heli