The Fox in the Forest: Duet is a trick-taking game for two teammates. Each round, you can collect gem tokens by moving along the forest path. Work together to collect all the gem tokens, without running out of time or getting lost in the forest!
- 30 Game Cards
- Forest Board
- 22 Gem Tokens
- 4 Forest Tokens
- Team Tracker
As they walked through the forest, whenever they peeked under the leaves of the ferns or beneath the shelf of a mushroom, they would find bright red gems.
Set the forest board on the table between the players with Side A face-up, oriented so that each player is facing one end of the forest path. (Side B provides ways to increase the difficulty).
Place 12 gem tokens on the square location spaces connected to the forest path, with the number of tokens on each location space matching the number of hanging squares inside the location space (0-2). Set the other gem tokens aside to form a supply.
Place the four forest tokens nearby.
Place the team tracker on the starting path space (circled) in the center of the board.
Shuffle the 30 game cards.
Select one player to be the dealer for the first round. That player deals each player a hand of 11 cards. (Each player may look at the cards in their own hand, but must not reveal them to their teammate).
Set the remaining cards aside, face down, to form the deck.
Reveal the top card of the deck and place it next to the board, face up. This card is known as the decree card. (The suit of this card will be important during play).
They ran, but the fairies gained on them. The forest thickened, trees tangling and growing in spirals and twists, threatening to trap them inside.
The gazelle, the foxes, and the fairy they helped had each given them a gift. "If you find yourself in trouble", they each had said, "throw this gift behind you".
Each round consists of a series of 11 turns, known as tricks.
During each trick, one player will lead (i.e., play the first card of the trick), and the other player will follow (i.e., play the second card of the trick).
Based on the suits and ranks of the two played cards, one player will win the trick. Then the team tracker will move along the forest path toward the player who won the trick, based on the movement values of the two played cards.
Each card has a suit, rank, and movement value. The suit is represented by an icon in the corner: Dove, Rose, or Star.
The bank is represented by a large number in the corner: 1-10.
The movement value is represented by the paw prints in the corner: 0-3.
Each player must play one card from their hand. One player leads and the other player follows.
Leading: During the first trick of each round, the player who did not deal leads. During each subsequent trick, the winner of the previous trick leads.
The player who leads must play a card, but they may play any card from their hand, without restriction.
Following: After one player leads, the other player must follow by playing a card from their hand.
The player who follows must play a card that matches the lead suit, if possible, but the card may be of any rank in that suit. If they do not have a card in the lead suit, they may play any card from their hand, without restriction.
The suit of the card played by the player who leads is known as the LEAD SUIT. The suit of the decree card, which is face up next to the board, is known as the TRUMP SUIT.
Determine the Trick Winner
After both cards have been played, determine the winner of the trick. To do this, you must take into account the ranks of the cards that were played, as well as the lead suit and the trump suit.
Trump: If one or both of the cards in the trick are in the trump suit, the player who played the highest-ranked card in the trump suit wins the trick.
No Trump: If neither card in the trick is in the trump suit, the player who played the highest-ranked card in the lead suit wins the trick.
Move the Team Tracker
After the winner has been determined, the team tracker moves. Add together the movement values of the two cards in the trick, then move the team tracker that many spaces along the forest path toward the player who won the trick (unless specified otherwise).
Beyond The Path: If the team tracker would move beyond the last uncovered path space on either end of the forest path, reset the team tracker to the starting path space (circled) and place a forest token so that it covers the last uncovered path space on that end.
This makes the path shorter for the rest of the game. If you do not have a forest token to place, the game ends in a defeat.
If a forest token ever covers a path space connected to a location with one or more gem tokens, move those gem tokens one location space closer to the center.
Gem Tokens: If the team tracker ends up in a path space connected to a location space with one or more gem tokens (even if it did not move!), provided it was not just reset after moving beyond the path, the players collect one gem token from that location space, returning it to the supply.
If you collect the final gem token from the board, the game ends in a victory.
After the team tracker moves, set the cards from the trick aside, face down. During the round, neither player may look at the cards from previous tricks.
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far to the south, there lived a talented musician. When he played any instrument, the world faded away and left only the music behind.
The fairies of the woods were rumored to kidnap talented individuals for their courts. When the musician went missing, everyone feared the worst.
As luck would have it, the princess and the woodcutter's daughter were traveling through the kingdom.
The two agreed to enter the fairy woods, rescue the musician, and find all of the gems.
At the end of the first and second rounds, carry out the following steps. At the end of the third round, skip the following steps and proceed immediately to end of the game.
Add Gem Tokens
Add one gem token from the supply to each location space with a plus icon (+) connected to its border. (On Side A of the board, this means that you will add five gem tokens at the end of each round. )
Place a Forest Token
Place one forest token (if available) so that it covers the last uncovered path space on one end of the forest path (players' choice).
This makes the forest path shorter for the rest of the game. (If you do not have a forest token to place, nothing happens).
The players may discuss on which end of the forest path they wish to place the forest token.
Team Tracker: If the team tracker is at one end of the forest path, the players must place the forest token so that it covers the last uncovered path space on the other end.
gem Tokens: If a forest token ever covers a path space connected to a location space with one or more gem tokens, move those gem tokens one location space closer to the center.
The musician played an enchanting lullaby, and the fairies dropped off to sleep one by one. He kept playing as all three walked backward out of the fairy court.
Deal the Next Round
Gather all 30 game cards and reshuffle them. The player who did not deal the previous round will be the new dealer.
That player deals each player a new hand of 11 cards for the next round. Set the remaining cards aside, face down, to form the new deck.
Finally, reveal the top card of the deck and place it next to the board, face up, as the new decree card.
Note: There is no limit to the number of gem tokens that may be in a single location space.
Note: The team tracker begins each new round in the same path space where it ended the previous round.
End of the Game
The game will end in one of three different ways. As soon as one of these end-game conditions occurs, the game ends immediately.
Victory: If you collect all the gem tokens from the board, the game ends in a victory. You can use the chart below to calculate a score for the game:
Score a number of points based on the difficulty level: 10 for Level 1, 20 for Level 2, 30 for Level 3.
Add 1 point for each card left in either player's hand.
Add 10 points if you won in the second round (instead of the third round).
Add 3 points for each forest token you have remaining. encourage you to record your scores from game to game to track your progress!
Lost In The Forest: If the team tracker would move beyond the last uncovered path space on either end of the forest path and you do not have a forest token to place, the game ends in a defeat.
Out Of Time: If any gem tokens remain on the board at the end of the third round, the game ends in a defeat.
Note: If at any point it becomes impossible to collect all of the remaining gem tokens, you may choose to resign.
You may talk freely before dealing cards in the first round and between rounds. But, during a round, communication is limited:
#1: Don't talk about your cards.
You may not reveal your hand to your teammate or otherwise discuss the suits, ranks, movement values, or special abilities of the cards in your hand. The same applies to discussing your teammate's cards.
#2: Don't ask revealing questions.
If you need help remembering the special ability or movement value of a specific card that is not in your hand, don't ask your teammate. Check the reference card instead, to prevent giving accidental clues.
#3: Don't discuss strategy.
You may not communicate how you plan to play or how you want your teammate to play: whether you want them to win the trick, pass you a certain card, play a card with a certain movement value, etc.
All the cards of odd rank (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) have special abilities which activate when the card is played. These cards have text explaining their abilities and how they function (see the reference card for a comprehensive list). Below are some additional clarifications on each ability:
1 (Musician) - The player who won the trick chooses whether to move the team tracker in the normal direction (toward themselves) or in the opposite direction (toward their teammate) along the forest path.
3 (Foxes) - When you play this card, you may choose yourself or your teammate. The chosen player is not required to exchange the decree card; it may stay the same. However, if they do choose to exchange, the exchange occurs immediately. If the trump suit changes as a result of the exchange, that might affect who wins the trick!
5 (Gazelle) - The player who won the trick may ignore the movement value of one or none of the cards in the trick (their choice). For example, if the cards played in the trick have movement values of one and three, the team tracker could move one, three, or four spaces toward the player who won the trick.
If there are two Gazelles played in the same trick, the winner may choose to ignore the movement value of one, none, or both cards in the trick; each Gazelle allows the winner to choose up to one card to ignore.
7 (Gift) - When this card is played, the exchange occurs immediately. The exchange is mandatory, provided both players have at least one card left in their hands. Each player must choose which card to give to their teammate without knowing which card they will receive in return; the players should pass the chosen cards to each other at the same time.
9 (Royal Heir) - When this is the first card played in the trick, the other player is not required to follow suit; however, they may still choose to follow suit. When this is the second card played in the trick, it has no effect.
You can increase the difficulty of the game by making a few changes during setup. Are you ready to take on a bigger challenge?
The steps described in GAME SETUP above represent Level 1 difficulty. Use the chart below to adjust for Level 2 or Level 3 difficulty, giving yourselves more gem tokens to collect in a smaller forest.
- Step 1: Use Side A of the board.
- Step 2: Place 12 gem tokens, matching the number of hanging squares inside the location spaces.
- Step 3: Use 4 forest tokens.
- Step 1: Use Side B of the board.
- Step 2: Place 13 gem tokens, matching the number of hanging squares inside the location spaces. (Ignore the hanging diamonds). □
- Step 3: Use 3 forest tokens.
- Step 1: Use Side B of the board.
- Step 2: Place 16 gem tokens, matching the number of hanging squares and diamonds inside the location spaces.
- Step 3: Use 3 forest tokens.