How to Play Zombie Circus Goats

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Along the way, shout “Skol!” when you play the Viking Lady, use Gimme! to steal One Horn Hammerstein for his awesome ability, and windmill Cerberus onto the table to make your annoying friend fetch you a drink.

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Big in Canada.

During the first year of its release, Zombie Circus Goats outsold soft drinks, antibiotics, and window tinting in Canada. 1

Thanks Canadians!zombie circus goats big in canada

If Bridge and Mahjong are your favorite games, Zombie Circus Goats will make you weep bitter tears.  On the other hand, this is the game Gary Busey played for 3 days straight in the back of a Winnebago.  It’s the game Leonard Cohen wrote the song Suzanne about.

If you need more laughing, trading, slapping, and bleating in your life, Zombie Circus Goats is here to help.

Really, really ridiculously good looking.

Zombie Circus Goats is full of roguishly handsome cards that will make you spurn your other games and use them for non-entertainment purposes such as lighting fires.

So if you find yourself gazing at The Bearded Man or Moira & Soira, thinking they were made for you, it’s okay.

You’re an odd person, for sure, but you’re not wrong.  The whole game was made for you.

Excellent stats.

Zombie Circus Goats requires exactly 6% more brain power than War, Crazy 8’s, Russian Roulette, or the various word-matching/sentence-completion games.  In return, it offers 432% more strategy.

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87 out of 100 people can play Zombie Circus Goats while scarfing down nachos, sipping a beverage, and soapboxing about their favorite show.

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Friends who play ZCG have 58% more laughter,  36% more pointless debates, and 3000% more urns in their lives.

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And for Those Who Prefer Their Instructions in Words:

How to Play Zombie Circus Goats, in 12.5 Easy Steps (& 1 Complicated Step).

1.  Assemble a group of 2-6 people.  Weed out the ones who are uptight.  (Warning:  Complicated Step.)
2.  Requisition a flat, elevated object such as a table.  Around it, set a number of chairs equal to the number of remaining players.
3.  Separate the Carnival Deck and the Filthy Lucre cards from the Main Deck.  Elect someone Supreme Zombie Boss of the disgusting Filthy Lucre cards.  They run the Bank.
4.  Deal out 3 cards from the Main Deck to each player.
5.  At the beginning of your turn, draw 1 card from the Main Deck.   You may play 1 Talent card per turn, by placing it on the table in front of you.
6.  Your played Talent cards become your Circus Troupe, and stay with you until sacrificed, stolen, or destroyed.
6.5.  You may have up to 5 Talent in play at one time.  If you play a 6th, choose one to sacrifice.  At the end of your turn, you must discard down to a maximum of 7 cards in hand.
7.  You may show your Troupe once per turn.  To show your Troupe, first make sure it is your turn.  Then say, “I show my Troupe.”  Roll the Filthy Lucre dice.  Compare the results on the dice to the payout symbols in the lower right corner of your Talent cards.  When there’s a match, collect those Filthy Lucre from the Bank.

Note:  Gold can be used to pay any Filthy Lucre cost, at a 1:1 rate.  Other Filthy Lucre trades 3:1 at the Bank.
8.  All players check the results of all Filthy Lucre dice rolls.  If it’s not your turn, you may collect up to 1 Filthy Lucre from the Bank when the results on the dice match 1 or more of your show payout symbols.  If you match both, choose which Filthy Lucre to collect.
9.  During your turn, you may buy cards from the Carnival deck.  The cost per card is 2 Filthy Lucre of different types.  You may buy as many Carnival cards as you can afford.  Use these cards to give yourself a boost and disrupt your enemies.  Be sure to pay the casting costs on Carnival cards, noted in the upper right hand corner.
10.  Also during your turn, you may initiate trades with the competition.  You may orchestrate as many trades as you like, for cards in hand, for cards on the table, or for some esoteric combination of both.  ALL cards traded go into players’ hands (not into play.)
11.  When cards from the Main Deck are discarded or sacrificed, they go to a discard pile called the Boneyard.  When cards from the Carnival Deck are discarded or sacrificed, they go to a discard pile called the Crypt.  When Filthy Lucre cards are discarded or spent, they go back to the Bank.
12.  Win the game by assembling a Troupe of 5 Zombie Goats, and by successfully showing your entire Troupe.  A successful show means your show was not countered, none of Goats stolen or destroyed, and your show payout was not stolen.
13.  Be sure to read the cards your scurrilous opponents play.  Many of them have interactive rewards for doing or saying silly things.


These conclude Instructions for the game Zombie Circus Goats.  Use them to unboring your night.


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  1. Johnson, Ringo. “American Card Game Holds Key to Total Economic Recovery.” New Canada Times 12 Jan. 2019: 1. Print.