About Pig Tickler
Pig Tickler is Eureka Miniatures sports game set in the fictional Pax Limpopo universe of an alternate 19th Century.
Pax Limpopo refers to the peace between the United Kingdom and the Zulus. The peace was cemented by Queen Victoria's marriage to Shaka Zulu. That's only where the silliness starts. The universe is a wacky collection of steam driven penny farthings, lancers on unicycles, nanny anarchists ("nanarchists"), and clockwork pigs.
Pig Tickler itself refers to an incident that occurred during Pax Limpopo's version of the Crimean War. On the eve of the charge of the Light Brigade, Lord Cardigan lost his horses in a poker game. Lord Lucan forced him to use unicycles instead. His men drilled all night and became quite proficient at them. The next day, during the battle of Balaclava, the Light Brigade charged on their one-wheeled steeds. The Russians, in response, let loose clockwork pigs purchased from the Prussians. The pigs would scare horses, but they had no effect on the unicyclers. They got to the Russian guns and captured all of them without a man lost. Ever since, British mounted units played a sport where they would mount unicycles in an attempt to stick an original Balaclava mechanical pig (converted to "dependable British steam") with a lance. This became known as "pig tickling".
The game is pretty simple. Each player has a unicycle lancer. Also used are a unicycle lancer referee, a "stoker", a mechanical pig, and the PORC (Porcine Omni-directional Randomizing Calculator). The winner is the player whose lancer scores 5 "rumps" (hits). Each turn a player moves his lancer in an attempt to get a hit on the pig. The lancer may move any distance in a straight line. Any time the lancer wants to turn, he has to make a die roll. If it fails, his lancer stops moving. If it succeeds, the lancer can continue to move. The lancer cannot run into other lancers, the pig, or the referee (which can be moved into the path of the current player's lancer once per turn). Once the lancer figure touches the pig, dice are rolled and a table gives the result. After the lancer stops moving, the player must move the pig. After that, he may move the stoker (a native with a bucket of coal or a shovel) either to attack another player or to move the pig. Tables are also checked any time a pig moves against or through a lancer, and when the stoker attacks a lancer.
This is a very simple game, with lots of room for add-ons. You can purchase the figures individually, but they are also sold as a set (6 lancers, the referee, a stoker, the pig, the PORC, and the rules). You can even purchase a pre-painted set.
Eureka plans to release other games in the Pax Limpopo series. Their web site mentioned Jurassic Hyde Park, involving a race between cyclists and velociraptors. The figure line is quite extensive, including pygmies, unicycle lancers with a choice of headgear, lancers on penny farthings, steam bicycles, Nanarchists (nannies with prams and bombs), and a number of hero and villain figures. Of course there is a Queen Victoria figure.