Nairinthus List of Popular CW House Rules...

This list is the result of many revisions, extensions, and expansions of the very first version of the Nairinthus Cosmic Wimpout Rules FAQ and House Rules Set created for easy access of people who participated in some rather fun mini-competitions I organized (in a VERY loose sense of the word) in Winter of 1991-92. I thought that competition participants would like to have easy access to the House Rules which would be used at all the Nairinthus-organized competitions! And since most of the CW players were of the tech savvy sort with plenty of access, it seemed good to plop it on my FTP at the time.

It worked well. :)

Fast forward 10 years, and it's still here! :) Albeit in a slightly prettier HTML layout and with piles of stuff added.

Hopefully these variations will give you more enjoyment of the game....and perhaps inspire you to create your own!

BUMP Whenever you land on the score of another player, you send them back to the score you started at on that turn. Example: You have 40, your opponent has 115. On your turn, you get 75 points. This lands you on your opponent at 115, and on arrival, you send that opponent back to 40. Potentially nasty! This can be also used in Last Licks to make your job easier (by 5 points, and a whole lot more. :) ) This also has a flip-side if used in conjunction with the 1/3/5 and related rules. (See 1/3/5 for more info).
Insurance Points (IP) The Insurance Point is an interesting little thing. Whenever you roll all 5 dice, and everything works, in addition to the points, you also get an Insurance Point [hereafter called an IP]. At any time later in the game, 2 IP's may be traded in to nullify your own roll (for example, you have 280 points, 3 cubes left. You roll, and get a 3 4 3. This would be a wimpout. However, you trade 2 IP's in, and that wimpout roll is instantly erased, and you roll those 3 cubes again. You get a 5 2 3, score the 5 and take the 285 points! Sometimes you spend the IP's and you wimpout again. Oh well....Such is life... But that's not all! You can also trade in 4 IP's to nullify an opponent's roll! Truly nasty if your opponent has 380 points, one common cube to clear a flash 10, and a 5 is rolled. That would save to 385 and YMNWTBYM, with a decent chance to bring it home on the next roll...but you plunk the 4 IP's down and say, "That didn't happen. Try again. :)" Rolls a 3 and wimps out HARD. NASTY!


  1. IP's cannot be redeemed on the same turn they were issued.
  2. If you earn an IP in a turn, but wimp out, the points are gone, but you get to keep the IP.
  3. IP's cannot be earned in conjunction with another House Rule (e.g. Cosmic Sampler). [the NBSAOOBS Clause (No Beneficial Specials Allowed On Other Beneficial Specials)] unless the rule SPECIFICALLY is written/modified to override this.
  4. IP's may not be redeemed during Last Licks.
Cosmic Sampler Whenever you get a 5 or 10, and one of each of the non-scoring faces on the other 4 cubes, on the same roll, you have achieved a Cosmic Sampler (derived from the Whitman's Sampler candy assortment) which is worth 50 points, and using all 5 dice (which brings the YMNWTBYM rule in. Note that this does NOT qualify for an Insurance Point (See IP), under the NBSAOOBS Clause...unless of course you wish to invoke another house rule to let you do so.
SUN FT-3 Completion In the standard rules, Freight Trains on 3's are not allowed, since the Flaming Sun takes the place of the 3 on the black cube. This rule allows the Flaming Sun to count as the 5'th three, scoring a 300 point Freight Train of 3's. This is identical to the Ames List rule "Sun Completes Freight Train Of 3s"
Born to Eat Nails (Bear Creek List)  A player may not stop rolling unless at least three of the five showing cubes are scoring.
Suspend(n) / Kill(n) The Suspend rule states that if you are trying to clear a flash, you are granted (n) rolls to do it. if you have not cleared the flash after (n) rolls, your turn is suspended and play continues with the next player. When play returns to you, you continue where you left off, clearing the flash (or flashes, if the Full House rule was responsible)...or trying. Common values of n are between 5 and 10.

The Kill rule is the same as Suspend, except that instead of suspending, it is a wimpout.

S5K5 Version: An increasingly popular variant use is notated as S5K5 - Your first clear attempts are under the Suspend(5) rule. On your next turn, your clear attempts are under the Kill(5) rule. Furthermore, upon suspension, you may instead volumtarily kill your turn, taking the wimpout immediately, allowing you to start a fresh play the next turn. If clearing a trivially small amount, this can be a very helpful option.

1/3/5 (Inspired by the Oakland Scoreboard) This makes the 100, 300, and 500 spaces the same space, with regards to any rule involving interaction of two or more player scores. (e.g. Bump, Eclipse1&2)

NOTE: With Bump, this provides a bizarre twist: You have 260, your opponent has 100. You get 40 points, and hit 300. However your opponent has 100, which is on the same space as 300. Your opponent is bumped from 100 'back' to 260. I believe a 'thank you' is definitely in order? :)

(n)TW Train Wrecks are tallied. If any player gets (n) Train Wrecks in the game, the player is immediately ejected! 3TW is the value players typically use (Three Strikes, yer out), but playing with 1TW makes for a very tense game! Note that if all players but one trainwreck themselves out of the game, the remaining player must get to the agreed number of points without getting ejected too! It is possible that there is no winner, especially with 1TW.
Recovery At the beginning of the game, everybody is given a small circle above their scoresheet column (or if playing on a scoreboard, have a bunch of tokens/counters handy). This signifies being subject the 35 point requirement of the Opening Roll rule. When 35+ points is scored, the circle is filled in (or the counter is turned in). However, if a player Train Wrecks, a circle is added. This circle MUST be cleared by a roll of 35+ points. Note that if a player wrecks while subject to a circle, the player now has TWO circles to clear, individually. Only when the player has no unfilled circles are they exempt from the 35 point minimum.

Extension1: If at any time a player has 4 unfilled circles, or has received 7 wrecks altogether, (8 circles total, counting the original one starting the game) the player is considered terminally wrecked, and ejected from the game.

Extension2: Any player with any unfilled circles when Last Licks occurs cannot participate, and is ejected.

NOTE: Having (n)TW and Recovery in the same game is definitely a bad idea.  

Eclipse Variant 1: A score that is occupied by another player is OFF LIMITS to any other player. The player MUST keep going to not land on that score.

Variant 2: (Recommended only with scoreboard (except Oakland) based games, highly recommended on the Berkeley Board) A score that is occupied by a player, and all scores radiating out from it are OFF LIMITS to any other player. The player MUST keep going to not land on that score. Plus, if a player eclipses you from up the beam (by stopping on a score that puts them between you and the center (e.g., you have 220 on the Boston board and someone stops on 420), you must immediately lose 5 points (result 215) in order to escape the eclipse! If the score you escape to is also eclipsed by someone else - you guessed it - go back again. Of course, if someone is now eclipsed by you in your current position, they lose 5 points as well (a custom high-endscore board could have this happen quite a bit with many players in the game...)

NOTE: This rule is INCOMPATIBLE with the Bump rule!!

Ignition Failure On a scoreboard game, any player not yet in the game after another player has passed the Zero position on a higher level MUST make their score on the next turn, or is ejected from the game. On a non-scoreboard game, the spot one level above the Zero Spot is defined to be 200. If this leaves one player remaining, that player must still attempt to complete the game. That is, if that player SUPERNOVAs, there will be no winner.
NOTE: It may be good to set a minimum number of turns all players are guaranteed before rules such as this are enforced. Something between 3 and 5 turns is recommended.

Eclipse Extension: If the Eclipse Rule is in effect, and a player lands on the spot above Zero Position (e.g., 200) instead of passing it, there is no final chance - ejection is immediate as the player's score becomes a negative value.

The Bear Creek List has a rule called LAP, that is pretty much identical to this.

Full House This is a VERY wicked rule... the very mention of this rule sends chills down players' least the original Nairinthus version does.

Whenever 2 pairs and a sun are rolled (e.g. 2 2 4 4 *), the Sun matches BOTH pairs and BOTH Flashes are scored, PLUS if Insurance Points are in play (see above), you get the IP (normally this would not be allowed). That's the end of the good news. The bad news is that BOTH Flashes MUST be cleared at the SAME TIME! This can be near impossible.
Nairinthus Tournament Extension: Further, if the Suspend(n) rule or the Kill(n) rule is not already in play, it MUST be added to the game with the S5K5 version. If a Suspend(n) or Kill(n) is already in play, S5K5 overrides its parameters. (In non-tournament play, it is suggested that a majority of players can override it. A tie vote should not override.)

Particularly nasty is [10 10 5 5 *]... No 10's or 5's can be used, nor can suns be 10's or 5's. There are only two ways out: triples without 5's/10's, or a Freight Train, both of which still require you to keep rolling.

Note that in this case, [2 3 4 6 *] is VERY interesting. There are two ways this can be interpreted:


The sun is the only potential scorer, and the 10's and 5's are, by the full house, forbidden. Using the interpretation that the sun must be used in whatever way works, since neither option works, the sun CANNOT be scored. Since nothing scores, it is a Wimpout.

(Note that since the Flashes Must Be Cleared rule overrides all others that do not specifically state that they have precedence, a Cosmic Sampler CANNOT be used as an easy way out.

2: Reroll from Sun Match

The sun is the only potential scorer, and must be called as either a 10 or a 5 due to no other scoring opportunities. Since 10 and 5 are taboo due to the double-flash, either way, it's reroll time. Again, CS cannot be used as an easy way out.

Bear Creek Variant: The Bear Creek variant on this is called Superlative Conjunction, and is FAR less nasty. The player has the choice (*gasp*) of playing the roll as a Full House or not. Weak. :) 

Parked Car Collision If a player accidentally knocks over a scoring cube, it counts as a wimpout. The Bear Creek list calls this the Skunk rule. This rule should be useless especially at tournaments, where hold trays should always be used..
Hands off!! If a player touches the cubes at any time when it is not their turn, the player's next turn is forfeited. This is identical to the Porcupine rule in the Bear Creek List.
Saved by the Sun Whenever a player rolls all five cubes and gets four tens and a flaming sun, he/she must swap places (physical position, affecting play order not score) with a player of his/her choice and his/her turn ends with no score, with play going to the next player relative to his/her new position. (This is also known as, and as far as I can tell, probably inspired by someone's interpretation of, the Gettysburg Address rule in the Bear Creek list, with the exception that the Bear Creek version specifies neither the ending of the turn nor the zero-score disposition.)
Tardy Freight Train (also known as a-squared in the Ames and Bear Creek lists)  If a player has scored a flash, and in clearing it with two cubes, rolls a pair matching the flash, the player's total points in that turn are doubled. but the flash must still be cleared (with remaining clearance rolls, as per any Suspend or Kill restrictions). The Bear Creek version clarifies that all the cubes are rolled (YMNWTBYM), but the Ames version makes no such clarification. Nairinthus position on the matter is that it is definitely a YMNWTBYM situation, with the two rolled cubes declared 'scoring', resulting in all 5 cubes used.
Boyd Lemma (From Ames List, with Nairinthus clarification) If a player scores all 5 dice (not at the same time) and they are all 5's or all 10's, then the player gets a bonus of 10 times the cube face and continues by rolling all 5 dice (YMNWTBYM). This means a bonus 100 points for all 10's, a bonus 50 points for all 5's. A freight train of 5's does NOT qualify for the extra 50 points, nor does a freight train of 10's (a supernova, which removes you from the game immediately). Boyd Lemma also doesn't apply while clearing a flash and rolling a matching pair, unless the following extension is also enabled:

Extension: If when rolling all 5 dice a player gets a flash of symbols and has to clear it, and on the subsequent roll, (after the flash is cleared) both dice come up with the flash face, the player gets a bonus of 10 times the flash face and continues by rolling all 5 dice.

Have fun with these variations!

For the record, the standard Nairinthus Tournament Rules Additions are: BUMP, IP, Cosmic Sampler, S5K5, 1/3/5.

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