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Overview of Ludington’s Ride Board Game

Click to enter.udington’s Ride is an educational boardgame for the entire family. Up to eight players compete as Sybil Ludington, who makes her legendary ride to call out Lt. Colonel Henry Ludington’s Seventh Regiment Militia of Dutchess County, New York, to confront the British Army after the burning of Danbury in April of 1777.

Description of the Game

Number of Players

Up to eight players—referred to as RIDERS in our game—take the role of Sybil Ludington using one of eight colored plastic figures (pawns).

Mode of Play

Riders follow a route map, incrementing their movements by the throw of a die. Movement is therefore limited to six spaces, with bonus spaces earned if a Dispatch Card is played.

Click to enlarge map.Playing Time

Playing time with eight players will take about an hour.

The Route Map

Riders follow a route map which is loosely based on Sybil Ludington’s legendary ride.[1] The route map is divided into a series of 72 spaces plus the Ludington Mill and the Ludington Home (where the game starts and ends).

Some of the spaces include houses of the soldiers that are to be mustered during Sybil’s ride. These spaces include a house icon (). A white space with an icon is the house of a Company Captain. If a Captain is mustered, the entire company is deemed to be mustered.

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Six spaces on the game board require the Rider to draw a Dispatch Card to determine what occurs after the Rider lands on the space.

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 Ten spaces on the game board require the Rider to draw a History Card. Up to 100 additional points can be earned by correctly answering the cards.

Playing the Game

All Riders place their pawns at the starting position, which is the Ludington Home. By tossing the die, each Rider determines how many spaces that can be advanced down the route which leads south past Carver’s Bridge to Shaw’s Pond, then down to Lake Mahopac and Crane’s Tavern, then north through Boyd’s Corners, Redding Corners, and Stormville, and then back south to the Luding­ton Mill, where Skinner Ichabod Prosser tries to hinder the Rider from leaving (a die toss of “one” gets the Rider out of the mill). Then it’s on to the Ludington Home, where the game ends.

Setting Up the Game

All pawns are placed at the Ludington Home, which is the starting place for play. The Dispatch Cards are thoroughly shuffled and placed face down in a stack in the box on the game board marked “Dispatches”.

Scoring

Scoring is determined by how many soldiers are “mustered”—i.e., called to duty—by the Rider along the route and by answering questions from the History Cards. Officers are worth 20 points plus the sum of all the enlisted men under the officer’s command; enlisted men are worth 10 points. The determina­tion of whether a soldier or Captain is mustered is made by the Muster Spinner.

If all of the militia are mustered by a Rider throughout the route, the maximum number of points a Rider can earn is 400 points, including 40 bonus points for reaching the Mill, 40 bonus points for arriving safely back at the Ludington Home, and up to 100 points for correctly answering the questions on the History Cards.

A soldier is deemed to have been mustered if the Rider lands on the soldier’s space and a spin of the Muster Spinner determines the result. Also, a solider is deemed to be mustered as a result of drawing a Dispatch Card that moves the Rider forward to the next house on the route.

Click on this thumbnail image to view a larger picture of the Muster List. You can download a PDF of this, too. Click on the "Replacing Game Pieces" button on the left.The number of points earned by each Rider is tallied on an official Muster List. Once a soldier has been mustered (i.e., marked on the Rider’s Muster List as having been called by the Rider), the soldier does not have to be mustered again by the Rider if the Rider is sent backwards along the route due to a Dispatch Card. Every player should call on as many soldiers as possible.

It is possible that during the course of play, each house may have as many as eight visiting Riders, with each Rider playing the role of Sybil Ludington.

Determining a Winner

The winner of Ludington’s Ride is determined by tally­ing the total number of soldiers mustered by the Rider and by including no more than 100 points from questions that have been answered correctly.

Accordingly, the first Rider to complete the route is not necessarily the winner of Ludington’s Ride. The first Rider to complete the route with a perfect score of 400 points is declared the winner of Ludington’s Ride. In the alternative, if all the Rider’s have completed the route, the Rider with the highest number of points is declared the winner of Ludington’s Ride.

Start of Play

The players determine who rides first by a toss of the die. The Rider with the highest toss (i.e., a “6”) among all the players starts first, and then each player in turn, beginning with the Rider on the starting player’s right and then proceeding around the board until all players have had a turn at tossing the die. In determining the starting Rider, in the event of a tie between two or more tosses of the die, the players will toss the die again until one of them receives the highest subsequent toss of the die.

Once a starting Rider has been determined, the Rider begins play by tossing the die again and moving his pawn forward around the route toward a space containing a house icon (). If the toss of the die results in a number greater than the number of spaces needed to reach the house, the Rider may choose to stay on the house (forfeiting the unused spaces) and spin the Muster Spinner, or the Rider may continue on to the next house on the route. Once a Rider has passed the house, the Rider may not return to attempt to muster the soldier, unless directed to do so by a Dispatch Card.

Selecting Dispatch Cards

When a Rider lands on a space requir­ing the selection of a Dispatch Card, the Rider must take a Dispatch Card from the stack of Dispatch Cards. Some of the Dispatch Cards require the Rider to do something, or not do something (e.g., lose a turn). Other Dispatch Cards can be kept for use later in the game.

Selecting History Cards

When a Rider lands on a space requir­ing the selection of a History Card, the Rider must take a History Card from the stack of History Cards. The History Cards require the Rider to answer a question based on the events leading up to and following Sybil Ludington’s ride.

Questions are worth 5 or 10 points for a correct answer, depending on the difficulty of the question. No points are deducted for an incorrect answer.

A maximum of 100 points can be earned for answering the questions correctly. After 100 points have been earned, the Rider does not have to select another History Card, even if a Dispatch Card or a playing space might otherwise require the Rider to do so.

Direction of Play

Riders proceed forward through the route. Riders may not go backwards unless directed to do so by a Dispatch Card.

Movement of Riders

When a Rider casts the die, if the number rolled requires the Rider to move past the house, the Rider may place the pawn at the required house, ignor­ing the rest of the spaces that were determined by the roll of the die. More than one Rider may occupy any one space at a given time.

If a Rider arrives at the house after moving the number of spaces called for by the cast of the die, as part of his turn, the Rider must flick the Muster Spinner to deter­mine the result of the stop. In the alternative, the die may be cast to determine the results as set forth below.

The Muster Spinner

The Muster Spinner has six possible results.

1)   The soldier is not present. This is the worst possible result of a spin. Play passes to the next Rider. When the Rider’s turn comes again, the Rider must spin one more time to see if the solider is mustered. If the second spin does not result in a muster, the Rider rolls the die and then proceeds toward the next house on the route, moving the number of spaces according to the number of the die that is rolled. No points for the muster are counted toward the Rider. The odds of getting this result: 2 out of 6.

2)  The soldier is mustered. This option is better than option #1). The score (20 points for an officer, 10 points for an enlisted) is added to the Rider’s tally and play passes to the next Rider. If the Rider has landed at an Officer’s house, the Rider may mark all the soldier’s in the Company as being mustered. The odds of getting this result: 2 out of 6.

3)  The solider is mustered and calls out another soldier for you. This option is better than option #2). The Rider moves his pawn to the next house on the route (with a spin upon arrival at the second house), and play passes to the next Rider. The odds of getting this result: 1 out of 6.

4)   The soldier is not present. This option is the same as option #1). The odds of getting this result: 2 out of 6.

5)   The soldier is mustered. This option is the same as option #2). The score (20 points for an officer, 10 points for an enlisted) is added to the Rider’s tally and play passes to the next Rider. If the Rider has landed at an Officer’s house, the Rider may mark all the soldier’s in the Company as being mustered. The odds of getting this result: 2 out of 6.

6)   The Captain of the Company is at the house. This option is better than all of the other options because all of the soldiers under the Captain’s command are deemed to have been mustered. If the house is not the house of a Captain, credit is given anyway, because the Captain is deemed to be visiting the house of his subordinate when the Rider arrives. The Rider moves his pawn to the house of the last solider under the Captain’s command and a tally of the points for the Captain and for all of the Company soldiers under his command are added to the Rider’s tally sheet. The odds of getting this result: 1 out of 6.

About the Cards

Ludington’s Ride includes two types of cards to enhance the playing experience.

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 Dispatch Cards provide random challenges to the Riders as they move around the playing board. These cards are configured as communications from Col. Ludington to the Rider.

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 History Cards challenge the Riders’ knowledge of the events that led up to and immediately followed Sybil Ludington’s legendary ride. The questions are based on Ludington’s Ride—Sybil’s Story (a pamph­let included with the game pieces) and other histor­ical sources.

The Dispatch Cards

If a Rider lands on a Dispatch Card space, the Rider must select one of the Dispatch Cards from the stack of cards on the left side of the Dispatch Cards box. Some Dispatch Cards require immediate action; others can be held for use by the Rider later in the game. Dispatch Cards may not be traded to other Riders. If the Dispatch Card requires im­med­iate action, the Rider must take the action indicated and place the used Dispatch Card on the right-hand side of the Dispatch Cards box.

The table below is a roster of the Dispatch Cards included with Ludington’s Ride. If any are missing, you should download replacement cards and print them at home. When all of the Dispatch Cards have been taken from the left-hand stack, the right-hand stack is shuffled and placed on the left-hand side of the Dispatch Cards box so that play can continue.

Card #’s

# of cards

Title

Description

01-04

4

Move Toward Home!

Move forward to the next soldier’s house on your route.

05-08

4

Skinners Delay You!

Lose a turn, unless you have one of the “Nimham to the Rescue!” cards.

09-12

4

Nimham to the Rescue!

Save this card for when you pick one of the “Skinners Delay You” cards.

13-16

4

Draw a History Card!

Draw a History Card and try to answer the question.

17-20

4

You Are Lost!

Go back to a prior “Choose Dispatch Card” space.

21-24

4

A Captain Is Here!

All the soldiers in the company are deemed to be mustered for you.

25-28

4

Take the Shortcut!

When you arrive at 2nd Company, take the Shortcut to 3rd Company.

29-32

4

You Have Some Help!

One of the soldiers in the Company musters another soldier for you.

33-36

4

The General Thanks You!

General Washington sends his thanks. When you complete the ride, add 10 points to your tally.

37-40

4

Rest Stop at Crane’s!

Lose a turn, but all the soldiers in 2nd Company are mustered for you, including the Captain.

The History Cards

If a Rider lands on a History Card space, or if a Dispatch Card requires the selection of a History Card, the Rider must select one of the History Cards from the stack of cards on the History Cards box.

The Rider must then attempt to answer the ques­tion correctly. Questions on the History Cards have a point value of 5 or 10 points, depending on the difficulty of the question. If the Rider answers the question correctly, the point value of the question is added to the Rider’s Muster List.

Answers to the History Card questions are printed on a separate Answer Card, which is included among the History Cards.

You can download the History Cards as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, including questions and answers by clicking here or on the link above.

Replacing Game Elements

Replacing Cards

After playing Ludington’s Ride a number of times, players may find that the questions posed by the History Cards are too easy. To maintain the challenge in subsequent playing sessions, registered players can download new History Cards and/or replacement Dispatch Cards in MS Word format from the Internet and print new cards at home using Avery® Color Laser Business Cards (Avery® product #5881™) on any laser printer or using Avery® Ink Jet Business Cards (Avery® product #8373™) on any inkjet or laser printer. See our Replacing Game Pieces page for more information.

Replacing Other Pieces

Replacement game pieces (dice, pawns and spinners) can be purchased at many hobby shops, novelty shops, toy stores, and teacher supply centers. See our Replacing Game Pieces page for more information.

Replacing the Pamphlets

You can download MS Word files and PDF files of the pamphlets included in the game. See our Replacing Game Pieces page for more information.

Reprinting the Muster List

The Muster List is printed on a pad included with the game board. When you run out of sheets, you can photocopy a blank Muster List as a replacement. To make photocopying of the Muster List easier, a copy of the Muster List is reproduced on the back page of the Rules of the Game pamphlet and on the back page of the Sybil’s Story pamphlet. If you want to download a PDF page of the Muster List, see our Replacing Game Pieces page for more information.

Playing Strategies

Keep the following points in mind while you are playing Ludington’s Ride:

1.  Nothing beats preparation. Be sure to read Sybil’s Story, the pamphlet included with these “Rules of the Game”. It will help you to answer the History Cards correctly.

2.   Save! Save! Save! If one of the Dispatch Cards says that you should save the card for later use, you should probably do so.

3.  Study the card distribution. The roster of Dispatch Cards is listed on page 7 of the Rules of the Game and in the table above. Look for the cards that benefit your play.

4.    Learn the card count. There are multiple copies of the Dispatch Cards. Watch the play of the cards and remember which cards have been selected and played. Because Dispatch Cards are not placed back in the deck until all the cards have been played, knowing which cards have been played gives you an idea of the odds of picking a card you may want.

5.   Don’t avoid the History Cards. The points earned from correctly answering a History Card can make the difference between winning and losing the game.

6.  Use the shortcut if necessary. Watch the play of the cards during the game. If you think that the remaining Dispatch Cards might cause you to lose a turn, bypass a “Choose a Dispatch Card” space by taking the shortcut. If you know your Ludington history, you won’t have to worry about choosing a History Card. And besides, there’s no penalty for missing a question.

7.     Have fun! It’s only a game.

Be sure to look for Ludington’s Ride—the motion picture dramatization of Sybil Ludington’s legendary ride. It’s coming soon to a theater and a video store near you. Look for books on Sybil Ludington’s ride at the official Ludington’s Ride website at the Ludington's Ride Company Store.

And be sure to visit davidsonpress.com, where you can find books of interest to the entire family.

[1]The order of the houses depicted on the playing board has been adjusted according to the needs of the game and does not reflect the actual order of the houses called on by Sybil during her ride.


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The contents of this website are protected by copyright © 2001-2010 by Charles R. Welty. All rights reserved internationally. Ludington's Ride® is a registered trademark of Charles R. Welty. Ludington's Ride®-—The Board Game is protected by U.S. patent #D520070.