RULES for Dastardly Dirigibles

RULES for Dastardly Dirigibles
Number of Players: 2 to 5
Ages: 8 and up
Professor Phineas Edmund Hornswoggle, known for building the highest
quality airships, has announced his retirement. As one of the greatest airship
engineers in the kingdom, you have gathered at the Hornswoggle factory in
a competition to build the best airships you can and become the successor to
the Hornswoggle empire. You’ll have to keep your wits since the Professor has
jumbled the parts you’ll need to complete your craft. It will take skill, luck,
and more than a little treachery to win, but by hook or by crook you’ll be the
master of these Dastardly Dirigibles!
Players are engineers competing to build the best steampunk airships. Each
airship is made of seven cards, each representing a different part of the airship,
such as the nose cone or lift engine. Whenever a player adds a part to their
airship, ALL players MUST add the SAME part, even if it means replacing an
existing part. The first player to play all seven parts and complete their airship
ends the round, but there’s a catch. Players only score the suit they used the
most in building their airship!
Be the first player to complete your own steampunk airship, but remember
that only the suit you used the most will score. After 3 rounds, the player with
the most points is declared the winner.
• 1 Rulebook
• 5 Guide Sheets
• 9 suits of 7 airship parts
(63 cards)
• 12 Special cards
• Copy the Score Sheet on the back of these rules to keep score.
The deck consists of 9 suits of Airship cards, each suit composing a unique
steampunk airship and 12 Special cards that provide unique ways to interfere
with your opponents.
There are 7 cards in each suit that make up the different parts of the Airship.
From front to back those parts are:
Gondola Gondola
The suits are identified by a steampunk symbol in the upper left corner:
There are 9 suits in the deck, 7 of which have their own unique symbol.
Screw Top Hat Wrench
The last 2 suits are Wild and count as any of the other suits.
1. Give each player a Guide Sheet to place in front of them.
2. Shuffle all the cards together, and deal each player a hand of 5 facedown.
3. Place the remaining cards facedown where all players can reach them. This
will make the draw pile. Discards will be placed near the draw pile faceup. If
the draw pile ever runs out, shuffle the discards to create a new draw pile.
4. Build the Emporium and determine the first player:
• The Emporium is a row of faceup cards that all players will have
access to on their turn.
• To create the Emporium, each player (in any order) draws the top
card from the draw pile and places it faceup near the deck.
• The player who draws the part that is located closest to the front of
an airship (Nose Cone) is the starting player. (Suits do not matter
when determing the starting player.)
• Treat Specials as the farthest away, the first Lift Engine drawn
as the frontmost Lift Engine, and the second Lift Engine as the
backmost Lift Engine.
• In case of a tie, those players draw again until one reveals a part
closer to the Nose Cone than the other. Cards drawn as part of a
tiebreaker are discarded, not added to the Emporium.
Play At(a) Glance
Play 3 rounds in which each player on their turn will:
1. Draw up to a hand of 5 cards (p. 5) and then
2. Perform 3 actions (pp. 5–7)
• Play 1 Airship OR Special card
• Discard 1 card
• Swap 1 card from your hand with 1 card from the
• Replace the Emporium
• Pass
Score your Airships at the end of each round (pp. 8–9)
• 2 points for each card in the most commonly used suit
• 1 point for each Wild card
• 1 point for each card if you have no pairs or Wild cards
Determine the winner and heir to Professor Hornswoggle’s factory
empire by counting who has the most points at the end of 3 rounds.
Order of Play
Play Details
1. Draw up to a hand of 5 cards.
• You may draw up from the draw pile, the Emporium, or both.
Note: If you draw from the Emporium, immediately replace the card you took
with a new one from the draw pile BEFORE you continue drawing up.
• If your hand already consists of 5 or more cards, you do not have to
discard, but you do not draw up.
2. Perform 3 actions.
• There are 5 possible actions to choose from: Play 1 Airship OR Special
card, Discard 1 card, Swap 1 card from your hand with 1 card from the
Emporium, Replace the Emporium, and Pass.
• You may choose which order to perform your 3 actions in, and you may
repeat the same action multiple times.
Play 1 Airship OR Special card
There are 2 types of cards in the game, Airship cards
(which are the parts of Airships) and Special cards (which
give you an advantage or interfere with your opponents).
Playing an Airship card
• Your Airship cards are played faceup in front of you on your Guide Sheet
to build your Airship.
• Airship cards can be played in any order but must follow the arrangement
of the Airship as shown on the Guide Sheet.
• When you add an Airship card to your Airship, all other players MUST
immediately play 1 matching part to their Airship from their hand, even
if it means replacing an existing part.
• If a player does not have a part that matches the kind you played,
they do not play any cards.
• If a player has more than 1 part that matches the kind you played,
they choose which of those cards to play.
• When playing a Lift Engine, players do NOT have to play it to the
same space their opponent did. It can be played to either the front or
back Lift Engine space.
• Replaced cards are discarded.
• Once you play a part of an Airship, it will remain in play unless another
player forces you to swap it out, a Special card affects it, or you choose to
replace it.
• You can replace a part of your airship that has already been placed
in front of you by playing the same part from a different suit and
discarding the original part.
• A complete Airship consists of 1 of each part, with the exception of Lift
Engines, of which there are 2.
• An airship can be made up of parts from any combination of suits and
Wild cards, but scoring is based on the number of cards from the most
common suit in your airship. Wild cards do not score as much, so try to
build your airship
from parts of the
same suit for the
most points!
• Wild cards are
included in your
score but are only
worth 1 point each.
That means an
Airship built entirely out of Wild cards is only worth 7 points.
Playing a Special card
Special cards are played to the discard pile. The effects of a Special card are
resolved as soon as you play them.
• Transmutation: This is the only Special card that is played on another
player’s turn. When another player announces a part to be played, you
may instead play the Transmutation card and then play any Airship part
in your hand to your Airship. All other players must still play the original
part that was announced.
• Aether Extractor: Playing this card requires an action, but playing 1 of
the 3 cards drawn to your Airship does not. Your opponents must match
the card you play.
• Tesla Disintegrator: If you choose to destroy a Lift Engine and your
opponent’s Airship has more than 1, your opponent chooses which 1 to
Discarding 1 card
You may discard 1 card from your hand to the discard pile. Note that you do
not draw back up until the start of your next turn. Players may look through
the discard pile at any time.
Swap 1 card with the Emporium
Take 1 card of your choice from the Emporium
and add it to your hand. Then replace it with 1
card of your choice from your hand.
Replace the Emporium
Place all cards in the Emporium into the discard pile, and then draw cards
equal to the number of players in the game, laying them faceup to create a new
Instead of using 1 or more of your actions, you may pass and end your turn.
Once you have completed both steps in the Order of Play, your turn ends and
the next player clockwise starts their turn.
Ending a Round
The end of the round is triggered when any player plays the last part needed
to complete their Airship. This can happen even if it isn’t your turn. All players
match that part as usual and then score their Airships.
Example: Heidi, Lee, and Ann have almost completed their Airships. On Heidi’s
turn, she plays a Tail section, leaving only a Gondola Front missing from her
Airship. Lee and Ann both play their Tail cards as they must. Lee completes his
Airship and triggers the end of the round, but Ann must replace her Tail section and
is still missing a Nose Cone.
All Airships are scored, even incomplete ones.
• To score an Airship, find the suit that was used the most to build the
Airship. Score 2 points for each card of that suit.
• If a player has the same number of cards in more than 1 suit, only 1 suit
is scored.
• Wild cards always score as 1 point each.
• If a player has an incomplete Airship that is made of no pairs or Wild
cards at all, that player scores 1 point for each card used in their Airship,
regardless of what suit it is.
Scoring a Muddle
Players can also attempt to score the elusive “Muddle.” A Muddle is a
completed Airship that is made of one of each suit, with no pairs of any kind,
and does NOT contain any Wild cards. A successful Muddle is worth a fixed 20
points and receives no bonus points.
Bonus points
• The player that completed their Airship first and ended this round
receives 2 bonus points (except for Muddles).
• Any other player that completed their Airship receives 1 bonus
point (except for Muddles).
• If a player has the Gilded Dynamotor card in their hand, they receive 1
bonus point.
Scoring Examples
The Wrench suit was used the most (3 times) along with 1 Wild card in this completed
Airship. The Wrench suits count for 2 points each, and the Wild card counts for 1 point. In
addition, this player was the first to complete their Airship for 2 additional bonus points.
Total = 9
The Gear suit was used the most (3 times) in this incomplete Airship. They count for 2 points
each. No other cards are scored.
Total = 6
This Airship has no pairs, but does have 1 Wild card. One card (of any suit) is chosen as the
most used and counts for 2 points along with the Wild card which counts for 1 point.
Total = 3
This Airship has no pairs and no Wild cards. Each card used scores 1 point.
Total = 5
Starting a New Round
After totaling all bonus points, players should record their scores.
• All cards are then collected, shuffled, and each player is dealt a new hand
of 5 cards.
• A new Emporium is created and play begins, with the player who has the
lowest total score going first. That player will have 4 actions for their first
turn, and then they will have the regular 3 actions on subsequent turns.
Note: In case of a tie for lowest total score, tied players each draw 1 card and reveal
it until one shows a part closer to the Nose Cone than the other(s), discarding the
cards they drew as part of the tiebreaker.
It’s Heidi’s turn. Here is her current Airship and hand of cards.
Step 1: Draw Up to a Hand of 5 Cards.
She needs to draw 3 cards, and there is
a Lift Engine of the Chain suit in the
Emporium. She adds that card to her
hand and replaces it with a new card
from the draw pile, a Wild Lift Engine.
She doesn’t want any of the other cards
in the Emporium, so she draws her last
2 cards from the draw pile, a Gondola
Rear of the Goggle suit, and a Wild
Tail, bringing her hand size to 5.
Step 2: Perform 3 Actions.
For her first action, Heidi plays her
Thief card, which lets her remove the
Tail from Lee’s Airship (since it’s the
Chain suit that she wants!) and adds it
to her hand.
Ending the Game
After 3 rounds, the player who has the most points is declared the winner!
Tiebreaker In case of a tie, the player who scored the most points in a single
round is the winner. If still tied, the player with the most cards played to their
Dirigible in the final round wins. Congratulations on becoming the heir to the
Hornswoggle factory!
Game Design: Justin De Witt
Artist: Jeff Porter
Graphic Design: Justin De Witt, Sam Simons
Playtesters: Ahmed Abdelmeguid, Jacob Barhak, Yosef Bender, Ann Bennington, Jillian
Besemer, Dave Birt, Lois Brown, John Burns, Neal Carter, David Chandler, Anne-Marie De Witt,
For her second action, she plays
the Tail card that she just stole
to her Airship and the other
players follow. Lee doesn’t have a
Tail card in his hand, so he does
nothing, but Ann does, and she
adds that card to her own Airship.
For Heidi’s third action, she plays
the Chain suit Lift Engine from
her hand to her Airship, replacing
the Top Hat suit that was already
there and moving it to the discard
pile. She announces “Lift Engine,”
and the other players follow. Lee
has a Lift Engine, so he adds it to
his Airship. Ann already has two
Lift Engines on her Airship, but
since she has another in her hand,
she must play it. She adds her
new Lift Engine to the back of her
Airship, replacing the one that was
already there and setting it on the
discard pile.
Eric Dow, Edgar Fisher, Julie Fisher, Hector Flores, Jonathan Foerster, Chris Garrett, Jonathan
Grabert, Robert Heil, Albert Hood, Shau Huang, Stephen Jackson, Natasha Johnson, Adrian
Jones, Matthew Kelling, Joshua Kim, Justin Lane, Charles Le, Angie Littwin, Beth Loubet, Luke
McBride, Kris McCardel, Maureen McCardel, Chris McKeever, Mikayla McMurtray, Miriam
McMurtray, Rob Myers, Jennifer Myers, Travis Nellor, Kera Nelson, Sharon Nichols, Dillon
Pittman, Bekah Preissinger, Jarred Prejean, Russel Rector, Chanel Rector, Sonny Regelman,
Matthew Robinson, Heidi Ruenes, Jesse Samford, Dmitri “Headcrusher” Sears, Kat Snyder, Zach
Vipperman, Mark Vogt, Lynn Wallschlaeger, Jan Ward, Stephen Waters, Levi Waters, Elon Weiss,
Stephanie Wenger, Lee Wilson, Merrie Wilson, Ryan Wilson, David Woo, Molly Wright, Tom
Wright, Casey Wyatt, Lily Youn, James Zuniga
© 2016 Fireside Games, LLC. Dastardly Dirigibles and all game and company logos and slogans are
trademarks or registered trademarks of Fireside Games, LLC. P.O. Box 151164, Austin, TX 78715.
All rights reserved. No part of this product may be reproduced without permission from the
publisher. Please retain this information for future reference.
For more information, visit
Score Sheet
Player 1
Player 2
Player 3
Player 4
Player 5
Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Players have permission to make copies of this Scoring Sheet to record scores and determine a winner.
Handbook of Victorian Insults
In anticipation of your rivalry, the Professor has provided this handy reference
guide of stinging insults, biting terms, and vengeful sayings. Use them against
your adversaries as you will.
all my eye and Betty Martin an expression indicating incredulity or disbelief
bang up to the elephant without error, complete
bite the tooth to be successful or achieve your goal
blackguard a lowly, rotten person
blag to steal or engage in theft
daft as a bush silly or illogical
flimflam dishonest behavior designed to steal money or property
fopdoodle a foolish man with no societal standing
gongoozler a person who stares for long periods at anything unusual
gormless lacking any common sense
knap to receive, steal, or take
mad as a bag of ferrets disconnected from reality
not batting on a full wicket eccentric to the point of being crazy
not the cheese not satisfactory or acceptable
perfidious deceitful and untrustworthy
rampallian a scoundrel
shoot into the brown to fail or miss the target
skilamalink a secretive or shady character
varlet a rascal or rogue
whifflegig a shifty or contemptuous person
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