This week is card game week......Steve chose the 2005 game from LudoArt, Marquis. This game designed by Martin Gotz and Frank Czarnetzki is absolutely gorgeous to look at. The cards are very large and colourful, the coins are metal and the diamonds and rubies are plastic but quite realistic.
The very colourful cards for Marquis
In the game each player has his own deck of cards, eleven character cards and a veto card. Countess, Assassin, Diamond Dealer, Marquis, Prosecutor and so on. Each card has various symbols on it plus a special ability. In your turn you may first buy jewels at the rate on the card you played last turn, you then play a card to the table and then activate the symbols on the card, it may or may not interact with other cards in play. First you take money from the bank, then from the other players if certain cards are in play, then you may or may not use the cards special ability. The special abilities can be fun, the assassin kills one character in play and steals 2 coins from the victim, the robber steals one coin from each other player, the diamond dealer gets preferential rates for buying jewels and so on. One good card is the card sharp which reverses the order of play.
It took us a bit of time to work out the interplay of cards and all the implications of playing a certain card when certain others are in play, having the special abilities in german on the cards slowed things down a bit, although we did have crib sheets. I quite liked the game and once we got going the play flowed quite well. The veto card can be crippling, ending a players turn in his tracks, but the player it's played on keeps the card in front of him and can use it like a coin to buy jewels at the end of the game.
Steve 16, Colin 15, Richard 14, Garry 12
We still had some time so Steve got another card on the table, Kathai. This is a small card game designed by Michael Andersch and published by Adlung-Spiele. Players and sell gold, silk, spices and tea. The prices are always fluctuating so selling at the right time to maximise points is the name of the game.
The trading laoout for Kathai
I thought this was an OK game, but didn't really set the pulses racing.
Steve 20, Colin 18, Richard 17, Garry 16