Essen 2014 – Patronize
Trick Taking in the World of Tempest from the designer of Trains.
Not a bad combination.
This is a very interesting take on trick taking. I’ve already enjoyed games like ebbes and Chronicle and this is another one that adds something to the genre.
You flip over a Fame card which shows you how many points it’s worth and also what the trump suit is. In the pic above you can see it’s a 7 with no Trump.
Then in turn order everyone may add one of the 4 character cards in their hand to the the trick to try and win it. I say may add as you HAVE to skip two of the six rounds per game. Also, once per game you can put a black cube on top of your character to protect them, more on that later.
The player with the highest rank wins the trick and keeps the fame card. The trump suit of course is more important than those off suit, fairly standard stuff.
The winner also becomes the new first player and takes a cube of the colour on their card. Again in the pic above you see the Cartographer gives you a blue cube.
The losers, being everyone who entered the trick but didn’t win, takes a cube of the colour on their card plus a cube of the colour on the card to their left. Yep, you get 2 for losing…
Everyone who added a black protection cube to their character removes the cube from the game and adds the characters to their ‘Proteges’.
Everyone who passed can either steal an unprotected character left in play or take a cube of any colour from the supply. Characters that weren’t stolen are added to their respective players Protege area.
So after 6 rounds the game ends and you have cubes and Proteges, but why?
Well, for each cube of a colour you get 2 points or 5 if you have 2. Then 5 points for each cube you have in excess of 2.
Then the Proteges you have may give you a bonus for certain cube types. The Cartographer in the example image counts as a blue cube for example. Others gives a bonus if you have the most of a colour etc
Remember I said you have to skip 2 rounds? Well if you skip 3 or more you’ll have cards left in your hand, you lose 10 points for each card… ouch.
This is a fun game that might knock Chronicle out of my collection. While I love Chronicle, and Seiji Kanai, this is just a nicer, more tactical game with a more down to earth theme.