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Although I am a fan of games of all difficulty levels, when I play "simpler" games I can't help but analyze the game structure and weigh the benefits/payoffs to making certain moves. I believe Sleeping Queens is a great game with the exception of one card: The Jester
There are 5 of these cards in the game and the problem with this card may be obvious to some. When you play the Jester, one of two things can happen depending on what the top card of the deck is --either you "draw a card" (if the top card of the deck is a Special/Item card) or you count off between yourself and the other players to see who gets a free queen (If you draw a number card). This mini game of "who gets the queen?" is essentially free points....in a two player game there is a 50% chance you give free points to your opponent; in a three player game there is a 66% chance you will give points to one of your opponents; this likelihood of giving points away increases with the player count.
Again, I know this is a game for kids, etc. etc. but knowing how the Jester works, I just always hold them in my hand until I absolutely have to play them (if that point ever comes up).
To ameliorate the bad effects of this card, my game group and I have come up with an alternate way of using the Jester cards.
When you play a Jester card you may do one of the following things:
1.) Peek at a Sleeping Queen to figure out her identity. Return the card face down to the general play area.
2.) "Claim" a Sleeping Queen by keeping her face-down (you can't look at the card) and putting her in front of you. No other player may steal the queen away from you with a Knight until she is woken up and her identity is revealed. You of course do not score points for the queen until she is turned face up but you have "called dibs on her" so that no other player may wake her up. Finally, once you have gone through the deck once, remove one of the Jester cards from the game. Then reshuffle the deck and continue. Remove one more Jester each additional time you run through the deck.
What do you think? Does anyone else have any fixes for the Jester cards?