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Subject: The dullest of themes on a lovely little game rss

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Luke Prior
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So in Biblios you are playing that age old tale that we have heard so many legends of Abbots competing to amass the greatest collection of sacred works. . . . yeah that is a theme apparently. If someone tells you that is the theme then there is a pretty good chance you are going to walk the other way.

So in the game you start with 5 d6 of different colours regarding each aspect of the library you are creating. They all start set at 3 and the person that has the highest amount in each of the 5 sections at the end of the game will gain victory points equal to the number on the dice.

There will be a big stack of cards in the middle comprising of cards relating to the dice with a value between 1 and 4. Then you have gold cards from 1 to 3 and then church cards which we will get to in a moment.

On your turn you will draw cards 1 by 1 for 1 more than the amount of players at the table. When you draw a card you must decide immediately if you are going to keep it, put it in the auction pile or place it in the middle for your opponents to take. Once you have done this (in a 4 player game) 5 times it means you will have ended up with 1 card in your hand, 1 card added to the auction pile for later and 3 cards face up in the middle of the table. Then going clockwise your opponents will pick up a card from the middle until they are gone and then the person to your left will repeat the process. Rinse and repeat till the deck has run out and you all have a big hand of cards and a big deck ready for auction.

Then the auction deck gets shuffled and placed in the middle. starting player turns over the top card and if it is a colour card then players go round clockwise bidding an amount of gold until someone wins it and puts it in their hand. If it is a gold card then you can bid an amount of cards, essentially using up the crappy low colour cards you have been stuck with from round 1. If it is a church card you bid for it with gold.

Once you get to the end of the auction deck each player totals up the amounts they have in each colour and are assigned the victory points for the areas they win and person with the most is the overall winner.

The only card I have not explained are the church cards. This is the only card you can use as soon as you receive it. In either round if you get a church card you can use it to alter the victory point dice. There is a mixture of church cards that allow you to put the value of 1 or 2 dice up or down.

So the game is simple enough but it full of great moments when you are really struggling to decide to keep a card but the fear of giving an opponent a better card. Also you want to try and set yourself up to do well in the auction and be able to bid on cards as best you can. Then when you grab a church card you want to try and hurt your opponents by having a good idea of the colours they have been collecting.

Really simple game that probably sounds a little dull but I assure you as filler games go, this is absolutely one of my favourites and it plays brilliantly regardless of the 2 to 4 player count.

If you get a chance to give it a try I strongly recommend that you do so
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dan schnake
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Yeah, the theme doesn't fit the game.

Strangely enough -- there is a natural theme for it. This could easily be a stock market game where most of the cards you get are "shares" of one of 5 companies. The "church" cards could be various stock market events... "Research Division Perfects a New Formula" is a +1 or whatever.

Nonetheless, Biblios is as elegant as games get, and the new edition by Iello is excellent. Would recommend to almost any gamer.
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Todd Adams
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Biblios is my favorite filler, and one of my favorite games all around.

There is this look that people get on their face that I've only seen while playing Biblios. It happens when someone flips that first card, and just can't decide what they want to do with it. Too good to give up, but they want to hold out for something better.
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Neil Christiansen
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I for one love the theme!
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Parker McParker
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This is a fantastic little game - one of the best fillers I know.

Theme was a bit of a sticking point for my family (I think most gamers will find the theme dull). Luckily it is one of the easiest games to retheme. I went for "Comic Collector" and knocked out a version that has become very popular at home.

Games I've Rethemed (scroll down to the bottom item)

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Franco Antonio Regalado
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Beautiful filler, this one. Full of little decisions and subtle outplaying.
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J. Mowery
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I'm not sure there is another game with a bigger gap between how much I love the game and how much I detest the theme. It has one of the most boring, dry and ill-fitting themes of all time.

…but DAMN the game is so elegant and so good.

If this game was re-skinned with a great theme, I'd buy another copy so fast it would make the publisher's head spin.


 
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Joe Rogers
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chris1nd wrote:
I for one love the theme!


Me too! Not sure where the hate-on for the theme is coming from... Granted, with Biblios, it feels like a "tacked on" theme and the theme is secondary to the game, but I love Medieval themes plus the idea of monks squirreled away in some remote abbey devoting their time to preserving knowledge is pretty cool
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Luke Prior
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joeyj1220 wrote:
chris1nd wrote:
I for one love the theme!


Me too! Not sure where the hate-on for the theme is coming from... Granted, with Biblios, it feels like a "tacked on" theme and the theme is secondary to the game, but I love Medieval themes plus the idea of monks squirreled away in some remote abbey devoting their time to preserving knowledge is pretty cool


Sorry, I have not worded that correctly. I do mean more that the theme is tacked on more than I actually dislike it. I too like medieval themes and I have not against an Abbott setting up his library but I can not escape the fact that it's is a very dull theme
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Neil Christiansen
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Tacked on? Like every deck-builder ever?
 
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Luke Prior
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chris1nd wrote:
Tacked on? Like every deck-builder ever?


Play legendary encounters alien, not tacked on at all
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Michael Poplawski
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Biblios is the only game I have that is packaged like a book. That's all the theme this wonderful game needs for me.
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Level 3 Tunt
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I'm not huge on theme anyway (unless there's space - starry sparkles!), but this is one game I wish also came in a completely abstract version like older card games. I've gotten many members of my game-loving family to play Biblios, but grudgingly. There was an initial hurdle each time where they assumed the game was much more complicated and/or dry than it actually is because of the theme.

Once we've played a few games they're hooked, but even afterward I've gotten questions about why it's presented the way it is. "To market to gamers instead of normal people" is about the best I can come up with.
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I.M. Jeremic
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all these kinds of games have tacked on themes I actually love this one it is classy imo
 
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Nick
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As an amateur manuscript scholar, I also love the theme. That's why I bought the game in the first place. The fact that it's also a great game is a nice bonus
 
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