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Subject: New Salem : A review from France rss

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Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi everybody,



I was astonished by the ratings given to this great game! I thought it deserved far more better ratings, so that's why I decided to try to convince you to give a try to this game.

First of all, the art is great. I really like the publishers who try not to have some mainstream illustrations, and one must admit that these ones are really great, so congratulations to the Illustrator !

What do you have in the box ?

Cubes : Black (despair cubes 30) and white cubes (hope cubes 30)



Cards : Lots of cards !! ;-)
144 building cards



10 Character cards

[ImageID=https://boardgamegeek.com/image/2667445/new-salem]

8 Event cards



5 Round counters



and the rules of course !!!

Let me say, that I have translated more than 300 games now, and these rulebook is one of the clearest I have ever read !

How do we play ?

This game is a deduction/role game with a draft mechanism, in which you have to be on the winning side (Puritans or Sorcerers) at the end of the game (after five rounds). Then even if you are belonging to the winning team, you have to have more points than those in your team.
This point is really interesting because you are trying to cooperate with some of your teammates (once you have managed to recognize them, which is not always obvious), but not too much because you still have to have more points than them.
And that's where the game is really great ! Cooperation yes, but not too much if you want to have a chance to win!

But let's go back to the main point, how do we play the game ? (sorry for this comment which is not in the good part !! ;-) )

The game can be played from 3 to 8 players.
You have to select the right number of cards from each side (have a look at the table in the rulebook to do so).

Then deal a character card to each of the players (have a close look at the cards because in the upper left corner you have the type of buildings that will allow you to score more points).

Sort the building cards (in the bottom right corner, you have the number of players written on each cards).

Finally pile up the round counters from one to five.

And you are ready to play !

So each round, you are dealt a certain number of building cards and then you'll have to choose one of these and pass the rest to the player on your left or on your right (depending on what's written on the round counter).

Then when you are given two cards you have to choose either to keep one and discard the last one, or to discard both and draw the first of the draw pile.

When the drafting phase is over, you have to reveal the cards you have chosen during the drafting phase. Then from what you have revealed you put cubes on them. (hope or despair cubes).

Then you can initiate events (if you have enough cubes to do so, but you can try to convince one of the other players to give you some of their cubes in order to initiate an event :-) That's really fun to convince a player and then activate the event against him/her !! :devil: )

Finally, when the round is over you shuffle all the cards (not those revealed in front of you) and you can start a new round.

Game end

Once the five rounds are over, you have to see which side has won the game.
It will be done according the number of black and white cubes remaining on the cards. Too much black cubes and the sorcerers will win, too much white cubes and the puritans will win (look at the table in the rulebook to see how many cubes are needed, depending on the number of players).

Resolve the trials and see how many cubes of each colour are remamining.

Then once the winning team has been determined, it's time to count for the points from the buildings in front of you (but just for the players in the winning team).

So what do I think of this game ?


Well, we really loved the game at home. We are not especially found of the Werewolves, but this game took us ! We were deeply involved in the game trying to deduce who was wh, and trying to denounce the right people.

The drafting part is really a good idea for that kind of game because you are trying to fulfil the first winning condition (for your team) but at the same time you are also trying to score points for yourself. And that's where it works, you are both forced to play a cooperative game (at least to belong to the winning team) and then you also have to manage to get enough points to be the winner. This duality will lead you to crucial choices.

This game really renewed the Hidden Identity game (such as the Werewolves,...) by mixing it with deduction and a card drafting system.
We always have pleasure to play this even after 20 games. The gameplay is really simple once you have understood that you must be careful to the buildings that help you to score more points.

Well if I had to rate this game I would have chosen a :d10-9: out of 10, because of the simplicity, the interaction, the depth, the replayability and the illustrations.

Thank you for having taken some minutes to read this. I hope you enjoyed it !

Have a nice Christmas week ! (I hope you'll get this game under the Christmas tree ;-) )
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Markus Höß
Germany
Regensburg
Bayern
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I´m totally with you! what a great game. easy to teach with high replayability factor.
Well written review! Kudos!
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Stéphane Athimon
France
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Thank you very much for the comment ! I really appreciate it ! ;-)
 
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