Price on Amazon Germany €10.56
SANTO DOMINGO by Stefan Risthaus is a card game with a double-sided 2-piece jigsaw board.
It is published by Pegasus Spiele for 2-6 players aged from 8 years up and plays fully complimented in under half-hour.
Each player is given 8 Action cards with the same colour backs, and each set, Green, Blue, Red, Yellow, White and Grey is the same; players also get One Red card and One Blue card along with 2 card-matching small wooden blocks.
Once the board is assembled together (use the "Summer" side to begin with and the "Winter" side when you want a little more of a challenge) and the three blocks, Red, Blue and Yellow are placed on their marks (there is a slight discrepancy between the Rules which say the First Space, which is the Zero and the illustration in the Rules that shows the setup with the blocks on the #1 space). Players place their Red Block next to the Red card (VPs) and the Blue block on the Blue card (Trade Goods) on the space equating to the number of players. Now you are ready to play. Games are played in Rounds with each Round consisting of three specifically ordered Phases.
Phase 1 is the Supply Phase: All 3 markers (blocks) on the main board are moved a number of spaces forward (if possible - they cannot go past the end of their lines) depending on the number of players.
Phase 2 is the PAC Phase where all players select an Action card from their hand to play and place it face down in front of them. Cards played each Round are kept out of the hand to one side until the player plays their Number 8 (Beggar) card at which time they can take all their previously played cards back into their hand.
Phase 3 is the RAC Phase and Players Resolve Action Cards played; the lowest numbered card (from 1-8) is resolved first. Identical cards are resolved at the same time but always in numerical order (i.e. if Player A plays a 1 and Players 2 and 3 play 4s the 1 is still resolved first).
The cards are numbered 1 through 8 with numbers and Titled with each type having a specific effect.
1. Captain: Score up to 2 VP on the main board. Duplicate Captains score 1VP each until all have scored 2VP or there are not enough VPs on the board to share fairly.
2. Admiral: Score up to 5VP on the main board. Duplicate Admirals continually score 1VP each until all have scored 5VP or as near as fairly possible.
3. Governor: All players who play the Governor score 4 Trade Goods on their Blue Trade cards for every Captain (#2) that is played this Round. The token on the main board Blue Trade Track isn't moved.
4. Frigate: All players of the Frigate card gain a maximum of 3 Trade Goods from the main board taken one at a time and stopping if there aren't enough left for a fair share to all.
5. Galleon: All players of the Galleon card gain 1 Trade Good from the main board until all have been fairly divided. This means that if only one person plays the Galleon they collect all Trade Goods remaining (after Frigates have been filled).
6. Customs: Play a Customs card and gain 3 VPs for each Frigate and 1VP for each Galleon played this round. VPs are not taken from the main board.
7. Trader: On the bottom of the main board are sections depicting the current Goods for VPs odds. The Yellow track marker shows which section is in play. If more than one Trader is played in the Round the Yellow marker is backed up 2 spaces before trading can take place. Then players may trade Goods taken from their own Blue cards for VPs added onto their own Red cards the main board isn't affected during trade but at the end of trading, as long as at least one player traded, the Yellow marker is moved back to zero.
8. Beggar: Any player of the Beggar gains 2 things. The first is a number of Goods, moved up on their own Blue card, depending on the number of cards remaining in their hand and the second is they get all their previously played cards returned to their hand so they begin the next Round with 8 cards.
This is a fast-paced game of Bluff and Counter-Bluff, hoping you have chosen to play each card at the optimum time, and that your opponents haven't had the same tactic/thought as yourself. The 20-30 minutes it takes to play mean that although the mechanic is basically each person playing one card a Round there is no "going-through-the-motions" because there isn't time for that feeling to set in. There is time however for each player to enjoy the fun and the frustration as their strategies either come to fruition or are foiled by another player's luck, your mistake or their clever manipulation.
SANTO DOMINGO is the ideal game to play when you have friends round for a social evening rather than for a games session. It's fun to play as you drink coffee, eat cake (but ensure you have a wet wipe so the cards don't get greasy) and chat, and although you have to concentrate a little, mostly on what cards the others have played, it's more than enjoyable enough every time you play. It's also a great game to carry with you on vacation or to games events as it's lightweight and in a box with dimensions 7" x 5" x 2", less than the size of one of the last three Harry Potter novels.
It is a simple game with a simple mechanic made all the better by the superb illustrations of the prolific artist Klemens Franz.
The following list (from Wikipedia) shows just how well known and respected Klemens Franz is:
Die Drachenbändiger von Zavandor, Lookout Games (2006) - ein Drache
Agricola, Lookout Games (2007)
Bohnanza Fan Edition, Lookout Games und Amigo (2007)
Was gibt es Neues?, whitecastle/Piatnik (2007)
Neuland, eggertspiele (2008)
Le Havre, Lookout Games (2008)
Euro bleib‘ in Vulkanland, BVR-Verlag (2008)
Suleika – Die 2 Teppiche (Erweiterung), Wiener Spieleakademie/Zoch Verlag (2008)
Vor den Toren von Loyang, H@ll-Games (2009)
Agricola: Die Moorbauern, Agricola-Erweiterung, Lookout Games (2009)
Mit Händen und Füßen, whitecastle (2009)
R-Öko, Amigo (2010)
Ranking, Hans im Glück Verlag (2010)
Bangkok Klongs, dlp-games (2010)
Flinke Fliegen, Franckh-Kosmos (2011)
Pergamon, eggertspiele (2011)
The City, Amigo (2011)
Ora et Labora, Lookout Games (2011)
Milestones, eggertspiele (2012)
Agricola – Die Bauern und das liebe Vieh, Lookout Games (2012)
Caverna – Die Höhlenbauern, Lookout Games (2013)
Palmyra, irongames (2013)
Grog Island, eggertspiele (2014)
Port Royal, Pegasus (2014)
Patchwork, Lookout Games (2014)
Isle of Skye: Vom Häuptling zum König, Lookout Games (2015)
Just to complete your excellent report of the rules:
The beggar brings you 2 wares for each trader on the table.
If you are playing with 2 or 3 players only you choose two cards per player and do not get benefits from your own cards.
Thanks Stefan. We do play that of course, I just missed it from my notes. I haven't edited the review to include it now because you have brought it to attention. I appreciate you taking the time to read the review and make good comment.
Lost in thought.
Chris, note that the Governor also scores 2 Trade Goods for each Admiral played that round.