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Subject: Gang of Four In Review rss

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Dean Thomas
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'The Double' 2010/11 Champions 2011/12 'The Double' 2013/14
Gang of Four is a simple card climbing game, very similar to Tichu without partnerships.

Mechanics & Game Play:
The game is played with a special pack of sixty-four cards which includes.....
6 x 1 through 10 in three suites (2 x Red, 2 x Yellow, 2 x Blue)
1 x 1+
2 x Phoenix
1 x Dragon

Whoever has 'the lead' plays any legal combination of cards, which can be any of the following.....

1) Single Card
2) Pair
3) Three of a Kind
4) 5-Card Poker Hand (Straight, Flush, Full House or Straight Flush)
5) Gang of 4/5/6/7 (4/5/6/7 of a kind)

After the lead has made their play the next player (which could be to the left or right as it alternates every round) has to beat the play with the same type of play (for instance a single card can only be beaten by a single card). The only exception is that a Gang can be played on top of any play except a higher Gang (in either value or number of cards).

The play continues in this manner until a play goes around the table without being beaten. At that point the 'trick' ends and the person who played the unbeatable card or combination has the lead.

The aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards. When a player achieves this, the other players score points according to how many cards they still have in their hands. The game ends when one or more players accumulate 100 points.

Cards and combinations can be divided into two broad groups. These are.....

1) Trick-Takers: Trick-Takers do just that, they are high cards that you don't expect to be beaten when you play them.
2) The Others: Anything that's not a trick-taker fits in this category. IF you can get these out before using a trick-taker to win the trick you're doing well.

Don't give up the lead if you can help it: The lead gives you control over what gets played, If you have the lead you can control the table.

If all else fails, simply stop trying to win the hand and try to get rid of as many cards as possible.

The game is a simple card game, so the components are nothing really special. I haven't played the latest version of the game, but my (much older version) has stood up well to repeated plays. The game is produced by Days of Wonder, so I would expect the quality to be fairly good.

Number of Players:
Under normal rules I would only suggest playing with four players, however by moving the game end condition to 50 points the game is more than playable with three players and a 'dummy hand'

Box to Box time:
A standard game is playable in between 30 minutes and an hour. Especially good players might take longer.

I really enjoy the game, it is simple and yet fairly deep. It takes a little bit of time, but I believe it is a rewarding game to play. It is not as complex as Tichu because of the lack of partnerships.
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Mark M
United States
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Good review. Have played for a few years on line, but recently discovered Tichu, which I think I prefer. Also finding it is very hard to go back and forth between the two games! You might want to mention the other difference between GoF and Tichu in your review - that there is a ranking to the suits - green, yellow, red, such that a red 7 beats a green 7, etc. Maybe you mentioned, but I don't think so.

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Kit Burke
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As always,
love your work.
We are lucky in that we have some good players to play against FtF. I would walk over broken glass to laugh at Hugh's outrageous responses.
I am thinking Tichu is possibly the better game, but Go4 has the sometimes advantage of being single player rather than pairs.
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