The Thief Of Baghdad could be a buddy comedy starring two detectives one played by Owen Wilson the other by Martin Lawrence who try to track down an international jewel thief while indulging in laughs and good times on the side all in the heart of busy bustling Baghdad. It could be like Blue Streak Goes To The Middle East.
A quick skim of the back of the box tells me I’m completely off the mark, apparently has nothing to do with a pair of mismatched cops tracking down international crime lords, and is in fact about being a real life Thief in ancient Baghdad, where you jump from palace to palace and clear out the loot.
Sweet, I love loot.
How do we play this Baghdaddy Thief? Well, you all start with your own legion of thieves and guards. You aim to steal a number of treasure chests determined by the number of players… ahh if only real life villainy were so simple. ‘Jonny, I think we should steal a TV.’ ‘How many?’ ‘Normally I would say eight, but there are three of us, so first one to six TV’s win.’
There are six palaces on the board, and each palace contains four treasure chests. Each chest needs a different number of thieves to steal, the first chest needs four thieves in the palace to steal it, the next needs five, then six, then seven, and if there was a fifth chest, which there’s not, but if there was, I’d take a wild crazy stab in the dark and say it would need 12 thieves…
Each palace has four guard spaces out the front of it for up to, shock horror, four guards. In order to steal the treasure inside, you need at least one of your own guards out the front, and at least one guard of a different colour. Whether they be your opponent's guards, or one of the black neutral guards. You move guards out the front by playing coloured cards, yes that’s right folks it’s the old ‘play coloured cards to do things’ mechanic.
To move one of your own guards play a card corresponding with the colour of the palace you want to move to OR the palace you are moving from. To move one of the neutral guards you have to play a card corresponding to the palace you want to move to AND a palace you want to move from.
To place a thief in a palace it costs the number of cards corresponding to the number of guards out the front of the palace that aren’t yours. Three neutral guards = three coloured cards, and so on and so forth.
You can make as many moves on your turn as you like but you may only place THREE thieves. Then you pick up more cards. Easy as a Sunday morning.
< Rulebook: Now With Added Confusion
tToB (as I’m calling it from now on in any forum posts and/or online chats I involve myself in regarding tToB) gets a bum rap (yes, that’s right: I just used the expression ‘bum rap’) for forcing people to waste hours and hours to make a single decision. [Exaggeration mine, and in italics] As if every move you make must be calculated and recalculated until you can perfectly rob all of Baghdad with a simple flick of your wrist.
While I have yet to accomplish the ‘wrist flick’ finishing move, I can tell you that the less you think about your plans the better you do. You don’t really have the opportunity to plan too far ahead as the card draw is completely random, but figuring out what move is best for you right at this moment is really the way to play.
< Warning: Concentration May Hurt Your Face
I’ve been trumped four games in a row by my girlfriend who keeps insisting that she’s playing with no strategy while I’m busy over thinking my moves. I said it was probably more due to her excess cheating, but then she hit me with an anvil. Where she found an anvil, I’m not sure, it was probably from a Carcassonne expansion… you know the one where you get bonus points if you connect the road with the anvil, but not if the opponent already has three anvils on their castle.
The game works well with two players but better with more. Just playing with two players leaves the game with a bit of back and forth. “I shall move my guard here, and then move some other guards to block you here. Ha!” “Ha! Yourself. I shall move those guards you just moved away from here, and then move my guard to here, and then move these guards to block you over here. Take that!” “Yeah, well, take that back, I shall do the same thing again.” It becomes a bit of a grind after a while.
More players makes the game a bit more chaotic, but also more fun than the tit for tat, back and forth, to and fro, my way or the highway of the two player games.
All in all Thief Of Baghdad is a solid burst of light strategy fun, kind of like an apple flavoured Starburst in board game form. It’s got all the excitement of playing sets to cards combined with all the skill of picking up from a blind deck. But I kid, I kid, I actually really enjoy Thief Of Baghdad, it’s no Carcassonne or Ticket To Ride, but then to some people that would be a good thing.
You know who you are.
- Last edited Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:09 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:30 am
Played this game a few times on our last two gamingnights. Won a few of them. Game is nice filler but certainly dont take it serious. I cant see one single working strategy that is not depending on some luck. You can use youre thiefs only when they cost one card but that is luck dependant. You can try obstuct players but they can easely move away , its more or less a guess what they will do. I do however like the game for some reason, the way it is played is original i guess.
Now on to youre review. Its short, wel organized and to the point. Simply put, i like it. Keep up the good work