I first played this light, yet strangely addicting card game from Reiner Knizia at Gulf Games 10 back in August. I enjoyed it so much that I played it several more times during the course of the convention. Since the theme is that of fashion designers attempting to set the latest fashion trend, it wasn’t surprising that many folks adopted faux designer personas, much to the amusement of everyone.
The deck is comprised of 65 cards, with suits of 3 – 7. However, there is not an equal number of each suit. Rather, the formula to determine how many cards there are in each suit is: 2x suit number + 1. So, for example, there are nine 4’s: (4 x 2) + 1 = 9. Plus, each suit has a ‘Super Model’ card, which is actually acts as two cards of that suit, as well as an ‘Out’ card, which causes all cards of that suit played in the current round to be discarded.
The cards are shuffled and six are dealt to each player. On a turn, a player plays one card face up and draws a card to refill his hand. The next player does the same and this process continues until there are as many cards played in one suit that equals the number of that suit. For example, once seven 7’s are on the table, the fashion trend has been set (it’s the seven’s, with a lovely green, form fitting dress with a nice slit to expose the leg!).
All players who played one or more sevens gets to keep those cards in their score pile, while all other cards are discarded. A new round is now played.
As mentioned, the Super Model card counts as two cards of that suit, so the proper timing its use can be critical. Of course, the nasty ‘Out’ card can also prove critical and cause quite a bit of consternation when it disrupts a potential trend.
Once all of the cards in the draw pile are expired, the round concludes once the next trend has been set. Each player then totals the value of all the cards in their score pile and records this amount. If no one has achieved 100 points, a new round is played. Usually, it takes about three rounds until someone tops 100 points and claims the victory.
Yes, the game is very light and simple, but that makes it easy to learn and play. It certainly falls squarely into the ‘filler’ category and has also proven popular in the ‘family gaming’ venue. The game is filled with moans, groans and jeers as players see their attempts to set a trend with one suit (let’s say 5’s) disrupted by other players playing cards to set a different trend. Keeping an eye on how many cards of each suit have been played is an important skill. Further, it is quite possible for the leader to be cut out of many trends, so leads are not very safe. So, in spite of its simplicity, it is not completely bereft of strategy.
Steven, Jim, Elizabeth, Keith and I became fashion designers to close out the evening. Jim and Elizabeth proved to possess the best fashion sense, with Jim earning a narrow victory.
Finals: Jim 101, Elizabeth 99, Spouey 86, Greg 83, Keith 78
The group enjoyed the game so much, a second match was immediately played. This time, I displayed my latent fashion-design tendencies to capture the victory.
Finals: Greg 106, Jim 104, Liz 98, Steven 91, Keith 82
Ratings: Liz 7.5, Jim 7, everyone else 6.5