Editor at Lookout Games
What is it about?
In "Einauge sei wachsam" players try to get as many diamonds as possible. To achieve this, they need to aquire and collect ship and island cards. The player with the most diamonds at the end of the game wins.
How do you play?
You start with one diamond, one sabre and 20 doubloons. In front of you, there is a small board that can hold up to 6 cards (and starts with one from the shuffled deck of cards). Next to this board there another 6 open cards from the draw pile. On your turn, you have to aquire one of these 6 cards next to the board, and you may (if you wish) buy another one from the board. Finally, you have to move a card next to the board onto the board. The cards next to the board are refilled to 6 cards and the turn passes to the next player.
So, what do these cards show? There are 7 cards in each of one of several colors (with costs from 2 to 8) showing different symbols: 0-1 sabre, 0-3 treasures, 0-3 doublouns, and 0-2 diamonds. You'll find treasures on the cheaper cards, money and sabres on the medium cost cards and diamonds on the most expensive ones.
To acquire such a card, you need to pay its price (2-8 doubloons) unless it's located on the board, in which case you need to pay 3-4 sabres instead (you may not decide to pay the printed price in this case). Regardless of the way that you acquire the card you get all of the items shown on the card (instead of treasures: see later). Also, if you already have any cards in the same color as the newly acquired card, you get all of the items printed on those cards again. This way it is good to get more and more cards of the same color.
This way, people try to get as many cards as they can get their hands on, until the first wild card appears (those are placed at the bottom of the draw pile at the beginning). You then finish the current round regularly (such that every player had the same number of turns) and each player gets a final purchase (that needs to be done with sabres). Wild cards can be used as any color to get the stuff on already collected cards again.
After this final purchase round, people change sabres to money, and money to diamonds with given exchange rates. Finally, the treasures (see above) get scored. In each color, the three players with the most treasures get some bonus diamonds. After this, the player with the most diamonds wins the game.
How steep is the learning curve?
If you play for the first time, you don't have a clue what to do. That's typical. After just one or two rounds you start to get the idea, you start to see the benefits of multiple cards in one color. Also, you start to understand how important it can be to move certain cards onto the board to acquire them later with sabres instead of money. Especially those expensive 1-2 diamond cards (cost: 7-8) are better purchased with sabres. You start to plan your purchases better and try to screw your opponents by moving the cheaper cards they'd like to purchase onto the board.
After one game you're firm with the strategies and you know how to plan clever moves that give you two cards in one turn, and leave you with enough stuff to repeat this clever move as soon as possible.
How much luck is envolved?
Of course, the cards come into play randomly. You have absolutely no influence which cards will enter the game next. It might happen that your opponents get some cool 1-2 diamond cards early on and will be able to use them often (by purchasing more cards of that color). However, this isn't the only strategy. You might want to get your hands on many treasure cards to get masses of diamonds at the end of the game. You can purchase cards that show sabres quite often to be able to buy two cards in a round often.
You can screw your opponents by moving the proper cards onto the board. Which cards these are, depends on which strategy the opponent pursues. Also, you can minimize the luck factor of the card draw by only purchasing one card (that you must do) and not taking one from the board. If the board is full, you must not move a card onto it, such that only one new card enters the game. Admittedly, your overall influence on the cards is little.
What do I think of this game?
I think this game has much potential. After our first play, everyone wanted to play again. Also, the playing time is really short. This is good as to the relatively high luck factor. So, if you think the cards were against you, there is nothing in the way to play again.
I'll definitely play this game again soon. It's a nice little game with some interesting possibilites and strategies. And most importantly, it's fun!
One last thing to say, like most euros, this is a rather abstract game with a pasted-on theme. If you seach for a good pirate game where you can plunder cities and each other, try a different game - you won't find this here. There is no direct player confrontation other than purchasing cards others need or moving cards onto the board that your opponent wouldn't buy with sabres.
I rate this game 7.7 after one play. It definitely has left the wish to play it again soon and hopefully enhance one's strategies.
El Mejor Juego de la Vida
Just what I wanted to hear about this game. Thank you for your review, now I'm going for this now.
Nice review. Looks like GameSurplus has two copies of this game in stock: https://www.gamesurplus.com/site/product.cfm?id=B632AA17-137...
I read some good things about this in the June issue of Counter and couldn't find it anywhere. Imagine how stoked I was when I saw a game I didn't recognize at TimeWellSpent and this was it. Plus I'm a sucker for those bright colors and artwork. Ordered.