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Bob Soulliere
United States
Fort Wayne
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Einfach Genial

The other week Brian, Jon and myself had the opportunity to finally break out Einfach Genial (or Simply Ingenious) by Mr. Reiner Knizia (too many wonderful games to even begin to list).

This game had been sitting in the game closet for quite some time waiting to be loved. The problem is (and this is common to Mr. K), it’s only a 4 player game. So when we have 5, 6 or 7 people show up for game night, it becomes a problem. However, everyone was going to be late and I jumped at the chance to bring it to the table.

The game is amazingly simple. It’s ingenious. It’s simply ingenious.

The way it works is this. Each player has a tile tray in front of them that holds 6 game tiles (which are double hexes with two different symbols on them). On your turn you place a double hex on the board. With the exception of the first turn you are allowed to place it anywhere in any direction you choose. If place your tile next to one with a matching symbol you score points. There are 6 different symbols. Which ever one you have the LOWEST score in (ala Tigris and Euphrates), that becomes your score.

Scoring is pretty straight forward. For every matching symbol that touches your hex in a straight line you score a point for. You score in 5 directions (however you never count the second symbol on your double hex). If you look at the picture to the right, just above the tile track you’ll see that the last tile is a blue star (on top) and a purple ring (on the bottom). If you had just placed that tile this is what you would score: 5 blue stars (2 stars on the top and 3 in a straight line on the left) and 1 purple ring (1 purple on the left). As you can see from the orange mass that points could add up really quickly.

Once one of your colors reaches 18 (which is the max limit) you shout, “Ingenious” and take another turn. The game ends when no more tiles can be placed on the board. Open spaces are allowed.

The three of us had a blast playing this game. I think we played it 3 times in a row. Jon always had 3 or 4 colors in Ingenious mode, but he generally had one color that was bottom of the barrel low (like 3). Brian and I didn’t have as many maxed colors but we stayed very close (like with in 1 point) of each other. But despite his best efforts I managed to edge him out every time (usually just by that 1 point) and I remain undefeated at this game.

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