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Subject: Celebrating my thirtieth review with a look at a couples classic! rss

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G W M
Australia
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Very happy to announce that I am writing my thirtieth game review this evening! I really got into BGG in late 2007, and wrote my first ever review on Jan 4 2008. Wow what a lot has happened since then! Most notably has been the arrival of my children - daughter Mackenzie and son Frazer, who my wife and I love dearly.

This has meant a lot of changes to our gaming habits as my most popular geeklist will attest to (NB I now know the thread number off by heart which is quite sad!)

Jambo is a classic couples game in my view and one that every couple should own (as well as the first expansion at least). It suits couples with or without infants and is a lot of fun.

Nic and I had a game the other night, and it reminded us of how much fun this game is. Worth noting that this one would be one of the six games that we would take on holiday with us.

In fact speaking of travel, the best thing about playing this the other night was it reminded me of being on honeymoon and playing this game at the cafe at the Fiji Hilton with a Danish and a great cappuccino That's the great thing about games for me, they are such a fun experience and there is one for almost any occasion.

What makes Jambo so good?

At its heart Jambo is a simple trading card game. You both play merchants trying to buy and sell wares(for example buy three silks for 3 gold and then sell 3 silks for 10 gold). Mixed in with this is the use of people, animal and utility cards that either help you to sell and gain gold, or to attack your opponent from preventing them to do the same.

You start with 20 gold, 60 gold triggers one final turn for your opponent then highest total wins (61 v 60 to me the other night - yesssss). Five actions per player per turn, you can get a gold in exchange for not taking two of your actions.

You only start with six spaces on your 'market table' and the sixth space costs two gold to use. You can buy an extra three space table but whoever buys first pays 6 gold, second pays only 3 so this makes for an interesting dynamic. Typically ware cards have 3 items on them, but you will usually need to buy a few different ones to make up the required goods for a sale so space is at a premium.

What I love most about Jambo is that every game is different. I reflected on my review of Infinite City the other night that Jambo is a quite random game, decided largely by the shuffle of the card deck, although interestingly doesn't suffer nearly as much criticism for this as does Infinite City. I believe this is simply because card games are more associated with randomness than tile games.

Despite the randomness a good player can execute some great combinations (a personal favorite is the buying and selling of the 'six ware' card coupled with a 'wise man from afar' card) in the same way as a good infinite city player will have some tried and true tile combos. But every game is typically different, some will be trading heavy, others will see a heavy use of animals, people, utilities in varying combinations.

For us, games are usually close, typically different, and there is not too much brain burn involved. Pure duo-geek couples (my term for couples with two serious gaming geeks) may find this a little light but it will suit almost all couples in my view.

So bottom line, a great game and deserves to be in any couples collection. We play with the first expansion mixed into the base deck, we own the second expansion but have not played as yet. We have always just played the basic game, has never got too 'samey' to consider any of the variant games, just the extra card types has kept it very fresh for us.

Anyways, tonight is my fifth wedding anniversary, hopeful of a game tonight, will wait and see which one Nic wants to play, may even write a session report, will see how I go
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Nat Li
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You need to add in both expansions, and play with cArpets and every hut (except spirit hut). The combinations become much more creative.
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Jeffrey L.
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I like this game too. I play this against my son, haven't taught my wife yet. My son wallops me every time we play. I need to figure out a new strategywhistle
Thanks for the review.
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Kathy Sheets
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Stuart
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We haven't had this game out nearly enough lately! I have both expansions and haven't used either of them. I opened them up some time ago and I think I found them confusing. I'll have to take another look. Thanks for the great review and the reminder to give this game some more play!

And Happy Anniversary!
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G W M
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Thanks Kathy, we really enjoy this one, let me know what the second expansion is like if you give it a try, and thanks for the kind wishes too GM
 
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Alex G

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With both expansions, I'd say this suffers less from luck of the draw than many card games. Two experienced players, both knowing the deck well, will find that the better player tends to win a high portion of the time. It's really quite superb with both expansions, and the variety is great.
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Jesse Nordstrom
United States
Kent
Washington
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He did not pluck nor did he strum the guitar. Nevertheless, it was a breathtaking performance.
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I love this game! And I agree, it is a great couples game. My wife and I are highly fond of its replayability and quick play time.
We brought this with us on our 6-month wedding anniversary trip, and also on our 1-year anniversary trip.... And on both trips, it saw action mulitple times.

(BTW, the game is the perfect length for the ferry ride from Anacortes, WA to Sidney, B.C.!)

We use everything from both expansions, except for the relics from the first expansion. (we feel that the relics negatively change the mindset of the game, and also tend to make the game 15-30 minutes longer if any focus is placed on them at all)


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