A fan of new Knizia games
Present: Roger, Janet, Doug, Craig Mac., Debbie, Tina
Debbie Pickett writes::
In a relatively quiet evening by Billabong standards, several normal attendees were absent (presumably off somewhere celebrating Six Billion Day). We settled into a four-player group while Janet and Craig played Lost Cities.
Doug & Tina, Roger & Debbie
Another recent little Reiner Knizia creation, this one has the veneer of a theme about gaining power in some kind of medieval England. Needless to say, this has no impact on the play.
The table of 21 tiles is laid out with the five represented colours (each worth 5 points) stretching out one way, and the five represented values from 1 to 5 stretching out the other way (worth from 1 to 5 points). There are also ten tiles worth one for second place in each category, and a bonus tile which is given to the first side to earn two of the tiles numbered from 1 to 5. There are 50 cards, two of each colour and number. Some cards are dealt out to the players, and the rest form a stack in the middle as a draw deck.
With four players, you play as two teams (which makes for somewhat awkward play as two of you have to play on the far side of the row of tiles). Essentially this works a lot like Caesar & Cleopatra. You put a card on your side of the row of tiles, either in front of a colour tile (in which case the card's colour has to match) or in front of a number tile (naturally the number must match). Then you draw a replacement card, until all the cards are drawn and played.
Scoring runs from the number 1 tile to the number 5 tile, then each colour tile. The side with the most cards (the numbers on the cards are immaterial now) gets the tile and the other team gets the one-point booby prize if they played any card to the column.
There is a little of Lost Cities in this game too, in my opinion. The difference is that because there are ten colums to play in instead of five, it feels like you have less control over what is going on. I imagine that this game has depths that I haven't found yet, but on a first play it seemed somewhat . . bland.
Final scores: 23 each. There seems to be no tie-breaking rule.
My rating: 6.