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Subject: Carnival - those thieving Carnies!!! Gimme back my Lights! rss

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Mercedes (Mandy)
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Tokyo Game Market here I come!
Sorry if I'm slow in reading mails. I'm currently working hard on some Alley Thieves
This was the first games I backed on Kickstarter, and I wasn't sure if this was going to be a solid purchase, or something I could get out onto the table because of the theme. But boy WAS I WRONG, after 1 play I knew this one was going to be one of my favourites.

It's such an easy game to teach & a lot of fun. There's a lot of interaction, and it plays so quickly, but has a lot of depth. I love it. Being new to this hobby I had never heard of Dice Hate Me before, and for one of their first games that they released, this one really piqued my interest in their company and what games they might release next.

A brief...brief...(a short some-airy):
Players are carnival owners trying to complete 4 out of their 5 rides by getting a set of cards (4 of the same colour: banners, materials, seats, lights). But watch out, if you don't hurry up to complete a ride, one of the other sneaky carnies might come and steal your materials.

Seriously, who knew a carnival could be so cutthroat maybe there's a carnie black market for all materials that keep getting stolen.
*Disclaimer: any references about thieving Carnies come from my own imagination* arrrh

Game Play in a Nutshell:
Players start off with their 5 midway cards, and a hand of: 1 Wild card, and 5 other random cards. On a player's turn, if the discard pile is empty, they take the top card from the draw pile and put it in the discard.

Then the player can either :
a) roll the 3 dice and choose 2 of those actions by placing the dice on the tableau (if all 3 die have the same number you must do all 3 actions)
1 Draw a card from the Deck
2 Take the top card from the discard pile
3 Randomly take a card from an opponent's hand
4 Randomly take a card from an opponent's hand and give them a card back
5 Take from a player's midway & give them 1 of your midway cards back
6 Steal from a player's midway & give them a card from your hand
(Even though you're "Trading some cards" I like to think of it as "stealing some cards" devil )

b) discard a wild card from the midway or their hand, in addition to other cards from their hand, to draw the same amount of card (great for when you want to get rid of useless cards)

After that the player can build their rides by adding the same color cards to the ride. **In order to start off a ride, a player must play 2 cards of the same color but different name e.g. a purple banners & a purple seats is fine. If a ride is complete and has no wild cards in that set (aka a natural set), the set is flipped over and is forever more protected from the thieving opponents, and if the player has less than 3 Tickets, they may take 1 ticket back from the central pile.

The only other rules to take note are that
Tickets can be used to :
- block an opponents dice action
- add/subtract a pip on a die
- reroll all 3 dice again

Wild cards can be used as a substitute for any ride material, and Wilds cannot be by themselves in the midway.

Then turn passes to the left. As soon as someone completes 4 rides, they are declared the most Thieving Carnival Owner of them all...alll...alll. It's as easy as that!

Perfect match:
If you like trading or stealing from others, games with a lot of player interaction, dice & cards, then this one is for you. I highly recommend it.

Things that make you go Umm...(Cons)
The rule sheet is a bit confusing. If you just read the main portion on the left, you'll miss out a lot of the rules. You have to read the right panel also. So it's a bit confusing. This could have been done better, BUT once you've learnt the rules, you pretty much don't need to refer to the rule sheet again. The only other thing is that the original dice that comes with the bit... I would have expected nicer dice. But because I backed the game on Kickstarter I also got the bonus reward of nice dice. I would highly recommend replacing the dice with something nicer. Other than that, I love this game.

Things that make you go Oooh! (Pros)
The box, cards, and tickets are beautiful, and makes it so easy to bring out on game day. The player aid cards are great & the iconography all makes sense. The rules are so easy to learn, and there's enough depth to keep all players interested.

Please sir, can I have some more?

If you like this style of game, you might like Bohnanza, Saboteur, Mission Red Planet, Ticket To Ride.

Gateway to Gaming Heaven (can this be played as a gateway game): Yes. I think new players will enjoy this game.

Adding fuel to the fire (adding to the addiction):
This one has a little kindling. If someone asks you to play this game, you'll probably want to play it again.

Gamer vs Non Gamer:
There's no advantage of being a gaming master, as there is a bit of luck involved with the hand draw and dice rolls. A great game to bridge that gap and put everyone on an almost equal footing.

Add to your collection:
Yes. This is one of those great games that plays in about 30 minutes, but doesn't feel as light as a filler. Great for playing while waiting for other people to finish their games.

I love this game, and even though it comes in a small package, this one is a gem! I don't think I'll ever turn down a game of Carnival. Now go out and steal some Carnival parts to build your own rides!
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Aka. Go out and play this game!
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Dundy O
United States
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"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
I like this game a lot. It especially works well with family get-togethers because of it's simplicity and lighter "gotcha" fun factor. I'm looking for more good things to be released by Dice Hate Me.
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Dice Hate Me
United States
Chapel Hill
North Carolina
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The boardgame blog with worse luck than you!

Thank you, as always, for your kind words and continued support of us and Carnival. We're so glad that you love the game and are spreading that love to other gamers!

Take care and happy gaming!
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