(Alan, Tina, Doug, Debbie)
We played this little card game from Adlung Spiele as a filler while the other table finished their game of Bazaar. This was the game's first showing at Billabong.
Since we'd just finished playing Taj Mahal, we noticed an interesting similarity with that game in the bidding going around the table. As in Taj, sometimes it was good to just stay completely out of the bidding for a route so that the other players were playing the next round with a depleted hand. This was more evident with a four-player game than the two-player Tina and I tried a week ago.
There are two kinds of cards in the game: route cards and plane cards. The game is played in rounds, where a route card (belonging to one of three "suits" - short-range, medium-range, long-range) is offered to the highest bidder. Only plane cards of that suit are playable this round. (Some plane cards feature two suits, in which case only the matching colour applies.) Plane cards have a varying number of points on them, as do route cards, but the general rule is that short routes are worth the least and long routes the most. The route cards also have three cities marked on them; the purpose of this is that collecting two or more of the same city gives you a bonus at the end.
Players either play cards to bid a total higher than the previous bid, or bow out of the round. The last player left in the bidding takes the route card. Played cards are discarded, and players replenish their hand only when ALL players have four or fewer cards in their hands; otherwise all players keep playing with the cards they have. This introduces an element of timing and rewards playing conservatively. Fierce bidding for a route will almost certainly cost you in later rounds, when the opponents who stayed out of the round are playing with a full hand and you have only two cards.
I must have had incredible luck with the cards, because I won a whole six route cards with lots of repeated cities. As a result, I walked - no, flew - away with the game.
Debbie 88, Alan 44, Doug 39, Tina 39.
My rating: A fun little light filler, but certainly nothing more. I give it a 5. Better with four players than with two, where it becomes largely a matter of luck of the draw. At least with four players, there's a little skill in knowing when to keep out of an auction. My biggest complaint: the rule book is as badly written as any other Adlung English translation.
For the record, last week's Euphrat & Tigris scores were:
Steve: 11 11 11 12
Debbie: 8 8 8 10
Doug: 6 7 9 12
Janet: 6 6 7 10