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Subject: A Violent Little Gem rss

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Alex Brittain
United Kingdom
Woking
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Earlier this month I went snowboarding for a week with my wife, toddler and best friend. Historically we have spent the evenings of these holidays playing board games at the kitchen table of the apartment. This year we were exhausted both by the boarding and by the toddler and barely managed to play anything.

What we did find the time and energy for was a few hands of cards, and discovered one of the most violent, tactical and enjoyable two-player card games I've experienced in Court of the Medici.

This is a game you could easily play with a normal deck of cards -- and that's almost certainly how it was developed -- but I think the £7-odd you spend on it is well worth the cost.

This is why: at heart it's a game where you pair up cards to eliminate other cards that much their number. All very dry, until you add attractive paintings of Tuscan nobles to the cards and the game becomes: forming conspiracies to stab people, murdering your way to the top of the Italian aristocracy.

It's a bloodbath. In our first game, my friend managed to knife my entire inner court of nobles within four turns, winning the game in less than three minutes.

Chastened, I decided to be more aggressive in the second game and killed off three of his people as quickly as I could, at which point he stabbed his only remaining noble and again won the game (due to a quirk of scoring: while I was busy killing, he had been quietly building up nobles in the game's "outer court", giving him a points advantage).

Game three lasted longer and we got through the whole deck, alternately building up alliances of nobles and seeing them viciously stabbed when they got too powerful. My friend eventually won by nuking my remaining inner-court alliance with a minister--a sociopath who murders anyone he forms an alliance with.

The following night we were both eager to play again and, to my joy, I finally figured out a way to win.

To avoid this becoming an outright session report, though, I'll get to the point: I love Court of the Medici. Each game is like solving a puzzle against an opponent intent on your extermination, and as such is far more tense, bloodthirsty and satisfying than a simple two-player card game has a right to be.

An easy recommendation.



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Jonathan C
United States
Iowa
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"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
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Alexbrittain wrote:
An easy recommendation.


Agreed! This 2-player card game demonstrates how much enjoyment, and tactical planning can be had from very simple rules.

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Tyler DeLisle
United States
Richardson
TX
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looleypalooley wrote:
Alexbrittain wrote:
An easy recommendation.


Agreed! This 2-player card game demonstrates how much enjoyment, and tactical planning can be had from very simple rules.



Sounds perfect for me! I'll move this up some on my wishlist. Unfortunately it doesn't sound like a game my gf will enjoy at all, she always makes me feel real bad for attacking her in games, so I'll probably have to sit on it for a while till I can find someone else to play it with.
 
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