Dragon’s Gold, Ole

We were all tired last night. It was Duncan’s choice and he was particularly tired, so we had an evening of older, light games.

“Dragon’s Gold”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/1042
We played this hilarious negotiation game by Bruno Faidutti with five. I still enjoy it as much as I did the first time. The theme is negotiating for treasure after killing a dragon – always a contentious issue in my D&D playing childhood. You negotiate splitting treasure tokens among yourselves, aiming to get valuable combinations, with a one-minute egg-timer to keep things moving. If the dealers cannot come to an agreement, everyone loses. On top of this you can occasionally steal cards and cast magic spells on each other. I got the Invisible Hand spell that lets you legally cheat by taking treasure tokens from dragons so long as you are not caught red-handed. I actually felt an adrenaline rush from knowing I had to cheat without the others noticing. Unsuprisingly I am a bad cheat and poor liar so I was exposed almost immediately, but it was very funny.
This game wins because of its flavour. The cards are as attractive and funny as the theme. Dragon’s Gold’s length and depth are perfect for a relaxed evening full of banter, so it is probably my favourite Faidutti game.

This is a “climbing”:http://www.pagat.com/climbing/ game, but far simpler than “Tichu”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/215. Its only gimmick is allowing the losing player to decide the ranking of suits at the start of every round. Olé has not had much internet exposure, but it is a solid game for a relaxed evening of cards. My only problem with Ole are its ugly cards, but they are functional. This is the first time we played it with four players and I now think that four or five are optimal. Three is too simple and six and above are too slow and chaotic.