I played Intrigue for a second time on Saturday. Without a doubt it’s the most vicious game I own. It feels more like a psychological experiment than a game. We all had a good time, especially my brother-in-law and his wife, but you have to have a sense of humour about it and warn people.

My favourite gaming experience of last year was playing Lifeboats with my wife’s family at Christmas. That was such a success that they wanted something even more vicious, so we decided to give Intrigue a go.

Stefan Dorra (Linie 1, For Sale, Medina) designed the German version Intrige in 1994. It’s a simple game:

Each player has a number of jobs available in his palace, which pay varying income. Players offer applicants for these jobs, offering cash bribes and threats to get their applicants accepted. Players appoint applicants entirely at their whim. The player with the most money at the end wins.

We played with open money, which was a mistake as it slowed the game down, but not fatally. Incidentally, my 100 poker chip set worked a treat.

I have the English language Mayfair version, which is cheap and easy to get hold of. Intrige is definitely worth picking up if you have friends who enjoy intense games where the game is won by the weight of popular opinion and your skill in manipulating that.

“JC Lawrence responded”: to tell me that he prefers Intrigue with *open* money and that I should try “So Long Sucker”:

So Long Sucker does look good. You can’t beat “one page of rules”: and free – especially for this kind of game.

  • It’s funny but I think your tatstes and mine are really starting to diverge. Intrige just wasted 45 minutes of my life that I will never get back. Um Reifenbrite shows it’s age more than any other game I bought.

    On the other hand, other games that you have commented unfavourably recently such as Sceptre of Zavandor and Dungeon Lords, I really enjoy.

    With the notable exceptions of Dominion and St. Petersburg there aren’t really many games under 90-120 minutes that I really like now. Give me something meaty (and just lately preferably with lots of theme) that rewards repeated playing (not that we do that too much!) and I’m much happier.

    You’re aware that we’re playing a lot of pbem at the moment and while each game takes 2-3 months to complete, it has really allowed me to appreciate the games a lot more with a bit more time to think about what to do (recent games played this way include Power Grid, Imperial, Caylus, Age of Empires, Rise of Nations, God’s Playground, Sceptre of Zavandor, Kingsburg and, of course AoS)

  • You might be right. I think my tastes are starting to diverge from the eurogame mainstream. I’m just finding that the majority of new games would be almost unplayable by a non-gamer. When I started enjoying eurogames in 2000 they were much simpler. Maybe *I’m* showing *my* age. 🙂

    I still think Dungeon Lords is a good game – currently 7/10, the same as Um Reifenbreite and Intrigue on my BGG ratings.

    For me, a eurogame should be 60-120 minutes, which I could readily play with my sister-in-law. I doubt she’d enjoy Caylus. Maybe Caylus was the beginning of the end for me? I hope I won’t be saying that in 10 years time.

    I still like wargames, so I’m not against all complex, fiddly, long games.

  • Probably not quite as cutthroat but similar in manipulating people is Quo Vadis. You may want to check it you. Also, what’s with you not updating since July? You should get on that. : )

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