I played “Was Sticht?”:http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/155/was-sticht, from “Mü & Lots More”:http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/32928/mu-lots-more last night with my in-laws and Duncan. It was a great choice. My in-laws are lapsed Bridge players. Everyone abused me for refusing to play Bridge, but they picked Was Sticht up really quickly and we all had fun.
Was Sticht plays like a regular trick taking game, but each hand you try to complete a goal. For example:
* take the last trick
* take no blue cards, but at least one trick
* take no tricks
At the start of the game you all pick four goals. The first to complete them wins.
Four suits, values 1-9. Trump suit and trump *number* are random each hand. Trump number outranks suit.
Each hand takes a while to play. Our game had only five hands in total.
# Dealer peeks at the trump suit and the trump number.
# Dealer lays out all the cards.
# Players take one card each.
# Dealer says which player would have won the “hand”, so players can deduce the trumps.
# Repeat previous two steps until all hands dealt.
# Dealer reveals trumps.
# Players select one of their goal cards. Dealer does not pick a goal card, but tries to make one of the goals of the other players.
# Play hand like a regular trick taking game, except that number trumps can be played at any time.
# All players who reach their goals discard a goal card.
First player to discard all goal cards wins.
The problem is that Was Sticht is too lucky relative to the complexity. The selection of cards and deduction of trumps is interesting, but actually doesn’t matter too much in practice because you don’t know which goals your opponents will pick. I would definitely play again, as the whole experience is fun, but explaining it to new player’s is not.