Tuesday, June 14, 2005

2005-06-09: Don

I forgot to post our opening game from last week...


Don is a quick bidding game by Michael Schact. Simple, but quirky rules put this one in the same league as Coloretto for me. Like Coloretto, the theme is pretty nonexistent, I'm not sure why they even bothered to attempt a story here.

The deck is comprised of six colors, five cards in each color. The numbers on the cards range from 0 - 9. At the end of the game, you score one point if you have one card in a color, two cards will give you three points, three will score six, and so on. The cards are just flipped over from the deck, and they go to the highest bidder.

The quirkiness of the game comes into play when chips are payed out. When everyone passes, the player who won the cards has to give the chips to the player who owns the most cards that depict the final digit in the bid. For example, everyone passes when a player bids five? Whoever has the most fives showing gets the five chips. Same if it were fifteen, he'd get fifteen chips. Ties are split amongst the players. Also, your bid cannot end with a digit you have in front of you, so you can't receive your own payout (unless nobody has the number and then it is split evenly among the players). Also, as the game progresses bidding becomes more interesting as each player has several bids that they cannot make forcing them to drop out sooner than they'd like, or raising the bid up higher than they'd like.

I really like the bidding mechanics here. You can't just go with one higher around the table until people pass. You have to take other people's cards into account with every bid. And not only do you have to take into account what you can bid versus what they can bid, you also have to look at who is getting the payout. At one point I had so many numebers that it was difficult for me to bid, but at the same time I was getting so many payouts that I ended up with almost all of the chips. This allowed me enough bidding flexibility in the last couple rounds to pull off the win.

Final Comment:
Quick, fun game. Probably wouldn't have been as fun if it were longer or had added fiddlyness; in the same realm as For Sale, High Society, or Coloretto. I'll try this one out some more (should be easy to make with a stripped Sticheln deck).


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