Date: 20th August 2004
Game played: Geschenkt ( AMIGO Spiel ) BGG Id: 12942

We finished off with a brand new game by Thorsten Gimmler and released by Amigo. This is an evil, evil card game in a similar vein to 6 Nimmt. I really enjoyed it and can see it getting quite a bit of play.

The game is so simple: on your turn, you either take a penalty card or pay a chip not to. That's it. Well not quite but near enough. The game comprises a deck of 33 cards with values 3 to 35 and a collection of chips. Players start off with 11 chips each and one card from the deck is turned up. If a player takes a card it is laid face up in front of them and will score negative points equal to the value of the card. If you don't take the card, you place one chip next to the card and the next player has the same choice. However, if he takes the card, he also collects any chips that have been paid by previous players. As you might expect, players aren't keen to take the high cards and multiple chips can be played before a player chooses to take the card (due to the chip compensation) or is forced to because he is low or out of chips. Chips at the end of the game are worth one positive point each so they are worth having both for scoring and to stop you taking cards you don't want.

The major twist, however, is that if you create a chain of consecutive cards, only the lowest card in the chain counts so, for instance, if you have a chain consisting of the 18, 19, 20 and 21, you gain only 18 minus points (the other three you keep for free). This means that players can be content to get otherwise seemingly nasty cards, particularly if there are chips to be gained as well. However, if the cards don't go your way or an unsporting opponent doesn't let you fill the holes in your chain by taking a missing card themselves, the pain can be terrible.

Our game was very interesting because Mark G took a number of high numbers early on but the nproceeded to fill in the gaps without us doing too much to stop him: the problem was one guy sacrificing his position to stop a potential leader left him disadvantaged compared with the other two. Maybe we should have worked together better. I made the critical mistake of getting too low on chips which makes later decisions extremely painful. Definitely a game where your first attempt is a learning one. Mark G ended up with one nice big chain of all high numbers, the lowest one being 25 but also had 29 of the 44 chips giving him a net positive score of 4. The rest of us bowed down in awe. Great quick game with simple mechanics and agonising choices.

Mark G
Mark K

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