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Author: John3haha Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 2767  
Subject: Two suggestions (Hanabi / Caverna) Date: 1/3/2014 5:26 PM
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Recommendations: 5
Happy New Years Fools,

I do not post here often but wanted to place a plug for these two games.

Hanabi is the best cooperative game I have ever played and cheap as heck as it is just a deck of cards. The idea is to put down a sequence of cards, loosely themed on a Japanese fireworks festival. The twist is that you hold your hand of four or five cards backwards so you cannot see what they are. Your fellow team players can offer one of two clues to you, indicate all cards that have a given number (1 to 5) or all cards of a given color (there are five or six colors).

I played this with someone who had some professional Magic the Gathering experience, and a few very hard core 18XX gamers. The game has legs if you allow it some time with a given group. For example, set the cards in the same order for every player from oldest to most recently drawn. Consider the oldest card to be the auto discard slot. Now, if you give a clue instead of playing an obvious card you can give all sorts of interesting information while still following the rules. I appreciate this may not be clear until you have played for a while, but the game will blow your mind if played with smart people multiple times. I promise.

Caverna is the updated Agricola that my favorite Uwe worked on for four years. This is not to disrespect another solid game designing Uwe but Agricola is a fabulous design. Caverna adds a new mechanic that may well be the most elegant way to simulate all those wonderful dungeon crawl or Tolkein daydreams we have seen in gaming since I was in grade school. You run a clan of Dwarves who live and work in both caverns and outside in the forest where land can be cleared for farming and animal husbandry. It is an expensive game, but the bits are almost universally fabulous (the start player marker was a compromise). If you have seen "tricked out" Agricola games, you get this with the box. The game can play seven but I suggest learning with five or less. It gets long with five in a learning game, but this is one great design. Until recently, this was only available in Germany but US deliveries began arriving widely just before Christmas.

Happy New Year and good gaming folks.

JohnH
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