With Gen Con 2023 opening today, I thought I’d run some counter-programming by talking about the half-dozen card games due out from German publisher AMIGO on September 1, 2023.
The Captain leads to the first trick, and other players must follow suit, if possible; otherwise they can play any card, including trump. The winner leads to the next trick, and once all tricks have been played, players receive an award if they have met their role’s goal. If someone now has three awards and “The Ace in the Sleeve”, they win; if not, pass the roles clockwise and start a new round.
Perhaps this image clarifies things…
When a player has no more cards in hand, the round ends and all players count the points on their cards. As soon as a player has collected 18 points, the game ends and the player with the fewest points wins!
As soon as you have three cards of the same color or number in a row, whether vertically, horizontally or diagonally, you discard those cards, then replace them with face-down cards from your personal stack. If a player has discarded all 15 of their cards or all cards in all grids are face up, the game ends, and players tally their remaining cards. Whoever has the lowest score wins.
• Along similar lines, Schrödingers Katzen is a take on Liars Dice and a German edition of the 2015 title Schrödinger’s Cats from designers Heather O’Neill, Christopher O’Neill, and Heather Wilson and publisher 9th Level Games:
In more detail, each player starts with six cards in hand, along with a physicist card. The first player asserts how many identical cards — whether live cat, dead cat, or empty box — are present among all the cards in play. The next player can increase the number of this claim or call. Each player can use their ability once during the round.
When a player does call, whoever was right — whether about the claim or about doubting that claim — stays in the game, while the other player is eliminated. Each remaining player gets a new hand with one fewer card, and you keep playing rounds until only one player remains.
When the draw pile is empty, the group tries to reconstruct what happened and answer the open questions. Each correct answer is worth 2 points; each wrong answer is worth -1 point.
To set up, place the game boards to create a colorful path, place all of the apprentices on the end of the path opposite the mine, and scatter the cards face down around the table. The first player reveals two cards, then uses one of them to move the depicted character — apprentice or witch — to the next field on the path of the same color. The remaining card stay face up, then the next player reveals a new card, chooses one of the two, etc. If all of the sorcerers’ apprentices make it to the mine before the witches, the players all win together.
Zauberzwerg can be played at different levels of difficulty, and it can also be played competitively in addition to co-operatively.