Today I will be reviewing Fox in the Forest by Renegade and Foxtrot Games. Fox in the Forest is a trick taking game for 2 players that takes about 30 mins to play!
In this game you will be using a deck of only 33 cards, 1-11 in only three suits. (Moons, Keys & Bells.) The majority of the deck is made up of regular numbered cards in the three suits.(2, 4, 6, 8, 10) Wait a minute, you say!! There are some numbers missing and you are right. On of the coolest things about this game is that all the odd-numbered cards have special abilities when play!
Here the run down:
Sounds cool right?
Goal & Game Play:
Goal: Be the first player to score 16 points, (short game) or 21 points, (long game)
Deal each player 13 cards/ There will be 7 cards left over. Flip 1 card over and set it aside next to the deck. This suit starts as the trump suit for the hand. Non dealer starts by leading anything they want. You must follow suit whenever possible and if you can’t, play any card you’d like. Once everyone has played a card, a winner is determined. Either highest card of the suit lead, highest trump played or a special card is played, like a 1 or a 9 are played.
All of the odd-numbered cards powers either happen as they are played or are used to evaluate a winner at the end of a trick. Just read the text on the cards.
This continues until all 13 tricks have been played. Afterwords, each players scores based on the chart below.
As you can see the scoring can be tricky to work with from hand to hand. So, stay alert! After scoring, shuffle and deal the next hand! The first to reach the target score wins!
I love this one!! Fox in the Forest hit all the right buttons for me. I am a big fan of trick taking games and 2 player games. Once I heard about this game, it sounded interesting. Usually with card games like this, I will see if I can find the rules and make up a mock deck with just playing cards and give it a go! So I did, and it worked out very well.
There are a lot of reasons i love this game:
- The design on this game is great. The fact that it’s a 2 player only trick-taker and it just works really well with the back and forth that you get into during each hand. You want to win X number of tricks to score the most you can, but you don’t want to get too many
- This game is a traditional trick-taker at heart, but has just enough spice with the odd cards having powers that makes every game a bit different
- Beautiful artwork
- Easy to teach, hard to master!
- The game comes with victory point chips to keep score. I must be old-fashioned, just give me pen a paper.
I really enjoyed this game. If this sounds like something that interests you, look out for it at GenCon this year! I know I will be getting a copy.
Today, I’ll be taking a look at Okey Dokey, a TMG release first at Origins and then at GenCon later this year.
Okey Dokey plays 1-5 players and takes anywhere from 16-32 minutes! (No joke, that’s the time frame on the box)
The goal of the game is to play all cards to the table.
To setup, make 5 stacks of 2 Reset Cards each. Then, deal a number of Musician cards based on the number of players. Cards range from 1-8 in 5 colors.
On a turn, you either platy a card from your hand or play reset card onto the table
As you see from the image above, each will be assigned a color. One of the cool things about the game is that, 1. You’ll only be working on one column st a time. 2. A reset card must be played somewhere within the column currently being worked on. 3. There’re some communication restrictions in the game that all players must abide by:
- You may not show your hand to anyone
- You may not say or give hints about the values of the cards in your hand.
- You may reveal how many cards you have in a color
- You may suggest a color you like to play
- you may say you would like to play a reset card for a particular color.
Reset cards, when played, allow the player to dump 0-2 cards and replace them from the deck
The last type of card is the Wild Equals Card. When played, it acts as the card played right before it. Which can help you if you are in a bind. Beware, you set the difficulty of the game by how many equal cards you add to the deck at setup, 0-3..
Running out of cards:
Once the deck runs out, play continues, but players will be unable to draw anymore cards. In addition, when playing a Equals card, you may discard a musician card matching color of the row in which you played the equal card. Place the discarded card underneath the equal card you just played. You may do this once for every equal card in the deck.
Having no cards in hand on your turn:
You will not be able to carry out an action. The game doesn’t end, but your turn will be skipped for the rest of the game.
If during your turn, you are unable to carry out playing a musician card/equal card or reset card, the game immediately ends and the players have lost!
Having played this 4 times, here are some of the things i came across while playing this game. Recently, I have been on the hunt for good solo player games. Even though this offers the option for solo, it fell flat for me. The only change you make for a solo game is that you have a hand of 10 cards. I quit part way though my solo play because it was missing i love about co-op games, other people! The other plays were with 4-5 people each time and it works great! Now some of you might be thinking the sounds a lot like another game, THE GAME! You’d be right!
One of things that I like about Okey Dokey over THE GAME is the theme. The theme of trying to round up a set of animal to put on a concert is way more intriguing to me then just trying to lay numbers on piles. Coming from a large musical family, it’s always nice to see a musical theme in a game!
This game suffers from the “it’s harder to explain that it is to play syndrome” No one want to sit through rules that sound way more confusing sometimes then they actually are. Just jump in and play Don’t get me wrong, the rules are written well but the first run through of any rules are always a stumble.
The final thing I noticed about this game is how fast the game actually is. Whereas THE GAME for me has always seem too long and drawn our for what it is. Okey Dokey delivers the same style of game but in a more enjoyable package.
In this post I will be taking a look at the IOS adaption of the card game Jaipur
One neat thing that this app has added is a single player campaign mode
The last feature I want to touch on is playing online. In order to play online, you will need an Amosde screen name. These online matches are fast-paced and timed. Which brings me to my only negative point to the app. If you timed out during a match, you will automatically forfeit the match and there’s no way to reverse it
This app is a great adaption of the card game. A lot is packed into this app and for the $2.99 price tag, it’s really worth the purchase. As stated before, my only negative point deals with the timing out during an online match.
If this sounds like something that interests you, I would look into this enjoyable app!
Today, I will be taking a look at the classic bidding game by Reiner Knizia, Medici, put out by Grail Games.
Medici is a game for 2-6 players and takes around an hour to play!
In Medici, players are traders of various goods. Bidding on lots of cards to load onto their ship.
Each player has a ship board and 6 markers in their color
Depending on the number of players, everyone starts with the same amount of money/points. Then place one of your markers at the bottom of each of the good tracks (the gold ring) Also, shuffle and remove a number of cards from the deck depending on the number of players at the beginning of each day.
Goal: After 3 rounds, the player with the most points is the winner.
Game play: Pick a random first player. That player will be the first auctioneer. When you are the auctioneer, you will turn up 1-3 cards from the deck, stopping anytime after 1, 2 or 3 and start an auction. After the lot has been decided, starting with the player to the auctioneer’s left bidding begins. They must bid a number of money/points or pass. Going ONCE AROUND, players will either bid more for that lot or pass. The auctioneer is always last to bid. The highest bidder takes the entire lot and loads it onto their ship. and subtracts amount bid from their score.
If everyone passes those cards will be discarded.
Ships can only hold a max of 5 cards.Once your ship is full, you are out of the auctions for the rest of the day.
After that action, the next auctioneer is the one to the previous one’s left
This continues until 1 of 2 things happens
- The deck is empty. In which case players may go into scoring with empty slots on their ship
- All but one ship is completely full. The one remaining player takes cards from the top of the deck to fill their ship up for free!!
There are 2 phases to scoring, Heaviest ship and Type of goods.
Keeping in mind that scoring is dependent on the number of players
Each player will add the numbers of the goods the won together. The heaviest ship gets the highest amount and so on down, and the lightest player gets zero
Afterwords, everyone in turn will advance the marker one space on the matching track for each matching good. The highest player on each track get 10 points and second gets 5.
If markers reach the +5, +10 or +20 , you add that to your score/
Once scoring is done, you can setup for the next day. Take all the cards and shuffle them, discard some and start day two!
At the end of day 3, the players with the most points wins!
I think Medici is a decent family-wrought bidding game. This game goes by quick enough that you could probably a couple of games in a row. This is a great example of a an introduction into bidding games. After Medici, I would suggest For Sale, High Society RA and then Power Grid
During a few of my plays, there is a lot of luck and a nice mix of push your luck and strategy This can also be a time killer while waiting for more players to show up. A good game in mt book
We here at To The Table will be starting a new series: Designer of the Month. Each month. we will dedicate an entire month to one game designer that has we think hat has been influential in the hobby. Some of the entries for the month of May will be for games by Reiner Knizia.
Reiner’s games range from bidding games like RA to area control games like Tigris & Euphrates, set collection games like Money and many things in between. Also, all of his games seems to have a little twist that makes you think and stay on your toes!
Without further ado today’s game is Lost Cities…
Lost Cities is a 2 player game in the Kosmos 2 player line. In Lost Cities the two players will go on expeditions within the 5 colors/suits in the game.
In the game you will find a deck of cards
A board for the discards
Before I go into a quick game play overview, let’s talk about the cards found in the deck.
In the deck you will find 5 different colored suits with numbers ranging from 2-10. The numbered cards represent you going an adventure trying to find and explore that color’s ruin or monument (the 10). Also, in each color, you will find 3 handshake cards. Handshakes are played before any numbers in a color. These cards will multiply your score 2X, 3X or even 4X your final score in the color, positive or negative.
Game play overview
You will start with 8 randomly dealt cards from the deck. On your turn you will:
A: Play or discard a card
B Draw a card
A. If you decide to play a card, you must play that card on your side of the board underneath the the color’s discard pile.
1a Starting/continuing an expeditions
Going on expeditions is the way you score points. Whenever you play your first card in a color, you will earn -20 points. Throughout the course of play, your goal is to play cards to bring that -20 into a positive score. When playing number cards, they must ascend in value, not necessarily in sequential order. Any numbers skipped this way can’t be added in latter.
In order to play the handshake cards, they must be the first cards you play before any number card. The first one doubles, the second one triples and the third will quadruples your total score in that color. Handshakes are safe discards after you play your first number in each color.
a2. Discard a card
Discard a card to the appropriate discard pile
B. Draw a card
When drawing a card, you can either draw from the top of the deck, or one of the already discarded cards (except the card you just discarded)
These two steps are repeated by both players until the last card of the deck has been drawn. Any cards remaining in your hand mean nothing.
Each player will now score their expeditions. -20 points to start each expedition, count all the numbers in that color. Hopefully, you scored more that 20 points! The multiply the final total by the number of handshake cards. (1= X2, 2= X4, 3= X4)
Ex Blue: 6+8+10= 24-20= 4 X 1 handshake= 8 points in Blue
Red: 2+4+5+6+9+10= 36-20= 16 X 3 handshakes= 64 in Red
Green: 2+3+7=12-20= -8 X 2 handshakes= -24
Grand Total= 48
Important: If you manage to have 8 or more cards in an expedition, you gain 20 bonus points for that expedition
After combining your scores together, you will get your total score for the round. Continue playing in this manner until you either play 3 full rounds, or as many as desired. The player with the highest score at the end wins!
My Thoughts: I think Lost Cities is a fun 2 player game. Quick and easy to learn . It might be an easy game, but I think there’s some subtle strategies within the game. You tend on watching what your opponent is doing and try not to give them certain cards. Timing is also very interesting, because you can control the speed of the game by whenever you draw cards. Drawing from the deck speeds up the game, and drawing from the discards gives players more time.
Lost Cities was my first Knizia game. From there I got RA, Medici, and Money. To this day, Knizia is one of my favorite designers!
Written by Chris King
Let me tell you a little story. Let me tell you the story of a young boy who started off small and grew into a man who loves games!
I can’t even remember when I first starting gaming. Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. Probably like most of you reading this now, we all started with kids game like: Go Fish, Crazy 8s and Uno. As of today for me, I find these types of games still fun and enjoyable. Although most hardcore gamers would look down on you if you said that out loud. Every game has it’s time and place.
One of my favorite board games then and now is Clue. I don’t know why and how it started, but growing up, I just liked the mysteriousness of the game and the idea of the game. As a kid, I had no idea what roll and move games were and I didn’t care. I just loved trying to figure out the murder. I think to this day, Clue is reason I love to read mystery books. As you can see from the photos I collect them!
Now before I go any farther, I need to stress that to me, gaming is not always about the game itself but who you are playing with. The game might be crap, but if you have a fun time with whoever else is playing with you that’s what matters! With my family: 4 sons and 2 parents, we all played games as a family. We grew up playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, Euchre, Hearts, just to name a few.
As I got older, my knowledge of games was still small but it was starting to get bigger and bigger. By the age of 12 or 13, I was introduced to the card game Euchre, which is a classic partnership trick taker. Around the same time I was also introduced to Cribbage more on Cribbage in a bit!
For many many years we would end up playing Euchre on the weekends, at family gatherings for hours on end. Being still young I didn’t play a lot and couldn’t understand why my family just loved it so much.. Honestly, I think that is when I wanted to break mold and see what else was out there.
I don’t know why I remember this so clearly, but around the age of 13 I learned Cribbage. Cribbage is another one of those traditional card games that people played gtowibg up with their parents. My mom taught me how to play, and once I latched onto it, I was hooked. Growing up and while in school, math was always hard for me. With cribbage being focused around I struggled with the math of it. It took several years before I got comfortable with the game and able to hold my own in the game. Cribbage will always have a place in my heart because of playing with my mom and the time spent together playing it.
Flash forward to. about 5 years ago I found http://www.ecribbage.com witch is dedicated to playing cribbage online with people from all over the world! On site they hold tournaments of all sorts. For the past several years, I have been a Tournament Director, hosting anywhere from 5-6 tournaments a week! I find it funny that even though I am bad at math that i really enjoy cribbage as much as i do. I am also surprised at how many people I have met online and in person all thanks to this website. Look for kingplayer14, I am on mostly everyday to run tournaments in the morning.
My gateway game that really got me into the hobby with a bang was Settlers of Catan. Gasp, big shocker right? This was my first big board game. I bought it on a whim on vacation several years ago not thinking much of it. I thought my family would like the game. So, I got it home and taught it to family here and there, and it turned out we all enjoyed it a lot.
I don’t know if I mentioned this yet, but when I look at getting a game, I do a lot of research.
A. Does the game look fun to me?
B. Does it seems like I could understand and sit down and teach to my family ?
Those are the biggest rules I follow. If I don’t say yes to these two questions, the game is not worth having.
Around my Catan days, I noticed Dominion. At this point, I’d never played any sort of deck-building game before. So, I did my research for a while and decided to give it a try. Once I got it home I was nervous. My mom, who is is my biggest guinea pig when it comes to trying the new games I bring home, was nervous about the game being so complex because of the 300 cards. Long story short, I taught her and she loved it. Then we taught my dad, and he ended up loving it has much as mom and I still do.
So, after Dominion and Catan took hold, My gaming life had finally took shape and games started finding their way onto my shelves. Ticket to Ride and Werewolf were smash hits here at the house. (I think I could write separate posts on Ticket and Werewolf. They are both big parts of my family’s gaming life that I think helped us grow closer as a family)
In closing, here are my golden rules:
A. I’ll play almost anything once
B. If I have the game, I like it
C. Will the family enjoy it?