10th December 2019
It's a Tuesday evening in Woking and we're at 'The Sovereigns' with the board game club.
The first game of the night was 'Cockroach Poker'.
Now I mean this in a good way: But Cockroach Poker is quite possibly the most horrible game of all time.
It's a horrible game all about horribly lying and bluffing.
At the end of one game a player said to me. "Can we please now play a game where we don't all hate each other!".
That sums Cockroach Poker pretty nicely.
What's in a game?
Cockroach Poker consists of nothing more or less than a deck of 64 cards. There are 8 types of card (All based on types of 'horrible' creature.) and 8 copies of each type.
Because my blog demands a bullet-point list, i thought I'd list what's on the cards.
All the cards are well illustrated with stylised pictures of all the 'creepy-crawlies'. The art hasn't skimped on either, there could have been just 8 illustrations for the 8 types. But they are different pictures for each card, so 64 in total.
How's it play?
Setup: Deal out the entire deck to all players. Players must keep their hand of cards secret.
Cockroach Poker is a game about trying to guess whether the other players are speaking the truth or lying through their teeth
Their are 2 ways the game can end.
The game will immediately end when any player has put the 4th card of a single type into their playing are.
Or when any player must play a card to another player, but has no more cards in their hand.
In both cases, when this occurs, that player is the loser and all other players are winners!
Cockroach Poker is a clever little bluffing game. Telling the truth is equally bad for players as lying, so there's no 'easy' get-out by telling the truth.
Having a card pushed towards and trying to guess whether your 'friend' is lying or not can be a stress. But when a player chooses to pass the card, it doesn't get them out of hot water. It just changes the source of the stress, now players are hoping that their opponents are can't see through their statement.
I've also seen players counting the number of cards that have already been played before making a choice. But it doesn't matter because the whole deck has been dealt out to players!
Not only is the game negative and horrible, so is the end. The game only plays to the first loser and everybody else wins! No one wants to be the sole loser!
So in summing up: Cockroach Poker is a horrible, horrible game and everyone should play it.
2nd game of the night at 'The Sovereigns'.
Loot is a little card game by Reiner Knizia about chasing wealthy merchant ships with your pirate boats.
Perhaps this game should be combined with Century Spice Road which we had just finished playing!
Loot is a fairly simple looking game with some hidden depth.
Loot has different 4 types of card.
Everyone starts with a hand of 6 cards.
During your turn you check for winning battles, (more on this below). Then you draw a card or play a card.
What cards you can play depend on what's already been played.
Right at the start of your turn, you check for winning battles. This involves looking at all the merchant ships in play, if your pirate attack against a merchant is stronger than any other pirate's (or is uncontested), then you claim the merchant ship - all other cards are discarded. If the attack strength of 2 or more players is identical, then there's a stalemate and the merchant has not been captured by anyone.
Pirate captains and the Admiral act as a trump cards and win a battle, regardless of the attacks strength of other players.
Play continues until the deck is depleted. The player that captured merchant ships with the highest combined value of gold wins (any merchant ships in your hand at the end of the game are deducted from your final score).
And that's pretty much it. Good, clean, wholesome, pirating fun. A great little filler game, quick to play and easy to learn. With enough strategy to keep it interesting.
I play, I paint.