Preview: Among Thieves







A card game of thievery, cunning and dishonorable deeds!

While not everyone aspires to be a thief, if you're going to do it, do it well, be the best.  The downside to this is that well, there is no honor among thieves.  This game gets a lot out of 5 cards and some coins.  Generally we don't like games that require more than 2 players, but this game has a fast feel to it that really fits well with the theme.

The contents of the game are pretty simple, cards and coins.  But the quality of the art on the cards makes them stand out. There are 5 sets of 5, one for each player, plus 10 location cards and of course the 31 coins.  My first act will be to replace the coins with actual metal coins, but that's just my thing. My question is, why 31?  Was 30 not right?  What happened at 35?  Maybe I'm grasping for even numbers for no reason. (edit:  If I had done the math: 5 players, 6 coins , with 7 needed to win... you need 31 coins)

The goal is pretty simple, get all the coins, proving you are the master thief.  Of course, when trying to best other thieves that are also master of their trade, the task becomes much more complicated. Using just 5 cards means the game play is a matter of picking the right strategy and order of playing the cards that leads you to the outcome you want.  Anyone can steal a purse, but not everyone can steal and make the target happy that you stole it.

Gameplay moves around the table with the first step of every round the test of honor, and there is none among thieves.  One of that things I like here is that they have a rule in place for that time when you play the honor card, but forget to take the next action of pointing to the victim.  I love that!  Because you and I both know that will happen.

Every turn you place 2 cards on the table that are your actions.  Since everyone has the same 5 cards, there are limited options, but that makes sense given the theme and goal of the game,  If you think about it, 5 cards, 3 players, that's a lot of combinations.

There a couple of cool wrinkles with locations and disrupting the other players plans that seems to make coin movement a common occurrence.  That would motivate me to get more sturdy coins if this game is played often.  Lucky for us, fantasy "coins" seem to be making headway into the gamer world these days. (edit: I saw more than one booth selling real metal coins at GenCon)

As far as stretch goals are concerned, of course they have them.

If I had picked the order of the stretch goals, I think I would have put the wooden piece first, as that can really add to the look and feel of the game when playing.  The other things are good, but nothing to get excited about.

Overall I'd say this is a good beer & pretzel game.  We're always looking for games that aren't so complicated that we forget the rules from session to session and this game fits in that nicely.

Given the number of options and as we learn how each other plays this game, it becomes more complicated and a lot more second guessing.  It's a psychology above the game, player to player that makes this game earn a spot in our rotation.

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