DAVID & GOLIATH - Reviewed by Mike
Category/Format: Abstract/Card Game
Another of those little card games that look so simple and yet provide more of a challenge than you might expect. Produced by Berliner Spielkarten the game is for 3-6 players and each hand takes about 20 minutes so you can play a number of hands which suits the time available to you.
The game consists of 90 cards, numbers 1-18 in 5 colours. You discard certain ranges with less than the full set of players such that whatever number play they each get 15 cards at the start of play.
The basic requirement is to win tricks and the value of the cards contained in the trick count towards your score but there is a unique twist to this. If you have only 1 or 2 cards in one colour the values of these 2 cards added together. However should you win(probably by default) more than 2 cards in a colour then each card only counts 1 point each !
You may think that was a bit quirky but there's more !. The allocation of tricks is determined by the following phrase, which is burned into our brains.."The lowest takes the highest and the highest takes all the rest". So by applying this the player of the lowest card in a trick will gain just one card, i.e. the highest, and the player of the highest will win all the rest.
The rules contain a good example to explain this so I'll paraphrase it here to aid your understanding :
Frank plays the Green 4. As the suit must be followed Sabine plays the Green 9. Peter hasn't got any Green so he plays a Red 2 hoping to be the lowest card in the trick. Andrea has to follow suit so she plays the Green 7.
Peter's 2 is the lowest card so he takes the highest card(the Green 9) and places it face up in front of him. As Sabine played the highest card she gains the Green 7 and 4 and the Red 2. Sabine's score in Green is currently 11, as she only has 2 cards. So she does not want to win any more Greens as then any Green cards would only be worth 1 point each. It's amazing how difficult it can be to avoid doing so!
The round continues until all cards have been played and the players scores are recorded. The game ends after the agreed number of rounds.
Once you've got to grips with the strange trick allocation this game provides great fun and acts as a smashing little filler.