Friday, March 6, 2015

Sheriff of Nottingham Review

   Sheriff of Nottingham is a bluffing and bribery game for three to five players.

   Inside, there are five different colored Merchant Stands

   Five different colored Merchant Bags

   and a ton of cards. There are two different kind of cards. The green ones are legal goods.

   The red ones are contraband.

   There are also red ones that are Royal Goods.

   Here is a close up of a card. The gold three in the top right is how many points this particular card is worth. The red two in the bottom left is the amount of gold you may have to pay.

   Set up is simple. Each player chooses a color and takes the matching merchant stand and bag. Each player is given one twenty coin, five five coins and five one coins. Deal out six cards face down to each player. Make two discard piles with five cards each. Put them on the sides of the draw pile. Choose a player to be the Sheriff for the first round.

   Each player then looks at their hand.

   In turn order, you may discard up to five of your cards and draw back up to six cards. You can draw from the discard piles or the draw deck. If you draw from a discard pile, you must do this first. If you want the second card in the discard pile, you must take the card on top of it as well.

   Once everyone has had a chance to discard and draw back up, decide which cards you want to send to the Sheriff. They must be the same type of card (except for the contraband cards).

   Place the cards into the merchant bag and close it up.

   Pass it to the Sheriff and declare what is in your bag. The rules for declaring are as follows. You can only declare legal goods. You can only declare one type of good.  You must declare the exact number of cards that are in your bag. For example, I would pass my bag and say "I have three chickens". You can also bribe the Sheriff to pass your inspection. If he accepts your bribe, the Sheriff keeps the money and hands you your bag back. If the Sheriff decides to check a bag, they will open the bag and see what is in there. If you declared what was in your bag, you get your cards back and the Sheriff must pay you the penalty that is on the cards. If you lied and got caught, you get the legal goods cards back to add to your merchant stand. The contraband is confiscated (discarded) and you must pay the Sheriff the penalty.

   If the Sheriff does not check your bag, all of the cards then make it to your market. Each type of card has it's own space around the board. The contraband goes in it's space face down. Once the Sheriff has inspected and returned all of the bags, pass the Sheriff to the left. That player is now the new Sheriff.

   Once you have played two rounds (three rounds in a three player game), the game is over. Scoring does take some time in this game. You score each individual card in your market. You also score points for having the most and second most of each type of legal good. Count up your coins you have remaining, you get one point for each gold. The player with the highest score at the end, is the Chicken King!

   This game is a ton of fun! There is always a lot of laughs and good times when playing this game. The art is wonderful and the components are good quality. It's easy to understand so it's great for those family game nights. My family has enjoyed playing this game many times. It became a favorite after the very first play through.

   If you like bluffing and bribing, this game is a must have for your game shelf!

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