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I've long been fascinated by the Mafia; The Sopranos is my favorite show, and I enjoyed both the Godfather book and the movies. So, when I really got into playing games, I decided to look for games with a mob theme and immediately settled upon Razzia. The game is quick and easy to learn. Two buddies and I learned the rules as we played. We played two games, each lasting about 20 minutes, and all three enjoyed it. Razzia is a perfect filler; more a game of luck than a game of strategy, though there is still some of that. I look forward to trying this with more players, as it is suitable for 3 to 8. I highly recommend Razzia for both serious and casual gamers. Go on! How could you refuse?
If my one line summary is confusing, let me shed some well deserved light on my most favorite Ravensburger game.
The theme is set during the 1920's in famous American Gambling houses, and the goal of the game is to win by raking in the most value in money chits than any other player. These chits come in a wide variety of values (from $5,000 to $50,000, with lots of variety in between) and they are all shuffled up and stacked in three stacks face down.
There are six gambling house cards, and each one has its own designate color. The opening player draws seven chits and looks at them, then selectively places six of the chits over the six gambling house cards, and then taking the 7th chit and doubling up one of the six gambling house cards.
The players now look at their hand of 5 cards. Each card has a matching color border that corresponds to the color of the gambling house card and can only be played on the matching house card. There are two types of cards; gamblers and cops. Cops are sort of like the trump cards in this game, where they 'raid' the particular gambling house. You select one of these cards and place it face down in front of you. All players reveal cards at the same time.
If you are the only person to play a gambler at a particular gambling house, you win the money chits on this card. If two or more people played gambler cards at the particular gambling house, the players must negotiate on how to divide up the money chits. If no agreement can be made, each player will roll a single die, and add the pips to the die point value of their card. Big man takes it all.
The cop cards are sort of like the trump cards. If you play a cop card on a gambling house, and there are no gamblers there, the 'raid' was unsuccessful, and you receive no money chits. If you played the only cop card on a gambling house, and at least one gambler was also there, you gain all of the money chits there for yourself as a 'bribe' (it is the 1920's, ya' know). If there are two or more cop cards being played where there is at least one gambler, the resolution is through negotiation or a die roll, just like multiple gamblers.
Any money chits that were not won during the round stay on their respective gambling house cards, everyone draws a new card (played card discarded), and the next player draws seven new money chits and distributes them as before. If the cards run out, reshuffle. The game ends when the money chits run out.
As you can probably see, competition for gambling houses with a high point value can get mean. Do you go for the big money and have to fight off your fellow players, or do you go for the easy money?
This unique mechanism adds a new level of 'second-guessing' to my collection of favorite trick taking games (Raj and David & Goliath). Because this game is a Ravensburger game, you can be sure you'll be happy with the quality of the game components.
This game is one of the games I'm taking home for the holidays, as it has become a favorite in my family of Spades, Hearts, and Bridge players.