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The small Sicilian fishing village was once a quiet place. But unfortunately the "Godfather" of the region has passed away and now the members of the "Family" are fighting among each other to become his successor. Only a few candidates come into question and, so that the Family is not weakened too much by the coming "election", a somewhat more peaceful solution to the problem is agreed upon: whoever is the first to become the most powerful in a specified number of districts, will be honored as the new "Godfather".
But the customs of this "Business" are still rough and tough, thus the number of "soldiers" of each candidate are reduced rapidly. Rumors even claim that single members of the "Family" have actually turned in their own "brother" to the police--or why have the number of raids drastically increased as of late?
Vendetta is a very odd, abstract game which has somehow had the theme of gangsters tacked onto it.
Inside the box is the board, which represents a Sicilian village superimposed with a thirteen square grid (the 'districts'), 250 small wooden cubes (50 each of five colours), and thirteen numbered cards.
Each player supposedly 'is' a Mafiosi Godfather attempting to gain control of a once peaceful Sicilian village. In order to win, one player must control a specified number of districts by being the only one with his coloured cubes (gangsters) in said districts. For example, in the four player game, one player must control 4 or more districts by the 11th turn. Failing this, there's a scoring system which acts as a tie breaker.
So how does it play then?
Well this is where the problem lies; the English rules are so badly written that it's rather difficult to work out what you're suppossed to do at first, but basically it works like this:
The starting player shuffles and deals the thirteen cards (which represent the districts on the board) and deals two to each player, two face down on the board, and places the remainder next to the board face down. The players then place 2 gangsters on each district except the two districts represented by the cards that they were dealt. E.g. I was dealt the 1 and 4 cards, therefore I place my gangsters in all the districts except district numbers 1 and 4. Players also have 10 gangsters available for use at the start of the game, the rest staying in the box.
Now each player in turn may do two things:
1. Place any number of his gangsters in up to two districts.
2. Turn over the top card of the remaining stock.
If a player chooses to turn the top card, a Vendetta ensues in that district. This involves removing all the gangsters of the player who has the least number in that district. The remaining Godfathers each receive an extra gangster for their toubles. E.g. I turn the top card, it's number 12. In district 12 there are 2 red, 3 blue and 4 green gangsters. All the red gangsters go back in the box, leaving the greens and blues for next time. Green and blue take an extra gangster from the box.
This carries on until the last card of the stock has been turned. At this point, the two cards dealt to one side at the start of the turn are revealed and these two districts are completely cleared of all gangsters.
The cards are now re-shuffled and dealt by the next player, extra gangsters are distributed to each player and the whole thing starts again.
And that's it really; there are rules regarding scoring and tie-breaking, but that's the main thrust of the game.
Depite the extremely simple rules (once you've disentangled them), Vendetta plays fairly well. It has some strategy, some luck and is quite fun. However, it's not the sort of game that'll change your life, and on the whole is rather forgettable.