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(Worth 2,500 Funagain Points!)
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from 5 customer reviews
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Anything can happen in Sticheln. You are just about to take a trick with lots of points for you, when an opponent plays a card of the wrong color for you and you get negative points instead. That's got to drive you up a wall! Only he who has the fewest cards of the wrong color will get the last laugh. This is truly a captivating game.
Interesting game--requires thought and planning. Deciding the pain suit is the first tough decision--don't select a suit where you only have a 1 and a 0, unless you have a few others 0's as well. Trust me, you'll end up taking many of that suit, as you are forced to trump. Deciding when to stick a player as to when to take the trick yourself is an interesting decision. And the endgame is also interesting, especially if there are pain cards out there. You have to keep in mind who the leader is, and stick them, while taking tricks instead of sticking the laggards.
Sticheln ('Prick' or 'Needle') has quickly replaced Oh Hell! and Hearts as my game group's favorite card game. This German import turns the typical rules of trick-taking card games (follow suit, for example) upside down and breathes new life into that honorable, and sometimes overly familiar category of games. Sticheln's fast pace, nasty game play, and scoring encourages players to try to stick it to each other -- a sure fire way to guarantee a lively game night.
My only complaint involves the color scheme used in Sticheln and many other German card game imports I've seen: Several of the colors (red and orange, blue and green) become nearly indistinguishable unless the room is exceptionally well-lighted.
A convoluted rule set hides a fantastic trick taking game. With the intriguing inverted trick structure (the lead suit is the only suit that is not trump) and player's chosing their own misery suit (cards in this suit are worth negative points equal to their numeric value.), Sticheln twists your mind in intriguing directions. An added bonus with the Amigo edition is that you can play 'Hat Trick' and 'Mit List and Tuche'(the 4 player version,anyhow.)with a modified deck. Both are games from the King of Tricks, Klaus Palesch, the creator of this game. With every play, this game just gets better and better.