English language edition
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Open mines, pull out the ore and fend off the bandits. In Digging, players either work alone or in two-player teams to bring out the most gold, silver, or copper from their mines while stopping their opponents from doing the same. Will you find the mother lode, or pull up stakes and slither home with nothing?
Players play mine cards to open mines, trying to extract metal while either attacking players' mines with bandits or defending their own. Play as individuals or in two-player teams. The player or team who first extracts 100 points of ore wins.
Howard David Johnson
Players: 2 - 4
Time: 30 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Weight: 230 grams
Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.
Average Rating: 2.7 in 3 reviews
My wife and I have enjoyed playing this little strategy card game. It took a few plays to get ahold of the strategy of the game. Later games find us drawing most of the cards until someone decides to play a 'mine open' card, and then the cards start flying to the table. We play it as the rules state....first to score 60. It usually takes 4-5 rounds to get that winning score. You never know how many bandits or 'close mine' cards you are going to receive, so the element of chance is a little more pronounced with two players. We've enjoyed it a lot, and it will be a much played game in our collection. Very playable and enjoyable.
Digging is similar in flavor to the very popular Lost Cities, in that you go just once through a deck of cards and score as much as you can while that happens.
Digging is designed primarily as a partnership game, 2 against 2, and that's how we've played it exclusively. Its scoring mechanism involves first 'opening a mine'--that is, playing a mine card for either copper, silver, or gold--followed by playing cards representing the appropriate metal on the opened mine, concluded by 'closing the mine' with a card that does exactly that. While you are occupied with that simple procedure, your opponents have two different ways to make things difficult for you.
- They can close the mine themselves--prematurely, of course, before you've had a chance to play all your cards of the respective metal.
- They can try to steal the mine with 'bandit' cards. These bandits are mercenary fellows of various number values who defend a mine just as readily as attempt to steal another, so once a mine is under attack, it will be held after one turn around the table by the partnership whose bandits' sum is higher than the other. Alternately, the defenders may choose--if they have a closing card--simply to close the mine and take the current profit rather than to defend with bandits of their own.
Now the really interesting thing about Digging, once its simple rules about scoring are under your thinking cap, is that you only do ONE thing on your turn, and that includes drawing a card! That's right: You can either play a card or draw one from the deck--but not both! (You also have the option of passing a card to your partner.) It takes a little getting used to, but only a little. The really nice thing about it is that it makes the game ZOOM by! 'Is it my turn already?' will be heard more often with this game than with any other in recent memory. The simplicity of play and scoring is extreme--but so is the speed of the game, and we found them to be nicely matched and therefore a very, very playable package.
I'll have to respectfully disagree with the co- reviewers who did their job just before me, but this game's a losing proposition.
I spent the better part of a weekend with a friend playing this game. It became very apparent after a few plays that there is an easy-to-figure optimal way to play -- once you've put your finger on it, you see every time which one of your cards is the best to play, and that you would make a mistake playing anything else.
From that point on, only the random mix of cards will alter the way the game unfolds. Winning or losing wasn't skill anymore, but pure luck.
We tried our best to salvage the game but there was simply no way to do it. If you're looking for a gold-digging game with actually some meat attached to it, give Boomtown a try. It's not perfect either, but at least it's a game.