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Store:  Card Games, Strategy Games
Edition:  Gargon
Theme:  Fantasy
Format:  Card Games


original German edition

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 45 minutes 3-5

Designer(s): Rudiger Dorn

Manufacturer(s): Amigo

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Product Information

  • Designer(s): Rudiger Dorn

  • Manufacturer(s): Amigo

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 3 - 5

  • Time: 45 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 225 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. An English translation of the rules is provided.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 4 reviews

' got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em'
March 04, 2002

What a great little game! Gargon offers a sneaky little twist to the 'hearts' style of trick-taking and offers a compact game you can play during any lunch break.

Basically, players start off with ten cards from a deck consisting of six different magical creatures with different values. The higher the value, the lower the amulet count. There lies the rub; your amulet total at the end of the games dictates victory. The starting player lays down 1 to 3 cards face down in any combination except three of a kind (of color). The next players in line MUST match the card count and ratio, but may use different colors. The last player must match the card count/ratio AND may only use colors already in play. Players then reveal the values of their cards. If no one has played your color, put them into your stockpile. If challenged, the highest value wins, and goes into the winning players stockpile, while everyone elses goes into the discard pile, but they get to draw a card. This continues till no cards are left in the battle field. So playing a high card only nets you...that card! You dont scoop up everyone elses losing card. I must admit upon first reading of the rules, I was unsure of the gameplay, but it becomes crystal clear after one or two hands. Starting player rotates through the group and play continues until one of the draw piles has been exhausted. Scoring is simple. Collect the most of any color (regardless of value) pick-up 10 points. If tied, 5 for each player. Add that to the total number of amulets youve collected in your stockpile. Highest score wins.

Amigo and Rio Grande games have created a visually stunning card game. Oliver Freudenreichs graphics and colors are nothing short of mesmerizing. I cant do justice to explaining Rudiger Dorns gameplay, but suffice to say, it is fast-paced, easy to learn, and offers unique strategies with each play. I give Gargon a rousing five stars for gameplay and design. Pick-up this little 'gem' of a game as soon as possible.

by Ron Jr
Awesome art - great little game
December 09, 2001

On the advice of the Saturday group, this review is to extol the virtues of a truly great little game. With its art of mythic monsters (fairies, dragons, phoenixes, gargoyles, manticores, and pegasi), this trick-taking game quickly earned high praise from those who played it.

Trick-taking card games are not new. The concept with this one is definitely different, though. There are six suits, each with cards numbered 1-15 with 2 zeroes. Everyone receives a hand of 10 cards. The starting player lays a mix of cards face-down--this can be one card, two cards of one or two types, or three cards of two or three types. You can not play three cards of the same color. After the starting player, the others can choose to play or pass. If you pass, you draw cards equal to the number of cards played from one of two fanned decks in the middle of the table. If you play, you need to match only the mix of cards, not the exact colors, to be involved--with the exception of the last player. If the last player plays, he or she must match colors with cards played by anybody in that round. They can not introduce new colors into the mix.

When everyone is in, the cards are revealed. Cards of like colors do battle, with the higher number winning and the loser(s) being discarded. Play continues until one of the two stacks in the middle of the table is gone.

Scoring follows. First, the players count the number of cards they have in each color. Whoever has the most receives a 10-point bonus card. If two are tied, the receive 5-point cards. Three or more, tough luck.

The numbered cards have any number of amulets underneath the numbers (the 1s, 2s, and 3s have 5-- the 13s, 14s, and 15s have 0). Players then count the number of amulets on the cards that they have won. Anyone who has managed to win a zero card doubles the number of amulets for that color. Scores are the sum of all amulets and bonus cards. It is not impossible to get really high scores.

This one has the look of a real winner. You can choose to play or pass during the card playing phase. There is a certain amount of bluff involved. The scoring mechanism is unique. All in all, I find it hard to criticize this game in any way. It is light fare overall, and just the thing after a few games of Lord of the Rings or [page scan/se=0899/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Princes of Florence. It's worth the time and money--you won't regret it.

A nice game, but by no means a classic
March 06, 2002

Gargon is typical of the card games that come from Germany. German card games tnd to be innovations of older games, with some genuinely novel games coming out periodically, such as Verrater or Schotten-totten. Gargon is an interesting twist on trick-taking games, more innovative than many such games, but still rather short of a classic.

The six suits are identical in value, and the back of each card is color-coded to its suit. In this way each player has an idea of what other players are holding. If a player is the only one currently holding blue cards, it is then an easy choice to play it, as the suit will be unopposed. This innovation dates back at least as far as a game called Scan that came out a number of years ago.

The play of up to three cards is an interesting one, since the lead player can then tailor his strategy to what other players have. As an example, if all other players are reduced to one or two colors in their hand, then play three cards of different colors. No other player will be able to play, and all three cards will then go into your score pile.

The artwork is quite good and the play is rather innovative, so why have I given it only three stars? Simply put, the game just does not rise above its elements. The strategy of the game is rather opaque, making it hard to decide how best to play each hand, or to develop a long-term strategy. While fun to play, it isn't an overly involving experience.

A good game, yes, but not a great game.

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