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Try to move up the ladder in medieval society, from the lowliest peon to the loftiest king... but beware: this ladder goes both ways.
Peon is basically a version of The Great Dalmuti (which is a version of the card game "Scum"). Peon takes away some of the frills and is a bit more simple, because playing sets of cards is not allowed. Also there are no revolutions.
I was given this game by one of the designers and I feel guilty that I really didn't like it. If you don't know the rules, here's a brief synopsis:
Everyone gets a card that determines what position they have in the kingdom (King, Queen, Nobles 1-8, Peasant, Peon). This is also the order they are to be seated around the table. Then everyone is dealt cards from a deck that includes four cards of each number from 1 through 12. The King then gives the Peon his 2 lowest numbered cards, and the Peon gives him back his 2 highest cards. The Queen and Peasant do the same with 1 card apiece.
The King leads, and as you go around the table each person tries to play a higher numbered card. Once everyone passes, the person who played the highest card leads for the next trick. The first person to empty their hand of cards becomes the King for the next round, second person becomes the queen, etc. After a pre-determined number of rounds whoever ends as king wins the game.
This game just doesn't excite me very much as it is almost 99% luck-based. The whole game hinges on whether you are dealt a decent hand. Making it more frustrating, is when you are Peasant or Peon and lose your best card (s).
The other annoying thing about Peon is that there seems to be no real reason for playing multiple rounds. When someone is King after the pre-determined number of rounds you just sit there wondering why you wasted time on those earlier rounds since they didn't really have any effect on this final round.
Peon and the other games of this type are more like role-playing party games. The fun (I guess) comes from the Peon being forced to do all the work, and the King getting all the benefits. This just fell flat in our gaming group, because we don't really enjoy being mean to each other.
If you would like a party game that requires little-to-no strategy, this is a great game for you. If you like more conversation and laughter try a different party game.
Peon is the same game as the Great Dalmuti; however, the Great Dalmuti offers a much nicer and detailed deck. The game in itself is fun and good for large groups. The best part of the game is that you play in rounds so everyone has a shot at being the Great Dalmuti or moving up the ladder. When the game ends, the players have moved around so much in rank that no one really feels like they lost. Great for competitive groups who take winning too seriously.