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English language edition
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from 3 customer reviews
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The sheriff of Nottingham is in trouble! His time in power is nearing its end, and he hasn't quite managed to get enough cash together to buy another year in office. So he sends his Deputies out to collect taxes and promises to promote the most successful Deputy to the rank of Chief Assistant. Is it any wonder, then, that the Deputies think nothing of occasionally robbing each other?
Players: 3 - 7
Time: 30 minutes
Ages: 10 and up
Weight: 348 grams
Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item.
- 1 score board
- 1 black Sheriff figure
- 7 playing figures
- 84 item cards
- 13 ambush cards
- 8 assignment cards
- 1 rule booklet
Average Rating: 4.2 in 3 reviews
I love games and will read descriptions and reviews online until my eyes turn red before making a purchase. I enjoy playing all types of games but in the last two years, I have gravitated toward games that are theme based, easy to learn, not lengthy, and and are a mix of luck and strategy. With an 18 year old, 10 year old and a wife all with different tastes in games, this is no easy task. This game fits the bill perfectly! Since Santa visited two weeks ago, we have been playing this game almost every night, grandma included, and we all love it! I'm certain that it will remain on our top five game list for quite some time. Highly recommended!
This was my first introduction to Euro-style games and it blew me away. Why have I been playing Monopoly and the like for so long?
This is a very fun game which is suitable for the whole family. Having said this, I have since played other card game (such as Bohnanza) that I prefer.
The main complaint I have about this game would be the lack of startegical directions this game can take players on. Once you figure out the "best" strategy I find you stick with it every time you play. However, I still find myself draw to the fun interaction the game provides, and I especially enjoy the artwork on the cards. This is still a staple game I play with the family even if it isn't always the first choice.
All of the new gamers we have played this game with have all really enjoyed it, so I would especially recommend this for players new to this style of game. The rules are explained with a practice hand in 5 minutes or less, and my 7 year old has no trouble with the concepts involved in the game.
I believe that Nottingham (Uberplay, 2006 – Uwe Rosenberg) may be the first game about the famous forest that has nothing to do with Robin Hood! Instead, players take the fascinating role of the Sheriff’s deputies, attempting to collect the most taxes. Why on earth this is the theme, I won’t know – but I was certainly drawn in by the fact that the game plays up to seven people. This coupled with the fact that the game mostly consists of cards had me wondering if this could become a major hit with my groups.
Nottingham is a hard game to quantify. It’s enjoyable, has interaction and offers some interesting, yet simple decisions. At the same time, the theme is barely there, and it feels as if the game lasts about fifteen minutes too long. There is a decent amount of luck involved, but the level of tension as players race to be the first to complete goals makes the game worth it. Twenty minutes shorter, and I would call this game great.
Each player takes a pawn and places it in front of themselves, denoting their color for the game. Eighty-four item cards are shuffled, and three are dealt to each player. The rest are placed face down in a draw pile next to a small game board that shows a track that moves throughout Sherwood Forest. The black Sheriff pawn is placed on the first space of that track. A pile of ambush cards are set down near the table as well as several “assignment” cards, which are placed face up in four pairs. One player is chosen to go first, and play passes clockwise around the table.
On a player’s turn, they must draw the top card from the item pile and reveal it to all players. The player then has the choice to either take the card and add it to their hand, or carry out the action on the card. There are seven different types of items, each a different value and associated action.
- Copper coin (7 value): Each other player MUST offer a card from their hand as a trade for the coin card. The choosing player takes a card, with that player receiving the copper coin.
- Candlestick (8): The player may steal a random card from another player’s hand, giving that player the candlestick.
- Gold (9): The player takes the top two ambush cards into their hand, keeping one of them – placing it underneath the gold card in front of them, and placing the other on the bottom of the pile.
- Pearl (10): The player may steal a card from another player’s hand of his choice, giving that player the pearl card in exchange.
- Jewels (11): The player forces another player to reveal their cards to all players; then steal one of that player’s cards, giving him the jewels in its place.
- Necklace (12): This card has no action that can be taken when it is drawn; instead, the player can play it to block a negative action against them (such as the Pearl card). When blocking an action, they give the Necklace card to the attacking player, receiving the card they were attacked with.
- Treasure Chest (13): All other players MUST offer one or two cards in exchange for the Chest. The player may take one of these offers, giving that player the Chest card.
After a player either takes the card or uses the action, they have the option of trading in cards for victory points. A player may do this two different ways. First, they may trade in three or more cards of the same item, keeping one of them face down on their victory point pile. At this point, another player may play an ambush card they have placed face down, IF the ambush card shows the color of the trading player’s pawn or the good types that are being traded. The ambushing player takes one of the traded cards and gives the ambushed player the gold card in its place. If the cards being traded are now less than three, the trading player must take them back into their hand and end their turn.
A player can also complete an assignment by trading in cards. They can do this by
- trading in one card of each type (30 points)
- trading in five cards of the same item (30 points)
- trading in four pairs of items (30 points)
- trading in three pairs of items (15 points).
Whenever a player trades in cards, the sheriff moves one space on the track. The space that the Sheriff moves to shows a number from “2” to “8”. At that point, every player, who has that number of cards in their hand or less, takes one from the top of the item pile. The game then continues until the Sheriff moves all the way around the track (23 spaces), returning to Nottingham, or when the last assignment card is claimed. Players then total the values of all items in their victory point pile and their completed assignment cards. The player with the highest total becomes Chief Assistant (a lofty goal, I know).
Some comments on the game…
- Components: The game comes in a small box, with the
small board, cards, and pawns fitting easily inside. The
pawns are really only used to designate a player’s color –
but are nice enough, and the board itself is decorated with
some trees and such to help promote the theme. The cards
themselves are of high quality, with nice artwork on them
showing the item and its value, as well as a pictorial value
of the action of that card. Once the cards are explained
once, I’ve never had people forget – it’s pretty
self-explanatory. The game is very minimalistic and can be
set up in a matter of minutes.
- Rules: The rulebook is seven pages long, which seems
awfully lengthy for such a simple game; but there are
details on each card of how it can be used – and even some
tips for new players. Teaching the game simply required me
to explain each card and how it works, and then everything
flowed smoothly. I’ve found the first couple rounds to go a
bit slowly, as players are really not sure if the card is
worth keeping or not, but things pick up as the game occurs.
- Theme: I really think it’s odd that the players aspire
to be the chief assistant to the Sheriff, rather than help
out the famous Robin Hood. Essentially, you’re stealing
goods and collecting them for your boss. Either way, the
theme is brought out throughout the ambush cards and the
constant stealing that goes on, although I still think it’s
a bit flimsy.
- Take that!: Nottingham has the elements of the classic
“take that” game, in which players do nasty things to one
another. However, it is probably the kindest of this genre
that I’ve ever played. No matter what happens, a player who
is stolen from or ambushed always gets at least one card in
return. This means that players will constantly have their
plans foiled, but never enough to destroy them utterly.
This is also evident in the ambush cards, as there is only
one of each color pawn in the deck, keeping one player from
being attacked too much. With all the stealing and
ambushing, I have yet to see someone get upset in this game.
- Keep or play: The idea of either taking a card or
playing the action is interesting, although not as stunning
as you might imagine. The Copper and Chest cards actions
are always taken, since the player only optionally takes a
card from an opponent; and a player has no choice with the
Necklace card but to take it. At the same time, these
aren’t the only choices; players have to decide whether or
not to go for the difficult assignment cards, or to finish
as many trades as possible. And should you trade more than
three cards – just in case you should be ambushed? Lots of
small, easy decisions keep this game moving quickly.
- Time and players: It’s nice that the game goes up to
seven players; and because the Sheriff moves at the same
rate, it doesn’t increase the length of the game. Yet, at
the same time, the game seems to drag occasionally, because
you are doing the same things over and over and over. Not
everyone felt this way about the game – just a few, but I
wonder if the sheriff started a few spaces already on the
track – it might be faster.
- Fun Factor: Any game that keeps seven players active
and interacting is a good one, and Nottingham is certainly
one of these games. It doesn’t have the sheer brilliance of
Bang! or Citadels, but it’s fun nonetheless, especially in a
passive aggressive sort of way. I don’t have people
continually asking to play it, but everyone has fun when we do.
I think my summary is the same as my “Fun Factor” paragraph. Nottingham is an oddly themed, small game that covers a lot of people – but not as fun as I’d like, and a little too long. I enjoy playing it, and it’s simple to set up and play; but it only shines a little in a game kingdom with much mightier and more fun games.
“Real men play board games”