Sunday, March 05, 2006

Jambo! How far do you go to fix a game not to your liking?

Jambo is a 2-player trading game by Rudiger Dorn, best known for the elaborate Goa. I have mixed feelings about both games. Friday night, Lee and I sat down and played Jambo instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour. This was her third playing, and after it was over, we talked about Jambo.

There are a few basic types of cards: wares (goods to be bought/sold), animals ('take that' cards that hurt your opponent), guards (protect from animals), people (one-shot specials), and utility cards (recurring specials).

See, I've never run into anybody who thought Jambo was awesome. They either say, "Yeah, that sucked," or "It was okay, maybe a 6 if I'm in the mood." Jambo's BoardGameGeek rating is actually 7.1, which seems a little high.

When I probed around for the flaws, I got different answers. Kevin thought the animal cards weren't mean enough. Lee thought they were too mean. The cards are either too good, or too bad. You get 5 action points, and, uh, there are either too few or too many. The deck has too few cards, or too many cards.

The only thing everyone agreed on: "I'd also like to try Jambo as a 3 or 4 player game, but there's already too much down time."

Lee and I talked about it, and she hit on an idea that we both liked: Look through the deck and set aside all the cards that look cool. Make a second pile of all the cards that don't excite you. Play again with only the first deck of cool cards. We also talked about modifying the rules for spending action points to draw cards in several ways. I hope they work out.

Gamecount for the year: 42 individual game sessions, 12 new game titles played.


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