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[Review] Splendor: The race for gems, property and nobility.

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questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

1. Date Played: Sunday, May 8 2022.
2. Game name: Splendor (2014)
3. Designer: Marc André
4. Publisher: Space Cowboys

5. Time: About 2 hours (2 games)
6. Players: 4 Players
7. Ages: 40+ for all 4 Players (2 Male, 2 Female)

8. The Review

Considering that this game is like 2 Pages of rules (which is amazing) and is one of the BEST "Gateway" games I've ever seen, this game offers quite a bit of depth and variety ... But ... I cannot seem to find a STRATEGY towards winning.

From playing two (2) 4-Player games about 60 minutes each... I learned that the IDEAS that I had prior to playing are not necessarily valid strategies. What I mean is that it was very HARD to plan to accumulate cards and it also varied a lot depending on what your opponents chose to collect.

One thing that I can say... (Spoiler Alert) Is that it seems like collecting BLACK Onyx Gems is somewhat a "valid" strategy. Most later cards require Black gems and even Nobles visiting at the end too... Again this could be RNG (Random) ... But my gut was telling me "collect Black"...

For 2 Pages of rules with a "semi-gamer" (they're thinking about it...) group, we got to play 2 games. And interestingly enough after the 1st Game ... When I asked: "Do you guys want to play again?" Everyone responded: "Yes!"

9. Rating: 9 out of 10

10. Final Thoughts

If you have people who are CURIOUS about Modern Games and TableTop Gaming... Buy this game and play it with them. You'll see... Most will start to get their brains working on trying to SOLVE the game and outwit the other players. Just remember everyone else is TRYING to do the SAME thing! (LOL)

It plays in 1 hour (60 minutes) ... Players will probably want to play 1-2 additional games depending on the timing of the start of the first game. If it's around 7:00 PM, 3 games may be possible, if it was 8:00 PM (in our case), 2 games might be the limit.

I strongly recommend OWNING this game... And playing it with other couples as a "Gateway" game. Even with NON-GAMERS... You'll see, it's deceptively SIMPLE but VERY, very HARD to MASTER. Plus the cards to collect come at random so it's very hard to do TOO MUCH planning.

Note #1: If figured I'd TRY to post about a GAME that my Family and I played... Hoping to get more people POSTING about the games that they play with their OWN families and friends. Nothing wrong with sharing the joy you have playing Modern day Games. Cheers all.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
We played again TODAY (26 June 2022)

We played again and this time a bit "dirtier" in that my Cousin Reserved a Card her Mom needed to WIN and this delayed her a couple of round and she lost to my Cousin's Husband who scored 16 points to win.

I also delayed my Cousin's Husband from winning the game too... Which also set him back a couple of rounds too!

We ran out of the 1st Level Cards and worked on the 2nd and 3rd Level cards ... The score was 16, 15, 12, 8. Me being last this time (with only 8 points). It just wasn't working for me TBH.

This is a good game because of how you can "screw-over" an opponent by reserving the card they wanted and just have a dangling card not part of your stack of cards that you NEVER intend to purchase!

Was very exciting and even if I was a bit lost... I learn that playing "Black" doesn't mean you will win. Why? Because I had 6 Black Cards and that didn't help me win... So you need to roll with the punches and try to get a Noble visit (maybe one visit can help you win the game too!)

Definitely a great game to play that forces you to THINK and roll-with-the-punches! Cheers all.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
About collecting Black Onyx Gems...

I thought a bit of a "Spoiler" was that our previous two (2) games were a bit Black "Heavy" and I thought that this would be a valid strategy. So this 3rd game, I focused on collecting Black Onyx Gems and had a total of six (6) of them.

This didn't really help me AT ALL! No Nobles visited but I did collect on ONE (1) 2 Point Card which required six (6) Black.

But again a "dirtier" 3rd Game would have been for one of my opponents to Reserve this six (6) Black card to deny me 2 Points and earn a Joker. Hehehe... Yeah we were definitely not playing as "friendly" as we did the first two (2) games!

Hahaha. I guess that's a HIDDEN "purpose" behind the Reserving of cards...!


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