Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Stoned Again

As the season is playing out a dramatic, suspenseful finale, there's been just enough time to nip out to the foyer and get an ice cream before the final curtain.

Which over-reaching analogy actually translates as Andrew and I meeting in the pub last night for the Everton-Newcastle game. Now I know it may seem like a flagrant disregard for GNN etiquette to start talking about football on here, but while we sat in The Annex there was time for a couple of games of Keltis: The Dice Game.

This is a very abstract Reiner Knizia design, inspired by the Spiel-des-Jahres winner Keltis, which I had recently played with Joe. As with the original game, you are moving four pieces ("stones") of your own up several tracks in order to score points. Unlike the original (which uses cards) with the dice version there's a different engine. I'll let you work out what it is.

On your turn you can roll and, if you choose to, re-roll some or all of your dice once. You can then move one stone up one track. So far so very luck-based. However - it's a Knizia remember - there is room for strategy in that stopping at certain places on the tracks gets you bonuses, either moving other stones, having a free second turn, or picking up wishing stones.

pic courtesy BGG

The wishing stones give you bonus points (or penalties, if you don't have enough of them) at the end of the game. So there are sometimes reasons to stop your stone from moving as far as it can in order to grab these advantages. I thought I was playing a nice steady game of moving my stones up fairly equally, while Andrew rushed two to the end of the track and returned for two more. But in both our games he won by 4 or 5 points.

It's not one we'll be raving about but considering it packs its board and pieces into a tiny box and plays in about ten minutes, it was perfect for sitting in a pub and looking reasonably inconspicuous.

Despite my losses I went home feeling elated, as Everton won. Some games are more important than others...


  1. What other discrete, play in a pub type games are there? Roll through the ages and any card games would do. Little agricola has a few too many bits. Any other takers?

  2. Biblios isn't too intrusive... or how about No Thanks? Cards and coins...

  3. High Society! Incan Gold! Taluva!

  4. We played Puerto Rico in the Hillgrove once.