Card Game, 4-8 Players by Wizards of the Coast
Players take their places in the pecking order, from Greater Peon to Greater Dalmuti, and try to ditch the cards in their hands. From this simple concept comes an ingenious game by Richard Garfield (designer of Magic: the Gathering and RoboRally).
There are 5 roles to play in the game: The King (or Queen), the Princess (or Prince), the merchant, the upper peon or lower peon. The more players there are, the more merchants appear. The upper peon keeps the score and the lower peon has to shuffle, deal out the cards and clear the table after every hand! Also the upper peon has to pass his best card to the pronce and the lower peon has to give his best two cards to the king. The prince and king reciprocate by passing the same number of cards back to the peons but these can be of whatever value or typt they wish.
The lead player plays a set of number of cards (there are two 2's, three 3's etc). The aim of the game is to empty your hand of cards as quickly as possible. The lead player lays down a set then it follows in clockwork order with others laying down the same number of cards but of a lesser number value. The lowest person then leads off the next hand. The first person oput becomes king for the next hand and scores the maximum points; the next out the prince etc until the lower peon is found. People then get up and sit wherever their new social status places them. Get both Jesters and then a revolution takes place and the peons become king/prince and vice versa.
What is really great about this simple card game is the social aspect of the game. To get a real feel for this, the minimum this should be played with is 5 players. Players move up and down the social ladder and getting the two best cards from a peon is great fun. So is the amount of stick you can give a peon, but be prepared to take it as well, as luck can turn at any time!!
Actual play report - 31st May 2012