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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Boards & Brews at Home: Sheriff of Nottingham

Once again, another at home segment is upon us!  Tonight we are playing something absolutely blinding known as, Sheriff of Nottingham.  What's that you say mate?  The premise of our story?  Well, that lousy Prince John has finally gone too far!  It's close to impossible for a merchant to make a living anymore, being taxed as much as we are!  He's hired that greedy Sheriff of Nottingham to check everyone who comes through the front gate for "contraband" and keeping it for himself!  Read more to see how he's proving to be quite the caterpillar in our buttermilk.
Claire and I purchased this game about a month after it released so it has been a great game to have and most of our gaming friends have really enjoyed it.  The rulebook specifies literally that the player with the most cash on their person gets to go first.  Since that's just weird to request of our friends, we use the free mobile app known as Chwazi, the first player deciding app!  The game begins with the active player taking the sheriff marker, declaring that individual as the sheriff of Nottingham for that round.  Each round consists of 5 phases, going to the market, loading your merchant bag, the declaration, the inspection, and finally the end of the round.  This is another social deduction game, so the active player (the sheriff) will decide among all of the players who is telling the truth and who is lying to sneak in contraband.  You can tell the truth or you can bluff your way through, it's entirely up to you, and you can also choose to bribe the sheriff into not looking into your bag before going through the gate.  If the sheriff accepts your bribe, he is not to look into your bag and instead you get to take your goods and possible contraband.  However, if you're telling the truth and the sheriff wrongfully calls you out by looking through your bag, then he will have to pay you a particular sum based on the card/s in the pouch.  Once each player has taken on the role of the sheriff twice, the game ends and the players will total up their scores based on the cards and money tokens in their possession.
We really like Sheriff of Nottingham.  It has social deduction, bribery, bluffing, and push-your-luck all rolled into one!  Every time Claire and I played this, we have always played it with 4 players which seems to be a well-rounded number for this game.  Sheriff of Nottingham is a 3 - 5 player game and I think it works really well as both  a strategy game and a party game.  The deduction, bribery, and bluffing definitely plays strong into your strategy, but the social interaction and push your luck side of the game would equally work well as a party game.  This is one of the other reasons I really like this game!  The game components are well made, the artwork is really well done, the packaging of the box is well thought out.  Also, the instructions are well written, the game mechanics are very good, the gameplay is not long as it plays in about an hour.  It also happens to be one of the Dice Tower Essentials game, which is another good reason to consider it.  Finally the game lends itself to great theatrical flare.  There's also a really fun, and free mobile app specifically created for Sheriff of Nottingham that provides a timer during the inspection phase, as well as a points totaling system at the end!  Even Steve racked up some good money in this game!  Sheriff of Nottingham will be staying in our library for a long time.

Sheriff of Nottingham
Overall Meeple Rating: 8/10



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