Thursday, October 13, 2016

Oh My Goods! (Mayfair Games)

Transport yourself back in time to the Middle Ages. You are a European craftsman, trying to make the best goods possible. This is Oh My Goods! Oh My Goods! is a card game for 2-4 players, ages 10+. It takes about 30 minutes to play and retails for $15.00.

1. Separate the Charburner cards (light blue border) from the rest of the cards, and give each player one at random. Also, give each player a random Worker card (brown background). Then, remove the remaining Charburner and Worker cards from the game.
2. In the center of the table, place a number of  Assistant cards (light gray background) equal to double the number of players. Randomly pick a side for each card, and then remove the remaining Assistant cards from the game.
3. Thoroughly shuffle the remaining cards together. Deal each player five cards to form their hand, and then place another seven cards face-down and sideways on top of each player's Charburner. (Note: Cards can be used as a Resource, the depicted Building, or face-down on a Building to represent Goods produced.)
Game Play - The game is played over several rounds with each round consisting of four phases:
1. New Hand Cards - Each player decides whether to keep or discard all cards from their hand. If they choose to discard, they gain an equal number of cards from the draw pile. The starting player then deals each player two cards.
2. Sunrise - The active player turns over cards from the draw pile to form the Market Display. He continues doing this until there is a Half Sun visible on two different cards. Each player then simultaneously decides the following things:
a. Working - Take your Worker card and place it on the Building you chose to work in. You must decide whether you want to work efficiently or sloppily.
b. Building - You can place a card from your hand face down. This is the Building you are going to build this round.
3. Sunset - The active player turns over cards from the draw pile in a second row in the Market Display. He continues doing this until there is a Half Sun visible on two different cards. The market is now closed.
4. Production and Building - Going in turn order, you produce goods, depending on where you put your Worker. You can then build a Building or hire an Assistant. Place a number of cards face down on the Building equal to to number of goods you produced (two if working efficiently and one if working sloppily or using an Assistant). You may also use the Production Chain (found in the bottom right of the Building card) to produce more goods on a Building that produced good this round. This is done by using Resource cards from your hand or production cards from other buildings.

Game End
The game ends when any player has eight buildings in front of them including the Charburner. Finish the current round. Then, play another round. Total all victory points from Buildings and Assistants. You also score one victory point for every five coins worth of Goods remaining on the Buildings.
Within this tiny game box are 110 cards. That's it! There's something beautiful about a game that is only cards, but cards that serve multiple purposes. When you have a card has multiple purposes, it creates a struggle each turn on what you should use the card for. Another great aspect of the game is the "engine-building" aspect. The game feels like a puzzle at times, in that you are trying to piece together the right cards to chain actions together and produce the best score. I also like that the cards in the Market Display are communal, but non-depleting. This means that just because your opponent uses cards, they don't take the cards away to prevent you from using them.

As for the negatives of the game, there are a couple. The first one is a petty complaint, but the name is a bit cheesy. Originally the game was called Royal Goods, which is a solid name, but it was changed. I'm not sure why, but my best guess is that it too closely resembled another game by Alexander Pfister - Port Royal. The bigger complaint I have is the ability to teach the game. On the surface, it seems like this should be a simple game to teach. However, I have tried a couple times, and I usually get blank stares when explaining the way the game is played. At that point, I stop explaining and tell them that we'll play a couple of example rounds. That's when it clicks for most players, but a lot of people don't like the idea of playing blind/at a disadvantage to the person explaining the game.

These complaints aside, I find the game to be very enjoyable. It has hand management, worker placement, press your luck, and all of this from only 110 cards! With a portable size, quick play time, and low price point, this is a good game to have in your collection. I forgot to add that the cards text is in German and English. This might distract some people, but I took five years of German in school, so it's like a refresher course when I play a game. I look forward to playing this game more and more and trying to unlock the best possible combination chains possible. I also can't wait for the expansion to be printed in the U.S., because it looks like it adds a story element to the game.

This game was provided to me for free by Mayfair Games in exchange for an honest review.