Liberalia is a game I played last year at Gaelcon and really liked it. I picked up a copy at Knavecon buy and sell for a good price and I’m very happy with my purchase.
Liberalia is a pretty simple game. From a deck of thirty or so cards it sees the youngest player (not me) draw out eight random ones and the others hoist onboard the same eight character cards.
Each of the thirty characters have a special ability and some conditions for making doubloons for the owner and in a lot of cases a negative attribute that might cost you points at the end of the round
A round consists of six days where you secretly pick a character cards and chuck it into the mix for the day. The cards gets laid out in cards number order and the lowest one first kick off their special ability (the brute for example kills the highest character in the mix, the governors daughter makes 5 doubloons if she’s the only daughter on the ship) some characters cash in at the end of the round, some of other characters if a lower value have been played and so on and so forth etcetera etcetera.
Once charters play out their special ability then in reverse order they get the choice of some of the booty available for that day (all clearly visible in advance), some of which is valuable. Less valuable, murderous or minus points.
There’s a decent amount of player interaction, but you rarely get the chance to hammer just one specific player, so often it’s a close run points race
A special mention has to be made of the artwork. The character cards are beautifully rendered. Some of the nicest and most realistic illustrations I’ve seen in a game.
Throw in a measure of card counting and you have a fine solid game. It’s short enough that you’d like a second try after more than likely losing. It’s chaotic enough to be unpredictable but not random and the variety of cards makes for a fairly different game each time you play
Let’s be honest it had me at “pirates” and after one play, i was hooked (if you’ll pardon the pirate pun) I can see this barky hitting the table a good bit over the next few months
Huzzah! As we pirates never say