Kartel - breaking the Crime Ring

Kartel - it's very long and thin...
I picked up a copy of Kartel from Games Crusade in Harrogate, and we've played it a few times this week. I think it's going to be one that stays around for a bit. Written by Reiner Knizia, it's a simple game that takes about 15 minutes and is suitable for all the family.

You are all playing detectives investigating the seven criminal gangs in the city. There is a single large detective meeple (with a sticker) used by all the players. The game board comprises a ring (the 'crime ring') of randomly spread out crime lords (each with a unique colour), criminals (groups of 1-3, each coloured for the crime lord they have allegiance to) and potential bribes (sorry, donations to the police widows and orphans fund).

Each turn, you roll a d6 which generates a result between 2 and 4. You advance the detective as far as you want up to the number rolled around the crime ring, and then pick up what you have landed on. If it is a bribe or a criminal group, you place it in front of you as a potential arrest or payoff. If it is a crime lord, they go to jail. From that point, all the criminals that are in the same gang (same colour) are flipped to the scoring side when you pick them up. Any you have in front of you already, also get flipped as you've now got the evidence to arrest them. Any bribes from an arrested crime lord become worthless rather than scoring three points.

There's a catch; there are only five cells in the jail, and the moment that the last one is filled, the game ends (with any criminals from that crime lord now scoring). You get a point for every criminal arrested and 3 points for each bribe from a crime lord who hasn't been arrested at the end of the game.

It's a good game, with a degree of scheming and planning, and it works well as a filler. It certainly landed well with us across the family. Recommended.

6 April 2019

Board game breakfast
Boardgame breakfast - Kartel went down well with the whole family