Review of Braggart from Spiral Galaxy Games, designed by Kyle Daniel, art by Vicki Paull
note – thanks go to Spiral Galaxy Games for providing a copy of this game for review purposes
OK, so there I was with a bunch of friends in a pub in the Middle Earth, sharing stories of our latest adventures, conquests, close escapes and feats of bravery…
Wouldn’t it be cool and great fun to do that? C’mon, admit it… you are a geek when it comes to fantasy realms and knowing a few things about the worlds of dwarves, elves, halflings, magic, etc. and so on. If you have played RPG’s you know what I’m talking about. If the Lord of the Rings trilogy are your favourite films ever, you know what I’m talking about. If you are a fan of fantasy literature, you know what I am saying…
For me the great fun of the fantasy genre is how immersive the stories can be and thankfully there have been new games coming along at a steady clip which have the theme of fantasy worlds.
So here comes Braggart, a card game for 2-6 wannabe heroes aged 10+ which focuses its attention on the story telling that tends to take place in the stereotypical pub or inn where fantasy characters of many different stripes and alignment meet up with strangers or those known to them to share news, gossip and generally tell “Tall Tales” to gain prominence.
From Wikipedia – A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. Some such stories are exaggerations of actual events, (‘the fish that got away’) such as, “that fish was so big, why I tell ya’, it nearly sank the boat when I pulled it in! …
Braggart is basically that, a game of Tall tales. Before some of you get put off about story telling, Braggart doesn’t force you to tell stories. Its all in the cards as they say (120 exactly, with nice artwork which fits the comic fantasy world theme), but if you are a bit more creative, I think it can add to the fun.
Very straightforward this. The aim is to earn the most money through crafting your tales. The heart of the process is the 92 Boasting cards, each covering one of four parts of the tale – the Scene (where your tale takes place), the Deed (what you actually did), the Foes you faced, and the Results.
The highest money to be gained requires you to put together one from each in a tale although you can put together 2 and 3 card tales. What is really fun about this game and sets it apart to some degree is the flavor text on the cards. A light-hearted game, the flavor text “takes the mick” out of the fantasy genre so if you worship at the altar of Tolkien and can’t handle anyone poking fun, this isn’t a game for you.
The game starts with the typical starting hand followed by a number of rounds consisting of Draft and Boast phases. Whoever has the “My Round” card for the round goes first. After playing Ploy cards (which allow you to do extra things), the players can Make a Boast and use their cards to put together a tale. Alternatively, they can draw cards by “Going to the Bar”.
An example of the kind of tale that might come up is –
Scene – While traveling the frozen wastes and roaming the bitter seas…
Deed – I was beaten and robbed by…
Foe …a terrified urchin
Results …and I am probably a better person for it!
Liar cards can be played on other players’ tales which allow you to replace their cards with those in your hand which can reduce the value of their tales.
At the end of the round the total values of the tales are tallied and round winners put their tales into their score round. in the event of a tie, all tied tales win.
Did it work for me?
I like Braggart as a humorous, fun, filler. I would say that you need the right group to play it with as some people may not like the story telling aspect, although you don’t actually tell stories but use the cards to craft your stories. However, with the right group, it can be quite fun. The mechanics are simple, the variety of cards means there is replayability. Not a lot of strategy and luck of the draw is all part of it. If you like fantasy and perhaps comedy fantasy, you should enjoy this game.
Boardgames in Blighty rating 6 out of 10
Hmmm… although the game is for 10+, I wouldn’t play it with younger than mid-teens as the theme and content is a bit too adult for them. Families might be better advised to look for something else.
For more information about Spiral Galaxy Games go to http://www.spiralgalaxygames.co.uk/