The Great Dalmuti

This weekend I had the opportunity to experience The Great Dalmuti. The Great Dalmuti is not a magician or the title of the latest teen book series like Harry Potter. It is a card game that has it route in the late middle-ages. It is a variant of the modern day game “Presidents” and the Japanese game “Dai Hin Min”. This game is played with 4-8 players, and the deck of cards is made of 12 ranks ranging from Peasant to The Great Dalmuti himself, each rank having its equivalent amount of cards, as well as 2 jesters which count as the number 13 or wild cards. The goal of the game is for players to get rid of all the cards in their hands.

The most interesting part of the game is not the general gameplay. The fun part is that the winner of the last round becomes “The Great Dalmuti” and the loser becomes “The Greater Peon.” Without giving away too many of the rules, The Great Dalmuti receives some advantages making his hand easier, and the Greater Peon receives some disadvantages to make it harder for him to go up in rank. This seems unfair right? Well, with the description on the back of the box being “Life isn’t fair…..” its easy to see what the game’s challenge is.
The version we played this weekend was the 2005 version put out by Wizards of the Coast. It was designed by Richard Garfield and Illustrated by Margaret Organ-Kean. Each card has a beautiful Illustration, done in a style reminiscent of medieval artistry, and each rank is based on a medieval hierarchy’ ie, (12) Peasant, (8) Mason,  (6) Knight, (4) Baroness etc.

It was a fun game and I really liked looking at the illustrations, but I really liked being the tyrannical Great Dalmuti with all the advantages, watching her poor subjects struggle to wrestle leadership from her. muahahaha

Oct 26, 2009

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