Posted by James (admin) on 28th August 2012
The theme of selecting a new pope may not be as broadly inspiring as that of pirates or city building, but don’t let this put you off as 1655 Habemus Papum is a surprisingly great game.
Essentially, it’s a bidding game as players blind (simultaneous) bid gems to determine in what order the players will take one of the 4 cards on offer each round. The goal is to be voted pope at the end of the game which you do by collecting votes. You start with a few gems which have a strict hierarchy: diamonds, rubies, sapphires and amber in descending order.
Each round 4 cards are on offer – one from each of the 3 decks plus the start player card. Players secretly put 0-3 gems in their hand and simultaneously reveal. The player with the most gems (any colours) picks a card first, then the player with the next highest total of gems, etc. If players are tied on quantity of gems then the quality of the gems is compared – players compare their most valuable gem, then the next and so on. If players have bid identical gems then the person closest to the start player going clockwise wins the tie.
The cards are cardinals (which give votes and sometimes cash), actions (which let you do things like steal cardinals, or your best gem counts twice for one bid), and political cards (which let you get votes from the King depending upon how many King cards you have, or allow you to buy votes more cheaply at the end of the game depending upon how many of those cards you ave, etc.) The start card is very important too as not only does it mean you win ties but, even more importantly, you get 1 red, 1 blue and 1 yellow gem plus 1 cash – this is the ONLY way you can get more gems during the game. Note you can never get more diamonds. Read the rest of this entry »