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Braggart – Card Game Review

You’ve just finished a hard day adventuring; You ache and you think you may have a new rash on your leg from that last battle. You’re sure it’s nothing and take some well-earned downtime in the local tavern. Sitting around the table are some fellow adventurers. The drinks start to flow and so do the stories, it’s time for you to become the biggest Braggart.

Specifications

  • Players: 2-6
  • Age: 10+
  • Approx play time: 30-40 mins
  • Cost: ~£10
  • Buy a copy

Design

Braggart is a card game, pure and simple, designed by Kyle Daniel and published by Spiral Galaxies. The cards represent drinks, with a tankard of ale motif on the back of the cards. These are used to piece together stories or use devious ploys to distract your fellow adventurers. The artwork of the cards has fun and cartoony fantasy illustrations, depicting the various things that will happen in your story. Cards are split into 6 categories and some of which are colour coded to help with recognition as detailed below.

  • Deed (Green) – A daring thing that you have done
  • Foe (Red) – Which enemy from the realm will you take on
  • Scene (Blue) – Where did the event take place
  • Result (Yellow) – What happened after the deed was done
  • Ploy – Devious schemes that you will use to distract other adventurers
  • Action card – Cards you play out of turn to change the outcome of a story.

Gameplay

Each player is dealt four cards, then the rest of the deck is placed onto the table as a draw deck. Play starts with the player who takes the “My Round” card. First of all, a common pool of cards is drawn from the deck of one card per adventurer, the person who currently holds the “My Round” card gets to choose one card from the common pool first and then the person to their left. Once all the common pool cards are gone then the player with the “My Round” card decides to do either of the following.

  • Go to the bar for inspiration – Take 3 cards (beers) from the draw deck (max hand limit of 8) to find inspiration for a story. You cannot Tell a story, or pay a ploy if you choose to do this.

or

  • Tell a story – Use the cards to piece together a story (further explained below). You may choose to play one or more ploys, which allows you to distract your opponents and steal some of their cards, or replace cards in your hand, but this isn’t a requirement.

Play then passes to the left until all players have chosen one of the actions, then the “My Round” card passes to the next player. Next, the common pool cards are replenished and play starts again. Play continues until all the cards in the draw deck are gone.

Telling a story

It’s time to tell a story of your daring deeds!

As a bare minimum, any story must contain a Deed and a Foe, you can additionally play a Scene and a Result card to gain extra points. What you’re trying to do is score the most points by adding up the numbers at the top of the card. The player who tells a story with the most points will get to keep them all that round for the scoring phase that comes later. All other players who told a story that round gets to pick one card from their story.

During the story telling any player may play an action card out of turn, the most common of these is the Liar card. This card enables the person who played it to replace a card in the story with a card from their hand to help reduce the score. They also get to keep which card they replace. It’s here that the element of uncertainty is injected into the game; trying to figure out if your story is going to be debunked by another player and, in my opinion, this is where the most fun is had.

What’s different in the 2nd edition

If you have played the original version, the 2nd edition is not much different. There have been a few small changes to the story cards and a few new cards added.

  • Witness card – A witness card can protect a hand from being changed when a Liar card is played. The witness gets to choose one card from the story to score for themselves
  • “Yes, I did” card – Only two of these exist in the deck and they enable the storyteller to undo any Liar or Outrageous Liar card.
  • Bar brawl card – Take all foes played in all stories, shuffle the and redistribute simulating the chaos that might happen during a bar brawl.
  • Symbol Matching mechanic – Every story card now has a symbol in its bottom left corner. If you match two or more symbols on the cards with your story then you will receive cards as a bonus during the scoring phase, think of it as the crowd loved your story and bought you a beer.

Verdict

I originally played Braggart a little over two years ago and liked it then, so it’s good to see it get a 2nd edition. However, I have mixed opinions of the additions. The Symbol Matching is a welcome bonus – It’s a good way to speed up the game a bit. There are times when you play a story, that you’re left with virtually no cards and spend the next few turns going to the bar to replenish. I like the “Yes, I did” card and it’s great that there are only two of them in the deck. The Bar Brawl sounds like fun and creates an element of chaos to the game. I’m yet to see it in action though, so can’t tell you what it does to the feel of the game, which makes me think that it is flawed slightly. The Witness card is another interesting addition, you cannot (obviously) be a witness to your own story. The player witnessing the event also gets to choose a card out of the story during the scoring phase, therefore, earning some easy points

So all in all yes, Braggart still gets a thumbs up from me. I do still very much enjoy the game. It’s well worth the price and because of its minimal footprint, it won’t take up so much room on the shelf which also makes it portable. As a bonus, it’s also young gamer friendly and can provide interesting touches of humour.

Have you played Braggart (the original or 2nd edition)? If you have, what do you think of the 2nd Edition changes? Tell us which daring adventures made you laugh. No.. scrap that, don’t just tell us – jump up on a table and start Bragging about it! Failing that there is always the comments section and of course we have Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

Love and bragging rights
– Chris

Edit: After re-reading some of the rules it seems I got some things wrong about the game and the cards. This review has been edited after my revelation just so that people get the right impression of the game.

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