The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Rick's Rec Room

July 24, 2013

One plague not to avoid - Rattus Cartus

Let me start right at the beginning by saying I have not played Rattus, the very popular board game about the The Black Death that darkened Europe in the 1300s.

So comparisons between that game and this card game from the same general period, Rattus Cartus by White Goblin Games won't be included other than to say that I watched Rattus being played and have been advised by people who have played both that they are very different experiences.

Rattus Cartus can be played by 2 to 5 gamers, ages 10 and up in 30 to 45 minutes. It will be time well spent.

The idea is that the King has succumbed to the plague and now princes are trying to drum up support throughout the land to become the new ruler. 

In gaming terms, this is done through a series of card plays much of which revolves around a deck of 60 building cards. These buildings fall into 1 of 6 classes (royalty, church, bourgeoisie, chivalry, peasantry and magic). Players will use cards from their hands called population cards, which are also divided into those same 6 classes.

In each round (and there will be 8 to 12 rounds depending on the number of players) several of these buildings will be made available to the players. The players choose which building to visit and how many population cards to commit to that visit. There are four different special cards mixed into the population cards that have different effects. For each card committed, the players gains influence in that class. But for each population card committed that way that doesn't match the class, a rat token is collected. Each building also allows players to draw cards or discard rat tokens or to look at the population cards put in the Nun row. Cards in that row will determine how much protection from the plague-carrying rats will be afforded at game's end.

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