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Liars & Looters

Julian Reinartz' Liars & Looters (Floating Forge) is a trading game for 3-6 players but don't expect Sidereal Confluence (WizKids). Liars & Looters is a card game where you really can't trust what other players are offering you in trade. If you've ever played the card game Cheat or its many reinventions (for example, Ibeyis Games' Thebes Lies), you'll have an idea of the sort of game and the joyful chaos it's likely to engender.

Each player has a 'Tribe' card that shows the six specific resources they need to collect in their hand. The twist in Liars & Looters is that the Tribe cards are face up and so are entirely public information. There are six resource types among the cards in the game and the requirement on your Tribe card will be for two of one specified resource, at least one each of four others, with just one resource that is useless to you. The deck is seeded so there are in total two more of each resource than demanded by the Tribe cards in play. In addition to the resource cards, the deck includes Event cards equal to the number of players

Players all start with a hand of two cards and they draw a card each turn. If it's a resource card they keep it secret and add it to their hand. They then initiate a trade by offering a card from their hand. The card is offered face down and it may or may not be the resource you declare it to be. Other players likewise offer a face-down card and a claim as to what resource it is. The initiator then chooses which trade to accept. If the player drew an Event card, they must declare it and immediately follow the instructions. These might include handing a card to another player, revealing cards or even being prohibited from lying on your next trade.

Deceit and bluffing certainly play their part in Liars & Looters but tho' you know what other players are collecting - or more specifically in practice what's of no use to them - the card draw each turn means that players are continually adding to their hands. If you get a trade from another player that has a resource on their own wants list then you will deduce that they already have sufficient of that resource, so we tended to find the same surplus resources got traded back and forth until a player was able to claim victory mostly by dint of lucky set collection. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the ride.

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