“You there, fellow in yellow. What do you bring through these gates?” The Sheriff chuckles at his own wit.
The yellow gentleman, confident as ever, “Good Sheriff, today I return from market to bring nothing but these 4 wheels of cheese to the good people of Nottingham, and I hope to fetch a fair price.”
“And you, what might you have to confess, lady in the purple dress?” The Sheriff is still full of his own humor, though the vendors roll their eyes at this one.
“My good sir, I have but these 3 bushels of apples, and if you see your way to letting me through, I might have a coin for you.” The Lady in Purple reposts.
“Lastly, the supposed lordling in green, what have you brought me after yesterday’s fine confiscation?” The Sheriff studies the merchant in green carefully.
“Why good sir, I brought 5 perfect loaves of bread, and if you wish to inspect them, that is your prerogative, but you will find nothing but bread today. Though I did hear the other gentlemen mention something about a democratically elected Sheriff after this shipment.” Sir Green smiled with never a care.
The Sheriff had seen this lot before, and none were truly to be trusted, but his own purse was light from having to pay out to the merchants for “misappropriating” their goods. He thought long and hard, and came to his decision.
“My Lady, you are free to go. You have always spoke true to me, and I thank you for the coin.” “For the cheese, you, too can go, but I’m keeping an eye on you.” “Sir Green, I believe I wish to hold your shipment for inspection. Especially after the last time you snuck those crossbows in.”
The Lady in Purple went to her stand, and put away a bushel of apples, and a couple casks of fine mead. Then smiled.
The Man in Yellow, sold 4 good wheels of cheese that day.
Unfortunately for the Sheriff, Sir Green was telling the truth, and by the laws of the land, he must be reimbursed for the delay caused by the Sheriff’s suspicions.
This Sheriff, poorer and maybe wiser, would return.
Sheriff of Nottingham is a bluffing game by Arcane Wonders and is part of The Dice Tower Essentials series. This game, for 3-5 player, pits one rotating role of the Sheriff against the wits and bravado of the other players who are but simple merchants. And by simple, I mean lying, conniving, wheeling and dealing wonderful folk.
The game plays 2 full rounds of each player having the role of the Sheriff. The other players are attempting to get products from the Market, through the Gates of Nottingham, and into their Stand. These come from three piles in the center, which represent the Market. The center pile is face down, and is blind pull. The two other piles are face up, and are seeded with cards first at the beginning of the game, and then later by player discards. Each player must choose between 1 and 5 cards, out of a hand of 6, to try and get past the Sheriff. They go into a colored envelope which matches their personality card, and then the fun starts. You can only declare one item type, you must state the full quantity of cards in the envelope, and you cannot declare contraband good. So, if you put 3 apples cards and 2 crossbows in, you would state “There are 5 baskets/bushels of apples in my shipment”, or something similar, like “there are 5 loaves of bread in there”, but you know there aren’t. Yes, you can lie, but not about the number of cards. Then, you can choose to grease the palm of the Sheriff. This can be money, or a quantity of the declared goods. If the Sheriff accepts the bribe, you must pay out, unless you declared something that wasn’t in the packet at all and then the Sheriff is just out of luck. Everyone starts out with seed money, and various actions cause you to earn money, or pay money to either the Sheriff or the Bank. Your personal coin stash can shape how you make choices in honesty or smuggling.
At the end of the 2 rounds of being Sheriff, points are totaled, with extra points being awarded for king (most) or queen (second most) of an item. These extra awards, along with the money you have in your hand, can really turn the game around in the final couple rounds.
Sheriff of Nottingham really picks up in fun when players begin to play a bit with their characters, and the game becomes a bit of light role playing. The basic mechanics are a breeze to learn, with only a few cards to take out for the 3 player game, or adding in extra special cards for the unique items to smuggle. The cards to take out or add in are easily identified.
Sheriff of Nottingham is one for a permanent location in most people’s tabletop game library.
Arcane Wonders – Sheriff of Nottingham: http://www.arcanewonders.com/sheriff-of-nottingham
Have you picked this one up yet? Let me know your thought in the comment below.