The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits


No, not the TV show…

A local plucked Jericho off the discount table and we gave it a go this week. I think it’s a pretty reasonable game, although the world isn’t in desperate need of another filler little card game. That being said, Jericho contains several clever ideas.

On your turn you play a card. The walls are the five suits (each suit having cards valued 1,3,4,5 or 7). There are also 2s, which are wild. You can either:

  1. Play a card onto a wall
  2. Play a trumpet (possibly onto a wall)
  3. Play a card into the supply

    Playing a card onto a wall simply adds it to the value. When each of the three scoring cards shows up, all the cards in the supply are flipped up and sorted by color. Whoever has the highest total value in each wall gets all matching cards in the supply (at one point per).

    The trick is trumpets. When you play a trumpet you name a color, and the highest single value of that color falls down. (If multiple values tie, they all fall down, although we think that each player can only lose a single card). If you happen to have a wall of that color, you can add the trumpet to it. However, trumpets can’t stand by themselves (and are never affected by trumpets), so if your only wall card gets knocked over, the 2s fall away. Any card knocked over goes into the supply and increases the value for the scoring.

    Walls fall often in Jericho.

    Jericho seems deep, for a 15 minute game. You often don’t want to play a big card out, since it can shield the next highest cards from trumpets, but sometimes you do it anyway. A long running battle in one color makes the winner score well, so sometimes you just pluck down a huge card and pray that the scoring will show up. After each scoring card all players toss one card to reseed the supply, so your hand size dwindles slowly.

    Overall, a reasonable filler.


Written by taogaming

March 3, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Reviews

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  1. My take on Jericho is that only Tom Lehmann would design a filler with a learning curve. Its first impression usually isn’t that good (since who expects a deep filler?), but with experience, the nice features start to reveal themselves. The luck factor is still considerably high, but I bet good play is at least as important. It’s kind of a strange beast, but one I wish I could play more often. Unfortunately, too many players aren’t willing to give it that crucial second look.

    Larry Levy

    March 4, 2009 at 1:39 pm

  2. 1) This post shouldve been about the show. Its good 😛 (Havent played the game yet, maybe its good too)
    2) ‘Filler with a learning curve’ is a good description of Middle Kingdom as well.

    I think there are a number of fillers with learning curves (in terms of play ability), but that what we’re really talking about is ‘fillers with counterintuitive strategies’?


    March 4, 2009 at 2:29 pm

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