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Tabletop Tuesday on Wednesday – "Gentlemen Thieves"

Father’s Day has come and gone and, as most Father’s Days go for me, my wife (sorry, my 4-year old son) picked me up a new board game from our friendly local gaming store to force upon the guests we generally have over for our weekly game night.  This occasion saw Gentlemen Thieves added to my ever-growing collection.  As such, I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to play and review the game for all of my beloved readers out there.

To start, let me put simply that I love this game!  It’s simple, easy to explain and the artwork is amazing.  In terms of pure replayability, I feel that it is better than most any other party game I’ve played.  It’s a great game!
In Gentlemen Thieves (released circa 2012), you are… You guessed it!  You’re a thief looking to skirt past the traps set inside different buildings and steal the valuable shinies contained within.  But how are you going to get past the barbed wire armed with nothing more than a crowbar and a bear costume?  It’s your job to think of a master plan and convince the other players that your plan is best.  It’s your job to prove that you are the MacGuyver of professional thieves.  Whoever ends up with the biggest stack of loot at the end of the game wins!

At the start of the game, each player takes one of the five burglar tiles and keeps it secret.  These come in five different colors.  Each player also receives 2-4 helping hand tokens depending on the number of players you have during the game at that time. Five locations are set out, each with two randomly chosen equipment tokens next to them.  These equipment tokens come in five types, with each type appearing in the five colors of the burglars.  Special tokens are placed out as well: two loot tokens next to the bank, one lock on the museum, and one tunnel next to the manor and six additional loot tokens, along with a car token and the second tunnel, are placed to the side. Three randomly drawn equipment tokens are then placed face up on the game board (which also doubles as the box the game comes in – it’s pretty nifty actually).

At the start of each round, a new player gets to be the matchmaker, the person who determines the alliances for that round by placing two alliance markers – each showing a burglar in the appropriate color – in one area and the other three in the other area (or two or one or whatnot – again, it’s based on the number of players). Thus, the burglars form provisional teams for the round and are trying to work together to rob a location but they don’t necessarily know who’s who. On a turn a player either:

  • Chooses one of the face-up equipment tokens, places it next to a location (with no more than three tokens of the same type being allowed at a location), then reveals a new equipment token.
  • Draws the top equipment token from the stack, then places it at a location.
  • Plays a helping hand token to move a special token or add a new special token to a location.

As soon as all five types of equipment are at a location, a burglary takes place there. Who steals the goods? The alliance that has the larger presence there based on the colors of tokens. These tokens are then flipped face down to become loot, added to any loot tokens present there, then split among the burglars in the alliance and placed on the scoreboard. The matchmaker then passes their token on to a new player, who must move at least two of the alliance tokens around, and then a new round begins.

The special tokens change the rules: The location with the lock can’t be robbed, although someone can choose to move the lock so that a burglary can take place. The car allows someone to move an equipment token to a new location. When the second tunnel is placed next to a location, the two locations with tunnels are now linked and the types of equipment present are considered to be together when determining whether a burglary takes place – although if the lock is on one of those locations, then nothing can be stolen!

A brigadier token that is shuffled into the final six equipment tokens, when drawn, is what ends the game. Players than reveal their identities, and the player with the most loot wins!

Again it is an extremely fun game to play with friends and family and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to have a good time.  It can be a quick play (I’d guesstimate it takes about 45 minutes to an hour), so if you’re not the kind of person who likes to play a couple consecutive rounds of the same game then have another game ready at your side.  My recommendation?  Stay tuned in next week to find out.

Until next week, folks, it’s been a pleasure talking tabletop.

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