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Are you fed up and bored watching all those fit folk running, jumping and doing all kinds of energetic stuff while you sit and play electronic, board or card games ?
Then rev up your inner athlete, plonk your butt down on a chair up against a table with some friends, and revel in the ORC-LYMPICS (without losing any breath).

ORC-LYMPICS is a crazy-fun 2-5 player card game from BRAIN GAMES.
It is designed by David Thompson & Trevor Benjamin with wonderfully comic illustrations by Reinis Petersons (a 'touch' of Legolas in the Elf community perhaps?)

Components:
There are Four Rules booklets in full glossy colour for English, Spanish, French and Dutch players. I am quite surprised there isn't a German language rules book.

Two (unnecessary) plastic standees, one for each of the card tokens Gold and Silver Awards

15 Competition cards, Blue Red and Green; 12 'Standard' Tournament cards with values 3, 4, 5 and 6 (3 of each) and 3 'Main Event' cards with values of 7

42 Orc-Lympic cards broken down into Humans x 9, Goblins x 7, Dwarves x 7, Elves x 7, Orcs x 4, Halflings x 4 and Djinns x 4
Identify them by their illustration (each Race has the same picture) as there are three pairs of colours. Humans are Brown other colour types noted below:

Each of the Races, known as Orclympians, has a different variation of values across the three abilities;  Cunning, Speed and Strength, represented by A Green Eye (Cunning),  Blue Wings (Speed) and a Red Fist (Strength). From a hand of eight cards dealt from the mixed deck of Race cards the players create their team, a squad of any number up to 8 cards but of only three races, non-selected cards are returned to the box. It is generally better to either have good skills in as many competitions as possible, or or be strong in a few.

The 6 competition cards are dealt face up into a Row from the shuffled available 12 'Standard' cards, and then one of the three 'Main Event' cards is randomly placed at the end of the Row; the first six cards are arranged into ascending order with the lowest valued being the furthest away from the 'Main Event - the 7' card. Once the Main Event has been completed the game is over and the Players count up the total points they have won in all Rounds, the Winner being the Player with the most points; highest value Gold Trophy deciding a tie.

This is a fun game of number crunching, deciding which cards to play and when. Cards are played in duplicates or singles to try to win the Award/Trophy cards one at a time. All cards played in a Round are placed face down in a stack in front of the people who played them, they are 'Resting' and can be returned to a player's hand if / when the player doesn't win a Trophy card. Obviously the '7' card is the most valuable but playing just for that is not usually a good strategy - of course it depends on the values of the six Standard cards but it's still a dangerous tactic to keep all your eggs in one basket. I have won games by scoring low and then winning the '7' but only something like one in 4 or 5 times, and yet I keep trying the same strategy even though I know it's not a good idea. (You know the definition of madness ? It's doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result).

The Trophy cards determine what competition Skill is required and each player entering a card into the event must play a card with at least one point of the correct denomination. Because you can see the Trophy cards before your hand (of 8 cards) is dealt this is when your strategy is formed. Even what you may consider at first to be a poor hand may be strong if the other players haven't been dealt the same Race/s as you and the Trophy cards lean in your favour. 

Because every card of each Race is the same, ie all Humans (the only Grey cards) are (1, 1, 1) = 1 Speed, 1 Cunning and 1 Strength, Halflings (4, 2, 0) and Goblins (3, 0, 2) are Blue cards, Dwarves (0, 2, 3) and Orcs (2, 0, 4) are Red cards and Elves (2, 3, 0) are Green cards the total value for the required Skill of the cards played is easy to count when placed on top of each other but with each covering card placed slightly to the right of the previous card (all Skill values being in a column on the left hand side of the card).

ORC-LYMPICS is a very simple game of pitting numbers against numbers using colours and symbols to represent the different variables (i.e. Skills). It isn't mind-blowing or a classic and probably not one you will remember in a year os so, though that would be a pity as it is a lovely few minutes game that can be played with anyone who knows their numbers and colours (though even the colours aren't that significant as the illustrations are a much easier and better way to identify the Races. Remember that any Race can be played alongside any Race/s to boost your Competition score as long as at least one of the Races played has points in the required Skill (e.g. you cannot play only Orcs in a Competition requiring the 'Cunning' trait/skill.) 

It's bright and colourful, quick and easy, and most of all it's fun! It plays very well with 3, 4 or 5 players and is equally as good with just 2 players, which in itself is quite unusual. A great five-fifteen minute filler game, good for families and gamers it is a smile-worthy card game.

In the UK stores and online it sells retail and new from a few pence over £9.00 up to about £12.00 with a variation online on postage of between £2.00 to £5.00 so don't rush to pay the cheapest sale price without first checking the postage.
Examples: ZATU £9.07 plus postage = £12.60. The Board Game Hut £11.99 plus free postage. Check around before purchasing.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015