Posted by: gschloesser | June 1, 1970


Dealing with the ‘luck of the draw’ problem in this new release from Queen Games.

Silberzwerg is an entertaining release from Queen Games which involves the mining of gems in attempts to fulfill contracts.  Contracts carry various values ranging from 40 – 120.  These contracts are dealt to the board randomly, with each player receiving one ‘private’ contract they may fulfill and two being ‘public’ contract which any player can attempt to meet. 

Several have complained, and justifiably so, that during the course of the game it is possible that one player will receive an inordinate amount of high valued contracts.  This can certainly give that player an unfair advantage as no other player can compete for those ‘private’ contracts.  Several methods have been proposed to deal with this potential problem:

  • Bruno Faidutti (designer of Adel Furcht und Adel, DemoCrazy, Valley of the Mammoths and more) has suggested that the value of the ‘120’ contracts be reduced to ‘100’.   Further, players who fulfill a ‘public’ contract receive an additional 15 point bonus.  To avoid forgetting about this bonus, the public contracts should be marked with a pawn.
  • Another method is to completely remove the ‘120’ valued contracts from the game altogether.  This will reduce the value spread between the contracts and serve to shorten the game somewhat.
  • Another suggestion is to make ALL contracts public.  This will certainly increase the tension level of the game by allowing all the players to compete for every contract.  Thus, no longer will a player have the security of delaying the purchase of his ‘private’ contract.

I have played using Bruno’s suggested method and feel it works quite nicely and would recommend it.

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