Steam Court (2015) Gameplay 1–12 Players 30–90 Min Playing Time Age: 13+ DesignerWill Meadows, Ryan Pilz ArtistWill Meadows PublisherTantrum House
Steam Court (2015)
Gameplay 1–12 Players
30–90 Min Playing Time
In a place where politics, magic and science are covered in a heavy layer of coal dust lies the world of Steam Court. Steam Court is a 1–12 player card game that mixes elements of traditional trick-taking, with character based abilities and victory point win conditions.
Steam Court is a game of Victorian hierarchy where the more powerful your position, the greater your opportunity in the game. You'll want to try and hold onto the throne, but don't play your cards right and you'll end up serving the lousy Tea Boy. Each round, players rotate position at the table, and depending on their seat they gain/lose privileges. Even though the game is stacked in favor of those at the top, the luck of the deal, use of special cards, and player strategy are guaranteed to make it interesting.
There are multiple variations on how to play, but the typical game involves four rounds of cards and usually takes around 60 minutes.
The original artwork, intriguing theme, and clever game play will have you ratcheting for the top in Steam Court.
Goal: get rid of the cards in your hand before other players do. There are many strategies you can employ do this, but the most common is to be the controlling player to start the trick. The player who wins the trick starts the next trick. This allows you to decide how many cards of the same number you will play. Then all other players must match the quantity of cards played and also beat the number that is on the cards. For example, if a player lays three 1s, then the next player must lay three cards of a higher number - like three 2s or three 3s. What gives this game an extra dimension are the variable character privileges. Each Engineer is granted a different privilege by their Courtier that can be employed at the beginning of the Quarter or throughout the game. For example, the Duke can lay matching numbered cards instead of having to play higher numbered cards on a set of cards.
End of the Quarter: After everyone's cards have been played the Quarter ends and players re-seat based on the order they went out in (first player out becomes the Queen, and so on). They then gain the privileges of a different character for the next Quarter.
7-12 players: When playing with a large group a new element is added to the game -- a second table full of Renegades. Players who do poorly in the Royal Court are banished to the Renegade table, while the top two engineers at the Renegade Table are promoted to the Royal Court. In Steam Court, anything can happen. The lowest of low can climb to the top, or the Queen’s engineer can wind up working for the vagabond.