Thanks to a friend, my family and I got to check out some new games back in the spring, and I just found the notes I made after playing them.
Each seat at the table - not player, mind you, but physical seat - represents a player's level in the nobility. There can be up to eight players, but only four of the seats matter: the Greater Dalmuti (the boss of all), the Lesser Dalmuti (boss of most), the Lesser Peon, and the Greater Peon (the lowest rank). Game play is easy and fast. This is a game that anyone can play, even your in-laws.
Play starts with the Greater Dalmuti playing one or cards to the table in front of him. Going around the table, each player must either play the same number of cards of higher rank or pass. The round ends when everyone has passed. The last player to play cards starts the next round.
Play continues until someone runs out of cards. That player wins the round and becomes the Greater Dalmuti. Other players total the numbers on the cards remaining in their hands. Once the scores are totaled, players change seats according to their scores, lowest (the Greater Dalmuti) to highest, who is now the Greater Peon. An optional rule suggests assigning funny hats to each rank; we had fun with that too, fighting over certain hats just as much as we fought for the title of GD. Scores are summed over a number of rounds of play. Lowest total wins the game.
We had a lot of fun with this game. Its fast pace and constant change of seats made for high-energy play. Once we get our own copy, we'll devise some drinking rules. Out of curiosity, I Googled the notion and found this list of favorite drinking games on BoardGameGeek. The entry for The Great Dalmuti is kinda lame, so there's room for improvement there. I like the rules for RoboRally.
Game review 2010.01
Now reading: A book about a witch by Kim Harrison.