Just finished playing a game of Seven Dragons, a strategy card game by Looney Labs. It manages to find an excellent middle ground between ease of comprehension and strategic options.
The rules can be easily explained in 10 minutes (though I botched one of the rules’ aspects). After you begin playing and once you hit the game’s midpoint, your strategic options become complex and interesting.
It’s something of a
The draw pile also contains action cards that let players swap goals, swap hands, move a card on the table, etc. This makes the latter half of the game particularly intense, as chains built earlier are abandoned for new goals and precise placement becomes much more important to prevent other players from completing chains.
It’s not Risk, of course, but for a US $12-$15 game that you can teach quickly and get through in 30 to 60 minutes, I’m impressed at its depth. Bonus: elements of the system can be easily dropped to make the game easier for kids to understand.
You can buy Seven Dragons directly from Looney Labs.