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I traded with Elyklord to obtain Montgolfiere about a week ago. My 6 year old son, RJ, and I have played it about 10 times since. The game is a bit like Raj, and very much like Nothing Here But Us Chickens.
Balloon bits are placed on space 5 of a board with ascending areas, labeled 1-12. If a player gets their balloon to the top spot, the game ends and the player is victorious!
Players move their balloons by playing cards from their hands. The most common card is a ballast card with a number - highest numbered card played advances the player's balloon one spot. A few "special power" cards exist; grappling hooks allow a player to rise with a balloon one space above them, an engine moves a player up 2 spaces, a sleeper card neutralizes players on the space under them, and storm cards reverse the flow of upwardly mobile balloons for the round (unless an even number of storm cards are played - they "cancel out"). Players play these cards from a hand of 7 cards - all players have identical sets of 24 cards from which they randomly draw their hands.
In our two player games, we play with two "Black Barons" (BB1 and BB2 below)- two robot players that play random cards.
Our eighth game ended in 7 plays! Here is a recap of cards played:
Round 1: RJ-Storm, me-1, BB1-12, BB2-6
Positions: RJ-5, me-5, BB1-4, BB2-5
Round 2: RJ-Sleeper, me-3, BB1-3, BB2-2
Positions: RJ-5, me-6, BB1-4, BB2-5
Round 3: RJ-Grappling Hook, me-Engine, BB1-5, BB2-3
Positions: RJ-7, me-8, BB1-5, BB2-5
Round 4: RJ-12, me-Storm, BB1-4, BB2-Storm
Positions: RJ-8, me-8, BB1-5, BB2-5
Round 5: RJ-11, me-2, BB1-2, BB2-7
Positions: RJ-9, me-8, BB1-5, BB2-5
Round 6: RJ-Engine, me-Grappling Hook, BB1-Sleeper, BB2-12
Positions: RJ-11, me-10, BB1-5, BB2-6
Round 7: RJ-14, me-12, BB1-Grappling Hook, BB2-Grappling Hook
Positions: RJ-12 (win)
Wow! What a ride - I'm not sure RJ could have been any faster. I find this is a great game for us. Competitive, engaging, and seems just right for us.