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Subject: A great introductory Family Game rss

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Jeff W
United States
los angeles
CA
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At our recent Games Gathering I won a copy of Diamant in a raffle. I was quite pleased as I had always had my eye on the game as one that would go over big with my family and friends. Upon returning home I immediately opened up the box and, once I got past the beautiful looking components (thick, chunky cardboard bits to make boxes and nice plastic gems, plus a deck of square cut cards), discovered I would need to retrieve the rules from BoardGameGeek, as the supplied rules are only in French German and Italian, not English (I wonder if this was intentionally done in hopes of selling English distribution rights later?).

Diamant is a simple, press your luck game in the vein of Can’t Stop. Players represent miners collecting gems from 5 different mines. All the miners head into the mine together and work cooperatively to collect gems, dividing them equally among all present and leaving any extra on the ground. Ocassionally dangers are encountered which may stir fear in some of the miners who may opt to escape from the mine (and thoughtfully pick up the gems left behind on the way out) rather than continue mining in the increasingly dangerous conditions. As soon as a single danger strikes twice, all remaining miners are incapacitated and unable to escape the mine with their loot. Only those that sensibly left earlier have anything to show for their days work. After the fifth mine collected gems are tallied and the winner determned.

At the beginning of the game, each player is given a mine cart and a wooden miner. The cart is assembled out of very thick cardboard with graphics that make me think of early California orange crates more than mine carts.(The slightly oversized box leaves room for the carts to remain assembled after play.) The square deck of 30 cards consists of 15 cards numbered between 1 and 17 (with at least 11 repeated twice.) and also includes a number of mine disasters (3 of each of 5 types: scorpions, snakes, rock slide, explosion, and poison gas fo a total of 15 cards). The numbered cards represent the number of gems discovered in the mine at that location. The gems themselves are nice plastic red and clear gems (with values 1 and 5 respectively). My kids love to handle the gems and enjoy making change during play.

The deck is shuffled thoroughly and placed face down on the table. Each turn the top card is turned face up and if it is a number card, gems are distributed equally among all players with the remainder being left on the card. Players then simultaneously vote whether they are staying in the mine or running out by a closed fist vote: if the player’s hand contains their miner they are continuing on, it empty they opt to flee to see another day. The fleeing players get to keep all the gems that have been given to them through earlier divisions of the stake, plus these players equally divide amongst themselves and keep any gems picked up on the way out (if only one player flees, they get all the gems to themselves). The other players gems remain outside of their cart and are only added to their cart once they too opt to flee. Fleeing players are out for the remainder of the current mine. The remaining players await the risks of the next card, which is flipped over, either revealing a danger of more gems. The alternating voting then flipping continues until either all miners have fled the mine or two matching dangers are revealed (in which case the remaining players are trapped and lose their loot). Each mine is played out in a similar manner and at the end the winner is the player that has banked the most gems.

Sometimes it is surprising how fast those dangers stack up. In about half our games it seems we have one mine that closes out without revealing any gem cards. The odds seem against this happening though others I am sure are better poised to explain otherwise. Equally surprising are the mines that seem to go on forever. These wild swings of possibilities make for all the momentary angst in deciding ‘should I stay or should I go now.’ True it is very light angst, but fun none the less, especially for my kids, which makes it all the more fun for me! Since winning my copy, this has been the most played game in our home, especially because it is so quick, which means we can get a game or two in on school nights after dinner. My 7 year old daughter in particular has been especially taken by diamant, enough so as to declare it her new Favorite Game. Diamant is fast becoming our go to game for a quick light introduction to the hobby, especially when kids are involved. Recommended.

My Rating: 8, a great filler that even plays great with the kids.
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david landes
United States
oak hill
Virginia
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We play regularly in that "after dinner/before bed" spot with my 9, 8, 6, and even 3 year old.... all of whom cheer the gem cards and boo/hiss the disasters. Strategically, my 3 year old can be counted on to leave the caves at the first opportunity to take gems with him, but this adds its own spice to the game.
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David Seddon
United Kingdom
Congleton
Cheshire
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A nice review. Thanks.
 
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