‘So I notice you have a green velvet bag… whats in it?’ ‘Cheese’, ‘Gouda specifically’ I continue. ‘Wheels and and wheels of it’. ‘You sure its not… I don’t know… a gaggle* of crossbows?’. ‘Crossbows?’, I balk at the accusation… ‘maybe a couple of extra weevils… but certainly not ANY Crossbows’. ‘How about you give me 5 silvers and I won’t inspect your goods?’ ‘Hmm… how about 1 silver…’ I counter… ‘How about SIX’, the sheriff roars! ‘Woah, woah, woooooah’, I say, ‘lets not be hasty’…
* I have no idea what the collective term for crossbows is?
I love Sheriff of Nottingham. I love how simple it is. And I love how much fun you can have bluffing your friends. No previous board game experience required… and so easy even the noobiest of noobs should understand the premise after the first round. There’s not a lot of games that can boast that.
Everyone gets some money and a character card.
Commodities are divided up into legal…
And ill… well… goods that attract extra tariffs.
Every round one player is given the roll of trade war extraordinaire
Donald Trump… the Sheriff of Nottingham.
The goal is to surreptitiously fill your the little velvet pouch you are given with goods which you then take into Nottingham. The sheriff stops you at the gate and suspiciously eyes your bag.
There are a couple of ways this can go. You can bribe the sheriff not to inspect your bag. The sheriff can just let you pass. OR the sheriff can inspect your bag. If you tell the Sheriff you are importing Rhode Island Reds and when you open the bag its stuffed full of mark IV annihilators… you’re in trouble and the Sheriff confiscates your goods. However if the bag contains what you say it does, Golden delicious apples… then the Sheriff has to pay you.
It seems pretty simple.
It makes for some hilarious banter. Especially since other players can chime in with their thoughts and opinions. Ideally if you’re carrying legitimate trade goods you want the sheriff to inspect you bag so that he pays you money. If you’re carrying illegal goods you want to bribe your way through… or… seem like you want him to inspect your bag… when you actually don’t.
Its great fun.
Goods are counted up and scored at the end of the game. Its completely possible to win the game by JUST transporting loaves of Rye bread (and donning a guilty expression).
I give Sheriff of Nottingham a friendship ending rating of :
*as a term of reference, Grizzled ALSO scores 0/5, ie no chance of losing friends and Battle star Galactica rates 2.5/5… because your BFF… who knows you better than anyone else totally played you and is actually the $%^#& CYLON that taped C4 to the water purifier killing EVERYONE! That son-of-a-bitch.
Sheriff of Nottingham is a great game and comes highly recommended. I can’t tell you HOW MANY times I misspelled both sherrif and Notingham.