After playing Carcassonne
for 4 hours a day roughly 2 weeks in a row, we asked Buck (the cool dude from Craving for a Game
) what other games he had that we might like. After talking with us so much on all our visits to buy Carcassonne tiles, he figured he had a pretty good bead on the sorts of games we would like. So he offered us a money back guarantee on Cosari, saying that he always give the money back guarantee on this game since everyone he suggests it to loves it.
Cosari is a (perhaps) clever take on Corsair. Basically, the game is a variant of Gin. The deck contains 110 cards, split into 11 cards in 10 different colors. The colors represent pirate bands, and the numbers represent the jobs on the ship (1 is the captain, for example).
At the start everyone gets dealt 12 cards, plus a "Tavern" of 7 (or 8 or 9, depending on the number of players) is dealt. In the picture below the row of seven cards at the bottom of the image is the tavern.
Each turn you can take the top card of the Tavern, draw a card from the deck, or pick up the card that the previous player just discarded. You then have to discard a card.
The idea is to build a "crew" for your pirate ship and "Set Sail" (knock, for Gin players). You are aiming to split your cards the following ways:
- The Crew: The crew of the ship consists of 1 or 2 colors of cards, but with no numbers repeated within the two. In the example below, the player on the right has a crew made up of Yellow and Brown. Because the crew contains a brown 1, it cannot contain a yellow 1.
- The Prisoners: The prisoners are pirates that are being held for ransom, so they don't cost you any points. The color of the card on the top of the Tavern represents the color of prisoners. In the example below, the top card is green, so all green pirates are prisoners.
- The Stow-aways: Any cards in your hand that aren't part of the crew or a prisoner are stow aways, and may count against you at the end of the hand.
The idea of the game is to get the best crew possible and then "Set Sail", which you signify by placing a card face down (which counts as your discard on that turn). You then lay out your crew, prisoners and stow-aways. When you set sail, all other players must also set sail.
Before the other players set down their cards, they are allowed to play cards in their hand that are valid in the crew of the player that set sail first. In the example below, the player on the right set sail first. If the player on the left had a yellow 11 (for example), that player could play the 11 as part of the crew of the other player, to get it out of their hand.
After everyone has "Set Sail", the stow-aways for each player are tallied up. If the player that Set Sail first has a lower stow-away count than everyone else, that player gets 0 points and everyone else get points based on their stow-aways. The idea is to have the lowest score possible.
A player is allowed to draw the top card in the Tavern if they want to. Doing so changes the color of prisoners to the new card exposed. This can have a rather drastic effect on players that were depending on a particular color to be the prisoner.
A nice wrinkle in the rules is that if the player that sets sail first has more stow-aways than another player, he is forced to take the stow-aways from the other player and add them to his own. This happens for every player that has a lower stow-away total than the player that set sail first. The player that set sail then takes the points for all of the stow-aways of his own plus the ones he was given, plus a 10 point penalty.
It's a fast interesting little game that is easy to learn (laughably so if you're familiar with Gin at all) that penalizes people that try to knock too soon. All in all, a good time! We highly recommend!