Michael Schacht

AMIGO 2005




G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Being a bit neglected on Kulkmann's G@mebox in previous years, let me now show you another small cardgame from AMIGO. It can be played by 3-5 players and is the ideal game if you don't have much time for play. Taking the title literally, each player has a porcelain collection and tries to protect it from elephants. As everybody knows, elephants are very great and a little bit clumsy and do not have enough skill to prevent the porcelain from being destroyed if they come near to this valuables.

As a matter of fact, it's not as easy as it seems to be, because each player has to invite elephants to his house, because this will give him money that he will need to buy more porcelain. Fortunately there are different elephants in the game that do not love the same porcelains. So a blue elephant only loves blue porcelain and so unfortunately will destroy this in the collection. But let me give you a deeper insight:


At the beginning each player gets a specific amount of money and two porcelain cards. In each round the players decide about buying a new porcelain card for their collection or taking an elephant to get more money. They can only choose between the face up cards in the middle of the table. New cards are not turned around until all old cards were taken by the players. So it is sometimes hard to decide if it is better to take the bad alternative (the elephant) in this round or later, because you don't exactly know what your opponents will do. This can result in a player's options turning worse in the following round. Money is very limited, so it is often necessary to take an elephant card. This elephant card will destroy as many porcelain cards of the same colour as there are elephants on the card. For example an elephant card with two blue and one red elephant will destroy the same number of porcelains. There are also very big elephants that will destroy all porcelains of the given colour. And the grey elephant will destroy porcelains of the players choice!

Four different scorings take place during he game. Whenever a scoring is caused, each player chooses one out of four scoring mechanisms to get his points. But a player only may chose each mechanism once during the game, so they must carefully choose the right time for each mechanism. The four possibilities are:

  • The porcelains with the lowest number of each colour counts for the scoring.
  • The porcelains with the highest number of each colour counts.
  • All porcelains of one colour count.
  • All porcelains in the hand of the player count.

For me the small and simple game Der Elefant im Porzellanladen gives surprisingly many possibilities of tactics and will please every player who likes fast-paced but tactical cardgames. The rules can easily be explained in five minutes and the game only lasts about 20 to 30 minutes, so normally several rounds should be possible. The mechanism of scoring is a very interesting one and it might be interesting to see its use in other games, since the choice of different scoring mechanisms offers another tactical dimension to a game. Of course, luck plays a major factor in the game and it is not really possible to control the game by strategy or tactics alone, but in my opinion that's how a small card game of this kind should be.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany