Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Cyril Blondel, Jim Dratwa, Virginie Rapiat

Blackrock Games

No. of Players:



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Ying and Yang, the Chinese philosophy about contrary forces may have been the inspiration for Eternity, a small card game by BLACKROCK Games. Indeed it is the player's aim to root back the harmony in the trees of life, because, at the moment, these trees are dying. And so new trees must be planted atop the sacred islands.

Knowing this background story, you could be surprised that Eternity is “only” an easy-to-learn trick-taking game. In a round of the game, each player puts one card in the trick, and the player who has played the strongest card, wins the trick and puts it in his front. Cards have numbers from 1-13 and there are three different suits, indicated by the colour of the cards. A suit must be followed, if that is possible, a higher card beats a weaker one and trump beats the other suits. We all know that from traditional trick taking games.

The speciality of Eternity can be found in the mechanism to change the trump suit during the game. At the beginning of a round, a trump board with a column for each of the three suits is set-up on the table. Two random cards are given to this trump board and the suit that has most cards in this trump board is the current trump. In case of a tie, the leftmost suit determines the trump.

Now, on your turn, you have two options. Either you play a card to the trick or you pledge a card from your hand and add it to the trump board. If, by this, a new suit has the majority, this is the new trump suit for the next trick.

Pledging has another important task. Depending on the number of tree tokens on this card, a player takes 0-2 tree tokens and puts these in front of him. But why are these tokens important? The reason is the scoring mechanism: only if a trick can be combined with a tree token, it becomes in harmony and only than it is able to score. Therefore, a player must keep each won trick separately. He takes all cards of the trick in one pile and puts it face-down in front of him. And then, on the back of the cards, he finds a peninsula with a space for the tree. This is the place to plant the trees and to score the trick. Moreover, if you have exactly as many tree tokens as you have won tricks in a round of Eternity, you are awarded by a special harmony bonus that increases from round to round. Three rounds are played and in the last round this harmony bonus counts 7 victory points, which is pretty much, regarding that a trick with a tree only adds one victory point. Tricks without a tree are worthless, but the greatest misfortune occurs, if a player has collected more trees in a round than tricks. Then the world is in misfortune for that player, and he leaves the round without a single new victory point.

As every game by BLACKROCK, Eternity comes with great illustrations on both sides of the cards. The trees, which must be placed on the back of the cards, perfectly fit into the free spaces in the background on the cards. So by placing the tree, you physically feel the harmony the tree finds on the island. However, except from the trees and the change of the trump suit, Eternity is quite traditional in its gameplay. But that is not bad. A lot of people still only know traditional (card) games and haven't noticed that the boardgame world around them has totally changed. For all of these people as well as for gamers who like fast, easy-to-learn card games with outstanding artwork, Eternity offers some very interesting variations from the traditional trick-taking theme.

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