Eric Salomon


No. of Players:
2 - 8



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game :

Die Jagd nach dem Gral is the newest game from the publisher ARGENTUM-VERLAG. This small publisher is based in Cologne and was founded in 2004 and has just published its seventh game. The game is another proof that small publishers are catching up with the big players of the trade, and game material and design are no longer inferior or seem to be unfinished or homemade. However, one of the differences which still can be found is the trade distribution. So if you want a copy of Die Jagd nach dem Gral there are only a few stores where you might be lucky and find the game. However, the internet age makes it possible to get such games via mail order.


As might be guessed from the German title, in Die Jagd nach dem Gral the players start for the hunt for the famous Holy Grail. Eight different persons (2 Assassins, 2 Templars, 2 Rosicrucians and 2 Illuminates) can be moved on a 5x5 grid on the game board, and at the beginning all of these pawns start the game in their respective home-corners of the board, whereas the Grail is placed at the central space of the board. During the game, all pawns can be moved by all players, and there is no limitation or an assigned pawn to a player. All pawns can be moved by one step in a players turn, and the Grail can be taken by a pawn on the same field and can be transported to any other place. The object of the game is to bring the grail to a pawn's headquarter, but the winner will not the player who has moved the pawn to its home-corner, but instead it is the player who has assigned most influence on this pawn.


To assign influence, every player has an influence sheet with pictures of the eight characters. Some starting influence may be assigned at the beginning of the game, during the game additional points may be assigned if a player abstains from moving a pawn. Overall, each player can assign a maximum of 100 influence, and it may only be distributed in the denominations listed on the left side of the influence sheet. Thus, each player has 4x1, 4x2, 4x3, 4x5 and 4x10 influence points to distribute. Each denomination of influence may not be split up, so if you want to use a "10"-influence unit, it has to be given to one pawn only. As this distribution should be hidden from other players, it is a good advice to load special screens from the publisher's internet side to hide the sheets (although it might have been a good service if these screens would have been included in the gamebox…).

During the game, the players have the possibility to prevent other players moving the pawns. So, if someone wants to object against a move of the active player, he has to announce it right after the other player has made his suggestion to move a pawn. The player who has voiced the veto then has to reveal influence on this particular pawn by announcing any sum that is smaller or equal than his actual influence on this pawn. If the active player still wants to perform the move, he has to reveal more influence. This goes on until one player passes. By this method, the players slowly get to know each other's influence distribution and can react by assigning more influence on a pawn that soon might be reaching its headquarter with the Grail.

A very clever mechanism of the game is to announce a pawn's betrayal. To do so, the active player has to move a pawn onto the same space of the pawn which is betrayed and declare the betrayal of the pawn. As usual, all other players may veto this move by revealing influence on the active pawn. If now one rejects or if the active player revealed more influence, the move may be made and the pawn which was standing on the particular space is betrayed. It is removed from the game board and the active has to remove 10 points of influence from the attacking pawn. Influences on the removed pawn now must be declared by all players and they are lost, too. So you get more and more information about the influence distribution of the other players.


Die Jagd nach dem Gral is a nice game with not too complex rules and a lot of bluffing. The game is very tactical: especially with only two or three people you will need some games to gather experience, although the rules are very easy to learn. Personally, I am missing a little bit more possibilities for player actions, but a really interesting option which should not be underestimated is the chance to betray a character in order to get deep insights of the other players' distribution of influences. Here is good timing and a lucky hand are essential, since this option may render a good portion of an other player's influence useless.

I would not recommend to play the game with the regular maximum of players, since it gets harder and harder to keep track of all revealed influence. Thus, I would say the optimum manning for the game is somewhat like three or four players. Finally, please note that this game is not a typical family game in spite of the easy rules. As long as you are not really interested in tactical games, you should have a test before buying the game.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2008 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany