Author: Bruno Faidutti

Hans im Glück 2000

Awards: none



G@mebox author Marco Klasmeyer writes about the game:


The nicely designed card game Ohne Furcht und Adel is a beautiful combination of a building card game and fantasy elements. Eight different characters compete against each other for the most beautiful and greatest city in the kingdom. Each player tries to build his city with more or less valuable buildings like simple taverns, attractive harbours or huge castles or even special magical buildings providing extraordinary possibilities. The players take the role of one character per turn: King, Soldier, Magician, Merchant, Priest, Thief, Murderer, and the Building Master. Depending on the number of players not all eight characters may participate in the same turn, but each turn a new character can be selected from the set of eight, providing special abilities to the players.


The King character has a superior role in this game. He basically coordinates a turn with the eight different characters and their order of activity. Each character/player (including the king itself) has the following options for his turn when he is called by the king:

  1. The character may use his special ability (see below).
  2. The character on turn can either take two pieces of gold as income OR draw two building cards of which he can keep one and has to discard the other.
  3. Build a building in his city: The character can choose one card from the hand and pay the indicated amount of gold pieces for this card. Then he can place it face up in front of him, extending his city now.


When a player has built the eighth building (or more) in his city, this last round is completed. Afterwards all cities are evaluated. Each building has the value of gold shown on the card (1-6). The sum of all card values plus a bonus for quitting the game or for the variety of building types forms the final score. The player with the highest score (the greatest and most important city in the kingdom) wins.

The order the characters can act is given, each character has also a special ability:

  1. The Murderer: He names one other character, which will be murdered this round. That character cannot take any action in this turn. Next turn, when all characters are distributed, then the "murdered" character is available again.
  2. The Thief: He names a character whose gold will be stolen. The named character has to give all his gold to the thief before the character starts his turn. So the thief cannot steal the gold, which is the income for this turn. The thief cannot steal from the Murderer or the murdered character.
  3. The Magician: He chooses a player and exchanges all hand cards with him. Alternatively he can discard an arbitrary amount of hand cards and draw that many cards from the supply pile.
  4. The King: The King calls the other characters to make their turn. The King obtains one gold piece for each yellow building card in his city. The player with the king character remains in this position until the next king is chosen (see below).
  5. The Priest: The buildings of the Priest cannot be destroyed by the Soldier. For each blue building card in the city of the Priest he obtains one gold piece.
  6. The Merchant: He obtains one gold piece at the beginning of his turn. For each green building card in his city he obtains one gold piece.
  7. The Building Master: He can draw two building cards from the supply pile and keep both. He is the only one who is allowed to build up to three building in one turn.
  8. The Soldier: The Soldier can destroy other characters' buildings (except the Priest's). If he chooses to destroy a building, he has to pay one gold piece less than the card's building costs. For each red building card the Soldier obtains one gold piece.

The following rules apply to the distribution of the characters:

At the beginning of the game the first start player becomes the King. The King shuffles the character cards. Then he places one card face down and 0-2 cards - depending on the number of players - face up in the middle of the desk. If one of the open cards is the King character, all cards have to be shuffled again and the procedure starts again. The characters in the middle are not available during this turn. From the remaining character cards the King has the privilege to choose his character for this round first. Then he passes the rest to the player to his left. Each player chooses now a character and passes the remaining cards to the left neighbour. So the last player gets only two cards to choose from. The card he has not chosen is placed face down in the middle of the desk. The king calls now the other characters in the above order of appearance to make their turn. When the next King character is called this action is immediately transferred to the new King. The new King will perform the character distribution in the next turn. If no King is participating in this round (because the character card is one of the cards in the middle) the old King remains in his position.


Ohne Furcht und Adel is a fantastic card game. It has atmosphere and tactical elements, the rules are quite simple but offer enough possibilities. Especially the character selection mechanism with the order of activity is very interesting. Choosing from the full variety of characters might sound simple, but you never know what the Murderer and the Thief will do. The Merchant or the Building Master or even the noble King are attractive victims, since they are powerful characters. The Murderer will throw back the opponent if he misses a turn, but which character the might the leading player have chosen? The Soldier becomes more and more important at the end of the game, because it is the only possibility to prevent a potential victory of an opponent by destroying buildings. But what, if the opponent has chosen the Priest, so he is safe from the Soldiers. Or has he chosen the Murderer who stabbers the Soldier? All these considerations can become quite tricky in a late phase of the game. And it is very funny to guess at the opponents' choice and plan some intrigues on your own. There are some magical buildings which provide special abilities to their owners. Some are quite powerful and expensive and hence attractive for the Soldier but also expensive for him to destroy.

Ohne Furcht und Adel is one of my favourite card games. It is small and portable, up to seven players can participate which makes it an ideal game for vacations, where new players might join your group. The beautifully designed cards are the cherry on top.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany