Transcript of podcast, Episode #116 by Stephen Conway and David Coleson.

(A clipped audio file including just the Haggis coverage is here.)

Next up is Haggis. Haggis was published in 2010 by Indie Boards and Cards. It was designed by Sean Ross, with art by Luis Francisco and Gary Simpson. It’s for 2-3 players, ages 12 and up, retails for $15. Usually you can find it for between ten and twelve dollars.

Now, Haggis is a wonderful, wonderful ladder-climbing, trick-taking style game that finds its footing in something that’s classic as Tichu. But the real key here is 2-3 players. So if you’re a Tichu fan, and you’re itching to play this style of game, and you’ve only got two to three, there is nothing better--as far as card games go--than Haggis. This a wonderful, wonderful game that borrows a lot of its mechanics from classic ladder-climbing games, but has a couple very, very important differences that really make it its own thing.

The biggest thing is the bombs. Bombs are huuuge in ladder-climbing games. And this is the only game, that I know of, where everybody starts every hand with a bomb. Face up, out on the table. Bombs are hugely powerful, but when everybody has one, this is really a game of who’s going to flinch first. (It’s like a giant game of Scottish chicken.) Absolutely, you’re like, as long as you have your bomb, you still have the power. You know, but the second you cough up a bomb, all of a sudden, you’re the weakest player because everybody else has the power still laying in front of them.

This is just a wonderful, wonderful game. The other way that you can have a bomb that I love, during the game, is that it’s all the odd-numbered cards. So fine, you may have another bomb in your hand, which is very powerful, but you most likely destroyed the majority of the rest of your hand. It’s got a betting element to it. It’s just, uh, it has that classic feel even though it’s this new.

As much as 7 Wonders was, you know, a really interesting and neat game, probably of all the new games this year, Haggis is probably, I would have to say is one of my absolute favorites. And we’ve come back to that sooo many times (Right.) and taught so many people over the course of the year, and it’s been a hit with almost every person because it draws upon this, this classic trick-taking and ladder style type games that you can, you can teach it to anyone in a pretty short period of time. (Absolutely.)