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Spaghetti & Meeples types about The Great Dalmuti

Behold! I am The Great Dalmuti! You can tell because I got rid of all my cards first. Bow down to me! Or at least stand up and move aside so I can sit in the chair designated for one as important and powerful as myself. Don’t know what I am talking about? Let me explain.

The Great Dalmuti is a rummy style game wherein players must create matched sets of cards and set them down. The first to get rid of all their cards wins and is declared, well, The Great Dalmuti. That is the basic premise, but there is much more to it than that. Everyone, you see, will be assigned a status or rank and that status or rank will affect not only where you sit, thus creating a physical representation of just how horrible your social status is, but also give you advantages or disadvantages.

The Great Dalmuti

Come with me as we venture into Status Symbol Land in order to learn more about how this game works on a Pleasant Valley Sunday…er, or Monday…because today is Monday, at least it is where I live….

Anyway! You already know how to become the Great, or rather Greater Dalmuti, then there is the Lesser Dalmuti. You may look down on the Lesser Dalmuti, but then you both may look down on, and laugh at, the Greater Peon and the Lesser Peon. All players between the Greater Peon and the Lesser Dalmuti are run of the mill citizens. Boring!! But also they aren’t taxed. Taxed?! Whatever do you mean Brandon? You see, at the beginning of each round there is taxation. This is where the Greater and Lesser Peons give there best (lowest numerical) card to the Greater and Lesser Dalmutis respectively. And the Dalmutis schluff their worst cards off onto the peons.

Then, as the Greater Dalmuti, you get to go first, thus setting the tone and furthering the oppression of the masses. Players lay down one or more cards of matched numbers and others lay down cards until no one can top any cards and the last person to lay down cards wins the hand and gets to go first on the next hand. For me this game is a great representation of a modern capitalist society despite its pseudo medieval theme. Sure, you can work your way up and become the Greater Peon and then the Lesser Dalmuti and then the Greater Dalmuti! But the cards are quite literally stacked against you.

My wife and I immediately fell in love with this game when some friends introduced it to us about twelve years ago. It was out of print at the time and we assumed it remained so, but then we saw it in Cloud Cap Games and had to snatch it up. The gameplay still held up, we still enjoyed it just as much, and we were able to introduce some new people to it. They had just a good a time as we did on our first play though. The Great Dalmuti Is a fun rummy game with a twist for 4-8 players where charcoal is burning everywhere and no one seems to care.

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