Oriflamme is a game of hidden roles, programming and hand management. The player who achieves the most influence for his family at the end of six rounds wins.
Designers: Adrien Hesling, Axel Hesling
Artist: Tomasz Jedruszek
Publisher: Geronimo Games (First published by Studio H)
The game is played over the course of 6 rounds, each consisting of 2 phases:
In the programming phase, players choose a card from their hand, and place them face down on the table. Cards can be played to the left or right of the row, but not in between. You can also place on top of one your cards already on the table. When every player has placed a card, the resolution phase begins.
For each card, starting with the first one in line, the owner decides whether he wants to reveal it or not.
If he leaves the card face down, he places one influence on top of it.
When he reveals the card, he receives all influence on it, and applies the effect.
If the card is already revealed from a previous round, it’s also mandatory to apply the effect.
Oriflamme caught my interest by winning the prestigious French As d’Or last year. The extensive use of text on the cards held me back, as this is a typically low-entry level game I would mostly play with my kids, so I’m very happy Geronimo Games decided to publish the Dutch version of this game.
The game definitely relies on the card effects and these seem very well balanced: some cards will have more benefits when played earlier in the game, others you want to keep hidden as long as possible. For more experienced players, this game might be a bit too chaotic, with some cards possibly being removed before you even had the chance to activate them. The option to play on top of earlier played cards definitely provides an extra dimension, with the hidden cards being protected, but also not being activated. There’s definitely a good amount of replayability, as each time you’ll get a different combination of 7 cards from the deck of 10 to make the best of.
For me Oriflamme is definitely a good game, and I thoroughly enjoyed my plays of it. It’s also very portable so I can easily see this accompanying us on our next trip!
*Original 3-5 players, but official 2 player-rules can be found in the file section of the game on BoardGameGeek: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/287084/oriflamme/files