Scout | Ladder Climbing Card Game
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Scout is a clever and fast moving trick taking card game designed by Kai Kajino from Japanese games producer, Oink Games.
The concept is that each player is a circus ringmaster looking to create the best act in the circus. This is done by combining cards in your hand to form runs and sets that represent the strength of the act. The twist here is that you are unable to re-order the cards in your hand, so in order to gain stronger acts you have to ’Scout’ cards that have been played down by other players.
So, how do you play Scout by Oink Games?
1. The cards are shuffled and dealt to each player. The cards are dual sided so each player then decides which way up they will hold their hand. Once this is decided, players will not be allowed to reorder or turn their hand for the rest of the round.
2. The starting player will lay down a ‘show’ (either a run or set of cards.)
3. The next player will then have a choice to either lay down a higher level ‘show’ or purchase one of the cards that feature in the ‘show’ that is in play.
4. Laying a higher level ‘show’ will replace the current ‘show’ and the superseded cards become points for that player.
5. Scouting a card will give a point to the player whose ‘show’ is currently active but the scouted card may be placed either way up and anywhere in the hand of player who has ‘scouted’ the card. The active ‘show’ will now have been weakened as a result of having a card taken from it.
6. The round continues with each player having the option of ‘show’ or ‘scout’ with the game ending when either a ’show’ is so strong that no player has been able to beat it before it returns to the original player or if one player is able to play all of the cards from their hand.
7. Scores are determined by the number of points taken in the round minus the number of cards left in your hand. Highest score wins the round.
Scout has a really re-playable and thoughtful strategy mechanic and quickly becomes your go to game for a quick fun fix. Like all great card games it has very few rules so anyone can pick it up, making it suitable for families as well as being a great after dinner or coffee shop game. It has a very small box which also makes Scout compact and lightweight as a travel game.
- 2-5 players (best with 4)
- 15 Minute Play Time
- Easy to Pick Up (no complex rules)
- Age 8+
- Great family game
- Great travel game
- Nominated for Best Game at Spiel des Jahres 2022