"The Field of the Cloth of Gold is a remarkably catty game. It’s about the gifting of grandiose presents for diminutive effect, about small decisions that grow weighty as their true import becomes clear. It’s about subtleties that are obvious and obviousnesses that are subtle. As a trifle, it conceals great depths." - Dan Thurot, spacebiff.com
"Imagine if 90s leather jacket Knizia put two knives in a box and said 'you're only allowed to use these on yourself, now win'." - Demetri Ballas, pixeldie.com
In June 1520, at Balinghem, there met the young and glorious Kings of England and of France in a grand and splendid celebration of their mutual friendship and admiration. There were great feasts and opulent amusements, conspicuous expressions of deepest and sincerest piety, and fierce tournaments. Each King outshone the other in turn, so that the world might be astounded at the wealth and power of each kingdom. So many tents and raiments were made of precious cloth of gold, that the field is so named.
This game was created to commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of the world’s most famous three-week party, in which King Henry VIII of England, and Francis I of France, spent ridiculous amounts of money and resources to peacock at each other. Through smiles made of gritted teeth, the game’s two players will express friendship: each action they take will give their opponent a tile that they might use to score. Scoring usually entails removing the tile from the game, so each player must take care to maximize their scoring opportunities while either denying them to their rival, or forcing their rival to score before they’re ready. Once the game is underway, players are generally given only two options, and both of those options are usually painful - even and sometimes especially when they score you points.
A sort of subversion of the point salad paradigm, The Field of the Cloth of Gold harkens back to the feel of the classic German games of the 1990s: simple, elegant, austere, and politely vicious.
Designer: Tom Russell
Hex Number: 51
Duration: 20 minutes
Solitaire Suitability: Low