Claim - Dastardly Review #138
Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Claim was designed by Scott Almes and published by Deep Water Games.
Claim is a trick taking game but with a couple really cool twists. Claim is only for two players and game play takes about 15 minutes.
There are five Factions (suits) in Claim. Each Faction has a unique ability.
At the end of the game, each Faction casts their vote for the player who has collected the most cards of that Faction in the player's Score Pile. Get the most votes and you win!
Topnotch components for a card game. The art is spectacular and fun. The box has some shiny foil lettering. The cards and box are all high quality materials.
Each player gets a helpful overview card of the suits and their abilities.
Claim has 52 cards spread over 5 Factions (suits) each with a unique ability:
- Knights win any trick when played on a Goblin regardless of rank
- Doppelgangers become the Faction that was led
- Undead are not discarded in Phase 1 but instead go to the trick winner's Score Pile
- Dwarves in Phase 2 go to the trick loser's Score Pile not the winner's
- Goblins have no special ability
There are 10 cards of each Faction except for 8 Knights and 14 Goblins. The cards are numbered 0-9. There are 5 Goblins with rank 0. The Knights start at 2 instead of 0.
And now for my one gripe about Claim: The icons for Factions are similar and difficult to tell apart. In our first several games, we miss-played cards because of the icons. The icons just don't pop out as unique.
Game play is slower as we double check icons.
Setup is super fast. Shuffle the cards and deal each player a starting hand of 13 cards. Turn the top card of the deck faceup.
At the end of the game, players count up the number of cards in their Score Pile for each Faction. The player with the highest card count for a Faction wins that Faction's vote. If both players have the same card count the player with the highest ranked card of that Faction gets the vote.
The player with the most votes wins!
There are two phases of the game: Recruit Followers and Gather Supporters.
During Recruit Followers you are playing a 13 card hand to win 13 more cards that form your deck for the Gather Supporters phase. In the second phase you are trying to get the most cards of at least three Factions moved to your scoring pile.
Standard trick taking rules apply in both phases...must follow suit, high rank wins, no trump and the player that won the prior trick leads the next trick.
The two phases and the Faction abilities are what make Claim shine!
It is really cool to play cards in the first phase to build your hand in the second phase. Also in the first phase, you can add undead to your score pile instead of discarding them.
The Faction abilities add a level or two to your strategy.
Dwarves side with the loser of the trick so they are perfect for sluffing on a trick...you get to add the dwarf to your score pile.
Doppelgangers not only have their own suit but they can copy the led suit.
No Faction dominates. The balance in the game is awesome.
Since you need to win the votes of at least three Factions...you could collect all the points in one Faction but still lose the game.
My wife and I play a lot of games together (yay!) Finding awesome games that play well at 2 players can be a challenge. Many games advertise they are good for 1-5 players but once you play them you quickly find out their sweet spot is 3 or 4 players and they just aren't that great with 2 players. Claim is just for 2 players and does it perfectly.
Claim has earned a spot in my travel backpack.
Incredibly fun, beautiful two player game. Claim is one of our favorite two player games. Can't wait to get some of the expansions.
The icons for the suits could be more unique.
I love the doppelganger ability to become the suit of the led card. This completely messes with people that like to count cards!