Game review: Oh My Goods! is a clever card game of production
Posted August 4
Oh My Goods! is a small 30-minute card game for two to four players by Mayfair Games. Players are craftsmen in the Middle Ages building structures and crafting goods for victory points. The players who best manage their hand of cards will win.
At the beginning of the game, players are given a charburner stove card loaded with coal and a worker. Players are also given five cards to form a hand. Each card shows several things: a building that can be built, its cost, how many victory points it is worth and what kind of goods the building can produce. It also shows how additional goods can be produced in a chain action.
On each player's turn, two fresh cards are dealt to each player and then resource cards are revealed to the center of the table until two random suns are shown. Usually about two to five resource cards are revealed. Buildings need resources to run and produce goods, so what resources are available are important.
Next, players decide which building they will send their worker to. This decision is based on what resources are available from the previous step. For example, a shoemaker's building requires wood and grain to produce shoes. If the first step revealed wood and grain, it might be a good idea to send a worker to the shoemaker's shop.
Once a worker is placed, a player must decide if that worker will work sloppily or orderly. Sloppy workers can pay one less resource but will produce one less good. Orderly workers can produce two goods but get no breaks when payment is due. Resources can be tight, so sometimes it is better to produce at least one good rather than nothing.
Players can also decide to build a new building at this step. This building will need to be paid for by the end of the round. So goods can be produced and sold before it is time to pay for the building. New buildings also open up new options on future turns.
The next step is to reveal another set of resources to the center of the table that can be used to produce goods. And this leads into the production step where a worker uses available resources to produce goods. Resources can be drawn from the center of the table and from a player's personal hand of cards to produce goods. Goods are then worth money, which can purchase new buildings.
If a building actually produces one or two goods, a second option becomes available. A chain mechanism allows a player to produce even more goods for a lower cost. For example, the cattle ranch requires two bricks and two wool resources to produce cattle. Once that is activated, a player can produce more cattle for a single grain resource. This chain mechanism can be very powerful.
When a player builds enough buildings, the player can hire another worker and work two buildings each turn for even more goods. When a player builds eight buildings, the game ends and points are tallied for buildings and goods. The player with the most points wins.
It's amazing what Oh My Goods! does with a bunch of cards. There are not many games that can do what this game does without a board and a bag full of pieces. However, the theme is a little weak (grain and wood make shoes?) and the distribution of cards is random, so it is hard to plan ahead or build the most desired buildings. Overall though, for a game under $20 that can fit in your pocket, it's good. Check it out before you buy by clicking here.