The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza Spotlight: Allegory

An allegory tells a captivating story while hiding a deeper, meaningful moral underneath. In the game of Allegory, you’ll compete with others as renowned authors, each scribing a trilogy of Tales: Nature, Energy, and Spirit. Master the use of Lore to incorporate powerful Themes into your Tales. At the end, you will be rewarded for weaving a hidden Moral throughout all of your Tales—but only the most concise Tale shall become a literary classic for the ages!

Allegory is a 2-6 player bidding and bluffing card game like no other. In this game every action has an equal opposite reaction, as you must bid to win cards, but the winning bid then goes onto rejected cards, allowing other players to collect more chips and win bids. It’s all about strategy and balance! Designed by Zach Weisman, with art by David Cornish, Allegory is perfect for poker fans, players who like a bit of take that, and people who enjoy truly stunning artwork in their games.

Allegory Rapid Rundown:

The goal of Allegory is to amass three sets of cards that represent three Tales: Nature, Energy, and Spirit. You’ll do that by bidding Lore chips to win the card you want, but keep in mind those lore chips will then be assigned to other cards available, meaning the other players can then take a card and your lore. As you strategically bid and fold, concentrate on also collecting the cards that contain your hidden Moral; they’ll give you a bonus at the end of the game.

In a shocking twist, only your tale with the LOWEST total value will be the one you score at the end of the game. After all, brevity is a virtue. 

The card with the white back and no number value is the hidden Moral card. The card with the dark back and the number value are the Theme cards you bid to collect.

Finding Inspiration:

The game begins with all players receiving a Moral card; if you can collect Theme cards with that Moral into each of your sets, you’ll earn bonus points. Players then shuffle the Theme deck, and lay out as many cards as there are players (2 player games will have 3 cards laid out, but otherwise gameplay is the same).

Going clockwise, players then take turns bidding Lore chips to get first pick at the Theme cards available. When every player except one has folded, the winner gets to select which Theme card to put into their tableau. The winner then distributes the Lore chips used onto the other available cards, and this is the key to strategizing in Allegory. In following rounds, players who fold will also be able to pick up a card, but only the one with the most Lore chips on it! 

The next player to fold may take a card if they want, but it can only be the -2 card since it has the most lore chips. BUT they’ll get 3 more lore chips to bid with. Decisions…

So if there happens to be a negative card on the table, a winning bidder may want to stack more chips on that card to force another player to take a negative score. But someone else may want to fold and take that negative card so they have more Lore chips to bid with later on to win a higher value card. How will you choose to tell your story?

Weaving a Tale: 

As you collect Theme cards to build your three tales ,you’ll need to pay attention to both the moral and the value on the cards; only the lowest scoring tale will count at the end, but you must have at least one card in each Tale to even score at all! As you bid and play, keep in mind you’ll score bonus points for every set of three matching Theme cards you can collect (no matter what Tale they’re in) in addition to weaving your Moral theme into each of your three Tales. Wow, Rule of 3 is a big deal in storytelling, huh?

Don’t forget to pay attention to what the other players are up to. Sometimes it’s worth it to throw a wrench in someone else’s works. Or in this case, spill some ink on their parchment?

Closing the Book:

Once one player has collected their 10th theme card, the game ends and scoring begins. There are 3 aspects to scoring (there it is again! Rule of 3!)

1: Add up the scores of each of your Tales. Only count the score of the lowest of the 3 Tales.

2: Add any Theme bonuses: for every matching set of three Theme cards, you earn you 2 bonus points. The matching Theme cards may be in the same or different Tales. 

3: Apply your Moral bonus: You’ll get one point for each of your 3 Tales that has your hidden Moral in it, for up to 3 points. Congratulations! You’ve mastered the art of the Allegory!

This player would earn 11 points: 4 for their lowest Tale (Nature), 4 for having 2 sets of 3 matching Theme cards (mask and butterfly), and 3 points for having the hidden Moral card (butterfly) in each of the three Tales.

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Allegory is coming to Kickstarter as part of The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! on November 10th, 2020. You’ll be able to get 3 fantastic card games that scratch three different itches, and together make for one incredible game night. You can check out the Kickstarter page here to be notified when the campaign is live, and if you want to talk more Allegory you can follow the game on Board Game Geek.

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