Go On, I Dare You…
Diamant, or Incan Gold across the pond has become a staple party game of push-your-luck. Despite a fractured publication history with a number of different looks to the game, the core game makes for a brilliant addition to any game collection. Let's look into the Caution and Betrayal expansion for Diamant.
In Diamant, you play explorers as you dive deeper and deeper into a series of camels in order to find rubies and other rare treasures. However the caves are filled with traps and vicious creatures that will inevitably send you running back to your base camp. Each turn, a new exploration card is flipped. If there are rubies on them, you divide the goodies among the group evenly, leaving any leftover on the card. You then vote whether you want to carry on or whether you will go and count your rubies back at the camp. If you leave you are also able to gather any left rubies on the path. If multiple people leave, you share whatever rubies were left. But the important thing is you are safe and so can place your gems into the provided treasure chests where nothing can happen to them. However, the meat of the game is to see how far you can go. How many gems can you collect? Because as traps are flipped you get dangerously close to leaving the cave with nothing but your tail between your legs. If two of the same type of danger are ever flipped you have no choice but to flee, dropping everything you have picked up so far. There are also idols that can only be collected if you are the only person to go back that turn, which can be very valuable! After five caves have been explored, the game is over and the adventurer with the most gems wins. This game is always a winner, not only because of its simplicity but because it encourages groups to egg each other on and the joy of watching people having to flee dropping a handful of gems is incredibly satisfying. But now we get a micro expansion to add a little variation to this modern classic.
This tiny box comes with two modules that are completely interdependent of each other and can be used as and when you like without much upkeep. The first, and perhaps the strongest is, Caution. The expansion comes with nine caution tiles that are shuffled up, with one randomly placed at each cave entrance. Each tile comes with an additional rule, just for that cave, allowing the game to chop and change focus from round to round. Examples of such cautions are “each player who exits alone, receives five extra rubies from the reserve” or “each turn, simultaneously reveal two expedition cards instead of one”. Each of the nine offers a really fun addition making that tricky decision of whether to carry on, even trickier. One of the tiles allows you to encounter three of the same traps before fleeing, giving you a false sense of security and it is easy to be tempted to push deeper than you know you should!
The second module is a lot simpler. In each game, players have two cards in their hand. In the voting stage, players reveal which card they want to do, continue exploring or return to camp. I love this tension as you look around trying to read what everyone else is going to play. Well now, that tension becomes even greater. Each player now has a third card. A betrayal! Once per game you get to play a betrayal. In the vote phase, you may decide to play your betrayal card and before everyone else gets a chance to reveal, all betrayal cards are flipped and put in front of another player. If that player has chosen to leave then you steal up to ten of their rubies as they leave, putting them directly into your chest, and then you continue exploring the cave. Your betrayal card is then taken out of the game. If they have chosen to continue or if more than one player has played the betrayal card on the same person then nothing happens but you still lose the card. I love this tiny addition. Yes it can be mean but you only get to do it once and it isn’t guaranteed it will work anyway.
If you are a love of Diamant already then this is a no brainer but even if you are new to the game I would encourage you to add this inexpensive addition in to the box straight away and have fun encourage your mum to be greedier and greedier until a giant spider sends you crying back to her tent…is there a better feeling?!