Oh My Goods, formerly known as Royal Goods, is a 2-4 player hand management card game by Alexander Pfister (Great Western Trail, Isle of Skye and Mombasa). Players take on the role European artisans during the Middle Ages who produce an array of different goods.
The game has a strong element of press your luck and economic style production chains where players will activate buildings to produce goods which can be used in other buildings to produce better goods. Cows to leather, leather to shoes for example. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game is the winner
Each player receives a random Charburner building and a worker card. A number of random assistants are displayed (number dependent on the player count) to the side of the game area. The remaining building cards are shuffled and each player is dealt five cards that forms their starting hand. A further seven cards are placed face-down and sideways on to the Charburner. Each card represents one unit of coal and is worth one coin.
The cards can be used in three different ways;
- The left hand side of the card depicts a resource.
- The middle of the card represents a building.
- Face-down on production buildings represent goods that the particular building produces. The goods can be used as coins and are worth the value of the goods that the building produces. For example, a shoemaker produces shows at a value of eight coins. One face-down goods on the shoemaker is equivalent to eight coins.
Oh My Goods Gameplay
Oh My Goods is played over several rounds with each round consisting of four phases carried out in the following order;
1) New Hand Cards
Each player can discard all of the cards in their hand and draw an equal amount of cards from the draw pile. The active player then deals each player two new cards. There is no hand limit.
The active player turns over cards from the draw pile and places them in the middle of the play area. This forms the market display. The active player continues to do this until two half suns are displayed on the revealed cards. This represents that the sun has risen and the market is open for business. When cards are displayed in the market only the left hand side (the resource type) is of interest.
All players then decide simultaneously which one of their buildings they would like their worker to work in and what (if anything) they want to build.
The worker card is placed below the selected building and a player can decide to work effectively or sloppily (in phase four) and rotate the card to the selected side accordingly. If a player decides to work effectively then the worker will need all of the depicted resources on the selected building and will produce two goods. If a player decides to work sloppily then one less resource is required but only one good is produced.
A card can be taken from a players hand and placed face-down to indicate that this is the building that they are going to build in phase four.
The active player turns over additional cards from the draw deck forming a second row in the market display until two more half suns are displayed.
4) Production and Building
Each production building will display a certain number of resources required to produce the depicted goods on the bottom left of the card. These resources (and the quantity) must be available in the market display, however players can make up any missing resources by discarding cards from their hand. The market display is the same for each player and the resources are not removed from the market when used.
If a player decided to produce effectively they must have the total amount of goods required shown on the building. They take two cards from the draw pile and add them face-down on to the production building.
If a player decided to produce sloppily, one of the resources is not required (players choose) and they take one card from the draw pile and add it face down on the production building.
If a building produces at least one good it can immediately use the production chain displayed on the bottom right of the building card multiple times. The production chain shows which resources from a player's hand or goods from another building are required. If a production chain shows that two resources are needed, two production goods are added to the building I.e. the Bakery requires one coal and one flour for its production chain. Players can add a coal and a flour from either their hand or other production buildings and place both of these cards face-down on the bakery, effectively producing two bread.
After a building has produced and chain production has occurred players now build the face-down building they selected in the previous phase. The cost of the building is displayed in the upper left hand corner of the card and goods equal to or greater than the building cost must be discarded; i.e. if a building costs seven gold, the player can discard a goods from the shoemaker, as shoes are worth eight gold. No change is given if players over pay. If a player cannot or chooses not to build their building it is returned to their hand.
Instead of building a player can hire one assistant per round. Assistants cost coins and have a requirement for specific buildings to be built (For example, two yellow buildings or a red, green and black building) before they can be hired. When they are hired they are immediately placed below a building as a worker. Only one assistant or worker can be placed in a building. The assistants can be moved for the cost of two coins during sunrise. Each assistant produces one goods if they meet the requirements for that buildings production.
At the end of the round all the market cards are discarded and the next player in clockwise order becomes the active player.
The end game for Oh My Goods is triggered when a player has built eight buildings (including their starting Charburner). The current round is completed and then one more final round is played out. In the final round each player may use the production chains in all of their buildings even if they have not produced and do not have a worker or assistant in them. Each player counts their victory points from their buildings and assistants and scores an additional point for ever five coins' worth of goods they have remaining in their buildings.
Oh My Thoughts
Alexander Pfister is known for some of his big heavy hitting Euros such as Mombasa and Great Western Trail. Oh My Goods is a small box card game that packs a pretty decent punch. It isn't as heavy as some of his other games but it does have a fair amount of meat, for what is essentially a deck of cards.
I like that the cards are multi use and the push your luck element in the market is tense, especially if you have decided to take a gamble and work effectively, hoping that the required resources come out in the sunset market phase. Certain buildings combo well together, like the Cattle Ranch (produces Cattle), Tannery (turns Cattle in to Leather) and the Shoemaker (turns Leather in to Shoes). Getting these chains up and working really pays off in the final round. But building these chains costs money, which is effectively points at the end of the game, and time.
Oh My Goods is effectively a racing game with players trying to be the first to build eight buildings, so do you go for cheap and cheerful buildings that don't chain to finish the game quickly or hold off building until the perfect building comes in to your hand? There are plenty of choices to make in the game to keep players engaged and interested.
Personally I am not a massive fan of the name, but at the end of the day it is just a name and does not reflect on the excellent gameplay. Oh My Goods is a small box with a big game inside and one that will be staying in my collection for a while. If you are after a small card game that has got a bit more about it, I can highly recommend Oh My Goods.
There are also two expansion to Oh My Goods called Longsdale in Revolt and Escape to Canyon Brook. Lonsdale in Revolt consists of five chapters that tell a story and includes new buildings, chapter cards and event cards. The event deck tells the story and is compiled differently each time you play. A second expansion called Escape to Canyon Brook continues the story from Longsdale in Revolt and contains more chapter cards, event cards, assistants and a new building. I have yet to try these expansions but looking forward to picking them up in the future and giving them a go