This list of games like Sheriff of Nottingham attempts to capture the interesting mix or party/communication and strategy it brought to the world. Sheriff of Nottingham is a game of bluffing, bribing and smuggling. You are all traders trying to bring your goods into the castle, but a good way to make some good money is to sneak in contraband materials.
Players take turns being the Sheriff who says yay or nay to anyone coming in. If they inspect and find a liar, the liar pays the price, but if they were telling the truth, the Sheriff pays. Past the main mechanic of communication mind games and trickery, there are elements of set collection and mathematical probability. It has some “take that” and a little role-playing. If you are looking for something similar, it has a tall order. This is our list of 5 games like Sheriff of Nottingham.
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#05 | Vault Wars
Sheriff of Nottingham is kind of a bidding game if you think about it. Everyone is trying to one-up one another and if you go too high it could all explode. Vault Wars is a bidding game and feels very much on the list of games like Sheriff of Nottingham both in theme and in the combination of lively combative communication and collection strategy.
Many heroes go forth to battle, but some never return; leaving behind their prized possessions. You’ll be part of the bidding war for the vaults they left behind to gain valuable items — each providing Gold, Victory Points or new abilities. Outbid your opponents, equip artifacts to gain new abilities and find the gear your up-and-coming heroes are looking for to be champion in Vault Wars. You never know what is in a vault, or better yet, maybe you know something your opponents do not.
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#04 | Viceroy
Another game that focuses on the bidding but captures the general vibe and gameplay of Sheriff is Viceroy. This, however, has much more going on. If you are looking to kick it up a notch, this is a great choice from the list of games like Sheriff of Nottingham. As the players struggle for control over the world of Laar, they recruit a variety of allies and enact various laws.
These cards allow players to develop their state’s military and magical might, increase their authority, and get precious gems they need to continue expanding their nation. As the game progresses, each player builds a power pyramid using character and law cards. Each card has its own effect that depends on the level of the pyramid. These effects may give more resources, more cards, or victory points. The player who has the most power points at the end of the game becomes the ruler of the land and the winner!
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#03 | Taj Mahal
Northwest India at the beginning of the 18th century. The rule of the Grand Moguls is waning, and the Maharishis and princes seize the opportunity to take control. By influencing the prominent forces, building magnificent palaces, and ensuring a steady supply of commodities, the princes increase their power until the most successful has won.
The goal of the game is to gain the most influence points. These can be obtained by building palaces and by acquiring commodities. A palace can be built after securing the support of the Vizier, the General, the Monk, the Princess, or the Grand Mogul. Commodities are gained by seizing control of a region or by retrieving them on a space where a palace has just been built. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you communicate with your opponents, which is exactly what you have in Sheriff of Nottingham.
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#02 | Cockroach Poker
Cockroach Poker is a reverse set collection game that has nothing to do with poker – except that the game is all about bluffing, but with cards that show cockroaches, rats and stink bugs instead of numbers. The goal of the game is to force another player to collect 4 of any one critter. Thematically it is way different than Sheriff of Nottingham, but gameplay-wise, it is there.
On a turn, a player takes one card from his hand, lays it face down, slides it to a player of his choice, and declares a type of critter. The player receiving the card either call “true” or “false” revealing the card, or peek and pass to another player. The game ends when a player has no cards to pass on his turn or when a player has four cards of the same critter on the table in front of him. In either case, this player loses and everyone else wins. It seems more like a playing card game than a board game, but the electric bluffing fun is there.
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#01 | Citadels
In Citadels, players take on new roles each round to represent characters they hire in order to help them acquire gold and erect buildings. The game ends at the close of a round in which a player erects their eighth building. Players then tally their points, and the player with the highest score wins. At the start of each round, players draft new characters until everyone has selected a role. Characters have special powers that are going to be useful depending on your current situation.
Actions playout in numerical order: the assassin eliminating another character for the round, the thief stealing all gold from another character, the wizard swapping building cards with another player, the warlord optionally destroys a building in play, and so on. Depending on how you do, you can strategically collect money and build buildings, which is going to be your end game scoring mechanism. Citadels is a very much the top choice for games like Sheriff of Nottingham because the communication is everything and how good you could deal or bluff will decide your outcome.