Today myself and the girls I live with had a game of 12 Days, a game I have been trying to get hold of for a couple of years now, and got a reprint in December 2015 thanks to Calliope Games.

Its a charming little game written by James Ernest of Cheapass Games and Mike Selinker of Lone Shark Games, ands despite the PnP version having been available for ages, the art of Echo Chernik has a certain appeal.

The game is described on Board Game Geek as

The holiday-themed 12 Days takes the familiar “Twelve Days of Christmas” song and twists it into a quick-playing card game. Over twelve rounds, players try to re-gift unpopular cards while keeping cards that are strong enough to win the day, while also keeping a careful eye for bonus scoring at the end of the game.

The gift deck consists of eighty cards: one partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, and so on up to twelve drummers drumming, as well as one card each for Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Shuffle this deck, then deal each player twelve cards. Each round a new holiday card is up for grabs, with the cards ranked from 1 to 12 and being worth 1-12 points. In a round, a player:

  1. Gifts a present to the player to his left,
  2. Opens presents and tries to win the day with the best present, and
  3. Buys a new gift to refill his hand.

More specifically, all players simultaneously pass one face-down gift card to their left-hand neighbor. Then everyone chooses one gift card in hand and reveals them simultaneously. Whoever plays the lowest gift card wins that round’s holiday card; in the event of a tie for lowest, with the Clauses counting as zero, then the next lowest card wins. Each player then draws one card to bring their hand back to twelve cards.

After twelve rounds, players score points for each holiday card they’ve collected. In addition, whoever holds the most gift cards for each rank scores as many points as that rank, with all tied players scoring in the event of a tie. Whoever has the most points wins. Happy holidays!

image1So we set the game up and had a little game, I focused on collecting the 11 and 12 sets which Lindsay was handing over to me without issue, but I wasn’t winning many day cards, so I ended up passing some 11 cards to Megan, and playing some low cards too early on.

Later in the game I noticed Megan was on low day card points and Lindsay was racing ahead, so I played a Mrs Clause to give Megan points in order to deny them to Lindsay.

In the end, I was on 42 points, Megan 43 and Lindsay 52.

I really enjoyed playing the game and although its going to get packed away in the Christmas box and put away in the attic until December, I expect a good number of games when it comes out.

Game Details
Name12 Days (2011)
ComplexityLight [1.24]
BGG Rank [User Rating]2986 [6.51]
Player Count3-5
Designer(s)James Ernest and Mike Selinker
Artists(s)Echo Chernik
Publisher(s)Calliope Games and Gamesmith, LLC
Mechanism(s)Auction/Bidding, Set Collection and Trick-taking