Polish Gaming No. 6 – Kolejka

Today’s game is not electronic in any way! Its old-fashioned board gaming and, really, you don’t know how old-fashioned it is. We’re taking you on a journey through time to the year 1980 in Poland. During this time, the Communist experiment in Poland was in full force. Poland was in a constant state of crisis and almost everyone was fighting to survive. Everyone had money, but there was never enough available to buy. People waited in lines for hours before stores received their goods though there was often no guarantee that they would. And when the stores opened, people took what ever they had whether they needed it or not. Something was better than nothing because one could always barter for goods at the local bazar. It’s upon this backdrop that we find Kolejka (Queue).

The object of the game is pretty simple: the first player to get all the goods on their shopping list wins. The board comes with five different shopping lists and, as far as I can tell, are all equally difficult to finish. Out of the five different types of items available to buy, each shopping list only requires four of them, so there will always be a store that you don’t NEED to line up at (though it may be to your advantage strategically). You’ll need four of the items on the top of the list, three on the next, two on the third, and only one of the fourth. Besides helping to achieve victory, the differences between items are merely cosmetic (though orthochronistic).

The game goes up to five players that correspond to five colors: red, green, brown, yellow, and blue. Black is a neutral player. To begin the game, players take turns lining up their pawns in front of the stores. After all the pawns are in line, a black pawn is placed at the end. Next, cards are drawn to indicate which stores will receive goods for the round. In a five player game, usually only two stores will receive goods each round (three if you’re lucky). At this point players can start playing their Queue Cards. These cards have different effects such as “move a pawn one forward” or “move an item to a different store.” Each player only has ten cards, and they can only be played three at a time per round. And once a card is played, it cannot be played again until the board is reset (every five rounds). Finally, when no more cards will be played, the stores open and each pawn can take one item as long as supplies last. Black pawns will take cards to the Bazar where players can trade items 2:1 (but occasionally 1:1).

The strategy of this game all depends on good pawn placements and skillful use of cards. Each player has the same cards, so keeping track of which cards have already been played will be key to securing victory. A typical game doesn’t last longer than ten rounds, so games will stick to around an hour of playtime. Copies go for about 90zł ($30), but the game might be hard to find if you’re not in Poland (it was hard enough to find IN Poland). It’s definitely worth your time if you’re a fan of these types of games though. Of course, it is all in Polish, but the makers of the game were nice enough to include an English version online (which you can find here).

See Also:
Kolejka on Board Game Geek
Other Polish Games

This entry was posted in Culture, Gaming, History. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Polish Gaming No. 6 – Kolejka

  1. Someone says:

    Sounds awesome, any chance you’ll be bringing a copy back with you?

  2. erpegis says:

    The Communism was not an experiment – they’d try it on rats first.

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