It may surprise some of you to hear just how small Biblio is – customers and new booksellers call our phone line and expect to reach a large warehouse with a vast sea of operators answering our phones, but there’s really just seven employees in one small office overlooking the busy streets of downtown Asheville, North Carolina.
One tradition that has kept the Biblio machine running smoothly is our favorite team-building exercise: Beer Friday! On most Friday afternoons at four o’clock, the Biblio folks all gather together and chat over a drink, talking and catching up on the past week. Sometimes instead of discussing work or politics, we’ll play a card or board game.
Recently, our resident game geek Michael came across a release from Iello Games called Biblios – a game we couldn’t pass up trying!
The concept behind Biblios is that each player is an abbot of a medieval monastery who is trying to build the most vast and impressive library of manuscripts. You must gather gold and resources such as pigments, holy books, monks, and manuscripts and forbidden tomes to copy for your archives. Making things more difficult, the Bishops of the church can swoop in and affect the outcome at any time by meddling with the value of your resources. For example, this book-burning Bishop is devaluing a resource right now:
Since the game supports a maximum of four players, those who didn’t play observed and offered advice to the rest of us as we bumbled through our first game play. Once we sorted out the rules and flow of the game, it clipped along quickly through the first “gifting” round wherein each player builds their hand and into the faster-paced “auction” round. It takes a blend of foresight and luck to win Biblios, and fate was with me – my reading the instructions first and teaching everyone how to play surely had nothing to do with that!
Biblios comes neatly packaged in an almost-octavo bookish box that blends in well on a bookshelf. If you enjoy games of intrigue without a lot of aggression and relish the idea of being a medieval archivist, this is the perfect game for you.