The official two-player variant for Oriflamme sees each player take control of two of the card game’s sparring families, rather than the usual one. As per the multiplayer game for three to five people, the pair of players discard three cards at random from their matching sets of ten powers, before alternating cards from each family in a single draw deck.
The rest of the game plays very similarly to the original, with the players taking it in turns to play a card from each of their families facedown to the central row. They then choose whether to reveal and resolve the cards in sequence, or remain hidden and collect influence tokens. At the end of a round, both players draw two cards - one for each of their families.
The winner is whoever has the most influence between both of the families after six rounds, leaving one card from each family unused.
Released in French last year before its English-language edition arrived earlier in 2020, Oriflamme is the debut title from co-creators Axel and Adrien Hesling, who co-designed the two-player board game rules alongside tabletop agency Forgenext and original publisher Studio H. The game picked up France’s top game of the year award, the 2020 As d’Or - or ‘Golden Ace’.
Studio H said it had developed the free official two-player variant in response to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, which had made it harder to get bigger groups around the table as the result of social distancing measures.
Week-end surprise! In these times of isolation, it's not always easy to gather enough schemers for a full table of #Oriflamme. We worked with the Hesling brothers and @forgenext Forgenext to offer you two-player rules! https://t.co/vrFfz3XdBK pic.twitter.com/YuriWBAWNu— Studio H Games (@Studio_H_Games) April 24, 2020
Reviewing Oriflamme for Dicebreaker earlier this year, I was mightily impressed by the card game’s quick gameplay and ruthless strategy, fuelled by the central tension of where to play and when to reveal cards. A little bit Love Letter and a little bit Game of Thrones - but absolutely in the running to be considered on par or even better than either of those - Oriflamme is without a doubt one of this year’s standout releases to date.
Find Oriflamme’s official two-player rules over on BoardGameGeek.