Through the Desert » Reviews » Should I Bother? - Through the Desert

Author: bno70_1
Ok, so I officially have a problem. It's my man crush on Reiner Knizia. At first I thought it would fade once I played Tigris and Euphrates another 10 times, or some more Amun-Re, or Samurai, or Modern Art. I thought I was in control, that I could stop any time I wanted. Well, I can't stop. I'm going to form a support group because I've officially reached the point where I'm searching for Knizia games and just randomly buying them at will. Surely there's other game designers out there. Right? Anyway, Knizia + Pastel camels = a must buy. I impulse bought Through the Desert and got it on the table for some 4 player games this weekend. So, should this pastel camel placing game of oasii, area control, and watering holes make it into your collection? Short answer: Yes!

You get a board that doesn't lay flat. It has printed hexagons on it that constitutes the desert. There's some chits to punch out, scoring markers, etc. You get some plastic palm trees and some colored riders. What you also get are a TON of awesome, annoyingly bright/ugly/awful/cool camels. These camels are legendary, and I'm so glad I own them now.

Each player controls his own caravans of the 5 camel colors. There are some special rules, one such is that say my green camel caravan can't touch anyone else's green camel caravan and likewise for each color. This little rule comes into play a lot. You grow your 5 camel caravans, one of each color, by placing two camels a turn, and you try to score points by gobbling up water holes, touching oasis, or by enclosing areas with your caravans. This last way to score can get you huge points and is really fun. This game teaches quick, it plays quick, it's really cut-throat fighting for areas, it has fantastic tactics, there's no luck because all of the information is right there on the board, and it's super fun adjusting your strategy as the game develops. This game falls into the amazing Knizia category of games that are easy to play but are super deep. This game is very confrontational. I can see my group playing this game a ton in the coming months. My only complaint is of course the camel colors. A couple of them are too close in color, and that confused everyone throughout the night, but we did adjust at some point. Still, would some primary color camels kill anyone? Meh, those would be boring.

Well, I can't really see any reason why you wouldn't buy this game. It runs on the low end as far as cost for a good Euro. It has fantastically awful/great components, and it has amazing and quick game-play. (less than 90 minutes for our 4 player games)

Through the Desert - Should I Bother? - YES Unless you prefer games with luck. Like if full information tactical games aren't your thing or if you don't like confrontation.
Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:53 am
Author: Orangemoose
Good review. The game plays in about 30 minutes for my wife and I.
Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:47 pm
Author: bno70_1
Ya, 30 minutes sounds about right for 2 player. I love a game that can play that quickly but still have so much depth.
Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:15 am
Author: Jim Marshall
If you want to get over your Knizia man-crush, you need to stop playing his best games - his games aren't all as good as the ones you've chosen!
Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:46 pm
Author: bno70_1
Jim Marshall wrote:
If you want to get over your Knizia man-crush, you need to stop playing his best games - his games aren't all as good as the ones you've chosen!

Ha!! Now that would be a funny geeklist:

"List the Knizia games that aren't any good so we can look at other game designers."
Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:20 am
Author: ElZappo
Woo, another MTU person with a man-crush on Knizia! You really need the appropriate microbadge, though...
Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:42 am