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This week's game is actually one of three games! I would like to play one of the three board games in the Keltis family, which are Keltis, Keltis: Neue Wege, Neue Ziele, and Keltis: Das Orakel.
For those that don't know, Keltis grew from Lost Cities and was published by Rio Grande as Lost Cities: The Board Game. The rules are mostly the same, though there are two major changes. Keltis lasts one round while Lost Cities: The Board Game plays out over three rounds. Also, in Keltis a player can play cards in the different colors either from high to low or from low to high, which can mitigate the luck of the draw.
The game is simple. Each player has eight cards in hand. They will play cards into five stacks, one for each color, in front of them and move their piece in that column up one space, then draw a new card. Cards must be played in either ascending or descending order. As soon as five total player pieces have moved into the last three spaces of the five paths, regardless of which paths they are on, the game ends. Players count up the points they have scored as indicated by the board, plus any points for collecting wishing stones from the board. There are some other small rules, but that's the gist of how to play.
I found Lost Cities: The Board Game to last a little long and would likely be playing it with the Keltis rules, but Keltis had to go win the Spiel des Jahres and spawn an expansion.
Keltis: Neue Wege, Neue Ziele is more like an advanced game than an expansion, and I have always treated plays of this as a separate game. All you need from the original game to play this is the cards and player pieces. While Keltis has five paths, this starts with four paths which intersect all over the place and a player can have multiple pieces on a single path. It takes the light original game, adds a few rules, and some angst because sometimes a choice has t be made about which fork in the road to take to victory. Neue Wege, Neue Ziele is packed together with Keltis in the latest printings from Kosmos, which is an awesome deal if the price is the same or just a little higher.
After that, came Keltis: Das Orakel, which is packaged as a complete game. This one gets rid of multiple paths all together. Each player has three pieces which they will be moving along a single multi-colored path. When a card is played, the player moves any one of their pieces along the path to the next space of that color, or they may choose to move the Oracle along the path a number of spaces as indicated on the card. If the Oracle is moved to a space which contains one of their pieces, the active player scores five points. The game ends when five figures, or all three figures from one player, is moved into the last seven spaces.
In our games, we never saw much movement of the Oracle and I wonder if anyone really used it that often?
Each of the games has special tiles which activate when moved upon and some kind of set collecting. I like all three of them, though Neue Wege, Neue Ziele is my favorite variation.
Last week: Wandering drunkenly into dark alleyways!
I did play Rum & Pirates last week with Michael and David. It was new to David and Michael hadn't played it in a longer time than I had, so I went over the rules. I really enjoyed it, and even managed to go the entire game without knocking over a bunch of pieces with my clumsy, fat fingers.
I mentioned in my monthly recap that this would likely be played more if I hosted games at my place instead of playing elsewhere. It's because it is not a great game and isn't something I'm likely to take with me when I go out and about because there is usually something I am more interested in playing on a particular day.
Games played this past week
• 7 Wonders
• Knights of Ten
• Rum & Pirates (one more down in the Alea Big Box Challenge)
• San Juan (one down in the Alea Small Box Challenge)
• The Speicherstadt x2
• Survive: Escape from Atlantis!