Oh boy, I'd forgotten how long the rules are for Village. Apologies to Paul (new to the club), Annie and Stuart for the lengthy explanation, but we eventually got started just after 8pm.
It was a long game - about 3 hours in total - as it induces lots of AP especially in the later rounds where every move is critical and you're trying to guess what your opponents are going to do, but it keeps everyone involved so there's almost no downtime.
There are four main ways to score points in the base game; travelling, going to market, the council chambers and the church. We all tried a bit of everything, but Annie and Paul majored on travelling, Stuart focused on the council chambers and the church, and I spent most of my time in church and at the market.
We thought Annie and Paul were going to fight for first place, but in the end my high-value market purchases plus a crowd of churchgoers secured the win.
Final positions: Me, Stuart, Paul, Annie (I think)
A quick 10-min game over dinner, between Roger and myself... and then Stuart stepped in when Roger was tempted away by Automobile's sleek lines.
It's a really quick race to build enough buildings and claim random in-game goals, using a mancala-style rondel (maybe, possibly not, whatever) to gather resources (labour and money) and prevent your opponent from getting what they need.
It's very light, very simple, and the winner is probably the player who manages to grab more of the in-game goals by luck than by judgement. At least, that seemed to be the case in our game, where I won by 1 point.
It's absolutely fine for what it is, a $5 game in a small ziplock bag.