Markku Jaatinen
Finland
Jyväskylä
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A new game appeared in Brettspielwelt yesterday and we decided to give it a try right away. I checked the brief rules for online play from English BSW pages (http://www.brettspielwelt.de/Hilfe/Anleitungen/SaeulenDerErd...) and after that we just started a game. It is a good idea to read the rules well before the first game so that it is easier to get a grasp of the user interface and what is happening in the game. Luckily the user interface is well designed as has been the case with the latest new games in BSW.

The round starts with first phase which is picking up resources or craftsmen that work for you. It is a good idea to check to check what craftsmen you already have in your hand before you get any new ones. I bought a mortar mixer on the first round that I didn’t really need. You have 12 workers in your hand in the beginning of the round and the more resources and craftsmen you get the more workers you need to put on the board. If you have leftover workers after getting your craftsmen and resources they go to yarn spinners and generate more money to you. That seems to be one of the main sources to get money so you need balance a little bit between resources and money.

In second phase you place your master masons into different parts on the board. They can either get you more craftsmen, collect bonus cards, get victory points, go to market or do other interesting things. The BSW implementation tells what different board parts do when you hover mouse over them but only in German. There is a cost of placing your master masons on board that is shown in the counter in the middle bottom of the board (with highlight). If the price of placing you master mason seems to be too high you can put your master mason there for free and place it later on to the board with a cheaper price. A nice mechanism.

The last main phase is building the cathedral and that is pretty straightforward. You just drag resources to craftsmen you have and that’s more or less it.

There are a number other of things going on in the game but this is the basic outline of one round. After first game it is a good idea to read the rules again because then some things start to make more sense and you are really ready to get going with the game.

My first impression of Die Säulen der Erde was very positive and I’m already planning to getting myself a copy of the game. If you need a helping hand to get you going, hook on me in BSW :-).


 
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Jim Cote
United States
Maine
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I have a few issues with it.

1. Too much screwage factor for a medium-light game. If your main source of VP's is from 1 or 2 types of resources (especially metal), the other player(s) can really hurt you. If you spread yourself too thinly over all types, you have no chance of winning.

2. The randomness of the builder draws from the bag and the event cards is a little too much. It's like playing Caylus with random cubes getting destroyed every turn. You can't make any plans.

3. The special rules about not being able to buy/sell a resource or use a certain craftman based on what other craftsmen you have is way too fiddly.

It's not a bad game. I'll play it on BSW, but I won't be buying it.
 
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Markku Jaatinen
Finland
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Another game today with some newcomers. They liked the game too quite a lot.

The luck is an interesting factor in the game because I was thinking about what would happen if that random element would not exist. Would it take long time before somebody would script the game so that you could get the max points by following a certains scheme? With the random draw of master masons and cards the game play just becomes more tactical and with less far reaching planning.

I rate the game right now a solid 8 and I'm pretty happy with the game as it is. A medium weight fun pack in BSW.

Michael Rienick sure has done good work compared to some of his other games.
 
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