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Subject: First impressions can be so misleading.... rss

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Neil Cook
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Being a big fan of Attika, Taluva is a game that I’ve been looking at for a while, so when I saw that my local FLGS had got some copies in I went straight there and parted with my cash. Was it worth it? Read on…

Components

The game comes in a standard-sized box as per numerous other Rio Grande games, which contains 48 “3 pronged” land tiles, each of which show a different terrain type on one of the ‘prongs’. I addition there is one set of buildings for the 4 colours available for players to take. Each set of buildings consists of 20 huts, 3 temples and 2 towers. These buildings are painted wooden fare, as found in any number of euros. One thing to be aware of, however, is the huts are particularly “fiddly” in my opinion, and can be awkward to pick up and put down during the game, as I’ll go into later. For those of us that like the extra touch, the game also comes with 4 ziplock bags to sort and store the buildings by colour when the game is not being played.

Gameplay

The aim of the game is to build all of 2 of the 3 types of your buildings. If no player has managed to do this by the time the last tile is played. Scores are decided by whoever has played the most towers. Tie-break if required is most played temples, and second tie-break is most played huts.

Players alternate taking turns, and a turn consists of simply drawing and placing a tile, then constructing buildings.
As stated above, each tile contains 3 different terrain types. 1 of these (no more, no less) is ALWAYS a volcano, and the other two can be water, sand, jungle, etc (the terrain type only becomes relevant when extending a settlement – see later).

When playing a tile there are 2 options.
i) It can be played so that it touches a tile previously played on at least one side.
ii) It can be played ON TOP of existing tiles – thus increasing the height of the ‘island’.

The first option is not limited in anyway, as long as the tile being placed touches at least one other tile. There is no need to ensure the various terrain types are neighbouring.

The second option is placing the tile on top of existing tiles. There are four things to bear in mind when increasing the height of the island. The first is that all three segments of the tile you are placing must be supported below. Overhangs are not permitted. The second is that the volcano segment of the tile you are placing MUST go on top of another volcano segment. The third is that you are forbidden to play a tile directly on top of an existing tile – it must be supported by at least two different tiles (described in the rules as “ensuring the volcanoes flow in different directions”, but essentially this is what it means). The fourth thing is one of the most interesting tactics in the game, and one that also provides quite a puzzling rule, and one that I suspect has been included for the benefit of gameplay, rather than reality. If a tile is placed in such a way that the tile covers buildings, these buildings are removed from the game – regardless of colour and type. However, the removed buildings still count towards victory conditions.



Once the tile has been placed, a player’s second action consists of placing buildings. A player can only place one type of building per turn, which must be placed on an empty tile segment and no building (regardless of type) can be placed on a volcano segment. Players can either extend an existing settlement, or create a new one. In Taluva, a settlement is a group of like-coloured buildings on neighbouring tile segments. A temple is placed by extending a settlement that is at least three segments large. A tower is placed alongside an existing settlement, but can ONLY be placed at a height of three tiles or greater. Huts can be played in two ways. Firstly, to create a new settlement, simply play a single hut on any free segment that is not neighbouring one of your own settlements. New settlements can only ever be started on the first level of tiles. To extend a settlement, the player chooses a terrain type that their existing settlement neighbours, and places huts on each of the chosen terrains the settlement borders. The number of huts placed is equal to the level of each individual segment being extended into. For example, a player extends his settlement, choosing water. His settlement borders two different water tiles, one on the lowest level, the other on level two. A single hut would be placed on the first water segment, and two huts (equal to the segments height) placed on the second.

One final thing to remember as you play the game – if at any point you are unable to build anything, you are immediately out of the game. This, in fact, has been the most common way the game has ended in the few games I’ve played…

Conclusion

This was a game that after my first play, I thought, “Is that it??” I have to admit to feeling a little disappointed. However, after my second game of it, I saw what it was I was trying to do, and the subtleties of the game immediately made me like it. This is a tactical, well produced game which is actually far simpler to learn and play than I’ve probably made it sound, but contains enough to hold my interest. I think I’m gonna love this….
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Emile de Maat
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Drew1365 wrote:
Question: You say that if a tile is placed on top of other tiles, and there are buildings on those tiles, those buildings will be removed. When I was taught the game, I was told that only huts are removed. That temples and towers remain on the board and thus can be used to prevent someone from placing a tile on top of another.

That is correct: Towers and Temples cannot be destroyed by a volcanic eruption. In addition, you cannot wipe out an entire settlement; there must always be some buildings remaining.
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Neil Cook
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Purple wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
Question: You say that if a tile is placed on top of other tiles, and there are buildings on those tiles, those buildings will be removed. When I was taught the game, I was told that only huts are removed. That temples and towers remain on the board and thus can be used to prevent someone from placing a tile on top of another.

That is correct: Towers and Temples cannot be destroyed by a volcanic eruption. In addition, you cannot wipe out an entire settlement; there must always be some buildings remaining.


Actually, this is something I've been playing wrongly. I re-checked my rules, and you're both correct.... blush
 
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Joshua Noe
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Nice review. I've been eyeing this game for a little while now, and thought it sounded much to similar to Carcassonne to try out. But I can see from your review that it is much more risk management than resource management (or that's the impression I get). If so, I'll definitely have to give it a whirl. Thanks!
 
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I'm not an Attika fanatic, but I thoroughly enjoy the game. However Taluva has shot up to a 10 for me. I managed 30 plays in the first month I owned it. Being easy to teach and short has really helped. With the ability to have some really nasty plays for smashing huts and building temples it is just a lot of fun for me.
 
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Joe Cappello
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Additionally, placing a single hut, thus making it its own settlement, is a powerful tactical move to prevent eruptions. Since a single hut constitutes a settlement, it can't be erupted. Since there is no requirement that a building be constructed on the tile you just placed, you can colonize right next to opponents and jam their plans.
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Bill Eldard
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kennylibido wrote:
Additionally, placing a single hut, thus making it its own settlement, is a powerful tactical move to prevent eruptions. Since a single hut constitutes a settlement, it can't be erupted. Since there is no requirement that a building be constructed on the tile you just placed, you can colonize right next to opponents and jam their plans.


You're right, Joe. In our second or third game, we discovered that nasty little tactic.

The game has numerous offensive, and as Joe described, defensive plays, making for some tense games. I've enjoyed Taluva so far.

 
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Christa Haley
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Pallet Ranger wrote:

Gameplay

The aim of the game is to build all of 2 of the 3 types of your buildings. If no player has managed to do this by the time the last tile is played. Scores are decided by whoever has played the most towers. Tie-break if required is most played temples, and second tie-break is most played huts.


The goal, as I understand it, is to play the most towers (then most temples, then most huts) by the time you run out of tiles. Building all of 2 building types is the "premature victory". I know there's a joke in there about a Pallet Ranger and a premature "victory", but I think I'll skip it. devil
 
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Dean
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Pallet Ranger wrote:
The goal, as I understand it, is to play the most towers (then most temples, then most huts) by the time you run out of tiles. Building all of 2 building types is the "premature victory". I know there's a joke in there about a Pallet Ranger and a premature "victory", but I think I'll skip it. devil


Correct. However, in the 2-player game the early victory is much more likely to occur. I would go so far as to say it's practically impossible to exhaust the tiles before before one player exhausts two building types. In a four player game, the so-called normal victory appears to be more likely from my experience. Haven't tried with three players yet.
 
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Andy
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Padawan wrote:

The goal, as I understand it, is to play the most towers (then most temples, then most huts) by the time you run out of tiles. Building all of 2 building types is the "premature victory". I know there's a joke in there about a Pallet Ranger and a premature "victory", but I think I'll skip it. devil


This is incorrect! Most temples is first... then towers... finally huts.
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Chris
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Drew1365 wrote:
Purple wrote:
In addition, you cannot wipe out an entire settlement; there must always be some buildings remaining.


You can't?

My opponents have some 'splainin' to do! angry

Not that you ever did that Drew. But Purple is indeed correct - a settlement cannot be completely covered.

CH
 
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Neil Cook
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Padawan wrote:

I know there's a joke in there about a Pallet Ranger and a premature "victory", but I think I'll skip it. devil


I appreciate your diplomacy....
 
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William Springer
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Pallet Ranger wrote:

One final thing to remember as you play the game – if at any point you are unable to build anything, you are immediately out of the game. This, in fact, has been the most common way the game has ended in the few games I’ve played…


Odd...I've played this 5 times and never had that happen.
Of course, all you have to do is make sure you run out of towers or temples BEFORE you play the last of your huts.
 
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William Springer
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Padawan wrote:

The goal, as I understand it, is to play the most towers (then most temples, then most huts) by the time you run out of tiles. Building all of 2 building types is the "premature victory". I know there's a joke in there about a Pallet Ranger and a premature "victory", but I think I'll skip it. devil


That's what it says, but every game I've played has ended by someone running out of two of something. (All my games have been with 3 or 4 people)

 
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Grimwold wrote:
Padawan wrote:

The goal, as I understand it, is to play the most towers (then most temples, then most huts) by the time you run out of tiles. Building all of 2 building types is the "premature victory". I know there's a joke in there about a Pallet Ranger and a premature "victory", but I think I'll skip it. devil


This is incorrect! Most temples is first... then towers... finally huts.

Grimwold is right, when the tiles run out victory goes to the person who has placed the most Temples, not Towers. If two (or more) people tie for most Temples, then you look at Towers, and then at Huts.
 
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