This is a review for 2p game
You are trying to send stones to different locations in order to get points.
Locations are well balanced, the Pyramid give you immediate points, the temple give you points every round, and the chamber and obelisk gives you good amounts of points at the end. The market gives you interesting options for manipulating the game.
-You can put a stone in ships (order of stones matter because they unload from front to back, and points are tied to stone position on the locations)
-Send ships to locations even if the ship doesn't have stones of your color (useful to block opponents plans)
-Take up to 3 stones to your supply (you can have up to 5 in your hand)
-Use a card with special abilities
Decisions are interesting and is all about being smart with the turns you can control something, and be clever with stone position and stone replenishing timing when you can't control the ships.
For such a simple rules there is strategic depth in here. For example, in my last game i started (1rst round) sending stones to the pyramid getting an advantage of +3 and then getting two stones to the temple giving me +2 for two consecutive rounds giving me a 7 points advantage. My opponent started getting a good position on obelisk and temple.
Since the obelisk is +9 for the person who is in control (10 for 1st place, 1 for 2nd place) and my opponent dropped two stones in there in the first round, it was important for me to keep an eye on that destination.
In the following rounds i manage to get in a better position in the chamber, putting a stone on the obelisk and getting good cards that would in the end helping me to make good moves in the next rounds. With clever play i manage to mitigate the impact of my opponent ships, she send those to the pyramid and the temple, but the gains where minimal.
With the cards i manage to load a ship with 2 stones at once... i was to send to the obelisk to giving me the advantage, but my oponent send a ship where i have only one of my stones to the obelisk instead, so at least it he made sure i wouldn't get and advantage there. I then used that two stone ship to get and advantage with more useful cards.
In the end i manage to get better at the chamber, my opponent make some gains in the pyramid and temple but the gains where not good enough to get to my lead... she would need the obelisk to make a run for me, but i manage to avoid her advantage in there.
There are some cards that gives you points for every 3 stones in a location, i also manage to have a similar amount of those nullifying a posible advantage.
In the end i won by 8 points...
There is good amount of strategy for the simple gameplay, the strategy is more about play the person than the mechanics, you need to think what your opponeng might do, what he wants, what he thinks, and try to play the clever game.
For example there is a one stone ship, this gives you a lot of control and can only be blocked if the opponent ships this to a useless location, action that he is going to do if you take too much time to sail that ship, but you don't want to sail this before you have more information about how this turn is going to shape, this is a game where timing matters.
When you replenish your stones is also a matter of timing, you can use this to be on a better position than your opponent, if you have stones and your opponent doesn´t in the correct moment, is also a good move.
Since locations are tuned for balance, players need to think about future rounds, ¿how and when im going to put that stone or stones in the chamber? ¿How and when im going to put stones in the obelisk? ¿Will i do it first and put pressure? ¿Or try to gain advantage on other destinations and try to get a +9 in other places in orded to minimize the advantage of my opponent in there, or try to get an advantage in there in the end game? ¿Do i decide to get better cards for end game? ¿Or gain advantage on a destination? ¿When do i try inmediate points in the pyramid, or do i left to my opponent to send my stones in there? ¿How can i trick my opponent to think i want to send a ship to a location but im trying something else? ¿How can i maximize my position while i minimize what my opponent can achieve?
Bluffing, controlling, putting pressure, thinking at least 2 rounds ahead, deciding to balance ships or to focus on one or two, timing, etc. That is the metagame and is really fun.
Actions & Theme
Putting big cubes on ships and send them to beautiful pictured locations is satisfactory. Handling the cubes on your hand and seeing the board grow in 3d is enjoyable.
What surprise me the most is how fast you play, even with all the thinking you can do to make a proper decision, there is something intuitive in the game that makes this a breeze without beign scripted or on-rails. 30 to 45 minutes and you are done. This is a game when the end come so fast that i didn't notice, i could play 2 more rounds without feeling worn out of the game.
I love it as a 2 player game. Since Splendor my wife and i didn't enjoy a game that is easy to grasp, fast, but with good amount of decisions.
Who is with 3 or 4? I don't know but is a favorite with 2...
The most interesting part is that i have yet to try the B side of the destinations.
I never rate a game in the basis of "i prefer to play X game with 2p and the same amount of time" because this is not what i look on reviews, i review by the merits of the game alone.
8.5/10 BGG Rating
Nice review, but the game really opens up when you play with B sides mixed with A and with more players.
I normally hold the pieces under the table, and ask the other player whether i should twist or stick, it all makes for a good match of different game types.
Max, thats a neat idea
I also enjoy the 2p tremendously and will never turn down a game. But the 3p game is increible!!! My favorite count for this one.
Thanks so much for your review, i´ll play with my wife too
- Last edited Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:24 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:24 pm