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Subject: A Girlfriend's Perspective on: Santiago rss

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Leanne
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Because he is my very best friend :)
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Fighting evil by moon light, winning love by daylight, never running from a real fight, she is the one named Sailor Moon.
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Santiago was not always on the top of my list of playing board games. Mainly, I think, it's because it is not a 2 player game, and the only person I really play board games with is my boyfriend. The last couple weekends, we have had another couple come over to play games, and it was my turn to choose the game. I figured, meh, we haven't played this game in a while, might as well bring it out.

Contents

d10-1 150 bank notes of play money
d10-2 110 yield markers (22 of each colour)
d10-3 45 plantations
d10-4 15 blue canals
d10-5 5 proposal canals
d10-6 1 spring
d10-7 1 game board
d10-8 3 palm trees
d10-9 1 canal overseer

Recommended Players

This game is a 3-5 player game. My most recent play was with 4 people, and this is what the review is mainly going to be based on.

Setup

The game board is going to be placed in the center of the table. Depending on what leve of difficulty you are wanting to play, depends on where you will place the spring. If you are wanting to have a easy game, the spring will go towards the center of the board. If you are wanting a medium game, it will go along the edge of the board. Difficult will have the spring on the corner of the board.

The blue canals will be placed on the side of the board. If this is a 3-4 player game, you will put 11 canals. For a 5 player game, you only use 9.

You will then shuffle all the plantation tiles face down. On a 3-4 player game, you will stack 4 piles of 11 tiles. The left over tile will be placed back in the box. If you have a 5 player game, you will make 5 piles of 9.

Each player is going to choose what colour they want to be, and take the 22 markers and the proposal canal of that colour. Each player will also take a blue canal as well. Each player is going to start with 10 dollars.

It is noted that players should keep the money hidden from other players' view. I haven't played this way, but I can see how this would probably be a good thing.

The last thing you will need to do before you can begin is to randomly choose who the canal overseer is going to be.

How to Play

There are 7 different phases per round in the game.

Turning over plantation tiles and bidding on them

The canal overseer will turn over 1 plantation from each pile. Players will then bid on which one they are wanting.

With the bidding, you are only able to bid once, and you are not bidding on a certain plantation. You are simply bidding on who gets to choose first. Bidding always starts with the current overseer, and goes in clockwise order. It is possible to have several people bid 0 (or pass), however, the remaining bids are only able to have 1 person bid it. The bidding is done openly, so there is no chance on bidding the same amount. Plahyers are nt able to change their bid once they plae their bid.

Changing the Canal Overseer

A new overseer is immediately put into place. The person who bid the lowest is the new overseer. If several people have chosen to pass, the person who passed first, is now the new overseer.

Taking and placing plantation tiles

Once the bidding has been complete, the person who has bid the highest is able to choose which plantation tile they would like to choose, and place it on the board.

There will be planter markers on the tile. If there are 2 planter markers on the tile, you will place 2 markers on top of the tile. If a tile has 1 planter marker on it, you will place 1 marker on top of it.

If a player has chosen to pass, you are going to choose your tile, and place 1 less marker on top of it. If you chose a tile with 2 planters on it, you will place 1 marker. If you chose a tile with 1 marker on it, you will not place any.

When placing your tiles, yo uare going to want to make sure you place your tile pile plantations that are similar.

Trying to bribe the overseer

Each player now needs to try and get the overseer to place the water canal where it would best suit their plantations. There are some rules that need to be looked at when placing the water on the board. The water has to be somehow connected to the spring, whether it is beside the spring, or beside an existing canal.

To bribe the overseer, it will start with the player to the left of the overseer. They will place their coloured canal where they want the water to go, and put money along with it, in order to entice the overseer to build your canal. Each player is going to take turns doing this. A player also has the opportunity to pass (give up their action), place another, or give more money to an existing one, to entice the overseer even more.

When it gets to the overseers turn, they have the option to choose a canal to build, or pay $1 more in order to build one of their choosing.

Extra irrigation

Each player at the beginning of the game, was given 1 free water canal. If a player so chooses, starting with the player to the left of the overseer, is able to place their canal for free. Once they have placed their canal, they are not able to place another free canal, and each player is not allowed to place one for the remaining round. The canal still has to connect to the spring in someway, whether it is directly beside the spring, or beside another canal.

Drying

If a field has not received water this round, it will start to dry up. If a field has 1 to 2 markers on it, you will remove 1. Example: If 1 field has 2, it will now have 1. If a field has 1, it will now have 0.

If a field has no markers on it, you will flip the tile over, and it is now empty land. No other tile is able to be placed on it. In the future if a canal is built beside it, it does not come back to life.

If this is the last round, any tile that does not have irrigation will immediately dry up, even is markers would remain.

Collecting Income

At the end of the round, each player will receive $3.

How to Win

The game will end as soon as all piles of plantations have depleted. The player at the end of the game with the most money will win.

The Good vs The Bad

Lots of interactions with other players with bidding
Very little luck factor
yuk People are able to get a massive amount of points focusing on one thing

Survey Says

I would give this game . It is definitely not a game I would want to play all the time. I am more of a fan of a well rounded game, not just try to get as much of one land as you possibly can.

When the game ended with the 4 of us, another player as I just focused our gathering on one particular tile, while the other 2 worked on everything. It was no surprise when the people who focused on one ended up with the most points. I think there was about 3 points difference between the two of us.

I would definitely not recommend this game to newcomers. Players would get too confused about the concept of the game, and would easily get frustrated. This is more of a intermidate to higher level game.

I could see how soe players may take advantage of the different fields by purposly trying to block off other players, but that may lead to more hurt feelings than anything.

I will definitely be playing more of Santiago in the future. More than we have done in the past, but it probably won't be brought out everytime we have a boardgaming night.
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John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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That one not so much
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I also played this recently. I enjoyed it and thought it was a pretty good game. Not a top ten game or one I am dying to play again, but if it was suggested I would be happy to play again.
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Nick King
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This game is great, and I think really shines when you start getting cutthroat. To me, it beats the pants off of Aquädukt, which its compared to pretty regularly.
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Kämmen mein schnurrbart
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This game is probably best with five players. That way someone is practically guaranteed to get screwed out of some water, which increases the tension/fun.
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Chris Byrnes
United States
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knifie_sp00nie wrote:
This game is probably best with five players. That way someone is practically guaranteed to get screwed out of some water, which increases the tension/fun.


I would second that assessment, this is only a 5 player game IMO.
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Leanne
Canada
Edmonton
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Because he is my very best friend :)
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Fighting evil by moon light, winning love by daylight, never running from a real fight, she is the one named Sailor Moon.
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Monotone wrote:
knifie_sp00nie wrote:
This game is probably best with five players. That way someone is practically guaranteed to get screwed out of some water, which increases the tension/fun.


I would second that assessment, this is only a 5 player game IMO.


I'll have to try that out. I am sure I can try to find a few people to play with us. Thanks for your input!
 
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Chad Urso McDaniel
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Seattle
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I have found that the well placement scales the game well for 3 to 5 players. You can place it in a corner for 3 players and still get good competition for space.

I do prefer 4 or 5 when given the choice.
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George Leach
United Kingdom
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This is a fantastic game, I have found it excellent with boardgame newcomers post-gateway game. If you can convince people not to count up the effect of every option then it plays wonderfully well with 5. With 5 I believe it is top 100 material, unfortunately that's a bit restrictive. The tension and simple auction mechanics makes a wonderful game for 4 or 5 (balancing using the spring placement).
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