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Paulo Soledade
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previously posted @ http://spielportugal.blogspot.com/

"Why not a game about a Portuguese sailor from the 15th century?"
"Yeah! Why not?!"

Vasco da Gama is a game about that. The most famous and important sailor of Portuguese history. That guy discovered (found) India on a boat!!!

Vasco da Gama - the game - is about merchants who want to travel far away with the goal of gaining prestige and have their names in the "famous sailors hall of fame".

When I first heard and saw the front cover of Vasco da Gama I thought that there it was another family simple game. I'm not sure why I thought that maybe it was because of the designing on the cover or something irrational like that. My mistake. We're talking about a very tense and gamers' seductive kind of game that will be for sure one of this year's successes. I have absolutely no doubt about it.

In this game, players try to get sailing projects and make boats reach unknown lands. Obviously, the furthest the boats sail to, the most prestige points players get. Also, in order to do that players will need money and the best crew they can.

There are four important characters of that time helping players: King Manuel I, Bartolomeu Dias (a great leader), Francisco Álvares (Religious man) and the merchant Girolamo Sernigi.

The main mechanism of Vasco da Gama is worker placement. It's not new, I know, but in this game things are presented with some feshness sort of speaking - the action selection is made by chosing a particular number which is associated with the action. At the beggining of each turn players have some knowlege about the action numbers that are free of cost. The actions beggining in that number and up are free of cost but if a player wants to chose an early number, one that will grant a first choice, that number, that action has to be paid. This is a interesting mechanism because it allows a certain amount of strategy combining best choices with money. It also gives players the opportunity to chose the first action even if they don't play first.

Another fresh mechanism is dedicated to the way ships set sale. They all grant levels of rewards based on victory points and/or money. And once players launch their boats they set sail automaticcally in a very well designed mechanism in which the choice of where to send our boats is much more difficult than just sending them to where they grant more VP's. And that's because sometimes it's better not to get a couple of VP's more but instead win some prizes.

I won't say much more about Vasco da Gama as it should be a bit of a surprise when it get out this year in Essen.
I like this game a lot, I think it's a very fresh design with some "not new but redisigned mechanisms" in which players try to, in about 90 minutes, put their names in the famous sailors hall of fame. An euro game with difficult choices to make, a solid design adding some freshness to some clever old mechanisms, all of them very well combined and with a certain amount of randomness, not much in fact, just a detail or two.

Good job!
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Duarte Conceicao
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90 minutes gamer's game? Sign me up

Thanks for sharing Paulo!
 
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Andrea Chiarvesio
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If Vasco da Gama will get the attention it deserves I am confident it will be a success. It's simply one of the most elegant and fresh strategic games I have tried in the past years.

This year, Italians designers will rock Essen, if we'll get there with Vasco da Gama, Costantinopolis and Caligula!
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Ray Smith
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I agree that VdG and Constantinopolis will rule, but what is this Caligula game you mention?!!
 
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Andrea Chiarvesio
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rdsmith wrote:
I agree that VdG and Constantinopolis will rule, but what is this Caligula game you mention?!!


OT

It's a new game from Post Scriptum Games http://www.psgiochi.com. I tried the prototype a couple of months ago and it's a great and funny game (after all, how can a game that is about murdering Roman Emperors not being fun?). There is no sign of it on their website and no page on bgg, so maybe it won't be released in time for Essen.

END OT
 
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Mario Sacchi
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tanis wrote:
rdsmith wrote:
I agree that VdG and Constantinopolis will rule, but what is this Caligula game you mention?!!


OT

It's a new game from Post Scriptum Games http://www.psgiochi.com. I tried the prototype a couple of months ago and it's a great and funny game (after all, how can a game that is about murdering Roman Emperors not being fun?). There is no sign of it on their website and no page on bgg, so maybe it won't be released in time for Essen.

END OT


It Will!

We are working on the Caligula's pages on our website in these days

Mario Sacchi
Post Scriptum
 
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