Looks like my game reporting is lagging a bit, again.
- Two weeks ago I introduced Attika to my Monday game opponent. This classic is still fun and an interesting challenge.
- Barons is a very ugly game (as can be expected) from Cambridge Game Factory. Too bad is nowhere near as interesting as Glory to Rome. The game seems very good, but turns out less interesting. The buildings don’t offer very interesting benefits and I’m afraid just building them as bland land is going to be the most effective strategy. Boring.
- On the other hand, Innovation was very colourful. I played a two-game match, where first I did well and my opponent didn’t, then we switched roles. Balanced match, then.
- Nile Deluxor works with five. Not great, but good.
- Carcassonne with a double tile set is a bad idea.
- Last week the Monday game was Ta Yü, another success. I won the first game with 99 points, then in the last game barely scraped 18 points — and won. The denial strategy can be powerful. Love this game, it’s very entertaining.
- Dizios is a simple tile-laying and pattern matching game. Fun, if that’s the sort of thing that pleases you. Super-simple game play, fun to play — really no wonder this one won the Mensa Select.
- Mondo is fun. Six minutes time to build the perfect world from common tile stock, like in Galaxy Trucker. There are goals to fulfill and choosing which goals to pursue and how is enough of a challenge, though the six minute timer has two minutes too much, the pace is almost leisurely. Apparently the expert version which adds even more goals makes things a bit more interesting. Anyway, good game.
I’ve also played Principato couple of times now. Games designed by Finnish designers and published by major international game publishers (well, major in the hobby sense) are rare, but here we have a game by Touko Tahkokallio (of Eclipse fame), published by Eggert.
Principato is very much a basic euro. Build infrastructure, collect cubes, score points. Points are scored with hidden goal cards, building culture and waging wars. Very simple.
The heart of the matter is an action system, where each player can hold two cards. Those cards are actions you can perform (collect cubes, build stuff, hire soldiers, basically). There’s also a row of cards available. You can either use one of your action cards or exchange cards with the row. Some cards force you to exchange them after you use them, some don’t (as a general rule you must exchange cube-collecting cards and you may not exchange building cards).
All in all pretty spiffy game, if a bit symmetrical and perhaps lacking in replay value. Hard to say. I’m not thrilled by the game (I’ve got it rated as 7 right now, which is probably correct), so I’m not likely to bump into the limits of replayability. It’s fun, though, particularly our three-player games which took about an hour. 90-minute four-player game was a bit too long for the content, but it’s bound to become faster with experience (and slightly faster players).
All in all a decent game, nothing to be ashamed of, but of course far from being the jewel of Touko’s ludography — that spot is reserved for Eclipse (which I should be getting my grubby hands on fairly soon now, if all goes well). If you like soulless euros you’ll find Principato a pleasant diversion. Also, at least in Finland the game is very cheap at 19,90 euros, so considering that I’d say it’s a good deal.