Last week I finally got Cavum on table. I bought it a while ago (June 2010 to be specific — I had been wondering about the exact time, yet I didn’t check the blog, silly me) and it took over an year to get it on the table. It’s a heavy game, with a two-hour box play time.
Well, we took almost 2.5 hours. All newbies and Atro, who is a good man but a slow player =) So, it took a while, but it does say something about the game that I didn’t get as annoyed as could’ve been expected. The game kept me intrigued enough.
It’s a Kramer & Kiesling game where players dig mine tunnels into a mountain, in order to collect jewels. The jewel collection is like route calculation in 18xx games: start from an own station, follow the tunnels without going through other players’ stations and don’t pass each tile more than once, collect all jewels you pass and then stop at an own station.
Jewels can be sold in an auction or they can be used to fulfill contracts, which score bunch of points for a specified set of 2-4 gems.
The game is played in three phases. In each phase, players have 12 actions they must use, taking 1-4 each turn. Actions include laying tunnels, placing stations and prospecting. There are also flexible buy options, which allow you some freedom of what to do.
There’s also dynamite: after the phase is over, all visible dynamite tiles blow up removing adjacent tiles, which can lead to more dynamite being visible and so on. This is a fun way to shuffle the game situation a bit between phases.
I don’t expect Cavum to get lots of play, thanks to the play time, but it still has a place in my collection. I like it.
In our game I thought I was doing great, but Tuomo was doing even better and won the game with a clear margin.