The perfect introduction to “German” or “Designer” games. It has all the elements of a truly great game; strategy, luck, multiple winning strategies, top notch playing pieces, outstanding game mechanics and simple rules.

The basic goal of the game is to score the most points by laying down tiles that have various objects on them, such as roads, cities, fields, and cloisters. As you lay these down, you can place your followers on them to earn points. Points are scored both during the game and at the end.

The gameboard is actually a set of 72 tiles plus 12 more if you have the “river expansion set”. As the game progresses the board is built, one tile at a time. Soon cities, roads, farm fields, and cloisters emerge and grow. A river will emerge too if you own the expansion (which, by the way, is free for the asking… and will soon come standard with the games itself).

Like I previously stated, this is a great introduction to the world of “German” games. Because of its random tile placement, every game is different, which results in a very high replay value. The rules are pretty simple and can be mastered in a few turns, the strategy on the other hand is a little bit harder to master, you may have to play this game at least twice to get a good grasp on it. I highly recommend this game. Its fun, lighthearted and just a blast to play.

Complexity: 3         Strategy: 4         Luck: 3         Overall: 4


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