Java is the middle game in a 3 game series, Tikal, Java and Mexica by the designers Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer.
Attendees last night were Garry, Steve and myself. Only Steve had played the game before and confessed that it was one of his favourites. Garry and I concluded that we were in for a tonking!
Steve ran through the rules and outlined a few starting strategies for us to get us going. You have 6 action points to spend each turn and it is not enough!! Basically the water tiles (cisterns) were quickly placed breaking up the board into interesting shapes. Then it is a case of placing tiles, triples which are in a common pool, doubles and singles which each player has a limited number of. Building villages and founding palaces garner points. If you have the right cards you can then hold a festival and get some more points.
Steve cunningly left the ploy of enlarging the village to a 10, building a palace and then splitting it up and building another palace in the offshoot until actual play. Sneaky I say. This game makes you really think and could easily develop into analysis paralysis. Fortunately our game didn’t and progressed along quite quickly. The game ends when the last triple tile is placed and if you don’t keep an eye on them you find that their are only a few left.
In the last few turns you are trying to get your men to the highest position in each village because at the end of the game the highest in each village scores the value of that village. The last player to place the final triple tile ends the game. He then scores his men in each village and the other players have a final turn and score their men. Both Garry and myself where under the impression that the final scoring would be at the end after each player had taken their final turn which in my case definitely would have made a difference. Yes, I know I came last but that is my excuse and I’m sticking to it. ;-)
Steve 120 Garry 93 *Colin 92 *Starting Player
Ratings for Java (0-10)
Colin 8 Steve 10 Garry ?