Monday, April 18, 2005
April 15th - Carolus Magnus At Garry’s
This game uses a collection of smallish hexagon clusters arranged in a circle. Mercenaries, in the form of small wooden blocks, are placed onto the land pieces. Players can then use these blocks to attempt to gain control of the corresponding mercenary type, or place the same small blocks onto the board which can help the player who controls that color. Once a player has majority of control markers on a piece of land, he can build a tower there. The tower serves as a semi-permanent control marker, as well as a way to win. If two land pieces are controlled by the same player, the land pieces are combined into one, which makes the position harder to take by the other players. The first player to place a set number of towers wins the game, but the game can also end when the land masses are reduced to three or fewer, in which case the player with the most towers placed wins.
When Steve ran through the rules, Garry and I had not played before, it all seemed a bit confusing, I think Garry agrees with that. But like a lot of games after youv’e played a round it all starts to become clear. The majority of cubes get placed onto your court, to control the colours on the board. And only a few, well in this game anyway, get placed on the board to increase holdings in that colour. You have to be careful, because you could place a lot of cubes on the board only to lose control of the colour giving your opponent a strong position. The game proceeded smoothly, with control of the provinces swapping to and fro. The discs that you play to determine turn order and the number of moves the king makes is a really interesting mechanic and deserves thoughtful play.
I managed to get down to 2 castles left to play and a 2 disc left in hand. Whatever Garry or Steve did I could get to a province that I could control both needing majority in blue which I held. So I managed the win, an excellent game that I would willingly play again.
Colin 8 Castles Garry 4, Steve 3