Once again Richard is tied up with work and it was his choice of game, so it was just Garry, Steve and myself to decide what to play. We chose Caylus Magna Carta. We had played Caylus last week so it would be interesting to see how the card game differed from the boardgame. The theme and mechanics are similar to the boardgame although obviously there is no board. Also there are no favours, no bailiff and no scoring track. What there is are cards, workers, resource markers, the provost, and castle building stones.
Garry checking his cards
At the start of the game the peddler card, the pass card and the castle are laid out. A number of pink cards according to the number of players are laid to the left of the peddlar. Each player has his own deck of cards, these are shuffled and the top 3 are drawn, you can ditch these and draw another 3 if they are not to your taste. You can do this once. Then on your turn you can:
1) build a new building by extending the road (paying the appropriate
resources) each card has a VP value which counts at the end of the game
2) pay 1 to draw a new building card
3) discard your hand and draw a fresh hand (with the discard deck being
shuffled for a new draw deck once the draw deck is exhausted)
4) place a worker on one of the existing building cards
5) build one of the common prestige building cards
Once everyone has passed, players can in passing order move the provost up to 3 cards at a cost of 1 denier per card, then the buildings are activated up to the card with the provost. Card ownership is denoted by colour and when the card is activated the player with the worker on the card gets his reward, also the owner gets a benefit, either cubes or money. Then comes the castle building phase, each player in passing order can buy castle stones at a cost of 3 resources (1 wood, 1 food, 1 stone), these stones are worth either 4VP, 3VP or 2VP. The highest value stones are bought until they run out. The player who built the most stones (or first to build if a tie) gets a gold cube. Note the gold cubes are like jokers and can substitute for any other resource in this game.
Caylus Magna Carta card layout
The game ends when all the castle building stones are gone. Player with the most VPs is the winner. The game seems to flow really well, although some of the decisions are a bit harder I think. All in all I think we all liked it and it played a lot quicker than the boardgame, so much so that we were able to get in a game of Notre Dame after we finished.
Adding up the points
Garry 32, Steve 30, Colin 25
As I said we had enough time left to play another game and we chose Notre Dame, Steve and myself had played before but Garry hadn't. So Steve ran through the rules for his benefit.
I really like this game there are several ways to go about winning, I managed to avoid the plague right up until the last round, but I also went for the park and got 4 cubes in it so garnered 2 extra VPs every time I scored VPs. Notre Dame itself also proved to be very lucrative and I managed to scoop the points on my own twice.
Board layout at game end
See June 26th entry for more pics and stuff on Notre Dame.
Colin 59, Steve 48, Garry 41