The Halls seemed pretty crowded today. We got in early and sat down to Discordia – apparently 9 years in development by Berndt Eisenstein. Set in Roman times, it’s a tile laying and worker placement game with a few twists, one of which is that your job is to emply all workers. You start out with 15 and each round you get more flooding in unless you have covered certain spaces with tiles and other player pieces. The main mechanic is to simply take one of three dice and take an action – either building foundation tiles, building tiles on top of foundations which allow you to employ workers, putting workers on tiles or taking stars which are a kind of currency. When you take a die, if you have tiles which show a matching die they trigger and allow you employ more workers – until they are full.
The game is one of optimising your actions and building up little engines which get you benefits. What I liked was the triggering of a sequence of actions and trying to optimise each turn to get the most out of what is essentially one action. There is more to the thing but suffice to say I enjoyed it; neither of my two playing companions enjoyed it as much as I did though.
After picking up a few preorders and Kickstarters (Barrage Nike expansion, Autobahn, Revive, Oak) I checked out a few Trefl games. The Book of Dragons did not impress. Players take turns to use 1-3 dice to bid on a dragon of their choice; if they win the dice values decrease, but if they are overbid their dice increase. Some of the dragons give you optional one-off actions like flipping a die but these seemed unbalanced – for example I has a started card which gave me three extra points for green dragons; plus each green dragon I collected allowed me to increase my dice values by one pip each. Compared to other dragon abilities this felt overpowered. I’d rather play Splendor.
Redraw on the contrary, looks very good. Players choose a word from 27 in the middle of the table and draw it on a sheet which has some pre-written lines on it – which you must use. If someone guesses the word you pass the drawing to your left and the next player draws on the same card using your drawing without erasing it. Hence, redraw. Looks like it will be lots of fun.
Trefl have also reprinted Santiago very nicely.
In terms of hotness at the fair, there were long queues for Flamecraft which looked attractive and I bought, and Atiwa which is the latest Rosenburg which I avoided as I think he is getting very repetitive. Revive is also getting a lot of love and I’m looking forward to playing my copy. We have now played two games of Challengers in the hotel and everyone is buying it. Tomorrow we will play First Rat which is co-designed by the co-author of Coimbra, Grand Austria Hotel and other favourites so I’m looking forward to that!