The List – Dice City, Samarkand, La Granja
Today is another update on The List. Three more games get checked off, one game got sold, and one game was added via Kickstarter. Let’s start with Dice City.
I have played this a half dozen times now but it’s finally off the list due to meeting the criteria of having been played by two “List” members.
In Dice City players manipulate dice rolls to create excellent combinations of interesting decisions and capabilities on each turn. A player has five dice which will be placed in five rows on their player board. Those dice have the option to activate the building on which they sit. Or you can “spend” any die to move other dice. The objective of the game is to score points, which can be done in several ways. Many of the buildings you purchase in the game are worth points. Military battles against bandits or other players can earn you points. Fulfilling the orders of trade ships can earn you points. And building a cultured city can earn you points.
I really enjoy the “multiple paths to victory” aspect of the game. You can tailor your gameplay in many different ways to try and beat your opponents. This game could be played pretty diplomatically or you could get in your opponents face and keep attacking their buildings.
Overall I would say I am very pleased with Dice City and I am looking forward to the expansion, Dice City: All That Glitters.
Samarkand: Routes to Riches is an interesting mix of mechanics that combine into a Euro game.
The objective is to marry into wealthy families and expand trading routes. During the game you can marry into a family, obtain “goods” cards that allow you to earn points, and expand trade routes.
This game has the hallmark of Euro games in that the mechanics are simple to learn and understand. The gameplay is limited in player options, meaning a player can either do A, B, or C. And the depth comes in by making those simple decisions have interesting effects.
I enjoyed Samarkand and I would play it again.
I received this as a Christmas present and I’m glad I did. La Granja is a solid heavy game full of interesting choices and decision paths.
Players in La Granja are operating a farm. Points can be scored in many different ways and this has a feel of death by a thousand cuts. You never will earn a huge amount of points on any one turn in the game so you have to find many ways to earn them.
This is a resource management game that utilizes a smorgasbord of mechanics to force players to make difficult decisions. Part of that difficulty is that the game really revolves around multi-use cards. And in this case “Multi” refers to being able to use cards in four different ways. Players may use cards as a field to procure harvest goods, as a market barrow that can be fulfilled for the market, as a helper to allow a special ability, or as a farm extension to earn income or hold an extra pig or other things. So some of the difficulty in making decisions stems from trying to decide how best to use each card.
Please let your first game of La Granja be a learning game. I don’t think the rules are particularly well written so take the time to either play it solo and figure things out or at least understand that the first time you play it will be somewhat difficult to grasp.
Despite the learning curve I cannot wait to play it again!