Date: 29th May 2015
Game played: El Grande ( Hans im Gluck ) BGG Id: 93

With Nicky and Andrew at UK Games Expo and others on holiday, there were only five of us this week, so just the one table. I decided that it had been a criminally long time since I last played El Grande (February 1999 if my records are to be believed) so I set that up to play. Mark G had not played before so I ran through the rules that are so elegantly simple that we were soon ready to go. And I found it to be just as brilliant as I remembered, although Mark K remarked that he didn't think it did area control as well as some more recent games. While I agree that some later examples have added additional layers for players to get to grips with, for me it is the straightforward nature of the gameplay that makes it such a great game, while still giving players lots to think about.

Early game, I ran out to a nice lead but had used my 13 power card early to take advantage of a very lucrative scoring card, but that inevitably made me a target for the rest of the game. Nige was saving his 13 card for the end but didn't bank on me getting mine back in the seventh round and then Mark K grabbing the first turn for the final round, meaning my 13 could be played before Nige's. However, the action cards weren't kind to me as I had been banking on tying up a region with the King in that final round but a second King movement card was revealed for the actions so my plans got scuppered. Nige had looked very strong going into the final scoring But Mark K and Guy raced back into the reckoning and, if Guy had chosen a different region for his Castillo caballeros, he could have pipped Nige by a point. However, Nige held on to record a very slender but well fought victory.

 
Player
Rating
Score
Position
Winner
Nige
103
1
Guy
101
2
Mark K
7
92
3
Garry
9
89
4
Mark G
7
82
5

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