We followed up Magna Grecia with yet another game from Reiner Knizia. Although originally published in Germany with a Lord of the Rings theme, the Fantasy Flight version is in a more generic fantasy setting.
The game is played over a series of rounds and in each round, a building is revealed and players fight for control of that building. This is done by placing square character tiles around the edge of the building. Each player has a hand of six tiles and can normally play either one tile with a strength of 2 or more, or any number of value 1 tiles. There is also a dragon tile which allows you to remove a tile already played at the current location. There are ten spaces around each building and the character tiles come in a variety of strengths. Once the building is completely surrounded by ten tiles, it is scored and VP markers are given to the player or players with the strongest combination of characters. The winner(s) may also receive a character token which can be played later in the game to the benefit of the owner. Placing the last tile to trigger the scoring is important because the player that does so then gets to add the next building to the play area. It must be adjacent to at least one tile already placed so the person adding the building can place it in such a way to benefit himself over his opponents. The game ends once all players have played their tiles; or only one player has tiles left after a location is scored; or the tenth location is scored. Whoever has the highest number of VPs is the winer.
In our game, I tried to get a few tiles placed close together round the first couple of buildings so that when I triggered a scoring, I was able to set up the next location where I had a good head start. I targeted a couple of high scoring locations where I wanted to come first and conserved my tiles accordingly. Nige was first to run out of tiles, which allowed John and I to score a further building without interference from Nige. My steady scoring throughout the game proved enough for me to claim a second win of the evening. We all thought this was a quite nice filler and it played pretty quickly. Although I’m not a great fan of fantasy themed games, this was pleasant enough and I think the LOTR link would add to the interest for many players.