Hazienda is the latest Wolfgang Kramer release and as Nige really likes his designs, it was an obvious first game to be played after my return from Essen. It is a typical Wolfgang Kramer action point game but, unlike the likes of Tikal, it doesn't suffer from much downtime at all. Lots of options on your turn and plenty of ways to score victory points. The basic choices revolve around expanding your farms and connecting up to markets. However, the other point-scoring options shouldn’t be ignored as they can add quite a bit to your total.
In our game, I was able to capitalise on the fact I’d played before in order to place a key lake and hazienda just before the first scoring. This gave me a 12 point lead, which the others couldn’t peg back despite their best efforts to block me in. The others, however, were reasonably bunched and there ended up being just a few points between them at the end. I like this and think that the different ways of scoring are nicely balanced and should ensure a pretty close result.