Wendy, Alan and I had a 3 player game session the other afternoon after we had been birding where I had found myself as Mosquito dinner. We managed to get through 3 games, the first was Kingsburg where I was a little cross with myself that I made a misplacement, I knew where I was to go, I just did not do it, this led to a missed crucial build which would have given me an extra 6 resources throughout the rest of the game. Added to this my last roll of the game was a 9 and that was with 4 dice (average 14), beaten by the other 2 who were rolling just 3 dice. The game ended with a well deserved draw between Alan and Wendy. I made a mistake and suffered by it.
|Africa - Box Lid (not a spelling error, this is the Dutch edition)|
|The playing pieces|
|The Game Board|
The game continues until the 11th monument disc is uncovered, the explorer gets a 3 point bonus, but the game ends immediately and final scoring takes place. During the game you can get bonus points from dropping camps (pyramids) onto the board, they score 1 point for each adjacent monument, animal or nomad. Dropping a base camp can also be used to take possession of all diamond and gold tokens. If you chose to move an animal or a nomad, the score you obtain must be greater than what it currently has and you only obtain the difference. The artefact sets gain you 1,3,5,8,12 points depending on how many you own in a set, during the game you may swap artefacts with other players artefacts, but swap criteria is quite restrictive.
So how does it play? The actual mechanism is fairly straight forward, but luck does play a part on what symbol you reveal, I find that on average animals score about 1-3 points, nomads 2-4 points, gems 1-2 points, but having the most at the end of the game gives a 10 point bonus, 6 for second place. Artifacts generally give a score of about 2-2.5 points each. As all this point grabbing seems to average out during the course of a game, tactics actually do come into play. I believe in area control and usually manage to leave myself more unexplored tiles than my opponents leaving them to waste a turn teleporting, I also try to gain control of Gold and Diamonds; Wendy excels at utilising Nomads and never misses an opportunity to maximise her scoring during a turn.
|An example of (from left - right) Animal, Artifact, Gold, monument, Nomad, Diamonds|