|omg end game was so close! only 1 points apart|
Jon played this before I did and we covered this in Episode 12 of our podcast. In essence, this is a multiplayer solitaire game. Each player has a player board and during your turn, you will perform 2 actions. You can play one of the 2 cards in your hands (you always only have 2) or exchange one of the cards in your hand with the available 7 cards on the table.
That's it! That's all there is to the game. Game lasts 3 years, each year ends with a military scoring phase where you score points depending on the rank of your military (with 2 more military scorings in 2nd and 3rd year) and then you check your end game objectives and whoever has the most points wins the game.
Using those 2 cards, you are expected to build up your engine for a game that only uses 2 type of resources: Food and Money. You build tiles which produce Food and Money and you build tiles which store Food and Money. In between, you will also try to grab military tiles to score as well. Finally, the most coveted Blue (luxury) tiles will give you the most points in the game.
It started off quite ok for me but quickly felt very repetitive. The only luck in the game is the luck of the draw and that can be quite devastating especially if your opponents knows how to play their cards to lock out the only gold / food producing card on the table. In addition, there is a runaway leader problem or so it seemed at first. When we performed our final scoring, we were ONLY ONE point apart! 4 of us were only 1 point apart each which is really surprising given how the leader had a lot of the high scoring luxury goods and I only had 3 measly ones.
Ending was really quite a surprise for us so in summary this is a medium weight euro-style game with not much interaction. Try before you buy!