Spiel 2013 Preview: Letnisko

Posted by James (admin) on October 15th, 2013

Letnisko cover

Letnisko (Summer Resort) is a game by the designer of Kolejka (Queue) which is one of my favourite games.  In Letnisko, players are running a summer resort near Warsaw in the 1930’s.

Each player starts with 2 plots of lands and one of these has a cottage on it.  During the game, players will buy new plots and build bigger and more varied accommodations which will attract and suit different types of vacationers.

Each round the train arrives with vacationers.  Vacationer cards are drawn based on the number and type of accommodations that have been built so far, plus an extra amount are drawn based on that round’s weather card.  These are shuffled and dealt out onto the train’s carriages in sequence.  If there are lots of vacationers then there will be more than one vacationer in some carriages.

Next, players take turns taking actions.  A player can either: 1. Go to greet some new vacationers from the train (gain vacationer cards), 2. Receive a package from the train conductor (gain cash), or 3. Invest (build/improve buildings, buy land, etc.)

To greet vacationers, a player places one of their action tokens on the desired train carriage.  These vacationers can not be taken by anyone else and will arrive until the end of the round (so players have time to make appropriate preparations).  If a player places an action token on an investment (new plot of land, new property, new car, etc.) then they pay the appropriate cost.  Multiple players can buy the same investment but the cost increases if other action markers are already on the investment.  If a places both of their 2 action tokens on an investment in one go then they get the investment at a reduced cost (potentially for free).

Finally, players accommodate their vacationers following a few rules.  Every type of accommodation can house up to 2 people but, most importantly, some vacationer types will only stay in specific types of accommodation.  For example, students are the only type that will stay in a cottage, and students will never stay in pensions, etc.  There are other rules to follow too: You must use as few accommodations as possible, and you must fill empty accommodations first before any that are already occupied; however, the arrival of any new vacationers at an occupied accommodation will make any current guests leave.

Letnisko train

Players only receive income from the guests when they depart and it’s a fixed fee no matter how long they’ve been there – students pay 100, convalescents pay 200, and socialites pay 300.  So, working out (and building) the right accommodations as well as getting the right mix of vacationers so some guests leave is the core gameplay in Letnisko.  Any vacationers that can not be accommodated either leave, or go to the player who currently has the title of President of the Summer House Society title in case they can accommodate them.

Letnisko looks like a relatively simple game where creating the best mix of vacationers and accommodation is key to success but these plans are likely to be upset by the other players who invite the vacationers you want/need before you do, or invest in cards you want which makes them too expensive for you.

You can read the rules and see the details of the game’s BGG page: bga.me/letnisko


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