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Review: Le Havre: The Inland Port

Posted by James (admin) on 4th February 2013

Le Havre Inland Port gameLe Havre: The Inland Port is a 2-player only game linked to the larger, original Le Havre game.  I haven’t played the original Le Havre so will be reviewing this game on its own merits without comparisons.  It’s a simple game with depth, but it’s also unusual so I shall explain how it plays.

The Inland Port is played over 12 rounds and the winner is the player with the highest total value of cash and buildings (which each have an end-game value).  Each round consists of a fixed number of actions (3 actions to start increasing to 9 actions by game’s end) and players take turns taking 1 action to either buy or use 1 building.  At the start of each round, some buildings are added to the market.

Players each have two boards in front of them.  One is their warehouse – a grid with 4 resource markers (clay, wood, grain, fish) where the total of each resource is the marker’s row number (multiples of three) plus the marker’s column number.  When a player gains or loses resources, they move the markers in specific grid directions – this may sound unnecessary but is a clever system and I’ll explain why later.

The other player board is the main game mechanic which shows a circle divided into 6 sectors where buildings are placed once they have been bought.  The circle has an arm like a clock’s minute-hand with 6 values around the part at the circle’s centre (0, 2, 3, 4, 4+1 and !) – these 6 values each match up to the circle’s 6 sectors.  At the end of a round, players both advance their clock hand by one sector so the values  in the centre now point at the next adjacent sector – as a result a building that was next to the zero will now be next to the 2; a building that was next to the 2 will now be next to the 3, and so on.  Any building now next to the ! symbol is immediately sold for half of its value. Read the rest of this entry »

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