Spiel 2014 Preview: El Gaucho

Posted by James (admin) on 23rd September 2014

El Gaucho gameEl Gaucho is a eurogame of cattle ranching.  From reading the rules, it sound like a fresh mix of game mechanics is a light, fast game which appeals to me.  On the board is a pen for rolling dice, rows of cows to be gained in the paddock, and special action areas.

Each round, a set of dice are rolled and players take turns to take two of these dice and using them to take actions.  One action is to use the dice to gain cows from the paddock.  If a player uses dice whose total exactly matches the large number on the cow’s tile, they place one of their workers (Gauchos) on the tile standing up.  A player can place a Gaucho lying down on a tile if their dice matches the smaller (and easier to obtain) number on the tile, but it takes a second dice matching this small number to then make that Gaucho stand up.

At the end of a round, if a row of cows in the paddock has a Gaucho on everyone one (standing up or lying down), cow tiles with Gauchos standing-up on them are claimed by their owning players (and cow tiles with lying -down Gauchos on them remain where they are as new cow tiles are added to their row).  When a player gains cows, they place them in rows according to their type and new tiles are always added to the right of any existing row.  However, there is a catch: Cows placed in ascending or descending numerical order are fine but, if a newly placed cow breaks this sequence, the current row of cows must be sold immediately, and then the remaining cows to be added start a new row. For example, if you already have a row of brown cows numbered 12-8-6 and have brown cows numbered 9 and 5 to add, you could add the 5 first (making the row 12-8-6-5 and then adding the 9 means you must sell the row as it would break the descending value sequence.  When sold, the amount of Pesos earned is equal to the number of cow tiles being sold multiplied by the highest single tile value. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, El Gaucho, Essen Spiel 14, Preview, Spiel 2014 | 2 Comments »

On The Radar: New Games at Essen 2012: Part 5

Posted by James (admin) on 18th September 2012

Couple of new games that have taken my interest recently.  (I’ve combined all the Spiel games on my radar on my Essen 2012 page too.)

Desperados (Argentum Verlag)
I like Argentum Verlag as they have released the extremely funny and backstabby Lifeboats as well as the excellent eurogame Hansa Teutonica.  This year it’s the Wild West and the game is Desperados.  All the players but one are the villains working together against the player who is the marshal and controls the sheriffs.  The players move their villains using a secret movement system by laying location cards face-down – this includes the marshal player too.  That element reminds me how Dracula moves in Fury of Dracula.

When 5 moves have been ‘programmed’, they get resolved.  An outlaw player in the same location as a marshal gets arrested, is in jail for the remainder of the round, and losses that location card for the rest of the game.  If there are more outlaw players at a location than sheriffs then they can fix a poker game, rob a bank or hold-up a stage coach if there is one.  The two stage coaches move along pre-programmed routes.  The outlaw players win if they net $4,000 per player or more.  I’m not sure about the win condition as it sounds a bit plain; however, Desperados sounds like a great mix and is definitely one I want to try.  The rules are online on their web site.
Check out the details and rules at Argentum Verlag’s web site: bga.me/desperados

Crash’em (Wacky Works)
A demolition derby game with players programming moves in a similar way to RoboRally but only programming 3 moves ahead.  I always liked the idea of RoboRally but the execution was always a bit disappointing as it took so long to resolve the moves and any one hiccup (like being pushed by an opponent) could destroy your race.  However, Crash’em only has 3 programmed moves each move, which should make it more controllable, plus the whole idea is to bash into people (rather than RoboRally being a race requiring accuracy) so should be much more suited to this type of gameplay.  No rules out yet but it’s another one I want to try out.


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Posted in Board Games, Crash'em, Desperados, Essen Spiel 12, On the Radar | No Comments »