Thursday, 26 July 2012

GamesReport 22-Jul-12: Caylus Magna Carta

AndyA - Holiday Snaps
With AndyA (aka "Captain Pugwash") back-from-sea, we opened up with Caylus Magna Carta, a light Eurogame from Ystari Games. I've been a big fan of Euro-style games ever since I picked up a German version of Settlers of Catan back in the late 90s. Indeed for a number of years during my time with BGA, a local gaming group currently based in Bangor (County Down), I collected few other types of games and added the likes of Notre Dame, Auf Heller Und Pfennig, El Grande, Euphrat & Tigris, Ra, Thurn Und Taxis, Lost Cities, 6 Nimmt! and many more to my collection.
It all started in Catan

Great gaming years, but ones that drifted as board gaming became more mainstream again and so-called Ameri-trash titles caught my eye. I still have most of my old Euros and hope to continue drip-feeding them into KoffeeKlub's line-up in the coming weeks and months.

Caylus Magna Carta
Caylus Magna Carta (CMC), set in 1289 and themed around building a new castle for King Philip "The Fair" and is a lighter version of the Caylus board game. Whilst the theme and mechanics are similar CMC uses cards to represent the master builder's (players) progress in creating infrastructure along the road to support the castle being built. Like many Euros, CMC distills the actual building of the castle into a player drive for prestige points which can be gained from constructing new buildings, providing "batches" (1 stone + 1 food + 1 wood = 1 batch) of goods to build the castle and using effects from buildings already in play.

CMC: Food, Wood and Stone
Players begin with the same deck of buildings, drawing three random cards at the beginning of the game. Actions can be used to place workers on existing buildings, draw new cards, build new buildings from your hand (adding them to the road), building prestige buildings or passing out of that round. Once all players have passed they can pay to move the "Provost" (in pass turn order) up to 3 spaces along the road in either direction. A worker on any building beyond the Provost does not have an action this turn, so this can be a nice little way to mess with your opponents. Nice!

CMC: The Road
End-game is triggered once the last prestige point token has been claimed and the final prestige point totals are calculated for each layer to establish a winner. Careful resource, buildings and worker management are necessary for victory.

CMC: Player's Buildings
Our game went very smoothly and after a 20 minute rules walkthrough we kicked-off picking up the flow of play pretty quickly. In the end the final scores were pretty close...

Caylus Magna Carta: GaryG scored 48 points and was awarded 3 beans. AndyA scored 46 points and was awarded 1 bean. GaryB scored 39 points.

I like CMC, but feeling that it's play-time is a little too long for what is essentially a light Euro. Great to get it played again after so many years on the shelf.

For our last hour we drank coffee, chatted and played Bluff, which always raises a laugh or two.

Bluff: GaryG had two wins and three second places scoring 7 beans. GaryB had 3 wins and 1 second place scoring 7 beans. AndyA had two wins and 3 second places scoring 7 beans. Honours even.

Great gaming guys cheers!