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LordDillon surprised me with a copy of Indus, and we gave it a try last night. I punched the bits while he read the rules. The first thing I noticed was the artwork - just beautiful. I kept interrupting him to show him the different artifacts. The pieces were all sturdy, and the board pieces fit together well.
LordDillon let me assemble the board, and we had two red buildings on one side, and some tombs on the other. LordDillon was red and yellow, and I was green and blue. We started with the suggested set-up from the rules, and both added laborers for the first few rounds, always keeping an assistant on board in case we wanted to roll again.
One of the red buildings in particular was hotly contested, and there was some capturing of the other person's pieces. I was one roll away from capturing his piece and tying him for the building, but it was not to be.
As it was our first game, I tried to keep in mind the advice of looking for squares where several things met. LordDillon had an almost-monopoly on the graves, but I laid claim to some squares where pathways intersected.
When the last disc had been placed, we counted the board, and I was one point ahead. I was ready to celebrate my victory, but then we realized we had not scored the captured pieces. I had only managed five points from three laborers and one assistant; LordDillon had several of my more powerful pieces, and pulled ahead.
Indus reminded us of Doubles Wild because of the grid, and wanting to roll a certain spot to block or capture. Indus is light enough that we can joke and talk a little as we play, and curse the dice a bit at the end, but it also has enough strategy to keep us interested. The variable board helps increase the replayability substantially, and the pieces are a joy to play with. We opted not to put the stickers on the discs, and didn't have any trouble telling them apart, but 1/2/3 dots or stripes on the sides of the discs would work well if we wanted to do so in the future.
Indus is a fast game with minimal setup, great bits, and an interesting movement dynamic. It was definitely worth the purchase for us, and I already have plans to share it with family and friends.
An underappreciated game (maybe cuz of the dice rolling?), but I really liked it. Really !