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Subject: With two players, most of the huts are merely hapless victims! rss

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Bruce Murphy
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I'd only ever played Clans 3-player before, and had noted the strong recommendation on the Geek for the 2-player game and thought we'd give it a shot. It was late, so something fairly straight forward and fast-playing was ideal.

Dealing only two of the hut colour tiles out seemed weird, but we checked them and stared at the board. The first few moves were just batting groups of huts around in the mid-board, and it was 8 or 9 turns before C scored the first village for three colours.

Recalling that the outcome of this game had often hung on the delicate balance of how many village scoring tokens were allocated, we started to be a little more aggressive in creating even small villages, although a few large groups came out. B managed to create two doomed villages to get rid of groups that wouldn't score anything for yellow (one of which is shown hut-down in the picture)

One problem mid-game was the discovery of a single yellow hut that had been villaged some turns before without anyone noticing. We discarded the scoring token and scored for yellow. luckily it wasn't on a phase transition, so didn't change the following moves. With two players, probably have to keep an eye out.

Once we hit the 3-point bonus section, things started speeding up as the end of the game approached. The choices were a lot slower as we tried to move without helping the other player, leaving ourselves with the option to doom any dangerous villages.

C was finally able to end the game using the 5-point in any ground bonus when she created a couple of tiny villages out of some unseen huts in the top-left corner of the board that had previously gone overlooked. This boosted her colour way out in front.

Final scores were C (playing red) with 31+7=38 points and B (playing yellow) 26
+4=30 points. Booo!


Possibly the biggest downside to Clans is the slightly fiddly set-up with a group of five coloured huts in each region, and distributed randomly. With two people working from each end of the board, it's only a few minutes of setup, and with two people the game gets more thinky and a bit longer, so it doesn't seem a problem.

It was interesting to note that once one colours falls behind and out of the clear running, noone bothers to maintain any pretense that it's their colour. We noticed the same pattern in the 3-player game, but with only 2 players, there was still plenty of ambiguity, even right at the end of the game, with neither player being completely sure.

It was interesting how ruthless we were in destroying huts of not-our-own colours (or sometimes our own if they weren't going anywhere) during the game. With only one person to try to get a delta over, being able to move a hut of your own colour into the same area as that of the other player, effectively neutralised a region provided that not all five colours were present. A lot of the early moves were aimed at breaking off a few 5th-colour huts.

In conclusion, Clans is a terrific light, quick game for two players that I'm definitely going to play more in the evenings when I have some short times to play a game.
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Quinn Swanger
United States
Holly Springs
North Carolina
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thepackrat wrote:

Final scores were C (playing red) with 31+7=38 points and B (playing yellow) 26+4=30 points. Booo!

I'm only 5+ years late in responding to this, but I think someone got jipped a one point bonus chip! If you note the added points above (bolded for clarity) you'll note that 7+4 <> 12. From your description of this game, the 12th village (w/ 5-point bonus) was obviously formed.
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