This is the kind of game that if you have the right kind of gaming group can be a marvellous experience. It allows direct competition and screwage, resulting in fun banter and furious declarations of violent intent. In other words, my favourite type of game.
Ste and I called a truce for this game, and he instead got sucked into tit-for-tat battles with Dave allowing me to concentrate on thwarting Will’s attempts to obtain resources. Will was playing rather too defensively, leaving men in his fort which allowed me to out-compete him for the good resources and build the walls of my fort higher and higher.
The method of competing for resources is simple but stunningly effective as players swap the cards they have just played to compete, with their opponent. Therefore, playing a powerful card will allow your opponent the option of playing it on a later turn. This is when Will opened up a new tactic hithero unrecognised by the rest of us: forced discards.
Ste had men in the forests and also men in the quarry. He was hoarding his remaining card, obviously determined to save it in order to acquire the stone he desired. So Will challenged him for some grass, forcing Ste to use his card (a 6, unsurprisingly) to win grass he didn’t want whilst Will used a 2, simply to deprive Ste the chance of winning the stone.
Ste eyeballed Will with barely concealed fury. “You cock” he intoned, “I wanted that card”.
This game is tremendous. It forces direct conflict with a worker placement mechanic that doesn’t enable the players to avoid each other, and therein lies its beauty, enhanced by the option of sneaky manoeuvres to stick a spanner in the works of your opponents. I love this game. And I won at a canter. Brilliant!