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Subject: First Imressions of Montana rss

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Ilse
Belgium
Kortenberg
Vlaams-Brabant
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To put this game on the radar a bit more I'm posting this section of my blog post in the review section too.
This is both a session report and a short description of both the rules and my thoughts on the game.

On Thursday I had already taken the time to unpack this game and go through the rules. The components in this game are gorgeous, everything is bright and oozes a sense of calm and happiness, I’m going to stop about that now before this all turns in to a Disney movie, but really kudos for the design! After sorting all the pieces and glancing through the rulebook it landed on top of my ‘want-to-play’ pile which didn’t exist up until that point but still.



Setting up and explaining the game takes about 10 minutes, it’s really straight forward. One can either recruit workers, gather resources or place settlements. The goal of the game is to have all your settlements on the board first, a racing game, yay!
To recruit workers you have to use a rondel, you take the 2 workers where the arrow points too BUT you also have the option to pay a grain and get the 2 workers of the next area too. Since the variations on the wheel are limited and you can choose to buy the extra 2 for grain there is always something you can do.
The second choice one can make is to send out workers to the market or bidding place (I believe it was called town center but I’m not sure). You spend brown workers to get copper, yellow ones to get grain, black ones to get stone and orange will get you pumpkins. For every resource there are 3 action spots every one being more expensive (turn in more money) than the one before but also granting more resources. You can choose to pay a second worker to gain one extra of that resource at any time. If you do not have the color worker of the resource you want you can spend any other 2 workers and still take that action. Because of that I felt like there were always plenty of options. You can also send any worker type to the bank to gather money, by either spending 1,2 or 3 workers you get an increasing amount of coins. If at the end of any players turn one of the market spaces or the bank spaces are completely filled up the workers return to the worker pool ready to be recruited once again, allowing players to fill up the action spaces again aswell. Instead of gathering resources that way one can also go to the town center and join a bidding war (this is exaggerated I just like the expression). When a player takes that action they choose a spot on the town center, every other player in turn order gets a chance to bid too. There are 4 rows to choose from so you aren’t necessarily in someones way. If someone overbids you, you can decide to bid even higher or go to another row or pass completely and not join the bidding anymore. This keeps happening until there is only 1 or no meeple left on every row. At that point you take your reward and pay the amount of pumpkins you bid. This is the only spot to turn small resources into big ones, why you need those will become clearer once I explain the next possible action.
Placing settlements: with the resources you’ve gathered it’s possible to place up to 3 settlement tiles on the board. You just pay the goods depicted on the tile and cover it with your settlement. The tile has to be adjacent to either another settlement or the starting tile. If there is a cow on the tile you put it on your player board. If you place a tile adjacent to a lake you get the waterbag. If you succeed in placing 4 settlements in a row you get to place a fifth for free by stacking it on the last settlement you placed.
The cows and water bags can be used at any time during your turn, the cow is used to trade it for any other good and the water bag allows you to immediately take another turn.



At numerous occasions I complain about not having good medium weight games, they either last too long or aren’t relaxing enough on a work night. Then there are the fillers which aren’t challenging enough and cant grab my attention for long. Montana falls right in between those groups. It’s the hardest category to find games for in my opinion, games that are not too long, not too easy, not too difficult yet still challenging and offering pleasant choices. From what I gathered after one play, Montana is a great contestant to fill the gap and I’m hoping to play again soon.


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Daniele Mazzoni
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What's your opinion, could it play well with 2 players?
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Bernhard W
Australia
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Thanks for this nice review.

Some of my favorite medium-light weight Euros that take around and hour that you haven't rated yet are:
Endeavor (Second edition coming)
Gold West
Lancaster
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Jonathan Franklin
United States
Seattle
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Attika, Taluva, and Web of Power/China/Han are goodies too.

I think Mike Siggins coined the phrase "super-fillers"
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Ilse
Belgium
Kortenberg
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dado21780 wrote:
What's your opinion, could it play well with 2 players?


The map gets smaller when playing with 2 players making it tighter and a nice experience too. The bidding is more fun at a higher player count, but I don't foresee it being an issue. Thanks for reading
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david landes
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oak hill
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A couple other medium/light games we like are:
- Isle of Skye
- La Strada
- Vikings

Cheers
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Matthew Carlson
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Cloquet
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BeloW06 wrote:
Thanks for this nice review.

Some of my favorite medium-light weight Euros that take around and hour that you haven't rated yet are:
Endeavor (Second edition coming)
Gold West
Lancaster


+1 for Gold West
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