Sunday, September 24, 2017

Quick Game look: Villages of Valeria

A friend of mine had Valeria Card Kingdoms(maybe I'll discuss that one another time), and after playing that, I decided to try one of their other offerings, and they have two others in the same setting. Villages of Valeria is a quick and fairly complex game. Images come from BoardGameGeek.

How's it work? First big mechanism is role selection(I'll get to covering that mechanic someday). The rest of the game is resource management and tableau building. This is a lead/follow mechanic, with some interesting limiting factors as to if you can follow. There are three card types: the castle(starting card), buildings, and adventurers.

Here's a picture of a part of a tableau from a played game:

I'm going to focus on the 2 fully visible cards, one building(left) and one adventurer(right). The rules suggest that buildings of a type be tucked that way, because name, points, and effects are all of the card that matter after building.

Card breakdown for buildings: Top corners are building type and VP for game end. Just under the name of the card is its special effect(some instant, some constant, and some conditional). On the left side is the resource cost of the building when you build it. The bottom section is resources when played a different way, which I'll discuss later. The Adventurer has its effect in the same place, and on the left side is the building requirement to hire the adventurer.

Now, a glimpse of a more full tableau.

Yeah, it's further out. The two cards on the left bottom here are important. The leftmost is the role selection card, with its marker(it helps for people following/tracking turns). The next one in is the starting castle, with some buildings developed for resource availability. Now, for the roles, so the rest fits together better. Cards do change some of these.

Harvest- Draw three building cards from the face up row, or the top of its deck. Followers draw one.

Develop- Discard one card from hand. Tuck another building for its resources under your castle. Followers discard two.

Tax- Take 1 gold and draw one card. Followers draw one card.

Recruit- Pay 1 gold to recruit an adventurer to your town. Followers pay 2.

Build- Place gold on open resource spots to fill the requirements for the building, and draw a card. Followers don't draw a card.

When your turn begins, the gold on your resource spots becomes yours. This also means players can block others from being able to build  by using all the resources. If all their money is tied up in resources, recruit or build.

Now, I've only played it with two, but we played three or four games straight. I'd say it's rather light, though the iconography takes a moment to get used to. But there's a lot of variability for such a light game in here, and that's before the little expansion packs.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

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