The quiz picture is obviously part of Lloegr but what game is played on this board?
Last time the picture was of the box cover of Haspelknecht a game about the beginning of coal mining in Germany
This week we played Capital by Granna a tile laying game played over six rounds depicting the growth and rebuilding of Warsaw over a 400 year period. The game consists of six stacks of tiles (one for each stage of the game), five bonus tiles, 4 starter tiles, some cardboard coins, a scoring marker for each player and a central board to store things on. The tiles which are the core of the game will be one of two different types either a specialized building or a tile split into quarters with each quarter containing coloured buildings of one of 5 colours (green-parkland, red-residential, purple-cultural, yellow-commercial and blue-industry), in the early rounds most of the quarters on a coloured tile will be the same colour, in later rounds the quarters become mare varied, each tile also has a cost in money to be paid if the player wishes to add it to their display.
At the start of the game each player has a start tile and six cash, a round consists of tiles being dealt out so that each player has four in hand, simultaneously each player selects one of those tiles and passes the remaining three to the left, players then reveal their tiles placing them into their display or discarding it for three cash. They then do the same with the three tiles handed to them and so on until every player has had four actions of either playing a tile into their display or cashing it in, after this there is a scoring and then the next set of tiles is dealt out for the next round. Tiles purchased are played onto a players personal display, they must be played so that it is orthogonally adjacent to at least one other tile alternatively the player may overbuild something already built in which case they only pay the difference in costs. The last stricture on building is that your area may never exceed 3x4 in size.
The scoring is split into three phases, the first phase is “war” which only occurs only after rounds 3 (foe WW1) and 4 (for WW2), after round 3 everyone must lose a tile (or stack if it is on a stack) and two tiles after round 4, the second phase of scoring awards a bonus tile to the player who matches the criteria shown on it, the last phase is the scoring itself, a player receives 1 VP for every red area next to one named park up to 3 after that the scale increases. The players get 1 cash for each red area next to all their yellow areas, purples give VP as written on the tiles and Industry is the same in relation to cash, however an area for the purposes of scoring consists of something that IS NOT adjacent to the same colour, so several tiles connected together with red adjoining red consists of only 1 red area even though it may have many squares making up that area. Lastly there are bonuses to be obtained from the special buildings you have in your display. The game ends after 6 rounds with the winner being the player with the most points.
To start with it is easy to draw parallels between aspects of this game and many other games (for example three cash for throwing away your tile and missing your action (7 Wonders), placing tiles into specific zones for scoring (Cities, Between 2 Cities), special powers on tiles (any number of games with special abilities on cards)) however it is distinctly different from all of them to enjoy playing for itself, added to this is the effort gone to with the special tiles to give some history in the rules behind the buildings represented. It is a tight game, first off you have to contend with cash-flow problems, then getting the right tiles to meet your game-plan, then the need not to let your opponent get their ideal tile, then you have the problem of fitting all you want into the 3x4 grid and then building a tile you do not want to lose to war. I have played it 3 times now and each game has been competitive with no one strategy beating any other, the special tiles seem powerful but they are not essential to win however they can certainly ease the way and an early park with plenty of residences will get the Victory points rushing in but at the loss of much needed income