Last night was the second Wednesday of the month once again. Which is the day the founding fathers of Fenland Gamers chose to meet up on a monthly basis.
With Clans of Caledonia (CoC) having just arrived the weekend before (finally), this was the perfect opportunity to get the game to the table.
Overall I really liked CoC. I liked the mechanics that make the game. For instance I like the variable setup. 4 double sided map boards, 8 clans, 9 starting goods tiles, 8 end of round scoring tiles, 8 port bonuses. That’s a lot of variety right there in the setup.
I liked how the prices of commodities could go up or down on the market board. It could be very tactical buying something you know another player will be going for just so that they have to pay more for the goods. Or even selling so that the price goes down and they get less money when they sell.
The end of round scoring is nice, especially when it will be different each round and game. It gives you a mini goal to try and achieve during that current round.
Another nice touch was the neighbour action that you can take when you expand into a space next to another players pieces. Once you have paid the cost of placing your piece, you can then at a discount buy up to 3 items (merchants allowing) of the goods provided by the other players pieces. So if you expanded next to a players sheep, then you could buy wool. This could be a nice way to reduce the cost of an item that you need to complete a contract.
The four port bonuses in each of the four corners of the game map were a nice way to get a one off in game bonus if you could get near to them.
The clan tiles, and the starting tiles give that sense of variable player abilities, and that each player is different. Which I like a lot.
Sadly there are some negatives to CoC. The general consensus round the table is that the game is too small. A 50% increase in size and I think it would have been alright. Look at the close up I took of the letters that are printed on each side of the boards to allow them to be arranged in the correct order on the table.
Look fine don’t they? But they are so small it’s really hard to see that they are there let alone read them. And I have 20/20 vision, I don’t need glasses.
Plus there was a little confusion over the iconography especially on the player board with the processed goods.
Jonathan and Diego thought that the end game scoring was unnecessarily complicated. Especially the farm scoring. And I kinda agree with them. Although I can see why it’s there I think to reward those players that expand a lot over the board.
I have to say that the actual production quality is pretty good, and the metal coins are really nice. I believe made by the same place that makes the coins for Stonemaier Games. They have a really nice weight to them and are stackable.
Diego won by 2 points. Jonathan was that close to winning. A misplay in the final round may have cost him the game. While I was easily in last place.
A great evening learning a new game with great friends. And a big thank you to the White Lion for hosting the evening.