Rhymes with Archipelago

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When games become a religion AS THEY INEVITABLY WILL (let’s ignore than I plan to be the first Pope of gaming for now). When it Happens one of the dominant sects will be worker placement (possibly with live workers). I can’t remember when WP came about but it’s everywhere now in gaming and in some camps it’s greeted with shouts of praise and others it’s all nashing of hair and pulling of teeth 🙂

I like a good WP game as much as the next dice chucker but add in a big of map based action and I’m your huckleberry

Arcepellego is one such game. I’m thankful for every game I get a chance to play and this was no exception. Now I have to clarify, we played one game last Thur and we were only really getting the tyres wet. It’s a complex game. When it was being explained my mind kept drifting to this video, however like most games an explanation from someone who’s played it and a play through makes every game simple.

Archipelago is an exploration, worker placement, economic five player. It’s map based via a set of big hex terrain card which lock together to form you guessed it an archipelago.

On these tiles are a half dozen resource types, fish, wood, iron, cows, instant whip (or some such) and you can harvest then by placing workers on them. Other moves involve things like exploring, building well … Buildings and generally not straying too far from the normal worker placement style you would expect

Each turn global events kick in and knock your workers over like and exploding Sauron and sacrificing goods allow you to stand them back up.

A rebels versus settlers governer mechanic leads to a careful exploitation balancing act and coupled with every one having their own secret set of game end conditions Archipelago is suitably different from anything else I’ve played

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There’s a market economy going on with goods increasing in value and adding bonuses as you stockpile them in the central hoard.

Now I could be wrong (I’m not the Pope yet) but the only cock blockery I could find was grabbing before your opponent does. In this respect it’s a bit like Puerto Rico (which is no bad thing)

The game can be played in three lengths depending on setup short, tall or grande (you know what I mean). The shortest game being about two hours long. I’m starting to see a bit more of this with games and it’s welcome. Nations has a handicap system for experienced players and this simple addition makes a game a lot more accessible for players of mixed skills and gaming windows.

I’d be very interested in playing this again. I don’t think I’ve seen enough to make a Judgement on this game but it does have a vibe of a record you play once and think hmmm that was ok but a few plays more and you love it.

I infaliably reckon it might get another play next Thur

Huzzah

Vic

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