We want … Information, about the Village
I spent a fair chunk of time at the recent game convention trying to find a group about to start the Village. I failed (although I wasn’t trying that hard). But I discovered that two locals had recently acquired a copy and so last night they were both there and I tried a game.
It’s not exactly a worker placement. Perhaps a ‘limited action selection’ is better. Your workers don’t block, but each space has a set number of actions that can be taken each turn. But workers often sit in an area and score points at the end of the game for advancement.
Of course, the twist is that actions spend time. After so much time one of your (oldest) workers must die. Given that the game ends when all the good graves (that score points) or bad ones (that don’t) fill, I was hoping for a clever cut throat game of time management. I suppose I got it, a bit.
The Village is clever, but it’s an intricate cube processing game, nothing more. Time is just one more resource to manage. With a zillion options I decided on the relatively simple “Build resources up early, spend them for points starting at the halfway point.” I had a few other handy-dandy rules.
- Pick the best action (hewing to ‘resources early, points late’) and don’t think too much long term.
- I don’t have that color? I should probably get some. Pick colors I don’t have when selecting an action.
- Quickly rush to get a few younger workers, so that I could advance them slowly. Early on I tossed a few elders at the monastary (since they’d get actionless points each turn) and crafting (so I could get cheaper resources). The town hall would have probably been fine, too, since you can get two free cubes or a free tile (once you get to the 3rd spot). But there are more crafting actions each turn.
- Get a plot relatively fast. And horse/ox. (Again, resource efficiency).
- Once the midgame hit, start travelling (with an elder) and hit the market hard.
- It seems to me that everyone will have to have 3 dead people by the end, and 4 is average, so rushing to get your 5th person in the (good) ground is a pretty decent swing. Really the most interesting decision is how to do that and make sure you don’t have an extra death you can’t afford (although you’ll get 7 extra points for a good death, so a bad death that later costs you six isn’t horrible).
Anyway, it’s fine, but the decisions seemed straightforward. Is the time mechanism enough to keep me from calling it a JASE? I’m not sure. Probably.
Rating –Indifferent Plus, until I decide.