Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Well I got to play Flandern 1302 - the game I picked up on my recent trip to Germany - a lot quicker than I anticipated. With boardgame newbies as well. Kez and Joe, my two ex-nephews, were over last weekend to visit Phil. You can read a graphic report of their epic Saturday-night bender in Guildford over on Phil's weblog - and another on Kez's weblog. I can't believe I was seriously considering going along with them at one point - I'm sooo glad I chickened out at the last minute! I would still have the hangover now. Sunday morning in the flat was very quiet as you can imagine, but I had been fiddling with Flandern 1302 on the coffee table all weekend trying to learn the rules, and after lunch they were all keen to have a go. Everyone seemed to enjoy the game a lot. The way the game works is fairly simple to explain and understand, it only takes an hour or so to complete, and the subtleties of the tactical possibilities gradually dawned on us as the game went on. What helps a lot for newbies is the pacing of the game, which starts slow and gentle with players choosing between possible tile lays on various fairly empty cities. Eventually the first city is completed and ready to score, and from that point onwards there is a gathering sense of urgency as the cities get scored more frequently, you are starting to run out of tiles, and everything becomes urgent all at once. Phil won easily on 46 and I trailed badly, finishing on 19. I like this game a lot, and can't quite understand its low rating on BGG. Perhaps this is a result of its low profile as it has not been published in English. However all the components are language-free and there is a reasonable translation of the rules available on BGG. It is beautifully produced and it doesn't cost a lot (22 Euros). Highly recommended.