Friday, May 03, 2024

Board Game Top 100 (2024) Part 13 (72-71)

#72 Lost Cities: The Board Game

In Lost Cities: The Board Game, players are moving little adventurer pawns up different tracks towards differently colored ruins (Lost Cities). This is done by playing cards of different colors from your hand. 

Each time you play a card of a given color, you move toward the ruin of the same color. The trick is that you must play cards down in order. The first card that you play may be a high card or a low card. If you play a very high card first, then you will want to play a slightly lower card on top of that, ideally the very next card in the numerical order. If you play a very low card first, then you will need to play a higher card on top of that. Once you establish that the colored stack of cards you are playing on is being played in an ascending or a descending order, then you must follow that rule for the rest of the game round. 

When you can't play a card, you may discard in order to draw new cards, but discards are placed face-up and are available to your opponents. You will want to take care not to give an opponent the exact card that they need. 

There are 5 paths to 5 ruins, and each player has 5 adventurer pawns. The paths start out with negative points. So, take care that once you begin a journey, you are able to go far. The further along a path you can lead a pawn, the more points you get eventually turning those negative points into positive ones. 

Each player's set of adventuring pawns is made up of four junior pawns and one expedition leader pawn that is much bigger than the others. This pawn scores double the points (positive or negative.) So, you really want them to do well. Finally a long the path are additional scoring bonuses and other incentives that will make certain paths more appealing than others. These tokens are distributed randomly at the beginning of every round. The game is played over three rounds and the player with the most points at the end of the third round is the winner.

I really enjoy Lost Cities: The Board Game. I really get into the Indiana Jones / Allan Quatermain style pulp adventure theme, and the card play is engaging. In fact, I like Lost Cities: The Board Game so much that it's my 72nd favorite game of all time.

#71 Azul

In Azul players take turns drafting tiles from off the top of little coasters to place them on their player board. The coasters are arranged in a circle and four tiles are pulled randomly from a bag and placed on each one. In the center of this circle a single special tile is placed. This tile is the first player token, but it's also worth -1 point. 

On their turn a player takes all the tiles of a matching color from one of the coasters and then any remaining tiles get moved into the center. A player can also draft from the center as tiles accumulate there, taking all tiles of a single color and leaving the rest. The first player who does this, must also take the -1 token, but they will get to draft first in the next round.

On your player board you must fill a row with tiles of a single color. Once you commit a specific color to a row, you can't put any other color in that row until you finish building the row. Rows aren't built until the end of the round and each requires a different number of tiles to be placed within it in order for it to be built. The top row only needs 1 tile to be built but the bottom row needs 5. 

At the end of the round, if you can't build a row, the tiles that you have committed to that row stay as you go into the next round. If you ever can't add a tile to a row, it is placed at the bottom of your player board and counts as negative points at the end of the round. It is even a strategy to leave a large number of tiles of a color that you know your opponent can't place so that they will be forced to take those tiles at the end, racking up a large number of negative points.

Azul is an abstract puzzle type game. The tiles are chonky, colorful bakelite and they feel good in your hands. Azul is my 71st favorite game of all time.

Join my Facebook Group to discuss this post and anything related to RPG's and geekdom!

No comments:

Post a Comment