Meet this Friday and a recommendation for Tigris and Euphrates.

Hi everyone, just a  quick reminder that after the headiness of three Saturday meetings on the trot (if I recall correctly – I was on holiday for a lot of July) this Friday 11th August will be our first Friday meeting for a while at the Bar Convent, 6 till 9. All are welcome, so if like me you’re back at work (sigh) after a nice holiday why not pop along to get a lift from some good gaming and even better company.

Also, for those of you off tomorrow, we will be gaming in Travelling Man during the day, come along upstairs to join in some boardgaming fun.

Tigris and Euphrates

Mark’s not here so you’ll have to wait a little longer for his views on Space Alert. But that’s ok, because I want to talk about Tigris and Euphrates which (like my daughter) has come of age this year. Yup, the one time king of the boardgamegeek charts (and still riding high at number 60, pop-pickers) has turned 21 years old this year. Ahh ….

Few of its peers (El Grande apart) have had the same staying power. Here’s why. It’s arguably celebrated designer Dr. Reiner Knizia’s signature design (which is saying a lot), and comes from his purple period when he seemed to come up with a new, genre-expanding idea every year or two. It combines a number of his trademark features: a light ruleset, quick turns, simple but fiendish victory conditions that keep players on their toes and that require you to play the other players rather than the game. And it plays in less than an hour.

What do you do on your turn? Usually, place two tiles on the board. That’s it.

How do you win? Well, you score (hidden) victory points. While many modern Euros give you 427 different ways of scoring points (all of which you add together at the end of the game), here you score points in four colours. Generally, if you place a red tile, you score a red point, and your end game score is simply your lowest score in any of the colours. So if you have 20 red, 12 blue, 10 red and 3 green, your score is 3, not 20. And you’ve lost.

Now, I’ll admit there’s a little more to it: leaders – they’re the round disks in the image above, and you’ll need your red leader (didn’t he fly a Spitfire?) in play to score red points; conflict – like I said you play the others here, not the game; monuments (they’re the buildings in the image above) and the odd catastrophe. However, it’s way, way simpler than most modern worker-placement games, plays in half the time and doesn’t require that you memorise optimum paths through a variety of upgrade cards and tiles.

It’s just been re-released (again) at a very reasonable price, and the good people at Shut Up and Sit Down have put a fine (and characteristically amusing) video review together here: Shut Up and Sit Down review

The best game from the best Euro-game designer? That’ll do me. Give me a shout if you fancy a game.

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