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Author Topic: Batavia  (Read 2402 times) Average Rating: 0
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Zarniwoop
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« on: 11 December 2012, 01:56:25 »



This being a Queen game the components are top notch with wooden pieces, great artwork and really well designed board. Each player is a merchant trying to visit different trading posts to collect commodities a gain gold (victory points) with the richest merchant at the end of the game is the winner.

All players start with 15 promissory notes, a hand of 10 cards depicting one of the five East India companies and a number of crates, each round the start player rolls a dice and this is the number of cards dealt face up from the draw pile to be put up for auction along with start player marker. The person to the left of the start player bids for the cards and then everyone else ups the bid or passes. The winner of the bid gets the cards and start player then pays his bid as evenly as possible to all the other players.

On your turn you either draw 2 cards or you can play cards, in order to play cards you need to be able to lay enough cards to create a majority in one of the 5 East India companies, if you already have a majority then you can just play any card. When you have played as many cards as you want you then choose one of majorities you have and move your merchant to the nearest Trading post of that company on the track. You collect the trading post and put one of your crates on the match commodity space. If this trading post is from an East India company you have not previously collected from then you can opt to cash in a set of different trading posts for Gold. Each of the commodities has a slot for each of the 5 east India companies and vary in value, at the end of the game the person with the most crates for that commodity scores a number of gold (10-16 depending on which one) if two people tie then they both get a much smaller amount of gold each.

As more cards get laid out a Cannon is moved along a track to keep a count of the total, plus markers for each East India company keep track of how many cards of each company are out. When the Cannon reaches 21+ or 25+, depending on the number of players, the Pirates attack at the end of that players turn. When they attack the cards belonging to the East India Company with the most cards out are sunk and put in a discard pile, if one or more Companies tie for the most then all the cards for tied companies are removed. The markers are returned to zero and the Cannon moved back to reflect the current number of cards.

The end game is triggered when someone takes the Target Trading Post from the board, which scores the owner 4 Gold, this is taken when a trading post of the East India company the active player wants to move to is not available. That round is completed, players who find they are unable to move to a trading post have to take cards. The game is then scored, each player lays out all of their cards that remain in their hands and the majorities are then reassessed for each majority a player has they score 2 gold. The commodities are scored and finally the player with the most promissory noted gets 5 gold.

This game is quick to play, easy to teach but has plenty of strategy and depth. I find this a really fun game to play and will always be willing to get this to the table, there is certainly a amount of luck to this game but it does not detract from the enjoyment.
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« Reply #1 on: 11 December 2012, 05:06:37 »

A good review of a splendid game, I agree about the element of luck but it definitely doesn't detract at all as there are plenty of ways to make the best of what turns up. I would play this one any time it was on offer.

 EvilGinger
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