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Monday, June 14, 2010

Recap: Tikal First Impressions


 Stock Footage Because I'm Apparently Incapable of Remembering My Camera

 This weekend, I had the chance to try out Tikal.  Tikal was the Spiel des Jahres winner in 1999 so I was eagerly anticipating a first play.  The game is a mix of tile placement and worker movement.  So it's a bit like Carcassonne meets checkers.  It's difficult to judge the worth of a game after only one play, but on the whole I liked it.  I'm looking forward to an additional game now that I know which tiles are better and the approximate distribution.

The one potential negative for Tikal is that there isn't a general scoring time.  Instead, when the scoring round occurs (four times throughout the game), each player takes a turn and then scores his points.  So, Player One will move his workers, and then score his points.  Then, Player Two will move his workers and score and so on.  This means the same temple might be scored multiple times as first Player One has the most workers, then after Player Two adds some workers to it, Player Two will also get the points.  It also means that the first to score has an advantage because each succeeding player must put more workers in the hex in order to score it, making it more difficult each time. 

I found this encouraged players to look for outlying temples that had low competition, rather than to directly compete.  In fact, that strategy nearly won me the game until another player decided to directly compete with me and the resultant resource war dropped me to second place.  So, I'll have to play a few more times before I make my decision, but I generally like the game with that one bizarre exception.
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