RogerBW's Blog

Thirsty Meeples June 2018 26 June 2018

Back to the boardgame café. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

Our first game was Saltlands, a post-apocalyptic scavenger hunt, of which our first impression was that this is a game that tries very hard not to be played. The rules are not at all clear even about how setup works; and you get all these neat vehicles

but you don't get to use most of them in a smaller game; and they're only for the raiders; if you capture one, you don't get to use the miniature.

The raider trucks swarmed.

There's a really nifty system for moving your sand-yacht as the wind changes strength and direction… but if you capture a raider vehicle, while it's slower, you get to carry more cards and go up-wind.

The goal of the game is to turn up all the rumour cards (which move the coloured goal tokens about), then to get to one of those goals with the right cards. Which means in practice it's a scavenger hunt where you have to turn over lots and lots and lots of tokens – so it would have been really nice if the rules had made it clear that revealing an adjacent token isn't an action, while picking it up and getting the benefit of it is. (I think.)

In spite of this we managed to complete the game on the last action, with two out of three of us escaping. But, well, I saw this at Essen in 2016 and didn't back their kickstarter then… and I don't regret that, even if the plastic vehicles are really nifty; the random token system just serves to draw the game out, without letting you plan anything more than "get to as many tiles as possible". I may steal the mechanics I like (the wind system, mostly) and do something more interesting with them.

That took a while, so our other game was Museum Rush… which ended up feeling like Burgle Bros Lite. You're all thieves, stealing stuff from a museum; but the Clock cards that end the game are scattered randomly through the deck, and in my five turns I drew four of them, which meant I didn't get much in the way of nifty powers (in the same deck). It's OK, I guess, but I can't think of a reason I'd recommend this rather than Burgle Bros.

[Buy Saltlands at Amazon] [Buy Museum Rush at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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