RogerBW's Blog

Thirsty Meeples June 2023 20 July 2023

Back to the boardgame café.

First up, a substantial new game: Earth. I saw this briefly at Expo, and it looked like one of those many-ways-to-score games with a huge and varied card deck, like Terraforming Mars and Ark Nova.

Which it is, a bit. But the way in which it beats Terraforming Mars, at least for me, is that many things feed into each other, so that there's less pressure up front to commit to a plan without having any idea what resources will be available to implement it.

It's a very head-down game. On a player's turn they choose one of four actions and everyone else gets to do a lesser version of it, but very few of these (not sure we saw any, in fact) involve interacting with other players. There isn't even a draft line. Worth knowing that as one goes in, I think.

The main cards seem to be terrain (assisting other things and end-game bonuses) and plants (some intrinsic value, and more if you grow them, and more if you will their sprout spaces). But there are lots of other things that boost your score, including "composting" (a personal discard pile that lets you turn any card into a point, which is something to do if you weren't going to play it anyway).

We took two hours over this "45-90 minute" game, which for a first play without any preparation seems pretty good, even if it was the slightly simplified first-game version of the rules. Also I won, which always disposes me more favourably towards a game.

After that we needed something light, so we had a couple of games of Timeline: British History, and I won them too. That's that for the year then.

[Buy Timeline: British History at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

  1. Posted by RogerBW at 11:31pm on 20 July 2023

    That's two down the boardgame post stack from here.

  2. Posted by Iain at 01:42pm on 21 July 2023

    I played Earth once at BGA. I thought it was clever but nothing really new. It felt slower than games like Innovation and looser than Race for the Galaxy. Lovely cards though.

  3. Posted by RogerBW at 02:05pm on 21 July 2023

    Can't say you're wrong; I don't think there's any game that's right for everyone. But for me Innovation goes too far down the Splotter path of "you did one seemingly sensible thing early on and now you have inevitably lost" and while I do like Race I find it a bit dry.

    (My rule of thumb is that every game is less good on BGA than in real life.)

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