2nd July 2019.
The second game of gaming night at 'The Sovereigns' was 'Isle of Skye'.
In my imagination, one day someone was playing 'Carcassonne' and they thought. 'Y'know what this needs is more depth. Oh and it needs to be set in a remote part of Scotland!'.
And the result of that thought was 'Isle of Skye'.
In reality the link to Carcassonne is fairly superficial, both are landscape-based tile laying games and that's about it for similarities
Isle of Skye also contains an intriguing trading mechanic.
What's in a game?
How's it play?
First, there's the set up.
The scoring tiles are shuffled and 4 of them are placed on the main game board. Each tile has a different method or way of scoring points.
Each player is also given some currency (Which they keep hidden behind their screen at all times.).
The game is played over 5 turns and the game is scored at the end of these 5 turns: In each turn different scoring tiles will used for scoring. In the 1st turn, one tile is used, in turns 2 & 3, two tiles are used and in turns 4 & 5 three tiles are used.
Once set up is completed, the game begins. There are 3 phases to every turn.
Each player draws currency from the gold supply.
The trading mechanics in Isle of Skye are like no other game I've played. Each turn, all the players will acquire some tiles and must sell them, but they use their own money to do so!
Once all of the tiles have been bought, players have to lay their tiles.
The rules for laying tiles is pretty straightforward. Tiles can be placed down in any orientation, but must honour all the other tiles that it is adjacent to.
Each player creates their own 'map' independent of all other players.
I Liked Isle of Skye.
I particularly like the mechanics for selling tiles. You given some intriguing and risky strategies to use.
If you draw tiles you don't want, you can try to sell them at a low price to get rid of them. But underselling the tiles may help someone else with very little benefit to yourself.
Conversely, putting a high price on tiles may them price them out of other peoples' ranges. Ending up with you paying a high cost for tiles you don't want.
Additionally, because you use your own funds to put a price on tiles. If you price your tiles too highly, you will be left with little gold to buy other player's tiles.
There's lots of potential decisions here and that's good.
When laying tiles, there's lots of decisions to be made too.
As well as the 3 land types, field, mountain and water, there are also features such roads, lighthouses, farms etc.
All of these can be used in scoring, but they will do so differently over the rounds. So you need to prioritise how you lay tiles to maximise scoring.
So like I said I like Isle of Skye and it's been added to 'the list'.
I play, I paint.