22nd January 2019.
Another game night at 'The Sovereigns', err wait - they were shut for the night so we relocated to the 'The Wheatsheaf' for the evening.
So... another game night at 'The Wheatsheaf'.
Orleans is a worker placement game set in medieval France. In most worker placement games, your 'workers' are generic. In Orlean, they are not. This games differenciates itself from other games in this genre by giving you different types of workers.
During gameplay, each player has their own board. To activate an option on your board requires 2 or 3 workers to be placed on the relevant spaces on your board, depending on what it does for you.
Example: Activating the 'villager' action requires you to place a farmer, fisherman and craftsman in the relevant spots. This allows you to recruit a fisherman, craftsmen or a nobleman.
If you cannot (or choose not to) place all the required workers to activate an option, then the workers remain placed on your board until all the required spots are filled by your workers. Whereupon they are removed from your board and placed into a bag (more on this later).
When you recruit a worker, you move your marker down the relevant track (there's a fisherman track, craftsman track etc).
When you move down a track, as well as gaining the worker, you may also gain an additional benefit. Moving down the craftsman track gains you a 'technology wheel', going the fisherman track gains you extra money and so on. When all the workers of a particular type are recruited, no one else can move down the track.
Even though you acquire lots of workers, there are limits on how useful they are.
Firstly; all workers not placed on your board are placed into a bag (1 bag for each player).
Secondly; at the start of the turn, you draw 4-8 workers from you bag (depending on how far along the 'knight' track you are.
This can limit your options, because you won't always draw what you want. But also provides you with some intriguing choices in order to maximise your strategy.
The game also contains a mechanic to rid yourself of workers for a one-off benefit, if you feel that you've acquired too many or they've become obsolete.
The game also has a central map that represents the region around Orleans which you can travel around and acquire trade goods and allows you to build guild halls in other locations, (all done by worker placement activation).
Winning the game requires earning points by collecting trade goods, collecting influence markers, building guild halls and accumulating money.
The setup and explanation of the rules took a while (it's not too complex, but you have a lot of choices you can make) and We didn't manage to finish a full game. But it has a bit more depth than most worker placement games in my opinion and a bit more to think about. It will require a couple of plays to know what you're doing.
I enjoyed it and look forward to playing it again.
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I play, I paint.