The workers in this game are several generations of a family. Let’s take a look at the game board to get an idea of where your family will be working.
C. Craft As a craft (C) action, you can sell your grain and keep the coins (at the mill), which will then count as one prestige point each at the end of the game.
F. Council ChamberAfter your worker makes it to the 4th stage of the council chamber (F), you can buy 3 prestige points with one coin as a council chamber action. At game end, you will earn the points at the top of each stage of the council chamber for the workers still in this position.
D. Market DayYou can earn points by providing goods or grain to customers during the market day (D) action in each round. You then keep the customer tile and it is added to your score at the end of the game.
E. TravelYou immediately move up 3 prestige points for visiting a neighboring village in your travels (E). The coins and cubes obtained at other villages can also assist you with other actions in the round. You also receive points at the end of the game depending on how many villages you visited in total. As you can see here, travel to all 6 villages and receive 18 prestige at the end of the game.
Various actions will cost you either influence cubes or time or both influence cubes and time. When you spend time you move your marker around the time track on your farm board. This causes your family members to age, and when the marker passes the bridge, one of them dies.
or in a common grave (which will not give you prestige points at the end of the game).
Game end is signaled when all spaces in the village chronicle or the common graves are filled.
When we first played the game I liked how the theme seemed true to life. All of the ways to earn prestige, the actions costing time, and someone beating you to it. I also recall saying that is was a relaxing game. I didn’t feel like I was under a lot of pressure. Now in some games I have found myself holding my breath in anticipation.
It really seems well balanced. You can repeatedly try different strategies. We have had games end where points in several areas depend on who has a family member die first. There are games where we have had to play defense, simply taking cubes from certain areas to keep the other player from performing the action there, or even from obtaining that cube for action elsewhere. One action can impact points scored in several different areas, for both yourself and your opponents.
In the last game we played I had to weigh out several factors, knowing that if I took a travel action the required time would cause me to lose church majority from the death that would occur. I would also lose my chance to use the coin earned by that action, and I would be left with a family member on my farm that didn’t earn me any points. I could have used my cubes to call back a family member and give myself more time to put another in the church bag… there were so many factors to consider. There are always many factors to consider. I don’t see this game getting stale.
When I am not playing the game I am thinking about it. When we finish a game we want to play another. This is the most amazing game out of all of the games I have played this year. Don’t miss this one.