Monday, May 18, 2015

Lagoon: Land of Druids

At the local game shop with a small group yesterday, I was contemplating how I wish I had more board games, but also how I didn't want to spend money on one. I opted for the first option when I saw this game, Lagoon: Land of Druids.

If you couldn't already guess, it had gained 70% of my favor for simply being druid based, so I looked it up on my phone for a few minutes before deciding that it had a seemingly positive enough reaction on the internet and made up my mind. We were looking at some other games, but "land of druids" won, not to mention the how gorgeous the art is.

small sampling of the tokens and game pieces, it's just dang pretty

Upon trying to decipher the rulebook, I decided it would probably not be best to try it out for the first time with a larger group. It's misleadingly complicated, partially because the game's jargon is just briefly explained before using it heavily in the description of the rules, which required flipping back and forth and reading several times before it started to make sense. After you translate the rules, the flow of the game is easy to follow. The game is for 1-4 players, but it seems ideal for two people. For groups of four, it recommends playing in two groups of two.

this might not have a lot of meaning to you

Basically, you explore this magical world (randomly pull tiles out of a bag) and use your druid powers (tokens) to alter the balance of power (the colors) of the world. The scoring is unique in that you don't just accumulate the most points to win, but you have to manipulate the world to be dominated by a specific power or else some of your points you accumulated might be completely worthless.

We played it two player this morning, stumbling through the rules until I eventually lost due to you totally cheating ugh. But, anyway, there are rules for solo games, which was surprisingly very fun. The imaginary opponent you control follows a unique set of rules and its actions follow a hierarchy of 'if this is true, then do that, otherwise do this' type behaviors.

fishcake likes the game too

I did a solo play earlier, which included a good chunk of googling rule clarifications, since your 'opponent' behaves in a unique way. The solo mode has different 'difficulties', which just add new or increased amounts of actions that you have to perform for your imaginary opponent. I played on the easiest difficulty to ensure that I could get used to the rules, which was actually so easy that I was frequently worried that I wasn't following the rules for the opponent correctly.

start of the game requires a 'balance of power'

you start exploring and building up the map, offsetting the balance

fishcake relocates from inside the box to the table

world continues to grow and shift

Fishcake woke up to see what I was doing and decided he wanted to play, so I explained the concept and the rules of the game to him.

I have to choose carefully...


C'mon Fish, do you need me to explain the rules again?

shut up I know what I'm doing gosh!



there. right there. perfect.

Shortly after, Fishcake lost interest and jumped off the table, so I just finished the game like normal.

world totally altered by the end of the game - one dominant power controls the realm

The game might be slightly complicated for your cat, but the rules really aren't that bad. There are a lot of specifics and details to the rules, but it all ties together very well.

Hex tiles making up the world and the slightly random exploration are part of the game that I enjoy. Each tile has two sides and every tile and each side of each tile does a unique thing, so if you place a tile one way, the ability on the other side doesn't come into play at all that play through.

The game is on sale on Amazon for $27.00. If you like board games and druids, I'd recommend it. The gameplay allows for a unique experience each time - each world you create and the abilities available are going to differ each time, and you can choose to include or not include tiles based on the guidelines in the instruction booklet.

It's actually relatively new, it just came out last year. It was a kickstarter baby and includes some tokens, classifications, and words that are not relevant to the base game with promises of future expansions.

a rather successful kickstarter baby

At first glance, there doesn't seem to be much activity on the expansion front. A cursory glance for information regarding the alleged additions comes up pretty dry. The base game is definitely good, though, so any expansions will just be a pleasant supplement.

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