Monday, May 02, 2005

Garry and Steve contemplate Oltremare

Originally uploaded by coljen.
Garry now produced some salad and quiche to keep us going into the afternoon. While we was eating we decided that Oltremare was to be our second game. This game had been produced for Essen 2004 in a limited edition and had sold out pretty quickly having had a good buzz from gamers in general. Winning Moves obviously had realised they had a winner and quickly reprinted it. We had two virgin copies, Garry's and Jo's. We made a start after I had run through the rules. This is really a card game, with the small board just to keep score and track your ship. The trading element is a bit like Settlers, aka, anybody got any wood, I have wheat sort of thing. This a brief description from BGG.

Each player is a Venetian merchant sailing along the Mediterranean sea. Everyone tryes to increase both his own wealth and prestige to become the Best Merchant of Venice
On his turn the player can to play some cards from the hand in order to perform some actions. Actions allow you to gain Ducati (the currency of Venice), to draw cards or to move your ship on the map (where you can collect bonus). There is also a pirate action that is really a bad one! Cards also represent Goods (corn, wine, spices, silk ...) that are loaded on the cargo of the ship. More cards of the same Good you group, more Ducati you will gain at the end of the game. The cards you are playing will also influence your next turn, so choose very well your strategy!
Because of you are a merchant you can trade Goods for other Goods or for Ducati points.
If you want to win you have to be a wise merchant in your trades, you have to choose your right cards to perform the best actions (in accord to your active bonus) and you have to achive the greater cargo on your ship!

I think that we all decided that the buzz from Essen had been justified. A good little game with some interesting mechanisms. I seemed to collecting an awful lot of pirate cards compared to the others. But I also had some good sets going into my cargo stack. Ah well, I can live with pirates. In the end the scores were pretty close, I managed to sneak the win (tricksy hobbit) from Richard again, pirates an all.

Final Scores
Colin 53, Richard 50, Garry 39, Steve 34, Jo 33


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