I’m not really sure what to make of this one. It is an interesting game, but I don’t think any of the players in the session I joined had figured out how to play strategically when we had finished.
Each round starts by each player choosing which of six cities to tax (with some made unavailable by random selection, so there is one city per player).
Each city produces different goods, and random allocation of tax discs (which have different selection arrows) mean that cities don’t produce the same combinations each time).
Two players can’t tax the same city, but a player who goes later can start a bidding war with someone at the city they wish to tax. The person with the highest bid gives that many guards to the other player, who has to move (at a cost of one guard per space).
In theory, if you run out of guard cards, you can sacrifice points in order to acquire more to pay off your debt, but none of us did that as we had no shortage of guards.
I don’t know if that was due to us not having good enough strategies, of it is just an effect of playing on the basic boards (the six cities are double sided with one side being recommended for more advanced players).
Each player then turns the tax disc in their city to point at the goods the city produces which they want. Some goods are actual goods, which can be exchanged for points. Others add more guards or influence your turn order in the selling phase.
In the selling phase, each player picks a shelf (which has a number of slots on it, marked with a colour and a bonus score). They then fill as many slots on it as possible. The other players then take it in turns to score points for the remaining slots. If the shelf is filled, the person who selected
it gets the bonus.
This makes it a tricky business to try to score as many points as possible, while forcing other players to put their cubes in low value slots, and to make it impossible for other shelves to be entirely filled (to deny the possibility of the bonus to other players).
I’m not sure what to think of this game. I enjoyed the one shot I had of it, but I don’t know how it will hold up under continued play. I might have to see if I can find a strategy guide to see if I’m missing anything about it.