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- Claim more land than your rival and you will seize the victory
- Includes colorful game board
- Two to four player
- Contains 88 border stones, 44 pioneer playing pieces and 4 scoring counters
- Fast paced strategy game
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From the Manufacturer
Top Customer Reviews
Friendly learning curve
Cons: Could be dry for some (though in gaming circles "dry" is sometimes a synonym for "fun because of its thought-challenge"!)
Abstracts are often unappreciated in the gamer community, but this one has depth and surprises. In short, players will move their meeples about the island, placing border stones as they do so, aiming to enclose territories where they have more meeples present then the opposing players.
Learning the enclosure dynamic entails blocking, maneuver, and often a sort of cost/benefit triage. Encircling single terrain types (there are eight on the island) are the most lucrative, so it is often possible to halve an opponent's imminent score by enlarging her territory, for example.
My mid-game, the amount of meeples one has committed to previous scores comes to play, but the player with the fewest left to use (and hence an apparently weaker position) can often force an early end to the game by encircling and scoring her remaining few.
The endgame is nice. Territories with more than 3 terrain types can't be scored until they are further subdivided, so a player with the most meeples remaining when the central enclosure develops aren't necessarily going to come out on top.
Through the Desert is a reasonable comparison. In that game, players essentially maximize their scores by learning priorities in particular situations. A beginner in a 4 player game, for example, can do fairly well once he or she learns to aim for 2 winning caravan colors.
Terra Nova, though, takes more abstract planning and sophisticated thinking. I played this first with some English PhD friends, and the second we finished the first game (at 11 pm before teaching classes the next day), they said, "Another!"