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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Reclaim Land, Build Robots, Tour Goa, and Craft Wooden Objects

by W. Eric Martin

Can I put together an entire post of roll/flip-and-write games? Probably without too much effort, but let’s see:

• Czech publisher Delicious Games debuted Woodcraft from designers Ross Arnold and Vladimír Suchý at SPIEL ’22, and now that same team plans to release a free spin-off title called Woodcraft: Roll and Write, with the files scheduled to be available on its BGG page by Dec. 25, 2022. Here’s a short game description: Players focus on gaining resources by choosing dice, crossing them out on their player sheets, gaining bonuses for them, and completing orders from customers.”


Says company owners Vladimir and Katka, “There were ideas that the theme would also be suitable for a lighter version of the game. It can be for those who want to play a simpler version, or, on the contrary, want to familiarize themselves with some of the mechanics that are in the basic version of Woodcraft… We are not planning to print it now, but if there is response and interest, DG would consider it.”

Reclaim is a flip-and-write design for 1-6 players from Yusuke Sawaguchi of Fudacoma Games in which you claim sections of land on your individual map, then strip that land of resources in order to claim more stuff.

You must pay the resource cost, if possible, or else your maximum potential scoring for each of the game’s two halves is reduced. That said, each turn you can take a special action that lowers that maximum potential scoring while letting you either claim extra land (giving you the resources you need) or mark spaces on your land to connect castles.

At the end of each half, you score for the number of castles you’ve connected with resource-stripped land, and at game’s end, you score bonus points for the largest rectangle of completely useless land. (English rules are on BGG.)

I haven’t played Reclaim, but I have played Sawaguchi’s 2020 game Alluvium twice. In that flip-and-write game, you pass around the player sheets, drawing on every sheet over the course of the game. The more adjacent you are to the sheet owner’s shapes, the more points you’ll score — but the owner scores points based on the largest completed area on their sheet, so ideally you’re not helping them too much in the process of helping yourself. Sawaguchi did something similar in 2021’s Animism.

Robot Roll & Write from Marco Salogni is part of a wave of inexpensive downloadable print-and-play games that designers have been crowdfunding. (Kickstarter link) In this game, each player builds their own robot over the course of twelve turns, adding components to the shell of the body, then connecting them with circuits in order to score points.

At the start of every third turn, lay out five cards on the display in the dice slots 1-5. Each card shows a component or two different circuits; some cards also have a die depicted on them. One card at random has a special token on it. On a turn, each player rolls two six-sided dice, then uses the results of the dice to choose one or two cards and add the components or circuitry to their robot shell. A result of 6 always lets you choose any card, but if a card has a second die depicted on it then you need both that die result and a 6 (or the designated die slot 1-5).

Kheo Games is based in the Indian state of Goa, and it debuted in 2021 with the roll-and-write game Go Goa about its hometown, courtesy of designers Andy Desa and Suyog Kamat. Here’s an overview of this 1-6 player game:

Are you eager to visit the tourist spots in Goa, the beautiful yet tiny state in India? What will you choose? Do you wish to visit only the beaches…or the forts? Or would you rather visit one of each type of destination? Or are you the one to complete your tour plans? Now you can enjoy the beauty of Goa in this roll-and-write game.

During each round of Go Goa, the starting player rolls three dice, then reserves one die for the direction that only they can use. All other players use the dice to determine the direction to travel in, the number of steps, and the deviations they are allowed to take. Players then draw the route that they are taking for the day on their player sheet, which represents the map of Goa. The map contains tourist destinations, and if you end your movement on such a spot, you score points.

You also score bonus points for completing sets of five different destination types or three of one particular destination. In addition, you can score points for completing the tour plans that you chose.

After all players take their turn, a new round starts, with the starting player role moving clockwise.

The game ends after twelve rounds are completed. Players tally their scores for the tourist destinations visited and any bonus points that they may have collected along their trip. The player with the highest score wins.


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