Villages of Valeria - Board Game Box Shot

Villages of Valeria

| Published: 2016
8 2 1
Greetings Citizens of Valeria...
In Villages of Valeria, you take on the role of a Baron in the vast and beautiful kingdom of Valeria. Construct magnificent buildings, cultivate resources, and attract adventurers in order to become the next capital city of Valeria.

Before Darkness Falls
Villages of Valeria is a stand alone game set in the world of Valeria and takes place just before the hordes of monsters invade the kingdom in Valeria: Card Kingdoms. The Kingdom has been established and the King is looking for the greatest Village to name the next capital city of Valeria. In order to accomplish this, you'll have to outwit your fellow Baron's by selecting the best actions and making sure to follow your opponents actions as best you can.

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“Strong game in a small(ish) package”

Not all games need to do something new, they just need to do something well. Mechanics are adopted from one game, given a tweak (or combined with other mechanics) and different theme and a new game is born.

In Villages of Valeria you and your opponents are in charge of a town that hopes to become the capital city of Valeria. The game is mostly 2 decks of cards. One is the building deck, which are buildings of one of 4 factions that provide victory points and sometimes one time bonuses or continuing bonuses to a specific action. The building cards can also be developed into resources that are needed to build buildings. The other deck is the adventurer deck, the adventurers can be recruited to join your village if you have the required faction buildings.

It is a tableau builder so, you manage an ever changing hand of cards, and by using money and resources, make your town into something more grand. This is done by attracting adventurers and playing building cards by using your money to activate different resources that are required for each building. These are a few of the important features/mechanisms of the game:

Lead and follow actions. Each turn the active player chooses one action to take and the other players, get to follow this action with a weaker or more costly version.

Multi use cards. The cards in your hand can be built as a building, developed as a resource to help gain other buildings, or discarded to help pay for an action.

Public Resources and limited money. To use a resource you spend one gold. Your resources may be used by other players and you can use other players resources. When you use someone else’s resources you lose your gold to them, but you gain that resource and prevent others from using it. Gold is a limited resource and counts towards your VP total at the end.

Set collection. Building sets of certain types of buildings gives bonuses and allows you to recruit adventurers from a separate deck which gives you more abilities and powers.

Pros:
-Lead and follow action mechanic keeps everyone involved in the game on other players turns.
-Plays quickly with 2 and 3.
-Strategy in choosing which resources to develop, buildings to build, and adventurers to pursue.
-Additional strategy in how to out build or recruit your opponent, when do you take which action and when do you wait for your opponents to take the action.
-Iconology very intuitive after the first couple plays.
-Race like feel at the end is very exciting
-easy to teach, partly because there’s not a lot of new mechanics

Meh:
-Can potentially lose by luck of the draw, but unlikely
-game takes tried and true mechanics and combines them in a new way but some people may own games that use these mechanics already and not feel the need for another game.
-base game greatly improved with the 3 current expansions by adding new buildings, adventurers, a new Monument deck and events.
-Your engine is only fully operational for a few turns before game ends.

Cons:
-Without expansions, the base game can get old
-In base game, (especially in 2p)not enough adventurer variability and possible for someone to wait for a certain adventurer to come out, or get lucky with initial building hand and be able to recruit way more than others (expansions help with this)
-Monuments deck should have been a part of the base game.

My impressions/opinion-
This was my most played game in 2017. I mostly played 2 player with my wife but occasionally 3. It’s probably best at 3 or 4 but is strong at 2 in my opinion. I do own all of the expansions and play with all of them except the event cards.

So often with engine builders everyone is playing their own game and then someone wins at the end. This one has a lot of indirect and a little direct interaction between players which makes it interesting to play repeatedly and with different players since different strategies evolve. It also benefits from repeated plays since players will better understand how to use the cards they have or when to take different actions. 2 player games are more reliant on luck of the draw, but the constant back and forth and ability to focus on what your opponent is doing and then work around or against that makes the game exciting. Overall, it’s a game I am always willing to play even a year later.

 

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