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Three Hares Games – Lagoon: Land of Druids – Review

March 1, 2016

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Publisher Three Hares Games
Genre Strategy Game
Number of Players 1 – 4
Play Time 60 minutes
Initial Review Date 2/14/16
Last Updated 2/14/16
Rules Video

In this game you play as druids who are vying for control of the “destiny” of the world. There are three possible destinies (each with a corresponding energy) and they have a rock, paper, scissor like power over each other.

Setup

You start by placing 3 of the hexagonal tiles together. Each of the tiles must be of a different energy type and one of them must be a haven.

Once these are in place, then each player places their Elder Druid and one acolyte on the haven tile.

Game Play

The rules to this game are unfortunately a little bit ambiguous and it takes a little bit to wrap your head around how the mechanics work. The primary confusion comes from the fact that in order to trigger 90% of the abilities in the game you need to exhaust a druid (flipping it over from it’s solid side to it’s outline side). However, sometimes the ability must be based on the druid/location where the druid was exhausted and other times you can base the triggered ability on any druid that you have on any time regardless if it is exhausted or not.

The easiest way to think about it is, movement, exploration and unraveling (which are all basic actions) must be based on the druid you are exhausting. You can gain access to additional actions by occupying a tile with a druid. It doesn’t matter if the occupying druid is exhausted or not. These abilities gained by occupying a tile do not have to be based on the invoking druid (unless the ability specifically states that it does).

For example: You could have three druids on Tiles A, B and C respectively. You could use the ability on tile A, by exhausting the druid on Tile B and have that ability affect the druid on tile C.

Scoring

The game ends when the last tile is drawn from the bag and played. At this point you figure out which energy is dominant. The dominant energy is the energy that is most prevalent on the board. There are rules to break ties if they occur using the powers rock, paper, scissor relationship. First by comparing tiles and then by comparing seeds players have collected. If neither of these resolve the tie then the game is a draw and there is no winner.

Points are then awarded based on the dominant energy. A player gets a point for each seed token they posses that matches the winning energy. The player also recieves two points for each tile they posses (via unraveling) that is of an energy that does not match the winning energy.

It’s been pointed out to me that when it comes to scoring. Each player is on an honor system since a player could potentially cheat by flipping a tile to its opposite side to get points for it.

Conclusion

Because of the way points are awarded the game has an interesting dynamic. To start with the board rarely gets very large because players will start removing tiles to get points at the end of the game. Also, you will be trying to place your druids strategically, in order to access the energies you want as well as the abilities you want to use. Not only that but you will also strategically add and remove tiles in order to lock and unlock other tiles.

If you enjoy area control games you will enjoy this one since it puts an interesting spin on things by not only allowing players to remove tiles, but by making it the primary method to score points. That being said this is not a light game and so if you do play it be prepared for that. You will have to play it several times to fully grasp the strategy of it. But once you do, you’ll probably find that there isn’t much beyond that. As such, I would call this a medium level strategy game.


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