- Players: 2 and 4
- Time: 35-45 minutes
- Age: 35-50 years
- Expertise: Average
The rules of the game were easy to understand, and already during the first round you could become comfortable with the tactical elements of the game. The aim of the game is to conquer areas from the game board and build castles on them. The cards in your hand define where your game pieces can be placed. When you successfully play your game pieces on the board in a shape of a particular pattern (shown in the tiles in the corners of the game board), you can build a castle. Cards in your hand change as the game proceeds. Each player also has two joker cards.
What makes this game exciting is that you can also conquer other players’ castles! And it’s a shame if that happens to your castle! The first attack completely changed the game. Until then, we had only built land areas in our own corners.
It depends on the cards in which areas of the board you can rule, but in the end, the location didn’t matter too much. The card deck contains number cards of different colors, but also various icon cards. Those icons are more often located near the central area of the game board, while the numbers more often appear on the edges. Building patterns in the center of the board (icons) helps you move your troops closer to your neighbor quicker. With the right cards, you can then easily conquer your opponent’s land and castle. But then, of course, you are also at a greater risk yourself.
We quickly learned that it’s not a good idea to hold back an attack, but to strike as soon as possible. The strength of an attack and defense is determined by the same cards (numbers of swords and shields). However, sometimes the attack cards were so bad that it was wiser to wait. Later, we discovered that attacking is also a good way to replace bad cards from your hand.
Tip: Joker cards should not be played too early, as they can be very powerful towards the end of the game.
When the game pieces run out, they could be moved on the game board. It made things a lot easier, because there were interesting places left under those “unnecessary” pieces for other players, too. So, you should be careful about which places you set free. Game pieces sometimes had to be placed in less interesting areas, but they later served as good storage.
Thoughts on the game
It’s worth thinking about whether you’re aiming for attacks and conquering territories from others, or defense and building your own castles. If you were able to conquer a castle from another player, you could easily get quite an advantage in the whole game. The player with 4 castles/corner tiles wins the game and it happened surprisingly quickly. In the following games, the construction of defenses increased significantly.
We also tried the 2-player game and it also worked quite well, although I was a little skeptical at first. There were enough free places for a longer time – the small and cramped game board suddenly became huge. If the hand was full of bad cards, it was easy to distract the other player by placing pieces on the edges of their area, not in the useless spaces elsewhere.
At first, Land of Clans reminded us a bit of tic-tac-toe, but the game turned out to be so much more than that. The theme was really good and supported the game mechanics well. The wooden game parts were high quality and the illustrations stylish, too. We will definitely continue to play this game!
Land of Clans
Read more about Land of Clans here.