Posted by sodaklady on February 17, 2007
Taluva is a 2-4 person tile-laying game where you build the board on each turn like Carcassonne. That being said, you can stop comparing this to Carcassonne from now on. This plays much differently although the tactics you’ll discover are just as subtle.
Each tile is shaped like 3 hexes stuck together to form a rough triangular shape with each hex showing one of six terrain types on it. The art is beautiful, if a little busy, and forms a very picturesque island when the game is finished.
The pieces are unique shapes representing huts, temples and towers which you will place on the ever-expanding board to build your settlements. I like the shapes for their uniqueness but the hut pieces are a bit hard to handle.
There are two ways to win and one way to lose before the game is finished. The first way to win is if all of the tiles have been placed, the player with the most temples on the board wins. If there’s a tie, then you compare towers built; the huts break any final tie. A premature win is when you manage to build all of two of the types of buildings. You are immediately out of the game if you cannot build on your turn. I like that rule; it forces you to be efficient, especially with your huts. In my trial run with this game, I actually beat myself that way. Well, never mind that.
On your turn you first draw and place a tile, then you must build.
A tile can be placed directly on the table or on top of 2 or 3 other tiles simulating the volcanic eruptions that build the island. When you place a tile on the 2nd or 3rd level you may wipe out huts, which are removed from play. This can be useful in slowing down your opponent but it can also be used to help yourself.
Your choices for building are:
1) Start a settlement. Place a single hut on any 1st level terrain except the volcano.
2) Expand a settlement. Choose a terrain type and place huts on each space of that type next to your settlement. One hut is placed on any 1st level terrain, two on a 2nd level terrain and three on a 3rd level terrain. This can clear out your supply of huts very quickly if you’re not careful.
3) Build a Temple. A temple can only be placed in a settlement of at least three spaces. Your may not build a 2nd temple in any settlement.
4) Build a Tower. A tower is placed on the third level next to your settlement. You may not build a 2nd tower in any settlement.
I’ve played this two or three times with Richard, once with three players and once with four players and I thought it played well each time. I’d recommend drawing your tile a bit before your turn to give you time to consider all of your options.
It’s early yet but so far I’m impressed with the clever, subtle ways you can hinder an opponent. It also makes you work to find a way to slow down your opponent while still improving your own position. Continually decimating someone else’s settlement doesn’t get you closer to winning if you can’t help yourself in the same move. It plays quickly, and the rules are logical if you use a little imagination. It may be an abstract in disguise but the theme works very well, in my opinion.
This entry was posted on February 17, 2007 at 8:07 pm and is filed under Game-related Thoughts, New Game, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.