While we were explaining the rules of Nucleum to friends of ours (who are fans of heavier euro games) they immediately started referencing other games to understand the mechanisms quickly. It’s funny how often you do this with board games if you have played a lot of them and it really does help with grasping the concept of a game quicker. It doesn’t make a game less creative, I actually think it’s important that there are “recognizable” parts for players so they know what to expect beforehand. Learning how to play Nucleum took us two hours and about an hour to explain to our friends and that’s with game mechanisms that we are familiar with, I don’t want to know how complex a game gets if you’re unfamiliar with any. :’D
Last week was a busy week with other things than board games so we ended up only playing one game and it was a new game that was sent to us called Fisheries of Gloucester! When we were asked if we were interested and we saw that it’s a game by Steve Finn, that immediately caught our attention. We’re big fans of one of his other games, Biblios, and that’s also the only game of his that we have played so we wouldn’t mind changing that! It’s a two-player game about fishing and it was a lot ‘meaner’ than we initially thought, haha. The most tricky part of the game is time management. There are six days (rounds) in the game and you only have a limited number of hours to spend during a day. So moving one of your ships forward one square on the sea takes an hour, taking one of the fishes from the board that are adjacent to one of your ships takes an hour, and moving through rough sea or passing another ship takes two hours! The basic variant of the game board also creates some interesting funnels at the start to get to the fish, making it tricky to pass other players and giving options to block your opponent.
During a turn, you can Chart a Course, Sail, Fish, and Preserve Fish. Before a ship can sail into the open ocean, there needs to be a water tile adjacent to it. This costs no time, but it does take up your turn and these explored ocean tiles can also be used by the other player. Sailing is just moving one of your three ships but there’s a small catch. Your ships form a fleet and this means they can never be more than four columns apart from each other on the game board. There’s a handy little cardboard piece that you align with your leftmost ship and that clearly shows how far out your other ships can be. You can collect fish on your player board, but you can only “Preserve Fish” once per day, which means you can only exchange fish tokens for victory points and other handy bonuses (like TIME!) once. It’s details like these that spice up the game.
Hopefully, we’ll get more games to the table this week. We do have a game of Descent planned and another game night on Friday so that’s promising. 🙂