Tuesday, January 13, 2009

El Grande

I recently replayed one of my favorite boardgames. In El Grande:
players take on the roles of Grandes in medieval Spain. The king's power is flagging, and these powerful lords are vying for control of the various provinces. To that end, you draft caballeros (knights) into your court and subsequently move them onto the board to help seize control of provinces. After every third turn, the regions are scored, and after the ninth turn, the Grande with the most points is deemed the winner.

The game board is based on medieval Spain. Throughout the game, players take turns sending their Caballeros to the provinces, trying to garner the greatest influence. Intrigue and trickery ensue, as each player tries to outwit the others.

El Grande was the 1996 winner of the Spiel des Jahres and a GAMES Magazine Best Family Strategy Game for 1998. Recently the publishers celebrated the tenth anniversary of the game with a Decennial version, adding additional variants, as well as an opportunity to expand influence into Portugal and the New World Colonies.

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