23 Aug 2013

First Time Playing: Havana

So, at table-top night this week there were several new games I could sink my teeth into, three to be precise, but Havana seemed the most promising out of the three, and it won the vote. The game is not all too hard to get into for a first timer. You have a set of cards in your colour (every player has the exact same deck of cards, just in different colours). Each card represent a type of action you could do. Some cards help you get money (from supply, from the table, from other players), some cards help you get resources (from the bag, from the table or from other players), some cards help you get workers, some cards help you in other ways (guard you from theft, reclaim already played cards, discard buildings) and some cards allow you to sabotage for the other players (remove resources).

The objective of the game is to play your cards at the right time so that you can earn the resources you need to buy buildings which earn you points. You have two rows of buildings, the two buildings to the far left and the two to the far right are the buildings you are able to purchase.

Not all that complicated set-up and fairly easy to learn
The play order is simple, in the first round you choose two cards to put on the table in front of you. When all players have done this, you all turn your cards over and reveal them (and rearrange them so that the low number card is first). Each card is marked with a number between 0 and 9, whichever player has the lowest number plays the actions of their two cards first. If they have the resources and want to purchase a building (or more) they do so right after. Then the player with the second lowest number does the same and so on. After all players have done their actions, they choose a card from their hand to replace one of the two cards on the table in front of them. All players place their new card at once. The card being replaced is discarded to the side, not to be picked up again unless the player plays a card allowing them to do so or they have just two cards left to play. The second round goes like the first, the player with the lowest number goes first and play the actions of their two cards, and so on...

This game is easy enough to learn, and while having some experience with resource management games (whether it's worker placement or something else) certainly won't hurt, it's really not necessary in order to be able to learn and understand this game. Don't expect to win at it anytime soon, though. I was utter crap both times we played it.

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