Wednesday, July 18, 2018

10) Santorini

Welcome to Dice Spotlight! I’m your Gamemaster, Jonathan, here at Connexxions Cafe. This blog highlights different games that we have at the Cafe that you may want to check out. Maybe you’ll discover a new favourite!

10 is a decent milestone, so how about we talk about a game I actually like! I’m kidding, of course, it’s my job as Gamemaster to love every board game like the special snowflake they are. But between you and me, I have my favourites. Shocking, I know. 

It’s time to UNLEASH SANTORINI INTO THE WORLD! ...or wait, I guess it’s already in the world, but time to SHOW IT OFF (*sigh* doesn’t sound as cool)! 

Your little workers
Santorini is a 2-4 player abstract strategy game where players try to get one of their little workers onto a 3rd-story building. Because you can only move up 1 level at a time, you have to create a “staircase of buildings” using your one building phase each turn. All the buildings are shared so you have to be careful not to help your opponent get the upper hand! What makes this game quite interesting is that it doesn’t matter what level you are on when building something, it just has to be adjacent (the 8 squares around your worker). 

So workers on the bottom level can still build one of those beautiful blue (4th level) domes to block off your victory. One of my main strategies is to use two-story buildings and my other worker to section off an area for my other worker (which the opponent can’t move through) to make that hop-skip-andajump up to that pedestal that I made many turns ago!

Here's a little puzzle to see if you've been paying attention! It's kind of like a chess puzzle without, well, the chess. Look over on the left. You're the blue team and you can guarantee a win with 1 important move. What should you do? The order is move a worker, then build with him. Hint: you can move in diagonals.

This is what you should have done. Not only does it give you an accessible 3rd-story building, you're also using your workers to wall off the opponent from stopping you from winning!

To spice things up and add to that greek theme, at the start of the game each player grabs a “god card” which gives them a unique power to use each turn (ex: allowed to build twice). With 30 in the base game, you’re not going to get bored very quickly! Not all matchups are perfect, but when games only usually last 15 minutes, does that really matter?

Okay, here's puzzle #2. This uses god powers and is a bit tougher. You're still the blue guys, but you now have the god power, Atlas, which let's you place a dome on ANY level. He's great for controlling where the opponent can move and sectioning off zones for you to win with. The opponent has Artemis, which lets them move an additional time.

Look over on the right. It's your move again and you want to make sure their workers can't get into your work area.

This is what I did. Move the worker down and use your power to dome off the entrance.

They try to run around using their power. What to do next? The victory is in your grasp! Just one more move can seal it!

Ah, very good choice! Dome them off from any access to your buildings.

The opponent makes a valiant attempt of beating you to the win, but it's all in vain! Time to gloat about being the king of the world!

I hope those puzzles made sense. I'm sure there are other moves that could've gotten the same result. In fact, I had the setup slightly different before, but realized later on that the opponent could actually have flipped it around and won instead!

This is my favourite strategy game by far! The god powers means I have to adapt every game to different rules and I just love games that force you to think on the fly! Here’s an example: if your opponent draws the god, Pan, another way for him to win is if having a worker drop down two levels (workers can drop any amount of storey, somehow not breaking their legs). What do you do? COVER THE FIELD WITH BUILDINGS! If he can’t drop from a 2 to the ground, and going from a 3 means he’d win anyway, you’ve just made him powerless >:D

You get the idea. Santorini also can play with up to 4 players, but I’ve only played with 2 (which is where it definitely shines) so I can’t promise it’ll be good with that many. It has its faults, but I still get excited every time I bring it out! I’d recommend this game to just about anyone (if you don’t like thinking in games, well you’ve probably already ruled this out anyway)! It’s in my personal collection, so you know it’s good :P And hey, for what it’s worth, if you have kids, they’ll love stacking the building pieces!

Hope you enjoyed this! Don’t say anything negative about Santorini because I’m quite protective of it. Just kidding. I do hope you come visit the cafe (12644 137 Ave, Edmonton) and give it whirl! Or, of course, ask me about a certain game that you’ve always wanted to learn. I’d be happy to work through it with you :) Hope to see you soon!

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Welcome to Dice Spotlight! I’m your Gamemaster, Jonathan, here at Connexxions Cafe. This blog highlights different games that we have at ...