We build on the idea of reality. Our slogan sounded like this, when we entered the construction market. And initially we did really well to keep our ideals. Using a unique modern system of blocks, we were able to build all the buildings, you could come up with. And yet, when I first got THIS sketch in hand, I could not believe my eyes. It seemed unachievable. But now, when I see the whole work done and in a life-size, I am really proud.
You can become part of the bigger picture thanks to a new board game Blueprints published by company Z-Man Games. This is a new product unveiled at Essen Spiel 2013 and author of the play is Yves Tourigny. Illustration were prepared by Chris Quilliams.
And again we will have an extraordinary playing with dice, which are otherwise used for rolling. This is already indicated to us a little based on lid of the box, where we see construction workers sitting in height. A towering skyscraper grows in front of them, but the parts are wearing strange dots. In fact, they are blue and yellow dice, that form blocks of the building. The entire resurfacing is respectable reference to the famous photo Lunch on top of a skyscraper by Charles C. Ebbets and construction of the Empire State Building and a tribute to all the workers, who had to work this way.
Box itself is not overly large in dimensions, but its interior dimensions are enough to store all the necessary things to play. Rules and small scoring board is just a beginning. The game will grant you also with player screens in colors of players, pack of 45 cards, but above 32 dice (eight from each of the four colors). Now we are missing only blue cloth bag, in which all the dice are hidden and four small wooden tokens used for monitoring points.
But back to the deck, which alone deserves a more detailed description. This, however, does not apply to the nine card of rewards, that are available in gold, silver and bronze color for the best player in a round. And then there are purple prize cards, which finally show some dice combinations, either in color or height value. If you use the right materials in the right ingredients, you get them as a price.
The most important are cards of building designs, which drive the whole game. There are 24 of them and their content can be divided into two parts. The three-dimensional drawing of the building on the right side is here mainly for effect. More important for construction of the building is the actual plan, which always consists of six dice. Some of them grow to the sky and numeral on the brick determines number of floors for that particular spot.
At the beginning of the game, you must place all the dice into the bag and players choose their own color. They will get not only a small token, which begins its journey next to scoring board, but also a player screen to hide their work. It despite its small dimensions successfully conceals a building under construction. On the back side of screen, you will find all the ways of scoring printed. All designs are shuffled into one pile and then you finally create even decks of prizes and awards.
The entire game is divided into three rounds. In them, each player will build one building with efforts to gain points. Most important is the joint dice offer in the center. Its size depends on number of players. But before everybody proceeds with building, first each player must get layout of a building, he must construct. And then put two dice to specify demand on the scoring board. These cubes are relevant only in case of a tie between multiple opponents at end of the round. Because of them, you should always have empty bag at the end of building.
One player draws from the bag prescribed number of dice, rolls them and spreads them on the table according to value. It is time to get down to building. Each participant can choose one dice in his turn from the menu. He must immediately put it on his card with a construction diagram. He then replenishes the menu with more dice drawn for player to come.
The placement is limited to sites, that are not shaded. Dice colors do not affect the installation, but numbers do. Dice can be placed only on the same or a higher number. During the game you try not just to meet the given disposition with help of six dice, because this would be too easy. In addition, you also have other possible goals and ways, that will bring you even more points.
However, any material (= color) included in the building is evaluated in different way. One depends on total number used of this color (green), sometimes it is important to place it in the top floor, because it will only then bring you a bundle of points (black).Transparent have a value corresponding to rolled number on them and orange are focused on neighboring with the same color. Individual growing numbers are linear and you have them written on back of your screen. In addition, you get a reward of six points for correct fulfillment of the whole diagram.
But the players are fighting among themselves also for a price. Rewards can awarded in form of colored medals, but there are only some of the values present in a game (according to player number). It always goes to player, who will get the most points out of his construction. This is different with prize cards, because you are trying to meet their specific requirements, for example to make a straight out of your building dice, include five dice of the same material and so on.
Acquired points are noted on scoring board. In case of a tie in the battle, number of dice of most demanded material (drawn at the beginning of the turn) appoints a winner. After three rounds played, game ends and player with the most points is the winner.
Blueprints incorporates dice into its mechanic very cleverly and reminds us remotely of Sutakku (review), where you also put them on top of each other. But here everything is far less about swapping dice, luck and art of risk. On the contrary, you must be able to work with dice drawn and numbers rolled and you must evaluate, which combination of numbers and colors will be most advantageous for you at the exact point. And desing of current building plays a big role in it too. You put dice into the construction based on your own needs and preferences.
However, you must at the same time comprehense a fact, that you are not capable of getting every correct dice for yourself each round. They will pick up the ones they need and replace them with others still remaining in the bag. Same number of dice of each color is the best guide to monitor the situation and decide what to do. But it is usually too late to change tactics for current round, because each competitor has only six moves.
You will not finish house design only if you take too many risks and establish a very ambitious target. Their completion is not difficult, because your reward for this does not constitute by far the highest income per round. It may even exceed thirty points and six points are not as significant here.
Game with two players is different from the other counts quite considerably this time. Players have in their turn one more option – one dice is used as normal, but at the same time they take a second one from the menu and throw it away. This allows them to get rid of dice, that are not needed and substitute them with new ones, but at the same time provides a way to greatly injure the opponent. This is also the only time, when height of the screens is insufficient, because if your opponent sees value or color dice, it’s pretty unpleasant as he may hurt you by discarding dice you need.
But we do not want to somehow imply fact, that game with two is poor. On the contrary, its carried out as smoothly as rivalry in other numbers. Offer is constantly changing and players must change and adapt their tactics.
A simple game like this should not even have a long game time. So it will probably surprise noone, you already know the winner after half an hour building. But despite its temper it does not only serve as a resting game, but at the same time brings a balanced and thrilling combat, in which you try to guess the intentions of your competitors.
Small gaps can be found in the processing, that is seemingly tuned to perfection. But a few small steps are marginally missing. First of all, it is about cloth bag, which should be a little bit bigger, because hunting dice in such a small size is not convenient – it is too cramped in there. The same goes for the box itself – if you keep insert in, then it is impossible to get all the components inside a closed box with dice in that bag. And even the rules are not perfect, some informations are not explained sufficiently, which can be a little damaging for such simple game. But everything can be deduced correctly, just simply organization of the guide is not perfect.
Blueprints dominates in leaving choices of score collection up to you. There are several ways to solving each puzzle effectively, but you need to be able to see the possibilities in given dice. The decision is absolutely essential, but must be supported by the ability to maintain a steady strategy. Although the game involves rolling dice, it contains no coincidence and everything depends only on your skills. And because of this, it is an excellent and simple entertainment.
|Informace o hře ze serveru BoardGameGeek (odkazy směřují tam)|
|Ilustrace||Philippe Guérin, Chris Quilliams, Yves Tourigny|
|Vydavatel||Competo / Marektoy, Cube Factory of Ideas, Filosofia Éditions, Hobby Japan, Z-Man Games, Inc.|
|Počet hráčů||2 - 4|
|Minimální věk||14 and up|
|Jazyková závislost||No necessary in-game text|
|Mechanismy||Dice Rolling, Pattern Building, Set Collection|
|Rodina||Forgenext, Games by the Game Artisans of Canada, Visual Arts|
Více o hře.
+ common dice pool to pick from
+ each round has its own tie-breakers
+ lots of ways to get points
+ each dice color has its own rules
+ scoring printed on player screens
+ dice game without luck
+ complete freedom in choosing your goal for every round
+ quick match
- player screens are little smaller, than they should be