In the distance on the meadow, I saw beautiful creatures, whose clothes loosely flowed in the wind. I foolishly believed in first thought, that they were fairies. I was about to find out, that fairy tales really belong only to children tales. As I stood in my dream in the middle of the open space, other silhouettes came out from behind the trees. They tied me up and started preparing for a ceremony. The venerable delusions vanished like a wave of magic wand. But it was too late to run.
We will enter a magical country full of druids in board game called Fae. Its author is Leo Colovini and although at first glance it seems to be a new game, in fact it is only a new look for the popular Clans. It was released in 2002 and after sixteen years, it has been given a new versions and reimagination by Z-Man Games with illustrations by Atha Kanaani and Bree Lindsoe. Esdevium Games is its European distribution.
Larger elongated box will intrigue everyone with its appearance, dominated by the etheric creature of Fae’s mystical land. Inside, players find a large board filled by drawings with picturesque graphics, that divides the map into a range of small areas. A scoring scale leads around and players place circular pointer tokens on it. They do not belong to players themselves, but to clans of the land, whose druid figurines are randomly scattered in sixty free areas. Each participant receives secretly one card, which gives him an affection for one of the color clans. Next to the game board, you just need to place a pile of ritual cards and game can start.
In the game, players do it turn by turn and simply have to move any druid (later a group of druids) to adjacent space. Druids are looking for each other, trying to gather, so players can never travel to a territory, that is already empty. The figures are gradually meeting and creating bigger groups. Players alternate in action every single turn.
However, tranquility of course is disturbed, when one of the druid groups finds themselves surrounded by empty spaces only. In this case, they stop looking for other friends, ritual begins and the players reveal the top card from the ritual deck. This may mean, that the ritual is completely interrupted, if the forces of the world do not want them to worship on that terrain. In such a situation, figurines will not earn any points for their owners. In the opposite situation, each figurine involved in the ritual will bring one point to its clan. Players move pointers to the appropriate number of boxes on the scale, or resolve bonuses, if the ritual is played on blessed soil (the second part of the revealed card shows a favored terrain).
Game ends, when all the ritual cards are used (twelve scorings) or if you can not move any piece. It is only at this moment, that the players reveal their secret affections and at the same time they will determine winner, whose clan has reached the farthest distance on the scoring scale.
Leo Colovini is the master of games, in which the main role is moving. This is evidenced by his very popular Cartagena design. And in Fae, again, it proves, that brilliant potential can be hidden in simplicity. It’s all about shifting groups of druids to get the most points for your colors.
But arbitrarily good planning can easily be disrupted by chance. If you accidentally gather druids on cursed terrain, you will not get any points. Until then, figurines can move freely around the map. The only way to lock such a turn is to increase the number of members to seven or more. Such druid groups can no longer be moved, but they can still be complemented by other characters from neighboring territories.
Fae is a great game for beginners or serves as a nice quick filler for more experienced. There are no tricks in it, and moreover, the element of secret affection is one of those board game parameters, that is extremely appealing to newcomers. Among the inexperienced board gamers, Fae can easily get to the table every time, though its replayability is not high in one evening. Next time, you will love it again.
This concept is also about game time, that easily fits within thirty minutes with more players. It is most likely, that you will play Fae in four. In this number, the progress of the game is most interesting, because the situation on the board is developing unexpectedly and players need to adapt more. Additionally, there is a greater likelihood, that by shifting the enemy color, you are helping the player and you can not count it as a neutral color.
The great attraction of the game is, in addition to its simplicity, its appearance. Both plan and cards offer interesting illustrations, and you’ll still get some nice druid color figurines. It all makes the game a real one-cheek stuff.
Fae looks different, but it does not really have a theme or atmosphere. It is filling the abstract category really well. However, it points to simplicity and definitely is a very above average game for beginners. Fae is not a game, that breaks the leaderboard, but if you give it to someone as a gateway to the world of board games, success should be guaranteed.
+ great for beginners
+ beautiful processing
+ pleasantly simple
+ short game time
+ secret affection for clans
+ players can do everything right
- luck of rituals
- in two player games there are three neutral colors