Spiel 2014 Preview: Lords of Xidit

Posted by James (admin) on September 1st, 2014

Lords of Xidit

Lords of Xidit is an interesting-looking, medium-weight eurogame.  Players move their character around the land from city to city, recruiting units and defeating threats.  At the start of each round, each player programs 6 actions that their character will perform in sequence.  There are 5 actions to choose from: move along either the red, white, or blue road from their current city, interact with the city, or wait.  Players will need to work out which actions they want to perform and where but, as with other action-programming games, they will need to work out what your opponents will be trying to do too.

If a player uses an action to interact at a city where a disc has been placed, the side of the disc showing determines what the player can do.  If the disc is on the recruitment side, the player takes the next available unit from the disc – some unit types (colours) are more rare than others.  If the disc  is on the threat side, the player can discard the required unit types to defeat the threat which allows them to pick one one of 3 rewards: gold, bard tokens, or tower sections.  Bard tokens are placed in the city’s neighbouring areas which adds an element of area control.  Tower sections get placed in a stack at the city but no other player can have a tower in a city if an opponent has one there already.

All 3 types of reward are available when a city is successfully defended, but the amount of each reward varies.  So, you may want bard tokens as a reward but that city may only give 1 bard token compared to 4 gold or 3 tower sections.  So, not only will you need to gain the right unit types to defeat threats on the board, but you also need to compare the different rewards and decide which is the most useful based on the amount, location, and what other players have earned too.  Sounds intriguing.

When a city’s disc is completed, a new one is placed on a different city – each disc is for a specific city on the board.  Players can see the next few discs of both types in advance which I like in a game as it allows players to better plan their actions/tactics, and the luck-of-the-draw effect is reduced.

Lords of Xidit box

There is a census (scoring round) after every few rounds when each player simultaneously reveals however many units they want from behind their screens.  The amount of each type (colour) is compared separately – the player with the most of each type gain a specific reward, i.e. most orange = 1 gold, most white = 2 bard tokens, most purple = 1 tower section.  I like the idea here that you don’t have to show all of your units so you can keep some info about what you hold secret, but at the risk that you don’t show enough to get the bonus.

The 3 reward types are critical as they will determine the winner but there is an unusual and intriguing game mechanic here.  At the end of the game, players compare each reward type – total gold, total tower sections built, and the number of areas where players have the most bard tokens.  At the start of the game, the 3 reward types are placed in a random order – to determine the winner, the players compare their amounts of the first reward type – the player with the fewest of this type is eliminated.  Then, the second and the third reward types are compared and, again, the player with the fewest is eliminated.  After 3 assessments only one player will remain and they are the winner.  (In a 3-player game there’s a dummy player, and in a 5-player game two players get eliminated in the 1st assessment.)

The way the winner is determined sounds like a very interesting game mechanic as it means you just need to have enough of each reward not to get eliminated, and dominating a single category won’t be enough on its own.  Players will definitely need to keep an eye on what each other are doing.

Lords of Xidit definitely intrigues me as the simple Eurogame game mechanics, programming of actions, plus the rewards and scoring mechanics seem like they will offer lots of interesting decisions.  (The area control element with the bard tokens includes one area which is a box so players can’t see how many tokens are in there which reminds me of a similar game mechanic in the superb, classic game El Grande.)

You can read more info and the rules on Libellud’s Lords of Xidit page here: bga.me/xidit

For more Spiel 2014 previews, check out my Spiel 2014 Previews page which lists the games on my radar with links to their previews too.

James.

2 Responses to “Spiel 2014 Preview: Lords of Xidit”

  1. Nicolas Guibert Says:

    Hi James,

    From what I know, the game was already published a few years ago in France and it was a great success. I have played it once or twice and really really liked it.

    Keep up the good work! Your blog is really great.

    Nicolas.

  2. James (admin) Says:

    Thanks for the praise, Nicolas. Much appreciated. Good to hear Lords of Xidit has promise.

    Cheers,

    James.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>