Posted by James (admin) on 23rd September 2014
El Gaucho is a eurogame of cattle ranching. From reading the rules, it sound like a fresh mix of game mechanics is a light, fast game which appeals to me. On the board is a pen for rolling dice, rows of cows to be gained in the paddock, and special action areas.
Each round, a set of dice are rolled and players take turns to take two of these dice and using them to take actions. One action is to use the dice to gain cows from the paddock. If a player uses dice whose total exactly matches the large number on the cow’s tile, they place one of their workers (Gauchos) on the tile standing up. A player can place a Gaucho lying down on a tile if their dice matches the smaller (and easier to obtain) number on the tile, but it takes a second dice matching this small number to then make that Gaucho stand up.
At the end of a round, if a row of cows in the paddock has a Gaucho on everyone one (standing up or lying down), cow tiles with Gauchos standing-up on them are claimed by their owning players (and cow tiles with lying -down Gauchos on them remain where they are as new cow tiles are added to their row). When a player gains cows, they place them in rows according to their type and new tiles are always added to the right of any existing row. However, there is a catch: Cows placed in ascending or descending numerical order are fine but, if a newly placed cow breaks this sequence, the current row of cows must be sold immediately, and then the remaining cows to be added start a new row. For example, if you already have a row of brown cows numbered 12-8-6 and have brown cows numbered 9 and 5 to add, you could add the 5 first (making the row 12-8-6-5 and then adding the 9 means you must sell the row as it would break the descending value sequence. When sold, the amount of Pesos earned is equal to the number of cow tiles being sold multiplied by the highest single tile value. Read the rest of this entry »