Posted by James (admin) on 17th September 2012
There are some designers that seem to be more stealthy than others – you know, the ones that one day you suddenly notice you’ve got a lot of games by them but never realised it as you acquired them. Michael Rieneck is one of those for me – he’s designed games such as Cuba, Havana, Dracula, Fortuna, Palastgeflüster.
Santiago de Cuba is a hard game to fit into a single genre because it mixes several elements together and does so well. Players earn Victory Points (VPs) by delivering goods (tobacco, sugar, citrus fruit, rum and cigars) to the waiting ship, and the player with the most VPs at the end wins. The board shows a port town with a ring of 9 different Cuban characters and the dock as well. On their turn, a player moves the car piece clockwise around this ring – moving one space forwards is free, but costs 1 peso (cash) for every extra space after that.
Wherever the player stops the car, they get to use the Cuban at that space and then get to use one of the buildings associated with that Cuban; however, it is more clever than it sounds. Most Cubans allow the player to do things like gain resources (tobacco, sugar, citrus fruit, wood), VPs and pesos. Each Cuban has one of 4 coloured roses on their tile too – once the player has used the Cuban’s ability, they must move their playing piece to a building that has the same coloured rose (and that is not occupied by another player). The player can then use that building’s ability such as make rum and cigars from sugar and tobacco, exchange goods, convert rum and cigars into VPs, turn one ship’s demand dice to zero, reduce/extend the time the ship will stay (which dictates the value of any goods delivered), and more. Read the rest of this entry »