Sunday, September 07, 2008

Trial by Roll and Move

Yesterday I played my first game of Diagon Alley which is a Harry Potter licensed game from 2001. It was not a good experience, but neither was it a terribly bad one.

The board has two tracks running around it. Players roll and move around the inner track, occasionally getting thrown onto the outer track. The Inner track gives you access to shops where you can buy the items required to win. Each circuit of the board earns you a bit of money.

So far it sounds dire but there is a little more to it. Spaces on the board and a "1" on the die, grant you a spell card. These allow you to jump around the board, take items from other players, earn extra money and that sort of thing. The card play is where the small amount of tactics come into the game.

Fortunately for me I read what Board Game Geek had to say about this game before playing. the rules state there should be one less of each item required to win, than there are players, presumably to make you more aggressive, but to be honest you'll play the aggressive cards when you get them anyway so it slows the game for no real benefit. Following the BGG advice I played the game with enough items for everyone. Doing this kept the game down to about an hour. Any longer would have been dire!

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