Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama got the Jyväskylä treatment last weekend. We played a total of four games (twice with four, twice with three). It’s a pretty good game. Not great, but definitely worth giving a go and for those who like worker placement it should be a real pleasure.

Vasco da Gama coverI’m not terribly keen on worker placement games, but Vasco da Gama has a plenty to like. It’s a neat and tight design in many ways. The timing issues with the turn order are interesting, as is the resource management in general. I like how the goal of the game is clear: send out ships to collect glory and points. However, there are many means to that single end.

Looks like we had one rule wrong, though — we returned used captains to general supply, not player supply. Oops. I don’t think that makes a huge difference, things are just a tiny bit more difficult with our rule.

I don’t think this one’s a keeper, even though I liked it. I don’t like it enough to get it on the table regularly, even though I think the locals wouldn’t mind. Vasco da Gama was played in the Finnish Board Game Championship tournament this year, so it got some attention and people seem to like it quite a bit.

If I used half-point ratings, Vasco da Gama would be 7.5. I don’t, so it gets a 7, because it’s not an 8… I’ll definitely play this, if somebody suggests and nothing great is available.

For now, I left my copy to Jyväskylä, as they liked it and the game works with three.

I have to say I enjoy playing games like this, getting plenty of exposure in a short time. I wonder what’ll I take with me next time, there’s nothing obvious right now.

Vasco da Gama tokens
The turn order tokens, ready to be picked…

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2 responses to “Vasco da Gama”

  1. Playing that captain rule right makes the game significantly different. You get more strategic variations by playing that right, because buying a new captain every time you need it is very expensive and keeps you out of other interesting choices.

    Vasco da Gama is not one of my hot favorites either although it is an interesting game, and it definately gets more interesting the more you play it. For my taste of this kind of games Vasco may be a tad too long.

  2. Well, buying captains didn’t feel that much of a bother — either you buy little crew and get a captain, or then you place another token on the recruiting area to take just a single captain.