Session Report: La Citta, Shadow Hunters

The first thing I did at the club this week was: absolutely nothing. I made a cup of tea and kicked-back, watching Darren’s Warhammer Fantasy Battle tournament and Dale and Craig playing their Critical Mass system. Why? Because everyone else was playing Shadow Hunters and I just don’t get it. A second game was played and I was invited to join a third, but I remained stubbornly aloof to all this shenanigans.

Shadow Hunters

Is it just me or is Shadow Hunters truly abysmal? It’s one of the few “gamers” games I will refuse to play (obviously if Monopoly and Cluedo were on the table I’d rather have my eyes put out with blazing pokers and then with my ensuing heightened sense of hearing, be forced to listen to a Conservative party conference). I can’t understand what’s fun about being a Shadow, nailing the Hunters to the floor and having them win anyway due to ridiculous secondary victory conditions. This is a game where everyone can win. What’s the point in that unless it’s a co-operative game??? It’s a waste of my time figuring out who’s the enemy, slaughtering them and then have them say “Oh, I still win because the player on my left won”. What kind of victory condition is that??

Shadow Hunters is a massive bag of pustulant snot. It promises oodles of fun but then bends over, waves its gaping anal maw in our faces and drops a chod into our open mouths.

Or if I’m being sensible about things, it’s the antithesis of fun and is utterly pointless.

La Citta

So anyway, once the masochists at the club had torn themselves away from this drivel, we split into two groups, one playing Carcassonne, and my group playing La Citta, a recent Ebay purchase of mine that forced me to search for English rules on the web, as the seller neglected to tell me it was all in German.

So I will be writing to Ebay to complain about the seller, one Adolf von Deutschenslauten. Scum sucker.

This is quite an elegant little game where you can screw over your opponent without resorting to death, mutilation and mayhem. So what’s fun about that? I hear you ask. Well, building up cities that reflect the wishes of the people causing disillusioned citizens to leave Will’s (Mr Pink on Board Game Geek) cities in favour of mine is about as much fun as you can get (unless you grind his face into a turd with your stiletto’d heel – but that’s another evening entirely).

The gameplay is simple. You’re allowed five actions in a game year which you can choose from the face-up cards around the board. These allow you to do various things such as build new cities, expand existing cities or tap into the mind of the population. Expanding a city can either improve its culture, education or health, or bring benefits such as income or food.

You must have enough people to fill each district of your expanding city and you must have enough food to feed them. It’s a delicate balancing act and the great thing is, at the end of each game year, cards are turned over that demonstrate the “voice of the people”. This year they may demand culture, health, education or a mixture of the three. Should any of your cities contain more buildings that are demonstrably beneficial to the populations wishes (e.g. a university for education or a fountain for health) than a neighbouring city, then the population will migrate. Obviously if too many migrate then they cannot be fed, but even watching them perish after leaving an opponent’s city is grimly satisfying.

Now I know what Robert Mugabe feels like.

So Russ and I screwed Will up by telling him there were no markets left (Will, you should have looked for yourself!). Markets allow a city’s population to expand over a pre-existing limit. As his population couldn’t expand, nor could his cities, and he couldn’t exploit the land near one of my cities. In actuality there were loads of markets hidden under the quarry tiles and this resulted in Will coming last. Ho ho!!

I went for the kill in the last turn. I had an inkling the people would want education, so I built my cities accordingly and calculated this would give me the win. Unfortunately the people wanted education and health. My cities suddenly had a massive influx of people I couldn’t feed and this being the last turn, it meant I’d lose victory points (lose 5 points if you cannot feed your citizens in the last turn). Russ and I were tied on 25 points as a result and he won on the tie-breaker (most gold). It was a great game and 2 hours flew by without us even noticing!

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3 Comments to “Session Report: La Citta, Shadow Hunters”

  1. Well,Now I know what game to play if I fancy a cup of tea.

  2. Was I a little harsh on Shadow Hunters? I had a bad day at work!

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