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Clans of Caledonia: New to Kickstarter

Clans of Caledonia Kickstarter

I was lucky enough to get a look and a chat with the designer of Clans of Caledonia before it launched on Kickstarter. The game is due to launch today (April 25) and is being sold as ‘An economic Game of Production and trade.

Clans of Caledonia looks like a Euro-style game, similar to most it shares the same mechanics with (Agricola and Terra Mystica to name two) but it’s the theme that really got me interested. Set in Scotland in the 19th Century you play as a clan leader during a time when a lot of change was happening. Scotland was slowly moving away from its agriculture roots and towards a more industrialised country.

The board is made up of a modular system and along with the different clan leaders (all with different powers/skills) this mid to heavy game offers great replay value.

Game setup and play-through

Clans of Caledonia is very in depth and I will do my best to explain a basic run through of how it plays with out going overboard on the information. The good news is for first timers or more casual gamers there is a simplified version of the game:

  1. Set up the map boards.
  2. Shuffle all the port bonus tiles and choose four.
  3. Place the market board (both sides of this vary depending on player count).
  4. Place this down on the correct side according to player count.
  5. Give the starting resources to the players.
  6. Choose a starting player.
  7. Choose which clan everyone will play as.

Once this is all done you are ready to start your first game. The goal of the game is to score the most victory points. Before the first round the first player places one worker from their player board on an empty space on the game map. The woodcutter must be placed on forest and the miner on mountains. The other players then do the same.

From here on in, the game gets very hard to explain in a written format due to the array of options available to you on your turn but I will do my best to point out the basics. There is a lot more to explain and with various set ups and even a solo mode the game has a wealth of options available:

  • The first phase is the preparation phase where you set up the board ready for the round ahead.
  • On the next phase the ‘action phase’ you can do things like trade or upgrade your shipping.
  • On the next phase, you gain resources for what you have on your player board (cows for milk etc).
  • The final phase is the scoring phase where you gain VPs for how you have done in the previous rounds.

Clans of Caledonia - Final Thoughts

Clans of Caledonia really appealed to me for two reason; the theme is refreshing and being British I really connect to it, the gameplay has a tonne of options available that will give players a wealth of replay value and keep the game fresh. Man Vs Meeple have predicted this could be a game of the year contender and I actually agree.

The depth is second to none and will make it a difficult game to master for those wanting a challenge but the designer has also added options to make this accessible and help make the game as easy to learn as possible.

If you are looking for a Euro game with a theme that’s relatively un-used with a whole lot of options, great artwork and a deep strategic offering then I recommend you check this game out when it hits Kickstarter!