The VILLAGE INN Inka & Markus Brand expansion for PEGASUS SPIELE'S Boardgame THE VILLAGE
The VILLAGE is one of the best resource control strategy games of the last few years. It is one of those games where there are many options for player actions and of course you really need to be able to perform more than one action in your turn to follow your own plans; naturally you can only perform one action per turn. The extremely clever part of the Village is that on each of the seven action areas there are placed (at the start of each round) a set number (depending on number of players) resources, or plague tokens. When you want to take the action you have to take one of these tokens first, thus decreasing the amount of times left for this action to be performed in the round. The plague tokens mean that one of ypour workers moves closer to meeting his maker (and I don't mean the Meeples factory). The VILLAGE is for 4 players and takes about 90 minutes plus to play, the reason for the length of play time being the possible strategy changes of thought as your turn comes round and your options have been diminished.
The VILLAGE INN is the first expansion for the VILLAGE. It adds several new strategies to the original game. To begin with the Village Inn adds, well let's see now ... the Village Inn. The Village Inn introduces just what you would think it does the new resource ... BEER, and Beer comes from the BREWERY; it also includes the pieces and parts to add a fifth player. The CHRONICLE and GRAVEYARD are also expanded to accept more deceased villagers.
There are a new range of Set-Up cards that include the 5th player but also have the option of playing with or without the Brewery, thus allowing the original game to be played with an extra player, though personally I cannot see why you wouldn't want to include the Brewery and Inn.
Other than the obvious adjustments, Graveyard, Chronicle, new Meeples, new Resource and all parts required for the additional player there is a completely new addition to the gamne - Villager cards, of which there are 30. These cards add a totally new dimension to the game. You can obtain Villager cards from the Inn, in a way similar to how you gain other resources. There are some cards that can be kept until the end of the game when they will give you Prestige (or Victory) points. Other cards can be played during your turn for various advantages and are then removed from the game.
Examples of cards (pics above)
The Abbot (a great character to add when you think of the famous Abbot's Ale. Whether this was by accident or design it is brilliant)
You must have a family member in the Church to play this card - it allows you to move this meeple to the leftmost window without paying any grain cost.
Gives you different points at the end of the game for your meeples in the Chronicle.
Immediately have another turn and gain 2 Prestige points, a very useful and powerful card.
After the finalk scoring you get a bonus of either 3 or 6 Prestige points depending on your tally.
There is only one drawback (depending on your personal financial situation and the fiscal value you put on your entertainment) to this absolutely brilliant expansion to a superb game - the price. In the UK it costs just under £25.00 for the expansion yet the original game can be found for just £30.00 thus making it a £55.00 5 player boardgame. It is an exceptional game and you will get a lot of playing time and return play (replay-ability) from it. If you put the cost in comparison to say a night at the cinema (£20-£30) or at a concert (£30-£50) both of which last about 3 hours each and are gone, except from memory, after those 180 minutes, then £55.00 is a snip.