El Grande: Decennial Edition
List Price: $64.95
Your Price: $51.99
(Worth 5,199 Funagain Points!)
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from 36 customer reviews
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The players are the Grandes in old Spain. Each wants to increase his influence at the court and in the regions. Each turn, the players choose from 5 actions, different on each turn. But first choice goes to the player who plays the highest priority card and you have only 13 for the game. Choose your actions and priorities wisely to become the most powerful Grande and win the game!
In Intrigue & the King, each player has 18 or 28 cards that replace the action cards from the basic game. Before the game begins, each player chooses 13 cards to be his action/priority deck for the game. The players use these cards instead of the action a nd priority cards in determining turn order and special actions. Grand Inquisitor & the Colonies adds four new regions, the Grand Inquisitor, and new action cards to support these additions. The new action cards are in two new stacks, giving players seven options on each turn instead of the five from the basic game. By combining the two, you can play The King & the Colonies. In this game, you use the action/priority cards from Intrigue & the King, and the new regions, the Grand Inquisitor, and the new action cards supporting them from Grand Inquisitor & the Colonies.
Grandissimo adds a ship, jail, Portugal, the Grand Inquisitor, the Queen, the Jester, and new action cards in two new stacks to support these additions.
Among all of the games we own, El Grande is undoubtedly our favorite. Though it takes some time to learn, it is relatively simple to play (albeit difficult to master). Generally, we've found that people like games they have won in the past. El Grande is requested by friends who have both won and lost - and this is evidence that it is an enjoyable and interesting game.
On balance, it seems that the initial placement of grandes may heavily bias the outcome of the game (despite a card that allows you to move your grande). Also, seating position makes a big difference (as it does for poker and many other games). Otherwise, this game is much more about tactics and strategy and diplomacy than it is about luck. Also, it takes time to learn how cards play against one another and the importance of timing.
This is a great game that everyone should have in their library.
My game group typically plays one new game every week. Sometimes a new game gets played just once - sometimes twice, just to check whether the game is really as bad as the players thought after the first session.
Rarely, a new game gets added to our list of 'classics' - those games that we play over and over for months. El Grande is one of those. It has become the second most popular of the new games we have tried this year (the most popular new one being Citadels).
A great game for people that enjoy games that require strategic thinking.
I returned to El Grande recently after a long break ... and what can I say! My initial review was very wrong! Every game has been a winner: tense, exciting, tough decisions and of course that all important element: lots of opportunities to 'do people over'! Everyone who's played has enjoyed it and I've had no problems getting players to come back for more, in fact it's now enjoying an unusual amount of play (for a game that's over 7 years old) at my local games club! Each game is different as strange combinations of action cards force one to make unusual decisions and modify one's previous tactics.
How one's oppinions can change over time! Come back El Grande, all is forgiven, you're a true Classic!
And as if that weren't enough, there are also two El Grande expansion sets available. The Konig & Intrigant expansion replaces the action cards from the basic set so that each player has an identical set of cards to play from. This adds balance, as over the course of the game, every player can perform the same set of actions as any other player. The Grossinquisitor & Kolonien expansion adds several new territories and a few more action cards to the game, making for even more possible ways one can earn points.