Lascaux: Exploring Ancestral Art
List Price: $30.00
Your Price: $24.00
(Worth 2,400 Funagain Points!)
Notify me if/when this item becomes available:
(you will be asked to log in first)
from 1 customer review
Please Login to use shopping lists.
In 1940 four teenagers discovered a complex of caves in southwest France, at Lascaux. The caves are famous for their paintings, consisting mainly of realistic images of large animals which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. They date back to the Upper Paleolithic era, somewhere between 13,000 and 15,000 B.C.
In Lascaux, the game, the players place a certain amount of cards in the center of the table at the start of each game turn. Each card depicts an animal and two colors. The players secretly choose one color and then place stones into the ceremony bowl. As more and more players drop out, some will win the animal cards at the end of each game round. At the end of the game each player receives points for animal "types" in which he has a majority. The winner is the player with most points.
This week on the Dice Tower, I'm going to be celebrating games with tremendous artwork. The adage "Don't judge a book by its cover" applies to board games, and yet most people never do. A game that looks gorgeous will likely be more attractive to people; and as much as I hate to say it, I'm affected by it as much as the next person. Lascaux (Mayfair Games, 2008 - Dominique Ehrhard and Michel Lalet), themed on the Lascaux caves found in 1940, is simply uninspiring to look at. I will grant that the theme is unique - but the artwork, while important historically, isn't endearing to me personally.
But you know what? All of that is blown away when you play the game. Lascaux is a simple card game that uses a familiar bidding system (especially to No Thanks! fans) to motor a game that plays quickly and is simply enjoyable for up to five players. Using a unique auction system, players attempt to win cards with pictures of different animals to score the most points. I have to say I was impressed with how enjoyable the game played - how fun it was to bid, outguess the opponents, and collect cards.
Each player starts with twelve stones (ten in a five-player game) and six tokens - each with a symbol representing the player on one side and a color on the other side (pink, yellow, white, blue, green, and brown). A deck of cards is shuffled and placed on the table - composed of fifty-four cards. Each card has one of six different animals on it (bison, deer, horse, ram, mammoth, or rhinoceros) and two different colors. The youngest player starts the first round.
At the beginning of each round, cards are turned face up from the deck until either six different colors are showing, or seven cards are face up. All players then simultaneously decide which color cards they want, placing the token they have of that color face down in front of them. The starting player then starts the bidding.
Bidding is simple. On their turn, players must place one of their stones in the middle of the table or pass. If a player passes, they take all the stones in the middle of the table and place their token on top of a token pile. When only one player is left, they flip over their token and take all the cards that match the color they have on the token. Then the player whose token is on top of the pile does the same thing (if possible), then the next player, etc. Players will often be unable to take cards because the color they pick is already depleted. Any unclaimed cards stay in the middle of the table, and the next round begins, starting with the player whose token was on the bottom of the pile.
All stones are either hidden or open, depending on the player's preference; and play continues until the deck has been entirely claimed by the players. Players then compare cards that they have taken. Whoever has the most of each animal type scores points equal to the number of cards of that type that they have (ties award points to all players involved). Players also score one point for every six stones they have at the end of the game, and the player with the most points is the winner!
Some comments on the game...
Lascaux is not a dry game about archaeology, as the box would suggest. Rather, it's a light, entertaining game in which players have a fun time bidding stones and collecting animals. Most games with new players will produce calls for another game, as it's just that enjoyable. A great start to 2008, Mayfair has produced a quick game that packs a lot of punch into a short time. Don't judge this game by its cover!
"Real men play board games"