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During the Middle Ages, Scotland was ruled by a few powerful families. These "clans" were continually at war with one another. In Highlanders, you are the chieftain of one of these clans and you have to try and gain control over the Scottish Highlands... and keep it!
Rheingold is a great combination of strategic planning and a lucky hand. The goal is to occupy castles along the river Rhein. You try to gather your knights together to protect them along the road and build forces strong enough to invade the point-carrying castles. But the placement of knights entering the board is dependent upon the roll of a die, bringing one small but important factor of luck into the game.
There are six positions on the board where knights can enter. Each player rolls the die, brings one knight to that position on the board and then has three points of movement. S/he can move the knight who has just entered the game, or others who are on their way to the castles. If the knight is left on the entrance position and the player rolls the same number on the next turn, a second knight may not be brought into the game. Once one player's knights have joined up along the way, they can be moved as one unit and can throw other smaller forces of knights they might meet up with out of the game. This makes for great fun, since not all of the action is concentrated around the castles. Once a force of knights has approached a castle, they must have double the number of knights protecting the castle to invade (each castle starts with a worth ranging from 1 to 3 points). After invading, you must leave some of the knights behind to protect the castle from further invasions. A shield representing 0 to 3 more knights is also placed face down in your castle to help protect. The shield is crucial because only you know how many knights are really protecting your castle. Since later invaders must have twice as many knights as you have in the castle, that's up to six more knights they have to gather to take over. The game ends when the second to last castle is captured. The player to take that castle gets the last one as well! Each player adds up the point worth of the castles they occupy and the player with the most points wins.
Rheingold is a great strategy game that does not develop into a war game. The die keeps it fun, but the rest of the game is pure planning. It's a favorite at game night alongside other greats like Settlers of Catan and Tikal.