Pizarro & Co.
English language edition of Magellan
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You can see in the distance the bountiful land that the seafarer has dreamed of during his long voyage. The king will be proud of his explorer!
The players take the roles of the Kings who bid to hire the services of the best and most daring explorers. They do so by offering them the ducats they need to finance their explorations. When a king makes the highest offer, he pays the money and sends his explorer on his journey. By hiring Magellan, for example, a king can earn fame and a small return on his investment. Marco Polo can fill his benefactors gold vaults while Christopher Columbus can earn his king important victory points that can lead to victory in the game. As the game progresses, competition for the explorers services increases as each explorer has fewer and fewer expeditions available for investment. In the end, only one ship for each explorer will make the final trip and give the king who invests in the journey the reward for his support.
Pizarro & Co. -- A thrilling auction game for fame and honor!
This is a wonderful auction game with lots to keep it from getting stale too soon. It is very easy to figure out how to play, difficult (or tricky perhaps) to decide the BEST way to play, and enjoyable each playing.
There is no luck, and with four different board set-ups, good variety each time you play. I have only tried it with 3 players, but can say it plays very well this way. I think it could only get better with 4-5, without adding too much to the game length.
For $20.00 it's a good buy. Components are very good, colorful and should hold up well to many many playings, which is what this game deserves.
This game has several things going for it:
1) The game works as well with 3 players as it does with 6 players.
2) There are interesting strategies that emerge depending on the amount of players (adding to the re-playability).
3) The game does not last very long regardless of the amount of players. A 3 or 4-player game can easily be finished in less than 30 minutes where as a 6-player game should take less than 50 minutes. In fact, you can teach and play a 4-player game in less than 45 minutes!
This makes the game a great addition to any game closet. It can be played at game clubs in between the heavy games and will be enjoyed because it has almost no random factors (except when non-experienced players decide to over-bid on items that are imperative to your winning strategy). Since the game in highly interactive and has fairly simple rules, it should also be enjoyed by many non-gamers.
As you might already know, my master plan is to promote European style games to all of my 'normal' American friends and this is one of those rare gems that will help further my endeavor. I entreat you to also convert our unsuspecting Hollywood fanatics by inviting your co-workers over for dinner and a game. Remember that any successful conversion places another star by your name in the eternal afterlife!
Bidders will love this game: All Explorer cards are auctioned over three rounds, one at a time! Start with six ships, plus gold cards valued one to nine. In the first round, winning an Explorer entitles you to place a ship on that explorer's Year One space. In the second and third rounds, winning an Explorer card lets you move a ship from the previous year to the Year Two and Year Three spaces, respectively. At round's end, gain the Victory Points of spaces where your ships rest. Explorers offer different advantages each year, such as extra gold or Victory Points. The opposite side of the board shows the same Explorers with somewhat different perks, if you decide you need a (sea) change in this rich, offbeat bidding game.