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In the distant past clans compete to build villages on a volcanic island which is constantly changing landscapes. Each turn, players place a new triangular tile to increase the size of Taluva or change the existing topography.
Player's can add temples and towers and huts to the board in an attempt to score the most points.
A great tactical and strategic game, easy to learn, the board is different every time which leads to no game being the same.
It seems like there are countless tile laying games and the fact is, I find many boring and uninteresting to play. Perhaps one of the most well known, "Carcassonne", I've always hated because of not being able to immediately see whether a certain tile would fit here or there and I'd find myself laying the tile down to see if all the landscape types matched, only to realize that they didn't. and then start the whole process again each turn. So you can imagine my surprise after playing my first 2 player game of "Taluva."
WOW! Was the first thing that crossed my mind after that first game. Surprised at having such a reaction to a tile laying I began to try and figure out what makes "Taluva" so different.
First off, the titles are big and thick and beautifully designed with volcanoes and various other types of landscapes on them. In addition, this is a 3-D tile laying game that really comes to life as the game plays out. It actually feels like you're creating 3 dimensional villages with huts, temples and towers in the course of trying to win the game. It really is beautiful. Perhaps more importantly, when placing tiles with "Taluva", you can immediately see where and how tiles may be placed at a glance.
TALUVA - A Game For 2-4 Players
THE COMPONENTS: (What's in the box)
48) Volcano titles - consisting of 1 volcano and 2 landscape
4) Summary Cards
Each player starts out with 3 temples, 2 towers and 20 huts of a particular color. All of these are nicely made wooden bits. All the tiles are mixed and placed face down into a drawing stack(s). The starting player picks 1 face down tile, turns it over and the game begins.
A Player's Turn consists of two parts:
When placing a tile, there are one of two choices you can make.
To expand the landscape, you must place 1 tile directly on the table and at least one of it's edges must connect with at least 1 edge of a previously placed tile. Creating possible holes in the landscape is allowed.
To create a volcanic eruption, you place a volcano tile on top of already placed tiles. The following conditions must be met in order to do so:
The volcano space, must lie on top of a volcano space on an already placed tile. The placed volcano may not be flowing in the same direction as the volcano it's placed upon. As easier way of way of saying that, is to say that no two tiles may be stacked FLUSH on top of each other. The placed tile may not be placed on empty or non tile spaces.
Additional Covering Rules:
Part two of your moves consists of placing 1 or more houses.. Temples, Towers and Huts may only be placed on empty spaces and may not be placed on a volcano. Other house placement rules will depend on the house being placed.
HUTS - You may place 1 hut on any level one space. Note this is the only way to start a New Settlement.
TEMPLES - You may place 1 temple on any space, on any level, provided it's adjacent to a settlement what occupies a minimum of 3 spaces and have no other temples present..
TOWERS - You may place a Tower on any level 3 space or higher that's already adjacent to a settlement, which doesn't already have a Tower present.
Lastly you can expand an existing settlement, which is the only way to place more than 1 hut on a turn. You first must choose a settlement, then a particular terrain type you'd like to expand into and thus will be allowed to place huts in all such adjacent terrain types that are adjacent to the settlement chosen. Note that the level of the tile indicates how many huts may be placed on each terrain space, with any Level 1 space getting1 hut, Level 2 space, 2 huts, etc.
END OF GAME
The game ends at the end of a player's turn, when the last tile is placed. The player who's placed the most temples wins. If tied, the most towers win. If still tied, the most huts wins.
There are also 2 additional ways in which the game can end prematurely. Any player that uses up 2 out of their 3 types of houses, automatically wins the game. In addition, if a player can not place a house on their turn, they automatically lose and are out of the game, although their houses remain on the board.
THOUGHTS ON THE GAME
Playing "Taluva" is much easier than it is to explain and the 4 page instruction booklet does an excellent job of getting you up and running. Unlike many other tile laying games, where you find yourself trying to decide if a tile fits based on the surrounding tiles next to it, "Taluva" has no such problem. It's really tough to find fault with anything here. Nice components, great tiles, easy to play and nice to look at. Throw in the different ways it's possible to pull off a win and you have a game that's fun, challenging, and exciting to play. I guess that's why it's a MASTERPIECE!
I've been playing this game for a couple years, and it hits the table more frequently than average. It works best with two, but works okay with three or four. The depth of strategy opens up after a few plays, and it does have high replayability.
However, as others have stated, this is WAY too expensive! It has more than doubled in price, and even just went up again! I'm upset because my copy is pretty worn, and I'd like to get another if it were more affordable.
I really enjoy this game. It's highly strategic, looks great (making it accessible), satisfying finish, and usually ends in a satisfying way where you can immediately see who won without having to count up a score. However, this reprint is simply priced too high--it's almost double the cost of the original printing! I can't get it until it comes down in price...