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Logistico is an archipelago in the Logistic Ocean. The inhabitants on the 5 islands of the Republic of Logistico have supply of goods and demand for other goods. Each player has a boat, a plane and a truck to match supply with demand. Plan your routes the best to make the most profit!
- 1 archipelago
- 5 boats
- 5 planes
- 5 trucks
- 5 pawns
- 27 cards
- 36 blocks
- 36 discs
Average Rating: 4 in 1 review
Ever since playing _Titicaca_ and _ZooSim, I have been a fan of Corne van Moosel. _Logistico_ starts out with a whimper and builds to a crescendo.
The rules about what to do with airplanes could be better written, but that doesn't detract from the playability of the game. It was fun to initially place the disks (wafers) and blocks of different colors in different parts of five islands. You start with the movement of the boats, followed by the planes and the trucks. We played a two-player version with a blue and yellow player.
I was a little perturbed by the closeness in color of the light and dark brown blocks. The yellow player, who is color impaired, had difficulty disinguishing between the dark green and the dark brown blocks. Why couldn't we have had some orange blocks?
Three cards are drawn at the beginning that show the initial placement on the islands for the three means of transportation or the vehicles. I, unfortunately, confused the plane with the boat at the beginning. However, on close inspection, I now see the distinguishing outline of a fuselage.
The loads consist of four blocks for the boat, three loads for the plane, and two loads for the truck. Each player starts at 40 logis or dollars. You can spend for your movement and loading/unloading. You must always make a profit upon delivery; losses are not accepted. The first round (three-vehicle movement)went smoothly for the blue player. He loaded a white block on the boat and moved to a space with a white disk. The board is divided into the costs table, money track, and the income indicator. With more movement for each vehicle, the costs increase and decrease the possible revenue. To increase the competition, players are dealt three cards that show special locations on certain spaces of the five islands. If those spaces are landed on during the rounds, the second column of the income table is used to compute the profit. Each player is allowed up to eight movement points per vehicle.
The blue player, in desperate moves during the game, used up his three cards to gain an initial advantage on the money track. The yellow player patiently held back his cards until more money could be made. We now reached the plane part of the round. The plane with its loaded goodies can fly to one or more of the five airport spaces on the different islands. The blue player figured out that delivering two different blocks to adjacent spaces of the airport would result in more income. However, the yellow player announced later in the game that the interpretation of the rules may have been faulty. The rules are not completely clear on possible interpretation and translation. Does the plane pick up only from its own area (airport), or may it pick up from adjacent land areas as the boat does? The question is being referred to Cwali in the Netherlands.
The yellow player began to outdistance the blue one with better pickups and deliveries with the truck in the third part of each round. The blue player tried to catch up, but turns were wasted trying to move the truck into position. In the meantime, the yellow player was unable to use his initially dealt three cards, because the blue player had grabbed the disks from the spaces originally intended for the yellow player.
Now the race became hot for the final disks where the planes and boats took center stage. The trucks almost became useless, but the yellow player figured out how to position his truck on Island Teneriki and collect the remaining disks after his plane had landed and transferred the goods to the truck.
The final scores were probably too high: 188, Yellow; 119, Blue. The yellow player commented that the game has possibilities. He was quite concerned that the starting player always has the major advantages of picking up the goods. I commented that inadequate play from the starting player can tip the scales in favor of the second or more players. The yellow player still believed the starting player is like a vulture waiting to grab the unsuspecting goods poised on one of the five islands.
Corn van Moorsel has developed into quite the designer, with a wide range of games under the Cwali label to his credit. Several of his games have garnered nominations for the International Gamers Award, and Zoo-Sim, his design from last year, has been re-issued by Zoch as O Zoo le mio.
Like Friedemann Friese, for me he has the reputation of a designer whose games I must try. This year was no exception, so while at the Games Fair in Essen, I made an appointment to play his new game Logistico. I enjoyed it and parted with some precious euros to purchase the game.
The premise of the game is to deliver goods to their destinations using three modes of transportation: boats, planes and trucks. Players move their vehicles about the board, picking up goods and making the deliveries to their required destinations. Deliveries yield a profit, but the greater the distance traveled, the greater the costs. The payoffs for deliveries increase as the game progresses, and each player has three secret destinations that provide even higher yields. The idea is to set up routes and coordinate the movements of your vehicles in the most efficient manner possible so as to minimize costs and maximize profits.
Continuing the trend of recent Cwali releases, the components in Logistico are top-notch. In addition to a large, two-piece interlocking board, the game contains an abundance of wood: cubes, disks, planes, boats and trucks in assorted colors. The only sub-par component is the deck of secret destination cards, which is printed on thin cardstock and not laminated. Fortunately, they aren't a central component of the game and are not handled much.
The board depicts five continents, each further subdivided into numerous territories. The continents are separated by several oceans, which are also divided into segments to regulate movement of the ships. The continents are connected at a few points by bridges, facilitating movement of the trucks from continent to continent. Along with a scoring track that rings the edge of the board, there are tracks depicting the financial cost of movement, which increases exponentially with each space moved, and the yields of successful deliveries, which increase with each passing turn.
The commodities are represented by those ubiquitous wooden cubes, four each in nine different colors. There is a matching set of colored disks, which serve as the destinations for the commodities. Commodities and their delivery locations are set out randomly, as are the starting locations for each player's vehicles, which should make for a different feel each game. Some have concerns that this random set-up could unduly favor certain players and hinder others. However, since the payoffs for deliveries escalate substantially as the game progresses, an early advantage can be fairly easily offset by careful planning and the establishment of lucrative routes.
Game play is quite simple, yet the thinking involved in order to carefully arrange trade routes and make profitable deliveries is quite challenging. All players move their boats, then their planes and finally their trucks. Trucks move via roadways, but can travel off-road at an increased cost. Boats move across the water, while airplanes can only move between airports, of which there is only one per continent. Trucks and boats must be moved at least one space per turn, but airplanes do not. At any time, players may sell their boat or truck, but it is then removed from the game and may not be re-purchased. Thus, it is usually wise to not sell a vehicle until very late in the game.
A player may move each vehicle as far as he desires, but the cost to move each vehicle gets progressively more expensive. Deciding just how far to move each vehicle is tough -- and one of the key decisions that must be made on each and every turn. The cost of continuing movement must be weighed against the payoff for completing the delivery. Each delivery must produce a profit, so these costs must be weighed carefully and routes planned efficiently. Maximizing profit is the ultimate objective of the game.
Commodities may be picked up by vehicles and transported by land, sea and/or air in order to reach their destinations. Each vehicle has a different carrying capacity, but players are best advised to resist the temptation of grabbing a bunch of commodities and storing them on their vehicles. Why? At the end of each turn, players must pay a holding cost for each good they are carrying. This gets very expensive very quickly. Try to avoid holding too many commodities from turn to turn.
When a commodity is successfully transported to its destination, the player receives a payoff. This payoff begins relatively small, but increases with the passing of each turn. So, deliveries made later in the game are far more lucrative than early deliveries. Further, each player begins the game with three `secret' destination cards. If the player makes a delivery to one of these locations, the payoff is even higher. These increased payoffs help overcome any advantageous start-up positions players may enjoy and should soothe the fears of those who have complained about this random set-up feature.
Once a delivery is made, the commodity cube and destination disk are removed from the game. Thus, the number of commodities and destinations will decrease steadily as the game progresses. When there are six or fewer destination disks remain, one more round is played and then the game ends. The player with the most money is victorious.
Although decidedly dry, I find the game quite stimulating, with the planning required to establish efficient routes and deliveries challenging and mentally stimulating. Players must coordinate the movement of their three vehicles in efforts to establish efficient and profitable delivery routes. Deciding when to continue moving at increased costs versus ceasing movement, but paying the holding costs can be tough -- and is always critical. Choosing which goods to pick up and where to deliver them also causes dilemmas. A sense of urgency is added to these decisions based on the potential actions of your opponents. It can be quite frustrating to watch an opponent scoop a good or make a delivery to your planned destination prior to you being able to complete yours. Frustrating, yes, but it is a sweet frustration and part of the beauty of the game.
Logistico is a mentally challenging game, requiring careful planning, good decisions and optimal coordination and execution. It is another winner from the gaming Dutchman.