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Welcome to Which Game First where we boldly explore the hilariously huge world of board games. Did we unearth any hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on? Let’s find out!

First up, we backstab and frontstab as the money grabbing rulers of the República de las Bananas in Junta: Las Cartas 
Next up, we hunt and grunt together as we fight for survival across the prehistoric wilds in Paleo
And lastly,  we test our knowledge of angsty sparkly vampires in Twilight: The Game

Junta: Las Cartas

Designed by: Johannes Krenner, Christoph Reiser, Sebastian Resl
Published by: Alderac Entertainment Group and Pegasus Spiele (2017)
Players: 3 – 6
Ages: 12 & up
Playing time: 45 – 60 min

Junta: Las Cartas is a card game, where players are members of a corrupt junta, vying for power as president of a banana republic.

Each round, the president divides a set of money cards among the players. This represents each junta member’s supposed fair share of the country’s wealth. But did everyone get an equal share? Did the president keep the lion’s share?

Players then begin 2 rounds of voting to determine if the president is being honorable, or a thief.  Junta member’s use their political cards to cast their votes, or take alternate actions, such as stealing another member’s money, or striking down votes already cast by other members.

Once the voting is complete, and the dirty deeds done, the president will either retain power and his share of money for the next round, or will have lost it all to the rebellion leader who will become the next president. 

The last action of the round is to move your money out of the country and into your Swiss bank account.

The game ends when all the money cards have been put in play, and the player with the most cash in their Swiss account, is the winner.

Paleo

Designed by: Peter Rustemeyer
Published by: Hans im Glück & Z-man Games (2020)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 60 – 90 min

Paleo is a co-operative adventure game set in the stone age, where players try to keep the human beings in their care alive while completing missions. 

The goal is to reach a state of technology and sustenance where the early humans are able to complete a cave painting BEFORE the community suffers from too many deaths. It’s a classic competition of human vs nature.

Each player starts by controlling two cavepeople. Each caveperson has traits, such as hunting or scouting or crafting. A player draws three action cards face down from their deck, and must choose which action to take. 

The backs of the action cards identify the type of card: for example, mountains on the back mean that it is likely that stone collection will be taking place. Or a forest on the back likely means that wood gathering will be that card’s goal. Sometimes, a card will offer unexpected surprises and obstacles. The two action cards not chosen go back in the payer’s pile. 

Simultaneously, all players flip the action card they kept to see what the community can potentially accomplish. In most cases, a player can use their cavepeople to help any other player achieve their goal.  But if you help another, then your cavepeople can not accomplish your own goal. The community must decide how best to use the resources of people, goods, and items, and to which action cards are the most important to accomplish.

A player at any time can choose to “go to sleep”, effectively ending their turn for that round. Once all players have gone to sleep, the night phase kicks in. If the result of the day’s accomplishments do not meet the goals, then the players suffer a death. Players collectively can only suffer 4 deaths. If they suffer 5 deaths, it’s game over.

But if players can accomplish enough of the goals to stave off death, and remain alive long enough to complete that cave painting, then the players win, conquering the world of Paleo.

Twilight: The Game

Designed by: Brian David-Marshall, Keith Tralins, Matthew Wang
Published by: Cardinal (2009)
Players: 2 – 8
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 60 min

Twilight is a trivia game, and an action game. The game is based on the movie of the same name.

Players roll a die to determine the number of spaces they move along the board. Players can elect to move forward or backwards along the board. 

Along the way, players have access to movie scene cards, which are numbered 1 through 7. The path forms a spiral inwards to the center of the board, where the 8th and final scene card is obtained.

Landing on a space will trigger a card to be drawn by the person to your left, who will then read to you the trivia question, or will tell you the action to perform. If the space you landed on had a red dagger, you get the trivia question.  If the space you landed on had a white dagger, you get to attempt the described action.  If you are successful, you win the movie scene card for that space.

The goal is to be the first player to collect all 8 movie scene cards.  And if you do, you become … something, are there Vampires in this movie? Or in this game?

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