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: We search for a common ground among a florid field of images in Stella: Dixit Universe
Next: We settle for nothing less than dominance over that classic city of old in CATAN
Lastly: We hope to bring the animals to market 4 by 4 and if were lucky end up with a gang of pigs in Schweinebande
Stella: Dixit Universe
Designed by: Gérald Cattiaux, Jean-Louis Roubira
Published by: Libellud (2021)
Players: 3 – 6
Ages: 8 & up
Playing time: 30 min
Stella: Dixit Universe is a card game in which players associate a word with one of 15 cards on display. For example, if the word is ‘happy’, then players must decide which of the 15 cards they associate with ‘happy’.
Sounds simple enough, but the game is to choose cards that you think the OTHER players will be associating with the word. In a round, a player records their choice of cards, and then declares how many cards they chose (max 10). Then in turn order, players reveal one choice at a time.
If two or more other players also chose your selection, those players score 2 points. If exactly one other player also chose your selection, score 3 points. If no other players chose your selection, that’s bad. Zero points and you are done for the rest of the round while the other players continue to finish the round.
After 4 rounds, the player with the most points accumulated wins, and literally becomes … a star. Not literally.
Designed by: Klaus Teuber
Published by: KOSMOS (1995)
Players: 3 – 4
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 1 – 2 hours
CATAN is a resource management and area control game where players collect raw materials and turn them into roads and buildings on a hexagonal map.
Hexagons are selected at random, each one assigned a value from 2 through 12, and each one assigned a type of terrain, such as forests, mountains, wheat fields, grass plains, and quarries. Each type of terrain yields a specific resource: wood, brick, stone, wheat, and sheep. Buildings are placed by the players at the intersections of the hexagonal spaces.
Players start with 2 buildings and 2 stretches of road. Each player in turn order rolls 2d6. Any hexes with that number will yield their resource to a player’s building touching it. Build more roads to stretch out along the island to build new houses. Upgrade houses to cities to double the resource yields. Also use resources to collect cards that can be turned in for special actions and victory points.
First player to 10 points triggers the end of the game. All points are then tabulated, and the player with the most points wins the game, and gets to brag on TikTok about it.
Schweinebande (“Gang of Pigs”)
Designed by: Stefan Dorra
Published by: Hans im Glück (2010)
Players: 2 – 5
Ages: 8 & up
Playing time: 30 min
Schweinebande is a worker placement game in which each player acquires farm animals for their barns. 25 Hexagonal shaped animal tiles are placed in rows of 5. This is the farmer’s market.
Farmers in turn will reveal one tile, and then decide if they want to secure that space on the board by placing one of their 2 farmers on the spot. Farmers have the option of passing to the next player, who then reveals a new tile, and they can then choose to claim one of the revealed spaces, or pass. This continues until all farmers are on the board.
Farmers then start collecting their animal tiles in rows, as many tiles as they can legally take in that one direction. This continues in turn until all farmers in the market have collected their animals.
Collected animals go into that farmer’s farm, and finally, the farmer must now feed their animals to get them into the barn.
There are four rounds of play, and the farmer with the most points collected in their barns by the end of round 4 becomes the Koenigschweinebade, or King of the Pig Gangs!