A Closer Look at... Everdell
Tuesday, 28 August 2018 | Russ
I recently played Everdell at a friend's gaming day and liked it so much that I got impatient and have just bought a Kickstarter copy from somebody on Facebook. We played it again for a second time yesterday so I thought I'd tell you more about it :)
It is a worker placement / tableau building game set in a woodland, fantasy setting and is stunningly gorgeous! The artwork, the custom meeples, the resources, the giant tree!
You start the game with just 2 worker meeples and a certain number of cards (dependent on turn order) and on your turn you have a choice of 2 actions to take (plus pulling your workers back when you run out of stuff to do). You can either :
1) place a worker and do the action of the space you put it on (generally you get stuff), or
2) you can pay the cost of a card in your hand or on the board to build it in front of you and get it's benefits.
The game starts off really simply and you'll generally have 1 or 2 cards down in front of you when you first pass...however, each time you pass into the next season you will gain more workers and the first and third time you do it you will also reactivate certain card types that you have built....so the game certainly ramps up and you'll find yourself running out of space to build your cards (you are limited to 15 'slots' for cards in your tableau)
Where it gets interesting is that it has a system similar to that found in 7 Wonders - where certain cards chain and let you build future cards for free - if you can get them! In my last game I only managed to get half of my 'free' cards built because they came out after my turn and other people took them! There are options for drawing quite a few cards into your hand though so you can work through the deck quite well if you really need a particular card.
There's quite a lot of variety in the cards too - with many different types of cards - some give resources, some give points, some give an ongoing bonus/ability, some even give you extra worker placement spots!
Most cards that you build have victory points on them, some have other bonus ways of earning more points and there are 'events' (goals) for earning even more points. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins unsurprisingly.
I also like that in each game there will be 4 worker placement spots that are chosen at random from a small deck, and similarly with events too which helps with replayability and makes each game a little different.
Hopefully that's enough to give you a good idea of what the game is about.....but I do have to point out that the giant tree is totally unnecessary! It is lovely, and it does hold a few components, but if you're sat near it it can obstruct your view of the board and/or other players' tableaus.
The Kickstarter version has a few more cards (and an extra meeple type for use with them) and an exclusive sleeve, and I think the metal coins may also only be in the Kickstarter version....but I paid £85 for that version...
We have the standard version up for preorder now for just £45.99, it's expected to be released in October. It has the tree, the nice resources, the custom meeples, etc all included for almost half of what I paid for this copy. To preorder please visit https://www.theboardgamehut.co.uk/preorders/Everdell.html