EL GRANDE: Good ol'Wolfgang Kramer in Spain...
Posted: 06 April 2022, 08:04
Strategically position your "caballeros" in order to be the most influential of the "Influencers" and become the greatest of the Great of Spain in the 15th century in this award-winning game from 1995.
An oldie but a goodie!
In El Grande, players take on the roles of Grandes in medieval Spain. The king's power is flagging, and these powerful lords are vying for control of the various regions. To that end, you draft caballeros (knights in the form of colored meeples) into your court and subsequently move them onto the board to help seize control of regions. After every third round, the regions are scored, and after the ninth round, the player with the most points is the winner.
In each of the nine rounds, you select one of your 13 power cards to determine turn order as well as the number of caballeros you get to move from the provinces (general supply) into your court (personal supply).
A turn then consists of selecting one of five action cards which allow variations to the rules and additional scoring opportunities in addition to determining how many caballeros to move from your court to one or more of the regions on the board (or into the castillo - a secretive tower). Normally, you may only place your caballeros into regions adjacent to the one containing the king pawn. The one hard and fast rule in El Grande is that nothing may move into or out of the king's region. One of the five action cards that is always available each round allows you to move the king to a new region. The other four action cards vary from round to round.
The goal is to have a caballero majority in as many regions (and the castillo) as possible during a scoring round. Following the scoring of the castillo, you place any caballeros you had stashed there into the region you had secretly indicated on your region dial. Each region is then scored individually according to a table printed in that region. Two-point bonuses are awarded for having sole majority in the region containing your Grande (large meeple) and in the region containing the king.
This game won the "1996 Spiel des Jahres" and the "1996 Deutscher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game" awards. And that is for a good reason: the game mechanisms are still solid today.
If you are fond of classic games the cards are in your favour, try this 2-5 player 60 minute game.
Still not convinced? Take a look at the game page (there is also a tutorial available for you to learn how to play) here:
Thanks to the amazing work done by VanHlebar and Volker78, our developers, the game is perfectly playable from your computer. We would like to thank them for their amazing work.
Of course, nothing would have been possible without the help of the game designers, Wolfgang Kramer and Richard Ulrich, as well as the publisher, Hans Im Glück for their autorization to have the game on Board Game Arena. Our warmest thanks to them and their teams!
Note about the Veto card: this card was specifically challenging to implement. On Board Game Arena, Veto can be used to cancel any Action card before it is activated. Some Actions can also be cancelled partially, but this is not possible for all Actions. Please note that you can also exclude Veto through an option when starting a game.
That's all for today, folks!
Today's title is not a small game, so you will have time until next week to discover this gem, before the next release.
Have a good time, play fair and be kind to each others!