So this winter’s been a bust. When I first picked up my copy of A Few Acres of Snow, I assumed there would be feet of snow on the ground and I’d be holed up in my house attempting to stave off the cold with coffee, blankets and a couple of board games. The fact that there was a wintry, though maybe that’s not entirely appropriate, theme to the game, I figured it was a shoe in for a WINTER game review.
So, anyway, I sat down on a surprisingly brisk January evening and decided to see what the French/Indian War felt like in board game form. What I found is that if you combine a deck building game with a bit of strategic war gaming, you find yourself a fairly entertaining experience and a completely lost evening. Lost in a good way, mind you.
The concept of the deck building game is one that I enjoy. I’ve given Dominion, Ascension and Thunderstone a try before. Thunderstone left me cold and Ascension was interesting but didn’t hold my attention and both games felt like something I could have essentially played by myself. Dominion, well… Dominion is Dominion. There is a reason it’s so successful. Maybe I’ll expand upon that in a different review.
Diving into the game I was impressed with the quality of the cards and the board that you play with. The version that I had purchased was the standard version, so it came with the red and blue wooden squares and disks and the plastic gold and silver money pieces. The artwork for the game, especially the cover, is very evocative and very well done. Nothing horribly fancy or design heavy, just simple and nice.
I ended up playing as the French for all three games that I played that night, losing the first and taking the second two. Both wins were surprising as it felt like I was getting my butt kicked for the majority of the time. The French start out underfunded and must rely on fur trapping and Piracy (ARRR) to gain money, and occasionally stick it to the Brits. At some point Quebec got raided to the ground and I had to hold off the British advance while rebuilding my capital. In the end, I managed to pull through and defeat those limey thugs beating down my door. Viva Le France!
The game-play is fairly simple, though the options can be daunting, and the game, once you get used to what you can do, really flies.
I look forward to many more wintry and non-wintry nights battling for control over A Few Acres of Snow.
Be sure to check out my video review of the A Few Acres of Snow in Episode 4 of Play the Game at Playthegamepodcast.com