Recently, while at Gen Con 2016, I picked up a copy of the Kennerspiel de Jahres 2016 award winner, Isle of Skye. And I can tell you right now, I’m very happy to have done so.
In Isle of Skye, players take on the roles of Scottish Clan Lords, involved in the purchasing of land to help further increase their control of the Isle of Skye. At least, thematically, this is what the game is about.
Broken down into a five round game, each player blindly pulls three tiles from a bag and then decides which of the three they wish to sell (or buy for themselves if no one else buys from them) and which one to axe. And by axe I mean literally, as they place an axe token on the tile. After those decisions are made, each player reveals their tiles to all of the other players sitting at the table. Starting in order from the first player, each clan purchases (or passes) a tile from someone else at the table. The cost is based on the value that the selling player has placed on the tile. Once selling is finished, the players place their newly purchased tiles, making sure to adhere to certain placement rules, i.e. Mountains must match up to mountain, lakes to lakes and so forth.
Scoring involves different categories depending on the round and varies from game to game.
In the end, the player with the most victory points, wins. Pretty simple. Deceptively deep.