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Leo Colovini

Cranio Creations

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G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Whenever I play a new game by Leo Colovini, I’m fascinated by the simplicity of the main game mechanisms while on the same time there are a lot of strategical options. I wasn’t disappointed that Eriantys from CRANIO CREATIONS satisfies these expectations once again.

In the game we are set in a magical world of floating islands far beyond the clouds of our dreams. This is the world of magical creatures who dream of becoming princes. But before that they must proove their wisdom: four great schools of magic have to be ruled, each trying to attract the most famous five professors, who have a strong bearing on Mother Nature when it comes to rewards.


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Eriantys is a game that can be played by 2-4 players. The number of players strongly influences the way to play. While the two and three player variants mainly differ in the set-up, the four player variant is a team vs. team play. Anyway, in all variants each player takes the roll of the master of one of Eriantys’ four great schools. Equipped with a personal school board that shows the great dining room of the school and some students (that come in form of student discs in five different colours) in the entrance area we can begin the game. Oh, wait! We still have to set up the world of Eriantys. 12 island tiles are randomly placed in from of a circle in the middle of the table with a good distance between two adjacent islands. That will change later in the game, as you will see.

In each round of the game two phases are carried out. The first one is the planning phase in which new students are randomly drawn from a bag. These students are set on cloud tiles, one for every player. Then it is time to play an assistant card. At the beginning of the game each player gets the same deck of 10 assistant cards with values between 1 and 10 for determining the turn order. Each player chooses one card, and the player with the lowest value assistant card begins the next phase. Played cards are set aside at the end of the round and cannot be used again in the game. Assistant cards do not only determine the order of the next phase, but they also define how many islands Mother Nature can move forward in your turn. Unsurprisingly, the number of steps you move with Mother Nature decreases with the value of the assistant. As a result, with a low assistant value it is more likely that you will start the next phase, but you will be limited in your moves with Mother Nature.


Click on image to enlarge!

The action phase comprises three steps that are performed by each player in order of the played assistants. First of all, it is time to assign three students from the entrance to the dining room in the school or onto any island tile on the table. The tables are separated by colour and – as in Hogwart – each student joins their matching table. Whenever a student is assigned to a table, the majority of the students sitting at the table is checked, and if the player has now the most students of that colour at the table, the matching professor pawn joins the table and supports the school.

Students on the islands are important for the influence of Mother Nature. After the three students were moved to their new destinations, the active player moves Mother Nature forward up to the movement points of the played assistant card. On the destination island, Mother Nature determines whose school will be the ruling one until Mother Nature's next visit on that island. To calculate the influence of the players, each player counts the number of students that match the colours of professors at that school. The player with the most influence can place a tower of their school board, if there is not yet a tower. If, however, the island is already under control of a player, it is possible to replace this tower in case of influence changes.

Moreover, if – after building a tower – the adjacent islands have already a tower of the same colour, those islands are unified and moved next to each other. Towers and students remain on the island, so the influence gets stronger. These unified islands from now on count as one step for Mother Earth and as one island when it comes to influence valuations.


Click on image to enlarge!

The phase ends by choosing a cloud tile with new students who are placed in the entrance area again. The end of the game is triggered in four different ways: first of all, the game immediately ends when a player builds their last tower. The game also ends when only three groups of islands remain on the table or when the last student has been drawn or a player runs out of assistant cards. In those cases, the player, who has built the most towers, wins the game.

As said right at the beginning, Leo Colovini knows how to design simple but tactical boardgames. The rules are easy enough to play the game with the whole family. Still, it demands some tough decisions that’s why some players will take their time when it’s their turn to play. I wouldn’t call that downtime, but you can be tempted to optimize all your options. This is even truer for the expert game in which 12 characters are added to the game that can be hired if you have earned enough coins due to skilled student placement.

All of you, who are veterans in the boardgame world, should know that Eriantys is not a completely new game. Instead, it uses a lot of mechanisms of the successful Carolus Magnus that was nominated for some boardgame awards in the year 2000. It’s good to have the game back with a new design and a fresh, though put-on theme. The three-player version is certainly the best, because well-balanced variant of the game, but I also liked to play it as a team game.

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