Author: Martin Wallace

Publisher: KOSMOS 2004

Awards: none



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes:

La Strada is a new network game from Kosmos. The players take over the roles of northern Italian trading companies that try to find new markets for their goods. On their tours through northern Italy, they finally reach smaller towns and villages. Each player has to build his own unique roads to reach those villages. As a matter of fact the towns are worthier if one company has the monopoly, so everyone tries to prevent other players to reach the towns.

At the beginning the board of the game is constructed randomly with hex-tiles containing one of three different terrain types. Then the towns and villages are placed randomly on indicated hexes. After this the game can begin. Every player chooses his starting point from which he expands his network. Every turn he tries to reach a new town. This is done by placing roads between the towns. Every hex takes some time to travel depending on the terrain and in one turn each player has only limited resources to travel (some resources can be stored for the next turn to reach settlement far away). Roads can only be placed on vacant hexes and because a road can only be used by one player there are possibilities to block other players to reach specific settlements.

The game ends if one player cannot reach another settlement. Then the players get victory points for the settlements they reached. If one player has the monopoly he gets all points. If two or more player reached one settlement, they get less points. There are four different types of settlements: cities, towns, villages and hamlets. The smaller settlements can even become worthless if too many player reached it. This of course can also be a tactic for the player in lead to weaken his opponents during the game.

La Strada is a typical filler game. With 4 players it seldom takes you longer than half an hour. And because the rules are so simple, it can be explained in less than 5 minutes. Nevertheless, if you are playing with the right people, it can result in an interesting, not very strategic but tactical game. But you never should try the two player variant. The rules are changed, so that only one player may reach a town (wich is logical, because otherwise both player would get the same winning points). And this makes the game very much less attractive, if not boring. So I reccomend not to try this.

Apart from that if you like connection games or if you are looking for a short game to play after your second Talisman in the evening, you may risk a look on La Strada.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany