Author: Klaus Teuber

Publisher: Kosmos 1997
for Glen Grant Destillery

Awards: none



Introduced to the german games market late 1997, this game is the same as Klaus Teuberīs "Settlers of Catan", but the game is settled in a different area.

Now the game isnīt about the fictional island of Catan, but it centered around a small valley in the Scottish Highlands. Every Scotsman knows what comes from the Highlands: At the one hand the Highlanders, but on the other hand their national drink Whiskey (= Water of Life = Wasser des Lebens (!)). So the players donīt have to build towns and cities in that game, but destilleries and large destilleries instead. In the valley are 5 different resources which are needed for a good Whiskey: Wood, Stones, Barley, Peat and Clear Spring Water. These resources need to be collected by the players in a sufficient sum in order to build destilleries and expand their Whiskey-Empires.

For collecting resources, destilleries are needed. So each player may place two destilleries and two roads on the map at the beginning of the game. These destilleries will be adjacent to 3 resources at most, and each of the resources in the valley bears on it a number between "2" and "12" (with the exception of "7"). During his turn, a player rolls two dice. The total of both dice is calculated and all players having a destillery next to the resource bearing that number may collect one item of this resource. If a "7" is rolled, all players having "hoarded" more than 7 resource-cards must drop half of these, and the player whose turn it is may move a special figure on the board, the English Oppression-Force. These figure may be placed at one resource at the choice of the player, allowing the player to steal a resource at random from a player who has a destillery adjacent to this resource. In addition, the resource is blocked and no resources can be collected from it until the force is moved away. So the game goes on and the players collect resources, which they may trade with each other should they come to terms.

Most importantly, a player may use the resources on his hand to build a new destillery or a road, to upgrade a destillery to a large destillery, or to invest into a progress-card. Roads are needed to build a street from an existing destillery to a place where a new destillery should be built, and a large destillery allows the owning player to collect 2 resources if the number of an adjacent resource is rolled. The progress cards offer different benefits for the players:

  • "Roadbuilding" allows the player to places two roads without paying for them.
  • "Monopoly" allows the player once to put a resource of his choice under his monopoly, giving him the right to collect each and every of these resources from all the other players.
  • A "Technical Progress Card" gives an additional Victory-Point.
  • "Highlanders", which allow the player to take the Oppressive-Force and put it anywhere he likes.

The game ends when a player has gained 10 Victory Points. For calculating a players score,

  • each destillery counts as 1 Victory Point,
  • each large destillery counts as 2 Vicory Points,
  • the player having the longest road (at least 5 pieces long) gets 2 additional Vicory Points, and
  • the player having most Highlanders (at least 3) gets 2 additional Victory Points for having the "Largest Clan".

Players knowing "Settlers of Catan" will have noticed during the review that there seem to be no differences to the normal settlers-edition. This observance is virtually right, since only a renaming of some playing pieces has taken place and the game just is presented with a new design. But I think that the new design is the big plus of the game. The map looks much more realistic than the normal map from the Kosmos-Settlers-edition, and the game seems to have a much better background story. Even the "box" of the game is quite a novelty: So the game comes in an original metal Glen Grant Whiskey tube, which also contains a small sample of Glen Grant Whiskey.

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany