Board Games

Non-Bookish Sunday Post: Lost Ruins of Arnak

I decided to do something different today because I have been obsessed with board games for the past couple of years and with a few more recently, now that weather has gotten colder, and my husband and I are spending more time playing competitively against each other. Anyone who is a solo board gamer who is always waiting for a friend or family member to participate, you will know what this shift means!
I am tying this up with my reading blogging by indicating how important it is to read the rulebook! This is no joke. With the game I am discussing now, we have played more than twice every sitting the past three weekends. Each time, however, I wake up the next day knowing I got a rule wrong because I did not pay enough attention when reading.
I attended my first Board Game exhibition here in The Netherlands in November. It was brilliant. The enthusiasm and the range of ages in the crowd and how excitedly people were leaving, weighed down by games, was extremely new to me. Any non-digital activity which can facilitate group activity is something I champion. I have spent the past few years telling anyone who would listen (or whom I can hold on to till they listen) the benefits of thinking during the more complex or strategy-based games (non-monopoly). Cooperative is even better. I even tried to set up a type of teaching session for anyone interested to expose people to the wide variety available. That did not take off the way I thought it would, but there’s always hope.
I entered this world quite late, and in countries like India, it is still too expensive to indulge, unlike other countries. When people visit kids in India, I recommend taking a board game or two instead of chocolates the next time. I know I will.
I will delve further into how I got sucked into this in later posts. I am currently thinking the first Sunday of a month, but I am torn between every Sunday because I have enough to fill those posts, as my rambling now will attest. Please take the poll and let me know!

The Disappeared Ruins of Arnak

I have the dutch version (luckily for me, there is only one section with a lot of writing, for which I use translate), which I bought at the aforementioned game fair. I will not go into publisher details etc., things that can be found online at any rate (I might change this in the future).

Recommended age is 12+, but for any child who has been inculcated into the board gaming world early, I think slightly younger would do too. Many strands of thought have to be simultaneously focused upon, and this might be harder for a very young child unused to the concept to continue to do.

It is a 1-4 player game, and I must mention I have not tried the single-player mode, which involves a whole other set of cards and even a digital app adventure that I am not as keen on. It takes approximately half an hour per player, as the board mentions.

I do not want to go into the step-by-step play here because that will turn this already long post even longer. I will just mention the highlights and why we enjoy it so much. Maybe next time (if there’s one), I will try a better format.

There are three aspects to the game:

Deck-Building: You purchase cards that either give you immediate actions/bonuses or the ability to do so in the future. This is complicated by the fact that you always start with five random cards in the deck, which could even be the first almost powerless hand. Unless you strategize really well and grow during the round, there is not much you can do about it.

Worker Placement: You only have two people to place. Their placement can change only thanks to some special cards, but otherwise, you require resources to send them to a location to maybe acquire better resources. There are two other pieces, a magnifying glass that always precedes a notebook as they progress on a research track that helps you gain a few bonuses and points for the ending.

Resource Allocation This is cyclical. There are many ways you can acquire and deploy resources. There is a constant need to ensure that you can keep playing and moving because of a special factor. 

The special point in this game is unlimited moves. It was not very clear from the English rulebook I downloaded, but I finally understood that each round included multiple turns by each player. You keep going round and round until neither can make a move. And this entire sequence happens five times.

We have never played anything in this frequency but still found every game oh-so-different. The moving pieces are many, but the theme is impeccable. From the logic of travelling to an unknown location costing time (a currency available along with gold) to the idea of further research increasing fear (an actual card that gives you negative points). For example, on travelling to a new location, you get some resources/riches but you awaken a guardian. If in that round (not turn)you do not overcome it, you leave that round with an additional fear card. An artefact card is activated as soon as you pick it up. After that, it becomes dormant in your deck, and if you ever want to play it, you pay a tablet which is synonymous to read a text that awakens the artefact!

The rule book outlines further logical reasons for allowing certain things and for not allowing others. The experience is thrilling each time.

The entire game is five rounds, and as previously mentioned, multiple turns within each round. After every game, both of us can identify the loopholes and want to better it the next time around.

This game was not on my radar when I went to buy something, but I am so glad we made the plunge! Surprisingly enough, I just found out there’s an expansion too.

Game setup for two player mode

2 thoughts on “Non-Bookish Sunday Post: Lost Ruins of Arnak”

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