D A R J E E L I N G | I came into the hobby years ago as a result of discovering German-style games. The surprising discovery of boardgames that didn't involve answering stupid questions, tell stories, or destroy & kick your opponents out the game in order to win was quite a eureka moment for me. And I fell in love with the genre. There is just something attractively congenial about these "Euro" games with their barely adhesive but largely benign themes like building farms, establishing train routes, shipping spices and fulfilling fruit orders to locals with strangely specific diets . These cardboard exercises in meritocracy with their "victory point" systems meant winning by no measure of violence on other players, but by the merits of one's sheer ability to work the mechanics to one's advantage. Even if you lost, you don't feel like a loser. Nope, you created something, you fulfilled orders, you built an empire. You may have lost by 12 points but by golly, you left your mark on the wheat/train/spice industry and ensured locals receive their weekly fruit intakes!
DARJAEELING is one such game. Published in 2007, it is a tile-laying game from designer Günter Burkhart (Ulm, Seeland, Maori). Each player is a tea picker who is trying to deliver tea to score points. Tea that is in high demand scores bonus points. The “board” is formed by assembling numerous tiles, each depicting from 1 – 3 crate halves. Players will constantly be moving and picking up these tiles. The object is to collect complete crates of one type, and ship them at the optimum time. The first player to reach 100 points is the winner. It's not a deep game by any means, almost filler-like although looking at the huge box it came in, you might expect a bit more. But it is very easy to teach, and in my experience, works better at higher player counts. It features great components: this tea crate loading ramp here, wooden boats and cute tea-picker Meeples! The art is simple but beautiful. An oldie family weight Euro game that hits the sweet spot for me. Published by AbacusSpiele #darjeelinggame
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