Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Game Profile: Carpe Diem

Publisher:  Ravensburger, 2018

Players:  2 – 4

Time:  45 – 75 Min.

Carpe Diem is a game about building the best district in ancient Rome.  Players will use their patrician to move across the main game board to acquire the building tiles to construct their district.  Each player will have their own district player board to fill.

The mechanics of the game are straight forward. There are three rounds.  On a turn, each player in turn order will move their patrician along one or two lines to a different location on the main board and collect one building tile from that new location.  They will place the selected tile on their district board adjacent to an already existing building.  The starting spot is printed on each district board.  Along the way, they will displace banderole chits on their boards which moves them up on a central banderole track that influences both turn order during the round, and points at end game scoring.  Players districts can be constructed with villas, four types of landscapes, four types of dwellings, plus markets, bakeries, and fountains.  Each of these different types, when completed, will give a player specific resource(s) or an immediate use ability.  Villas are an exception; in that they score points at the end of the game.  The round continues until all tiles have been taken from the main board.

The genius in Carpe Diem is the way points are scored.  Villas score based on their completed size.  The banderole track is scored based on how far a player has progressed.  There are frame achievements set up randomly during the game set up phase.  Each player’s district board will have a locking frame on each of the four sides.  Each frame piece has two achievements with their VP value indicated on it.  In order to score these achievements, a player must build the prescribed building straddling the row or column where the achievement lies.  Fountain cards gained when placing a fountain tile provide additional scoring opportunities.

 Separate from game end scoring, there are three mid game scoring phases that take place at the end of each round.  Scoring cards are randomly selected from four different decks and randomly placed on the main board in a grid.  In player order, based on position on the banderole track, each player must place one of their scoring discs between two of these round scoring cards.  Each card has different requirements, i.e. completed buildings or resources to pay.  The player will score both cards.  The disc will remain there for the remainder of the game and that spot cannot score again.  For each card where a player cannot meet its requirements, they will receive negative 4 points.  It is not uncommon to receive negative points, especially in the first mid-scoring after Round 1.

Carpe Diem is a true point salad kind of game.  There are multiple ways to score points and multiple ways to win.  It plays well with 2, 3. And 4 players.

Carpe Diem

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Located at 30 NW 2nd Street in Historic Downtown Gresham. We have a full range of family games, strategy games, Euro-style games, war games, card games, dice games and more. Also for the puzzle enthusiasts we carry quality jigsaw puzzles from Ravensburger, Cobble Hill, Pomegranate, New York Puzzle Company, White Mountain, and Dowdle.

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