I tried Eric Lang’s The Godfather this weekend. It… is totally a Lang game. So, the novel mechanism this time is a combination of area control and worker placement. The board is divided into “turfs.” Each turf has at least one “business” in it. Each business has two rewards, a “front door” reward which is usually greater, and a “back door reward.” Now, players will have 2 types of workers, thugs and family members. A thug you can place right on top of a business and get the front door reward. However, there are spots on the map between two or more turfs. This is where you can place family members and get ALL back door rewards from all adjacent turf businesses. When the round is over, a player with the most figures in a turf (and family members are in all adjacent turfs) gets a control marker there. Now, if any opposing thugs go to a business, you get the front door benefit as well… though you will probably loose control going into next round.
Mostly players are trying to get resources such as guns or liquor or dirty money to complete job cards. Completing a job typically gives a money reward and an ability reward. Those ability can be helpful to you, such as taking another action, or they can really mess with other opponents. The latter is why I don’t think I liked the game, or most Lang games I’ve played. Also, the free actions you can get from control gives the game a “leach” off of other players aspect to it, which I’ve not enjoyed in games like Concordia.
There is more going on. Money is VP, but only if you “bank it.” Banking it is an action you take on the board, or can be a reward for certain jobs. There is also an auction for “help” in between rounds using banked money. End of each round has a hand limit, etc. I don’t watch many movies, and the Godfather trilogy is in that long list of movies I haven’t seen so I can’t tell you how well it represents the theme. Honestly, it felt more Al Capone Chicago turf wars the New York Mafioso, but that is a subtle difference. I suppose if you liked Blood Rage, area control, and worker placement you will like this one.
Also played for the first time: Clank in Space. The guy teaching was a little slow on rules, but overall I think it learned enough from the first Clank to be the better game. It is a bit more complicated, with the needing to place to hack cubes on the board in two different modules, but this is ultimately better than the “be second most aggressive player” of the first game. Plus, the game is more openly a parody of famous science fiction properties. I don’t think anyone who disliked the original will be won over by this one, nor did I like it enough to buy it for myself, but a solid game I enjoyed.