Game Night:  Everdell

Last September we posted a Game Review of Everdell.  It is a highly rated game on Board Game Geek and one that comes off of the shelf every now and then.  It was an easy pic for our last game night.

We wanted a quick game to play before dinner and chose Everdell with one hour remaining, which was not quite enough, but it was a fun match.

Game Night: Everdell; Cute Forest Critters Build Great Cities!

Why did we choose Everdell?

We wanted to pick a game that we knew well, wasn’t too complicated, and was different and fun every time.  Everdell is a city-building game and most of the time you are focused on your own city, so it’s a game where you can play without worrying too much about the other person’s strategy.

Since we only had an hour and knew how to play Everdell, we thought we could set it up (five minutes) and play a match in the time before dinner.  When you have someone who is constantly planning for the next three moves and doesn’t realize it’s already his turn, the game runs a bit longer!  

I requested a dinner delay of 30 minutes and that was just enough to finish the game.

Cally’s Everdell city

How close was the match!

The match was close (only two points difference), which is not unusual in this game.  It is really well-balanced and there are so many variables that it is really hard to predict your total points without keeping notes.

Most of our games have been within a handful of points between players.  Sometimes it looks like you are going to have a hopeless city, but then you notice you have a construction with a good multiplier and gain 10 points on one card!

Jon’s Everdell city

What was the winning strategy!

The winning strategy was to focus on your own city!  I lost to Cally and that was after snatching the Evertree right from under her nose.  She was gathering resources for the huge purchase and just when she had enough, I bought it from the Meadow!  That allowed me to play my King for free without having to build the Castle.  

My next spoiler move was to summon the Fool with my Fairgrounds and place that -2 space-taker in Cally’s City (team hedgehog).  Meanwhile, I was trying to complete a special event and just could not find the Chip Sweep to join team fieldmouse.  The reason was that the hedgehogs had discarded one and the rest were buried in the draw pile, deep deep down!

I put together a good strategy of removing my zero value constructions and critters and replacing them, and even got value for most of my remaining resources.

The hedgehogs were able to place a token on both the 4 and 5 victory point locations for discarding cards.  (In almost every game we’ve played, whoever places the 5VP token wins.)  She was able to complete two regular events and two special events (I only got one regular event).  Finally, the hedgehogs got ten points for the School due to the city being full of common critters.

Cally’s strategy of maximizing points on some cards and ignoring a few zeros, worked well.  She also got a lot of points for focusing on events.  The last component of her winning strategy was Luck!!

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  1. Have you played Everdell?
  2. What other top-rated games do you recommend?

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