It's Ancient Greek for sea they tell me, or more to the point the Spanish designer of a board game - called Thalatta - tells me. Somehow, he struck gold in choosing me to help with the English rules translation of his latest design! I know, unbelievable.
Anyway, in the week he sent through the files and I printed off a very pretty map, a bunch of cards and dug out some spare tokens. Friday was my first run through; how can I write the rules up if I haven't played the game? I played the maximum four players and it took me quite some time as I got to grips with the rules and tried to play as fairly as possible for each colour. Thankfully, the game is good, it is interesting, very interesting and the more I got into the game the deeper it became.
At first, it's a set collection exercise to get enough ships to build routes around the Med. There are 'demand cards' which will provide income and thus victory points. The strategic bits are around the time element of the game. It takes ships some time to travel and so they need to 'collect' this as well. And you can't possibly build complete routes that often so you have to interact with the other players to claim trades. It's been well thought through. Yesterday, I played it again as a three player game and once more it worked really well. Today was the two player run through and whilst I preferred it with three or four it certainly handles two fine.
The emails that Jose and I have been trading have been very open and that's made the whole process so easy. I will read up some rule sets I think are well written this evening and then start my work in earnest tomorrow. Great to be involved in this.