Villages of Valeria is a fast, fun action-selection tableau building game which released last year to praise for it’s solid mechanics and family-friendly depth. Nobody would fault you for confusing this game with Valeria: Card Kingdoms, given they inhabit the same fantasy universe, but they are totally different, easy-to-learn and solid titles in their own rights. Villages of Valeria uses the leader/follower action mechanism made popular by games such as Puerto Rico, San Juan, and Race for the Galaxy, yet it did a good job of filling a niche as a gateway game to those giants. Now it’s first expansion, Landmarks, is up for funding on Kickstarter and it seeks to twist that mechanism enough to make the game stand-out from the crowd. As described on the campaign page:
“With Landmarks, if you cannot or choose not to follow the lead action, you can build a landmark as your follow action. Landmark tokens do not count as Buildings, but at the end of the game, the player with the most of each type of Landmark will earn victory points! Increase your Landmark holdings, leverage the new Buildings, attract the new Adventurers, and show your rivals what a proper village looks like!”
Now instead of being seated with the decision of taking a worse action by following another player’s lead or doing nothing, you can discard cards for points! Huzzah! The landmarks, along with the new buildings and adventurers which interact with them, will broaden strategies and make choices crunchier, much to players delight. In addition to the expansion, the Kickstarter also allows for newcomers to buy the base game and a nice new box to put everything in. If you’re interested in learning more about Villages of Valeria and it’s first expansion, check out their Kickstarter page for in-depth descriptions, video reviews, and updates.