For this next installment of El Capitan preview, I have some spreads from the rules, an expansion board (included in the game) and some token boards.
One of the interesting parts to this game are the 3 “expansion cities.” One can choose to play with 1-3 of these boards, each of which has its own special set of rules. Pictured here is “Porto.” Notice Porto has 3 ports and only one fortress, making it easier to dock here – but harder to get a fortress. Also, note the rewards are higher than other cities. The downside has to do with the shutting down of warehouses – indicated by the dark square spaces. When a player places their warehouse on one of these spaces, the first warehouse in the chain of squares is eliminated from the game. Normal cities simply place such warehouse in the center of the board awaiting repairs. Another special rule unique to all of the expansion cities relates to majority scoring. ALL players who have placed at least one warehouse in the city will now get second majority during scoring (which is 1/2 of 1st majority). The first majority player, will however get the first majority payout – as in normal rules.
Pictured here is the cover and one spread from the rules. In this case, I chose to set up each spread with a background of ocean which adds a nice thematic texture to each page.
Here you can see one of the 4 token sheets enclosed. I like giving more context to my token sheets when possible. To me, they are like sheets of stamps. Postal services around the world now take the extra step with their sheets to add information and interest to them for collectors to admire. I find, with little effort, the overall presentation is much enhanced by the addition of such detailing. Even though discarded in the end, the punchboards serve an important first impression when one opens a game. A well designed and themed punchboard can add excitement and an emotional reward for those who buy the game or collectors who choose not to punch their boards.
For those looking to purchase this game at Essen, I've been told by the publisher that this game as well as all the other 3 MasterPrint titles Leonardo da Vinci, Yspahan and Demetra (Richard Breese's new title, Key Harvest) – can be preordered through QWG Games. Below you can see images of each of these titles.