Noah, Sophie, and I played a quick game of Medina tonight. This was out first playing of this out of print title and we all liked it. It’s often described as a great game of “chicken” and I can see why.
All players start with the same number of big chunky wooden palace pieces in orange, brown, black, and gray. Players also have four “domes” in one color (red, blue, green, and yellow), some “meeplish” inhabitants, some stockades, and some wall pieces. Play progresses with each player playing two of their wooden pieces from behind their screen. As pieces are placed, players try to guess when it’s most advantageous to grab a growing palace for their own (by placing one of their colored domes on it) before someone else does. If you grab too quickly the palace is not worth as much. But if you wait too long, another player may grab it before you.
With limited space on the board, the palaces grow with the stockades, the touching wall segments, and the roaming inhabitants increasing the value of the palace for its owner. Players also vie for point chits granted to the largest palace in each color and the last new connection made to one of the four walls that emerge from the corner towers. After all bits have been played, players tally their scores and the player with the most points wins.
We initially planned only to play a few rounds to get a feel for the game but before we knew it, it was over and we all ended up just a few points apart. If you can get your hands on a copy, don’t wait and lose your chance. Jump on it.