La Granja: No Siesta! – The lighter, dicier cousin
When I initially saw La Granja: No Siesta! on Board Game Geek, I thought it looked interesting. I enjoy short, light games with hard decisions as much as I enjoy my longer, more involved Euro strategy games. Unfortunately, in this case, I was a little turned off it after watching Rahdo Run Through it. It didn’t appear there were that many decisions to make – too luck driven. So I put it on the back burner.
Then Sunday, a couple and I were looking for a short game we could get in before the Atlanta Game Fest Flea Market started and there was La Granja: No Siesta! So Jesse skimmed the rules and we were off!
No Siesta! plays in a series of rounds consisting of three Phases: Dice Phase, Scoring Phase, and End of Round.
In the Dice Phase, the start player – with the black pig token – rolls the dice. The number of dice you use is two times the number of players plus one. The Revenues on the dice include Harvest Goods (olives, wheat and grapes), Animals (pigs and donkeys), Silver and Hats. Players begin the game with 4 Revenue Discs, but during game play you may have fewer or more at your disposal. If you don’t have an available Revenue Disc, you can’t receive Revenue from a die.
After rolling the dice, the start player chooses a die and places it above the appropriate spot of his Revenue Board, marking the Revenue, if he wants to keep it, with one of his Revenue Discs. The next player clockwise, likewise takes a die and so on until everyone has a die. Then the start player re-rolls the remaining dice and everyone chooses a die again. Finally, the start player rolls the last die and everyone can take that revenue if desired and/or they still have a Revenue Disc available.
Next, in the Scoring Phase, all players choose where to record the Revenue they just acquired on their farm tally sheets. You can do this simultaneously, though in your first few games – or for more player interaction – you might want to take turns. There are six areas on your tally sheet where you can spend your Revenue. As you apply it, remove the corresponding disc from your Revenue Board. The six areas are:
- Barn Roof. It takes a silver to mark off each space. When you’ve marked off all of the spaces in a section, take a Roof tile and place it face up on that section. Each Roof tile provides a one-time use resource or an end-game victory point. When you use it, flip it face-down. Roof sections must be completed in order left to right.
Helper. Helper sections, just below the Roof, can be completed in any order. When you check off all the Revenue circles on a Helper space, you can hire a Helper of your choice at the end of the round. Each Helper provides a benefit you can use the rest of the game.
- Long-Distance Trade. In the upper right corner of your tally sheet are the Long-Distance Trade sections. You can fulfill them in any order. However, to complete a Long-Distance Trade, you must be able to provide three of the same goods – for example, 3 grapes – all at once. As a reward, you receive a Commodity, which is basically a wild that can be used as any resource, except a Hat. Mark the Commodity with an available disc. If you don’t have an available disc, you must use the Commodity immediately.
- Cart. You can work on all three carts, shown on the bottom right of your tally sheet, simultaneously and over several turns, but you must load the goods in each cart in the order specified.You can hitch up the donkey before, after or in between adding loads. Once the cart is full and a donkey or donkeys hitched to it, you can deliver the goods, placing one of your discs on a spot on the Market board. The spots on the Market board act as multipliers, providing bonus points during game-end scoring.
- Warehouse & Stable. Shown in the bottom left of your tally sheet, the Warehouse and Stable Revenue circles must be filled left to right. Each completed column is worth a victory point.
Siesta Track Board. This is where you get more discs. Each Hat, advances you one space on the Siesta Track. Whenever you reach a plus (+) space, you receive an additional disc.
During the final phase, End of Round, players hire their Helpers and write off all Revenue they didn’t use – except you’re allowed to keep one Commodity. Pass the Start Player token clockwise and play another round. The game ends when a player reaches the last spot on the Siesta Track.
There are a lot of points to be had from Carts in La Granja: No Siesta! I didn’t pay as much attention to Carts in my first game, instead I concentrated on my Barn Roof, Warehouse and Stables – and a few Helpers. Jesse, who concentrated on Carts and got all the first completion bonuses, took the game.
You see, the first player to complete a particular Cart, circles and scores the larger bonus. Any players who complete that Cart afterwards, score the smaller value. All of the Roof sections and Long-Distance Trades are worth Victory Points as are the right-most Helpers. Each completed Warehouse and Stable column is worth a point, too.
I really like La Granja: No Siesta and look forward to playing it again. It has some of the same feel as its parent board game La Granja, but takes only 30 minutes to play.
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