A to Z 2015 : INCAN GOLD

This next entry is another fast, fun filler game that is accessible to people of all skill/experience levels. It's not a game about resource management, like Hornet, but of a genre I'm slowly becoming a bigger fan of. Press Your Luck. These games involve choices that result in great rewards or huge busts!

Let's take a moment to explore...

In Incan Gold you and your fellow players are adventures seeking out rumored treasure among ancient ruins. Within lay bountiful precious metals and ancient artifacts begging to be found. But beware, there are also perils awaiting those foolish enough to continue deeper into the ruins instead of turning back.

During setup, each player receives a tent and two cards (1 Torch card and 1 Camp card). Then the Temple is built, representing the ruins players are exploring. The treasure pool (gem tokens — Turquoise are 1 point/Obsidian are 5 Points/Gold are 10 points) are placed in a pile next to the Temple and the Artifact cards (5 total) are shuffled and placed face-down, randomly, under the Temple cards — one each. Once this is done the first round is ready to begin.

Incan Gold plays over the course of 5 rounds. These are kept track of by the numbered temple cards, which are flipped over at the beginning of each round. Doing so reveals the Artifact card that may be available in the ruins. It gets shuffled into the Quest deck.

NOTE: If an Artifact card is not revealed over the course of a round, it remains in the Quest deck and a new Artifact will be added at the beginning of the next!

The round begins by people voting if they want to stay and explore the Temple or head back to camp. Players secretly select the card representing their choice and place it face-down in front of them. The Torch card means they want to continue exploring, the Camp card means they want to head back with the treasure they've uncovered. Once everyone has made a choice the cards are revealed simultaneously.

NOTE: Voting is generally skipped in the first phase of the first round as there is no reason for players to leave.

Once voting ends, players that decided to head back to camp take their treasure and split (if possible) any treasures remaining on Quest/Treasure cards on the way out. Their gems collected are placed inside their tent and is protected for the rest of the game.

For those that remained in the Temple, a new Quest card is revealed and put in line with any previous cards (the Path).

If a Treasure card (blue border) is revealed, then that treasure is split evenly among them. If any gems couldn't be claimed, they are placed on the Quest/Treasure card for adventurers to potentially take when they head back to camp (For example: In a 4 player game, if a Treasure card valued at 7 was revealed, each player collects 1 Turquoise and 3 are placed on the Quest/Treasure card). Gems collected this way are placed next to a player's tent. Since they are still exploring, they risk losing it.

If an Artifact card (yellow border) is revealed, it is placed on the Path with a gem on it. The first three Artifacts have an Obsidian gem placed on them, while the fourth and fifth have a Gold gem placed on them. These stay on the Path until either a solo adventurer leaves (if two or more leave at the same time, the Artifact isn't taken) or everyone flees the Temple, in which case it's removed and lost for the rest of the game.

If a Hazard card (red border) is revealed, and it's the first of it's type, then it merely represents the foreshadowing of the danger lurking ahead. If it's the second of a certain type, however, then the adventures flee the ruins, leaving behind all their unprotected treasure! This ends the round. Any Artifacts left on the Path are discarded from the game. The rest of the cards (minus one of the paired Hazard cards, which is tucked under the round's Temple card) are shuffled back into the Quest deck.

Once the phase is complete, the remaining players vote again on whether to explore more or to head back to camp. The steps above are repeated until either all of the adventures have decided to go back to camp, or as mentioned above, if two cards of the same Hazard type are revealed.

When the first round ends, and players have collected (or lost) all their gems, a new round begins in the same fashion. Once the 5th round concludes, the player with the most value in gems wins! If there is a tie, the player among them with the most Artifacts win!

That's Incan Gold!

As I look at the above, it looks like (at least in written form) a lot to learn and/or remember, but once playing the game you see it's really not. It's very simplistic. This is another game that I've played with a wide variety of people and everyone has a great time. Definitely a Gateway game.

So what are you waiting for? Set up your tent and get to exploring!

Full Review Forthcoming

Have you ever played Incan Gold? If so, how did you like it? Are you a fan of the Press Your Luck mechanic? Would you introduce this to your gaming group?