The Long View: El Grande with Mark Bigney

The Long View: El Grande with Mark Bigney

El Grande. The Great One. How many games have lasted more than 20 years under the scrutinous eye of tabletop aficionados? None can truly be worthy of uttering its name, but for this episode we have invited back he who is admittedly "so very wrong about games", Mark Bigney. Mark's self-aware inadequacy in approaching such a colossal subject is certain to have you laughing and cringing in similar proportions. Jump into the Castillo and keep your hands off the king's territory in the queen mother of Area Control: El Grande.

Trying something different this time. Here's a list of commonly held beliefs for you to systematically disprove. I'm calling on my inner contrarian here as I do quite like The Large myself.

1. It's outdated; I recognize and appreciate it as a step in the evolution of modern tabletop, but it pales in comparison to recent releases.

2. The Castillo looks pretty, but it's just a gimmick that adds nothing to the gameplay. 

3. The way turn order is determined is clunky and confusing. Why can't it just go clockwise? 

4. Card effects are balanced by the amount of pieces they allow you to place on the board.

5. Some of the action cards have hugely impactful effects. In other words, broken. Like ones that affect all of a players' available cubes regardless of quantity.

6. Going early in turn order when you choose your effect is pointless because of how much the players that go later can undo your entire turn.

7. It overstays its welcome. Pure area control over an hour begins to buckle.

8. The hidden bidding part of the game frequently results in 2 players colliding in what they believed would be a safe, less sought after area to control while another player gets the best spot uncontested. 

9. Swingy King. Not being able to place in the king's area is too restrictive. 

10. The expansion (Grand Inquisitor) fixes the base game.

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