In the past couples weeks, I headed out to the local game center and played my first 2 games of Charterstone. Don’t worry, I won’t be spoiling any aspects of the game. I had a rough idea of what I was in for since I had played Pandemic Legacy Season 1.
The first thing to jump out at me with Charterstone was not understanding how to play and how to win. Out of the 5 of us, only the game owner had done any reading on how Charterstone played. The game advertised that it would teach you the rules as you play. That is exactly what we did; we worked our way through the setup steps and then looked at each other with a “now what??” look. This was in stark contract to my Pandemic Legacy Season 1 experience. With Pandemic Legacy Season 1, the group knew how to play Pandemic so we all knew the basics and the objective of the game. With Charterstone, I knew what actions I could take on the board, but I wasn’t quite sure why I would take 1 action over another. This persisted through the second game we played. I didn’t look through the rules at all so I’m relied solely on one individual to ensure that we are playing correct. The day after playing I did get an email highlighting a rule that we played wrong. The rule that we misplayed impacted all of us the same but made things harder than they needed to be. Before our next game night, I’ll check out the Watch It Played to get a good understanding of the basic rules.
The second thing that noticed was how quickly turns went. There were multiple times during the games where we lost track of who’s turn it was. Nothing like blank stares around the table when some says “Who are we waiting for?” We instituted the practice of “your turn” once you finished your turn. I attribute losing track of turns was due to the minimal actions spots available in the early games. Once we got that out of the way we sped through the rest of the games we played.
We ended up playing the first two games in approximately 3 hours. The second game we played really clipped along. Everyone at the table had a good understanding of how to collect the resources and then convert them to victory points through action spots. The games were overall fun, but definitely felt light a light euro at this point. The decisions felt very basic and straight forward during these first two games. I can only assume that as we start to experience more of the legacy portion of the game that the complexity will increase.
As of right now, I’m not running back to play the next game, but I am interested in seeing how it will develop.