The King has come upon Spain and any who find themselves beneath the King’s feet are afforded his protection at the expense of their ability to move around. But that will not last long, for the King will inevitably move once more, bound to other lands. And when he does so, your men, your loyal caballeros, can rise up and push forth to claim territory and glory in your name!
El Grande is a game for 2-5 players. At the start, your Grande and two caballeros will reside in a home territory with another 7 caballeros waiting in the wings to grab more land on your behalf. You will pick cards that will allow you to send them off where you please. In addition to the territory squares, you can also keep a group of caballeros in the mysterious Castillo where your caballeros will be hidden from prying eyes and can spring forth into the territory of your choice, catching your opponents off guard!
So while land grabbing can be intense, do not underestimate the power of political intrigue. Your opponents will craftily try to gain position on you by influencing not only the King, but your very own caballeros, pushing them into lands that will not benefit you in any meaningful way. On top of that, the other Grandes can enact executive orders, exiling your caballeros from certain lands, killing any sort of advantage that you would have on that area. And beware lest your authority decays. Once your caballeros leave the field of battle, it may be hard to bring them back in…
Core Mechanics: Area Control.
Victory Condition: Like most games in the Area Control genre, your goal in El Grande is to accumulate the most points. The way you get there is by having your caballeros present on the many Spanish provinces on the board. Note, however, that you do not need to have the most caballeros on any given territory to obtain points; many territories reward you with points if you’re in second or third place. On top of that, there are scoring cards that pop up during the course of the game, which can net you even more points.
Ease of learning: El Grande is a surprisingly easy game to learn that features a whole lot of depth. The basic steps involved consist of bidding for turn order, picking a card when it’s your turn and carrying the action described on the card out, and then, after every three rounds, score all of the territories and the Castillo. Maybe the hardest thing is explaining to them that some of the cards are misprints and that you’d need to flip to the manual to get the correct card text.
|Basic El Grande Strategy Guide|
|El Grande Review|
|El Grande Video Guide|