Cascadia Board Game Overview

The Cascadia board game takes place in the Pacific Northwest where your goal is to create habitats and populate them with creatures in a way that supports their existing habits. You’ll start the game with a foundational tile. On your turn, you’ll choose from a pair that includes a new habitat tile that you can place onto your board and a wildlife token that you can place on a space that accommodates that type of wildlife.

When you choose your habitat tile, most will have one or a combination of the following terrain types: plains, grasslands, forests, rivers, and mountains. The challenge will be in figuring out how to place them because you can rotate them to suit your board. Generally, the tile will be placed adjacent to existing terrain of the same type because you’ll get more points if you can connect longer stretches of terrain.

Then, there are the wildlife tokens. The wildlife you’ll encounter during the game are elk, foxes, salmon, bears, and hawks. And each one has different behavioral preferences that determine how they score points for you. Most will require that the groupings be done a certain way. Others will require special considerations like being apart, but within a defined line of sight.

Core Mechanics: Tile placement, Tile drafting

Victory Condition: The player who has the most points at the end of the game wins. These points will be scored from how the animals and the terrain types are grouped together.

How Cascadia tile placement might look.

Ease of learning: If you’re familiar with tile placement games like Carcassonne, Cascadia’s mechanisms should be easy to pick up. The turn structure itself is pretty easy: you pick up a pairing of tiles and animal tokens and figure out where to place them.

But the placing can prove to be a bit more challenging. The terrain placement is easy enough to explain if you compare it to something like dominoes. But animal scoring can be a bit of a… beast? The problem is how some animal scoring cards don’t do a good job explaining how that animal is scored. In the instances where it’s confusing, you’ll need to dig into the rulebook to figure out from their examples. That information should really be spelled out on the card itself.

But aside from that, Cascadia is a pretty quick teach. I don’t anticipate the learning how to play to be too onerous. The part takes the longest is the analysis to figure out which tile/animal pair is the most optimal one to pick up.

Purchase from: Amazon

Cascadia Board Game Strategy Guide

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