Recap: Returning to Navegador | Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Recap: Returning to Navegador


I can’t believe its been almost three years since I played Navegador. I checked my logs and it turns out I last played in January of 2014! Somehow, it was chosen to come off the shelf this week and man did I enjoy it. Rondel games are always special and I was reminded why I liked Navegador so much.

Navegador. With only three people around the table, I decided to push hard on a worker/cathedral strategy. In my experience, that tends to be less chosen by other players simply because cathedrals are more expensive. I rushed forward and got the first sugar colony. My hope was that the other two players would rush for gold. Unfortunately, the lure of cheap sugar was too much and one opponent also went sugar. That left one player as the gold baron.

And man, did he exploit it. He sold gold after gold and was making all kinds of money. In fact, he was routinely making over 300 and by game end, after he supplemented with spices, he was making 500 or more each market action. Crazy!

It actually introduces a different dynamic into the game. Rather than fall into previously used strategies, he used his money to simply brute force his way down the board. Sure ships or workers might cost 100 or 200 more. He just bought them. Buildings would get expensive and he’d just buy those as well. The power of his economy simply gave him a leg up on the rest of us.

But, I tried to strike back. He eventually began accumulating shipyards. So I started stealing shipyard privileges. I didn’t need him getting any extra points from them. I was also left more or less to myself on the workers and cathedrals. So even though it took me two market actions to afford a new structure, I was able to make progress there – getting 7 total by game end. I also started buying markets since they were 3 points each for me.

Game end was a nail-biter as we kept scoring. Different players would jump into the lead after each score. And then finally, the resolution was had – a tie at 121! Luckily, I had the Navegador tile which breaks ties. But what a phenomenal game. The player-driven market really worked for one opponent, and showed what is possible when money is around to brute force a strategy.

Also Played. Istanbul.

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