Updated: Oct 27, 2020
It looks like there’s a lot going on in this tile-laying resource collection game designed by Johann Favazzo, published by Blam! and distributed by Blackrock. It’s a game that takes from two to four players and which you can expect to last around 75 minutes.
A nemeton is a sacred Celtic site, typically a grove or druid shrine. And in Nemeton, players are druids laying out tiles to extend the forest, grow medicinal plants and harvest them to create potions and to summon and deploy animal spirits. On a player’s turn, they lay out a tile that, in the first instance, represents the moonlight over the forest. Its beams promote plants to bloom on all tiles that extend in a straight line from the moon tile and on all tiles en route to them. This means there’s growing strategy over optimising tile placement so that you can move your druid meeple to collect the resources you need. Certain locations (trees, spring or nemeta) are used to take specific actions and, once earned, animal spirits can each be called on once per game to take a special action that departs from the ordinary rules of play.
Nemeton isn’t a difficult game (at Board’s Eye View we’d classify it as a light euro) but the variety of ‘moving pieces’ and the different ways of utilising resources to score points and to vary actions can make it seem initially daunting for new players. It’s worth persevering though because, once learnt, Nemeton is captivating strategy game. There is competition between players for resources and for points-scoring potion cards, and there are circumstances where you can take resources from other players, but, in the main, Nemeton is a game where you will mostly be focused on maximising your own achievements rather than stealing from or sabotaging others.
The game is attractively produced, although be warned that there are fewer druid marker counters than the rules specify as needed for each player. That isn’t a problem because you don’t actually need as many as specified in the rules. We opened the box and spent time worrying that we might be missing a punchboard so you don’t need to. You are never going to need the 20 markers each that are mentioned in the rules, so there’s really no need to worry that you a missing a few tokens.