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Joan of Arc

Reiner Stockhausen's Orléans (dlp games) first appeared in 2014. It's a 'bag building' game where players put worker tiles into a bag and take actions based on the tiles they draw from the bag, and it's since become a modern classic. There have been several expansions over the years and even a storytelling campaign game. Joan of Arc, designed by Reiner Stockhausen and Ryan Hendrickson, distils the original game into a streamlined 'draw & write' version.

You're still drawing worker tiles from a bag but the 2-5 players in the competitive game are racing to be the first to complete and tick off various of the actions on their individual sheets ahead of other players. Joan of Arc has the same feel as its parent game, and it certainly has the same look - both because Klemens Franz returns as the artist and because the individual player sheets are very similar to the individual player boards in Orléans. One gripe tho' is that the sheets are slightly less colourful and that can make it difficult in less than perfect light to distinguish the tiny representations of the tokens. The game comes with five pencils for use in marking off your sheets but the marks left by them can also be difficult to see under some light. We'd recommend substituting pens, or, even better, laminating some sheets and using those with dry-wipe pens - that way you'll have an inexhaustible supply of player boards.

There's a lot going on in Joan of Arc so the sheets look busy but the game isn't complicated to play. There are many lighter 'roll & write' games but Joan of Arc isn't as heavy as, for example, Hadrian's Wall (Garphill Games). Where Joan of Arc stands out from the majority of 'roll & write' style games is in the level of interaction. Often 'roll & write' games are 'multiplayer solitaire' game where everyone is doing their own thing on their own sheet without regard for the actions taken by other players. That's definitely not the case with Joan of Arc. In this game you need to keep a close eye on what your rivals are doing because options are closed off as soon one player reaches a milestone.

Having said that the multiplayer game is highly interactive, Joan of Arc also incorporates a solitaire option. This is played on the flip side of the sheet, so using a modified board, and cards that function as an AI opponent.

If you're among Orléans legion of fans, you'll need little encouragement to pick up a copy of Joan of Arc, not least because it's a great way of getting your Orléans fix in a very manageable 30-40 minute timeframe. The one thing we found ourselves yearning for was the Event deck that shakes up play in the original game. It'd be great to have this in a future expansion pack, tho' we wouldn't want to go to the stake demanding it :-)

#JoanofArc #Orleans #drawandwrite #dlpgames #rollandwrite #solo #solitaire

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