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Nunatak

We picked up a copy of Nunatak from Kosmos at this year's UK Games Expo and it's already become a firm favourite. The 2-4 players are collectively building a Temple of Ice but this is in no sense a cooperative game: tho' you can make use of other players' ice blocks on the modular board, you're placing blocks for the competitive scoring opportunities. And tho' the Temple is the game's most striking feature and gives it an immediate table presence, much of your scoring will be from the cards you collect during the course of the game.



Gameplay is straightforward enough for Nunatak to be treated as a 'gateway' game for introducing to those coming new to modern board games. On your turn you simply draft a building card from those in the market display. You add the card to your individual tableau, stacking those with similar icons, and you place one of your ice blocks on a tile in the Temple that has the same icon as the card you took. If you took a Builder card then before placing your ice block you can swap the position of a Builder icon tile in the Temple with any other tile that doesn't yet have any blocks on it. If your card represents an Elder, you can take a 'Blessing' card. Some of these have an immediate effect or a single-use effect on a future turn, others can boost your end-game set collection scoring.


As the Temple is built, there are opportunities to score points for completing a group of four blocks which can then accept another level. You'll usually only want to do this if you already have one block in the square of four that you'll complete because the completion of a square gives 5 points to the player with the most blocks in the square. Ties are broken in favour of the player completing the square tho', so if you already have one block in the square and another player has two, you'll gain the majority bonus if you use your turn to place a second block. Additionally, there are scoring bonuses available for completing rows and columns in the Temple. These advance you on an Architects track which becomes a end-game multiplier for all the Architect cards you collect during the course of the game.



Kane Klenko's design seamlessly melds the abstract area control strategy game that is the Ice Temple with a satisfying set collection card game. Get the synergy right between those two elements and you can rack up an impressive score!


If you play with two players you need to incorporate a dummy player. There are other modifications to be made if you play with four. That's not to say that there's anything wrong with Nunatak as a two- or four-player game, just that three players would seem to be the sweet spot. With art from Kwanchai Moriya, Kosmos have done a great job with the production of Nunatak, from the game's stackable tiles and plastic blocks to the attractive cards. Don't wait for the grip of icy winter before you check this one out.


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Jul 10

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Achieving a harmonious combination of those two aspects will allow you to achieve a remarkable score run 3

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