Highland Clans

Highland Clans photo
Sorry for the horrible photo quality.

Yesterday we played four-player “Highland Clans”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/16500/mac-robber (aka Mac Robber). This game has not had a lot of attention and deservedly so. It is a small-scale cube-fest. Although designed for 45 minutes, we played for much longer. Mostly this was because we struggled with the rules, which were clearly translated by a non-native English speaker and never blind-tested with English-speaking players. A big publisher like Queen should know better.

If you ever play this, definitely use “Innovan’s”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Innovan three player aids ( “1”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/695562, “2”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/695450, “3”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/695449 ) in the BGG image gallery, as Highland Clans is pretty much unplayable without his clarifications.

The gameplay itself has a nice confrontational element as every turn you have a free chance to raid an opponent. Ironically these constant attacks make the game feel quite friendly as they do not have much negative effect and they are a good catch-the-leader mechanic that can backfire. The rest is quite abstract and unintuitive. Scottish clan warfare deserves a game with the flavour of Pirates Cove. At least it is lighter and faster than most current eurogame cube-fests.

Our friends enjoyed it as they bought it as a birthday present and enjoyed the Scottish theme. I am a bit more fussy and just can’t recommend a game with such poorly translated rules.