The first event we signed up for at Origins was a mistake! I was actually looking to play Madeira, a heavy Euro style game that is hard to get. Instead I accidentally signed us up for an abstract city building game, Medina by Stronghold Games. I am not saying I was disappointed, just surprised.
In Medina, all the players play as architects and engineers to help rebuild the great city of Medina that has been decaying for decades. The person who gains the most points will be the most influential architect for the rebuilding metropolis.
Medina is very abstract. The rectangular board is a large checker pattern with walls on all four sides. The board starts with one merchant randomly placed and a single well, also placed randomly. All players get the same amount of pieces. There are purple, orange, gray and brown buildings, stalls, walls and each player gets 4 roofs of their color.
On your turn, all you do is place 2 objects. They can be of any order and type. You can place two buildings of the same color, one of two different colors, stalls, walls, or you can place your roof on one of the buildings. If there is already a building out of a certain color every one that wants to play that color building has to place it next to the already existing one, until someone claims it. As soon as someone places a roof on the building it can no longer have other buildings placed on it, and that is their building for scoring at the end of the game. You can only claim one building of each color. This is the meat and strategy of the entire game. Trying to press your luck to get a bigger building but then trying to claim a building making sure you get a good building. The other restriction for placing buildings is that you have to leave a space in between colored buildings so the merchants can travel through town. At the end of the game, you get one point for each part of your building that is next to a merchant. You also get one point for having your building next to a wall or stable.
When you first start playing Medina is seems like a light game with little interaction. As the game moves forward, that attitude quickly changes. There is a lot more strategy and player interaction as the game goes on. Tons of decisions are at every turn. The longer the game played the more my mind was working, trying to remember what colors each player had already played so I could try to get a larger building of a certain color. As with most games, after playing it once I would play it completely differently the next time. Medina is a solid strategy game that could be good for all different ages. I have a feeling it would be best played with more players but it is a good game. In the end, I had 42 points, Grant had 44 and the guy who won, David, scored 52. I like that I thought I was getting slaughtered the entire game but did pretty well at the end with scoring.
I would definitely like to play this again and would recommend others to try it also. One thing is for sure….when the game is over, it looks GREAT on the table!
Stay tuned because up next is ……. My Village by Stronghold Games!