Friday, September 16, 2011

The Road to Canterbury Arrives

To my house does The Road the Canterbury wend. As a lover of all things Chaucer and Middle English, I've been following Alf Seegert's The Road to Canterbury since I heard about it earlier this year. Alf was kind enough to have an advance copy of the game sent along, and it looks terrific. The art is derived from Hieronymous Bosch's famous Table Top of the Seven Deadly Sins and Last Four Things, as well as medieval illuminated manuscripts. Components are very well made and solid, although cards are a little small.

The gameplay, as my daughter remarked, is "EEEEEVIL." We did one full trial playthrough and enjoyed the mechanics, even though we made a rules mistake that we didn't catch till half-way through.

The game has you playing as The Pardoner, the cynical and corrupt churchman from The Canterbury Tales.  The Pardoner peddles forged indulgences and counterfeit relics in order to fleece the pilgrims. In this role, you draw a combination of Sin, Pardon, and Relic cards, which are played to various pilgrims from the tales. Sins are pardoned in sets, earning influence (known in the game as "corruption") as well as coin for the Pardoner. It's a pretty unique mechanic, and we need to run it through a few more test plays to see what we think, but first impressions are positive. As the daughter said at the end of the first test game, "It's still evil, but fun."


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