Review – Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King
An Auction, Tile Placement game.
Title: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King
Year Published: 2015
Designer: Andreas Pelikan, Alexander Pfister
Publisher: Mayfair Games
Game Time: ~30-50 mins
Set-up Time: ~2 min
Theme: Ancient Scotland
Mechanic: Auction, Set Collection, Tile Placement
How to win: Score the most points by building the best Kingdom.
Isle of Skye is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with soft sand beaches, gently sloping hills, and impressive mountains. The landscape of Isle of Skye is breathtaking and fascinates everyone.
Put the main player board in the middle of the table, it’s double sided for 2-4 players on one side and 5 players on the so pick the right side now. Put a random scoring tile on the 4 spaces A,B,C,D… Any tile can go in any space. Put the round marker on the first round space.
Each player takes a Screen, Starting Landscape tile with Castle, score token and discard marker.
Put the other landscape tiles in a bag and shuffle it and give the start player token to the youngest player.
So there are 6 phases in a round, 5 of which are done simultaneously.
1 – Income – You gain 5 Gold for your Castle and 1 per Barrel of Whiskey connected to the Castle via roads.
From round 3 onward, you also gain gold for each player ahead of you on the score track.
2 – Draw Prices, Set Prices – Draw 3 tiles and place them face up in front of your player screen. Assign the discard marker to 1 tile and assign at least 1 Gold to the remaining 2 tiles behind your screen.
Once done, players remove their screens
3 – Discard a Tile – Players put the discarded tiles back in the bag and shuffle it again.
4 – Buy a Tile – Starting with the start player and going clockwise, you may buy ONE tile from another player, or pass. You pay them the amount in Gold equal to the price they set for that tile. That player also takes back the Gold they used to set the price of that tile.
Then you keep the tiles you have remaining in front of your screen and pay the Gold you set for those tiles to the bank.
Any tiles a player buys are kept hidden until the next phase which ends once everyone has taken a turn buying or passing.
5 – Build – Place your tiles into your Clan Territory to expand your Kingdom. Tiles must share an edge with a tile already in your Kingdom, terrain must match but Roads do not need to continue.
If you cannot place a tile legally, it is returned to the bag and any money you spent on it is gone.
6 – End of Round and Scoring – At the end of each round you score depending on the scoring tile which also depends on the round…
There are 16 scoring tiles in the base game and you only play with 4 so make sure everyone understands them!
Pass the start player token clockwise and move the round marker.
After the 5th round the game ends and you score.
Some tiles have scrolls on them that may be worth points, score these now… If the area the scroll is in is a completed area, double the victory points.
You also get 1 victory point per 5 Gold you have
Whoever has the most points wins, with the tiebreaker being the player with the most Gold.
I always say I enjoy games that are simple to play, but will always reward the player that plays best. Two reasons…
1 – If you don’t win, you achieved something, you’ve built an Isle and scored some points…
2 – The best player SHOULD win…
The trick to this is valuing a tile… You know what will score in the game so you look at your tiles and work out a value. A low value tile can be discarded or offered out for a nominal amount…
But a useful tile… How useful is it? How much do you want it? How much do you have? Can you price people out of getting it? What if you set the price too high and have to pay for it yourself? What if you price it too low and lose out on it? Where am I in turn order? How many times will this tile score?
So much to consider and we haven’t even placed a tile yet!
A very VERY nice game…
I give it 8/10