Gameday First Play – Deus
3rd time playing, 1st time in real life.
In Deus, players work to develop their own civilizations in a shared environment. Each player starts the game with five building cards, and on a turn a player either uses one of these cards to construct a building or discard one or more cards to make an offering to a god. Cards come in six colours: red for military, green for resource production, blue for trade, brown for scoring, purple for temples, and yellow for a variety of effects.
This is one of those games with a medium-heavy weight but you don’t have too many choices on your turn so it plays very quickly. You’re either going to build, or make an offering to the Gods… that’s it.
The modular board is rounded which I like and fits together differently for different player counts.
Each different colour area represents a different land type and the brown areas are Barbarian Villages. These villages start with a number of victory point tokens on them depending on the number of spaces around them.
Once a Barbarian Village is surrounded by units and at least 1 is military, the player who has the most will take all the VP’s on it.
So I said on your turn you only really have 2 things to do. If you build a building you need a card of that colour in your hand, and have enough resources to build it. When you put the building on the board you place the card in the matching row in your play area. Then, you activate every card of that type you have… (this is cool)
So, if I added another blue card onto my board I’ll activate those 3 already there in order, then my new card. This lets you try and play combos and build an engine.
Making an offering to the Gods means you discard one card of one colour and add any number of other cards from your hand. Then, you activate the offering ability of the discarded card and generally boost it by the number of cards discarded. You then draw back up to 5 cards… You also gain one building of the type of card you discarded from your supply.
What does each building/offering do?
Blue is Maritime and allow you to build in water spaces only. They let you buy, trade and sell resources. This is cool as you can chain a pretty decent combo if you manage to play the cards in the right order. The offering ability lets you gain 2 gold per discarded card.
Green is Production that lets you gain resources usually depending on where your buildings have been built. (I don’t like these much) Mostly because the offering ability lets you gain 1 resource of your choice per discarded card which I use to get resources.
Yellow are Scientific which do different things including letting you activate abilities of other cards on your tableau. The offering lets you draw extra cards so you can get your hand up to the max of 10.
Brown are Civil that give you VP’s or Gold depending where you have things built. The offering lets you gain up to 2 VP’s.
Red is Military and you need these units to defeat Barbarian villages. Military units can also be moved and are able to steal points form other players. The offering lets you take a building of any type for each discarded card.
Lastly, the Temple offering lets you activate any other offering… Temples give you end game scoring but you must have one card of each type on your board to play them.
So when the Barbarian Villages or Temples have gone the game ends. You gain points for having the most of each resource and other end game scoring, most points wins.
I mentioned a few times I like games where turns are really really quick and this is definitely one of those.
I’ve played this twice on-line and once in real life and won all 3 games… doing the same thing… I’ve been trying to take out 2-3 Barbarian Villages early then concentrate on end game scoring for the remainder of the game and it works.
The power of moving your military units is awesome especially if you have a Scientific ability that you can use to further activate your military cards.
If/When I play it again I’ll definitely try something different. But I do want to play it again.