Gameday First Play – Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar

You put your workers in, your workers out, in, out, in, out…

…and spin the wheel about!

Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar presents a new game mechanism: dynamic worker placement. Players representing different Mayan tribes place their workers on giant connected gears, and as the gears rotate they take the workers to different action spots.

So you place workers, or pull them off the board, that is all. Here are 3 things I like about the game.

The Wheel

The main part of the game, the hook that makes it different.

You place workers onto points on one of 5 wheels. The 5 wheels are connected to one larger wheel which, when moved, moves the other 5. This moves your workers up the track from the spaces at the front of the wheel that give you a little reward further around the wheel where the big rewards live.

You only gain the reward when the workers are removed from the board.

One wheel focuses on food, one on resources, one on buildings, one on bonus effects and one on gaining favour wit the Gods. Plenty to do. Speaking of which.

There’s Plenty to do

You need food to feed your people and to place your people onto the wheels. Resources let you build buildings for effects. There are two tracks that give you favour with the gods that are worth resources and points plus bonuses as the game goes on. The last wheel lets you get big points in exchange for crystal skulls.

You need to do all of them. You need the bonuses, the points, the buildings but without food you’re stuck so you need that too! All this with just the action of putting workers out or removing them.

Tzolkin The Mayan Calendar Gameplay

Components

The wheel is an awesome idea. The board is pretty, the tokens are nice, the iconography isn’t too intuitive but it works. The workers are crappy, that;s the only downside.

I do want to play this again. I did pretty well and want to see if I can do better.

Brilliant game.

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