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Moorland... Drifting in the stream

Under the morning mist, bathed in scattered sunlight lies the moor with it's streams flowing; a haven for a plethora of plants and animals. With a combination of mechanisms from open drafting to set collection, tile placement to route building, this game brings a variety of options along with it's modular board to bring life to your game night.

Moorland board game box and initial set up

First Impressions

I wasn't too sure what to expect from Moorland when I first saw the box, I was told it was a game that was right up my street but the box didn't give too much away. The artwork intrigued me along with the unusual theme of a moor. after taking off the outer plastic wrap, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that was the only plastic throughout the box. The cards come bundled up in paper bands and instead of plastic bags for the tokens, you get a cardboard box to store them in. It's well designed and once I saw the components I was keen to find out how it played. The rules were not too long and include lots of examples throughout so you can clearly understand what they are explaining.

Game Play Overview

Moorland Board Game midgame

The game is played over 12 rounds, with each round made up of 3 phases. Each round will begin with revealing new cards for the moor and available plants. Players will then take it in turns to carry out up to 3 actions in order. Firstly, you'll select one of the moor cards and place it under your storage board. Then you may place a single type of available plant onto one of your ground sections in a quantity equal to the number of pips on it. Lastly on your turn, you may place one of your available moor cards onto your moor if you have the required plants on a single ground section of your moor.

All the plants on the ground space will be placed into temporary storage, for each plant on the moor card being played that has a cross in it, you must discard a plant of that type, each plant with a root depicted on it must have a matching plant type placed upon the card and all other plants in your temporary storage will then drift down the stream. When drifting plants, they can follow the stream in any direction you wish until they reach an available ground section. These plants are then placed in available spaces of that ground section and any plants unable to be placed must go onto the lost plants space on your storage board and will count as negative points at game end. You will then check the central moor to see if any other player has placed a moor in that space of the board yet and if not, you will take the available water token, these are worth points at the end of the game but can also be spent to move plants around your board. After all players have taken their turn, you move to the clean up phase, whereby the remaining moor card is discarded and the mushroom is passed onto the next player. After 12 rounds have been played, final scoring takes place and the player with the highest score is the winner.

Pros and Cons

This is not a game whereby you can mess about too much with what your opponents are doing, however there is still plenty of competitiveness to be had as well as strategy. There is a limited number of animals depicted on the cards which score you bonus points if you successfully acquire a pair by the end of the game, however with only 4 of most of the animal types, this is difficult enough at 2 players, let alone when you play with 4! If you're looking for a game with lots of player interaction, then this isn't the game you're looking for, however if you're after a game that includes open drafting and route building with a bit of a difference, then Moorland will be a great choice.

Moorland Board Game end of game ready for scoring

Final Verdict

Overall, we rather enjoyed Moorland. It's not a heavy game but has a nice depth to it and enough strategy to keep our minds whirring and engaged throughout.

In conclusion, we would rate this game an 8.6/10

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