The Board Dame’s First Impression: Teotihuacan – Late Pre-Classic Period

“Teotihuacan is bustling with action! The city is ever expanding and growing, drawing inhabitants from nearby areas to make Teotihuacan their new home. A glorious new temple has just been constructed, attracting local governors to seek the blessings of the gods as they continue to build and decorate the city. With the rapid progress also come new challenges, as the influx of people and activity demand adaptability to the seasons of change.”

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Box Game Length: 90-120 Minutes

First Game Length: 120 Minutes

Setup Time: 10 Minutes

Teaching Time: 10 Minutes

Player Count: 1-5 Players

First Game Player Count: 2 Players

Game Mechanics: Roundel Style Action Selection, Variable Player Powers, Tile Placement, Set Collection.

Game Weight: 3.71/5

First Impression: I love a lot of what is included in this expansion, with that being said, I never really felt like an expansion wasn’t needed as the base game is so fantastic.

Most of the modules in the expansion don’t change the game in a huge way, it’s mostly just “extra stuff”. The basic mechanics remain unchanged.

So what’s included and what does it do to the base game?

Season Tiles: This is my favourite module, it’s simple, but gives you direction each round, so for new players it can be super helpful to try to work towards something.

Asymmetrical Powers: This might be my least favourite module, though still fun, I don’t know that I will often include it in my games. I think it adds an unnecessary complexity, though, much like the Season Tiles, it can help you have some direction when it comes to playing, however for newer players it can be really confusing to learn the basic mechanics of the game on top of remembering what different triggers you have.

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Orange Pyramid: This module isn’t much different in its function, however strategy wise it can really open up different avenues to help with game play.

For instance, rather than gaining a benefit for each step on the pyramid, you will be able to chose a reward from the side table for reaching the first tier, second tier and third tier and it will give you an ongoing bonus that modifies some game mechanics, much like how the tech tiles work.

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New Boards for 6,7, and 8: The introduction of dice unlock spots is a really nice addition to the game. Not only does it free up worship spaces more often, but it ends up saving you cacao if you’re utilising those spots effectively.

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Overall Thoughts: I really liked the changes made, I didn’t think it was needed in the first place because the base game was just about perfect, but the added replayability from variable tiles and player powers plus the fact that each of the modules can be added or not depending on what you want to play with means that each game will be pretty unique.

I will say this however, while playing, and it’s entirely possibly this was because of the tech tiles that we had, but with the addition of unlock spaces, cacao discount spots on the new pyramid, plus the asymmetric powers, cacao kind of feels like an after thought.

I never felt like I wasn’t going to be able to feed my workers and I really loved the tightness of having to potentially give up actions to get cacao. Anyone that has played Tzolk’in knows the struggle of having to feed, how punishing it is when you can’t feed. Teotihuacan didn’t really have much of that to begin with, but even less now.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a deal breaker by any means, but it certainly makes the game easier to not have to think much about cacao. If you love Teotihuacan, you’ll love this expansion. If not for anything else other than the new little worship meeples!

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