Friday, January 27, 2023

Artisans of the Taj Mahal isn’t bad enough lol

I have to admit that this is the third time I’ve tried to write about Artisans of the Tak Mahal.

Artisans of the Tak Mahal is a coffee break weight Roll and Write. The player sheet has a picture of the Tai Mahal broken into six zones. Each zone has one or more architectural features. Each feature has different requirements for what numbers go in it if it’s going to score any points.

Every turn , two dice get rolled. Everyone picks one die for a zone and the other for the number they write in. There are clouds you can check off to modify die rolls but you also needs clouds to water plants.

Most points wins.

Okay. Here’s why I’ve been struggling with Artisans of the Taj Mahal. It is a solid B coffee break game. Easy to learn. Decent decisions. And the theme actually ties in to gameplay. Well, the theme goes in pretty well for a ten minute game. It was free download and I just had to print out and laminate one page.

But there are so many Roll and Writes that I could say the exact same thing about.

Roll and Writes had already been doing well when CoVid lockdown hit. Then games that were super easy to PnP and you could play via video conferencing became a big deal and probably saved some folks sanity. The genre exploded.

It didn’t help that I played it while observing Dicember. I tried a lot of Roll and Writes last month and some of them were definitely worse than Artisans of the Taj Mahal. But they made more of an impact on me, probably because I had to think about their flaws. 

I’ll probably get at least ten good plays out of Artisans, figuring out what would be the optimal strategies. And I do like how the theme actually is actually worked into the game. It’s worth the investment of time and pondering. But there are a lot of solid B Roll and Writes out there.

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