Wayfarers of the South Tigris Recreation Evaluation — Meeple Mountain


The Caliph has a thirst for data that may’t be quenched. Be part of Meeple Mountain of their assessment of Wayfarers of the South Tigris.

Method again in 2005, I used to be residing in a spartan two-bedroom house with my girlfriend, our cat, and my finest good friend in the complete world. We didn’t have a lot: a few beds, a ratty sofa, a TV, an entire mess of books packed into a few second hand cabinets, and two souped-up computer systems. We additionally had a Ps 2 (PS2) which didn’t see a lot play. However when God of Warfare (GOW) entered the image, that every one modified.

“I approve of this assessment.”

On the time, GOW pushed the PS2 {hardware} to its very limits. With groundbreaking graphics, stellar gameplay, and implausible storyline, it was straightforward to develop into completely infatuated with the sport. It was, palms down, the very best online game I had ever performed. I recall considering on the time that it might take appreciable effort to create a online game that utterly captured me the way in which that GOW did.

Then, a couple of years later, Santa Monica Studio launched God of Warfare 2. It was even higher than the primary. And it wasn’t till that second that I spotted Santa Monica Studio had set a (harmful?) precedent for themselves. With the primary GOW, they’d set the bar actually excessive. With GOW2, they not solely leapt over that bar, however they set themselves one other impossibly excessive one. In doing so, they set the expectation that with each new entry into the franchise, they’d outdo themselves—they usually have. The God of Warfare video games have simply gotten constantly higher and higher because the years have passed by.

Due to that, I do know what I’m getting after I dive into a brand new GOW expertise. Santa Monica Studio has proven me that I can at all times depend on them to attempt to interrupt the bounds of their very own limitations, to deliver to fruition a product that exceeds all expectations, and to offer an unforgettable expertise.

In relation to tabletop video games, that’s the way in which Garphill Video games makes me really feel. Simply after I suppose they’ve hit their zenith and couldn’t presumably get even higher, they pull it off. They drop a Wayfarers of the South Tigris bomb on you and stroll coolly and confidently away from the explosion in gradual movement whereas sliding on a pair of shades.

To say that I like this sport can be an understatement. I adore it. And I’m going to inform you why.

However first, let’s discuss a bit of in regards to the sport, its targets, and the way it all works. If none of that pursuits you, be happy to skip forward to the Ideas part.


Merely put, Wayfarers of the South Tigris (Wayfarers) is a dice-driven employee placement and motion choice sport—the place your employees are represented by cube—with a wholesome dose of tableau constructing thrown in as well. The tip aim is to attain essentially the most victory factors, and these will be earned in a myriad of various methods.

In the beginning of every spherical, the gamers roll their private provides of cube after which take turns assigning these cube to carry out varied actions. The difficult half is that the one motion places able to accepting cube are within the gamers’ private tableaus. The opposite actions that dot the borders of the primary board can solely be carried out by means of conventional meeple-based employee placement actions, and these exist inside a closed economic system. Every participant begins the sport with a single yellow and a single blue meeple. Later, as gamers cross sure thresholds, there are 4 inexperienced meeples that may enter the economic system— and that’s it. The one strategy to reclaim meeples which have been performed to the primary board is by way of tableau constructing.

Buying playing cards and including them to your tableau won’t solely probably internet you meeples, however they can even give you extra highly effective cube placement places, bonus scoring potentials, and end-game scoring alternatives. After all, there are numerous guidelines and limitations in place that dictate when, the place, and the way cube and employees can be utilized, however we’ll get to all of that shortly. Suffice to say, Wayfarers is a sport with quite a lot of choices and having to weigh the prices and advantages of selecting one over the opposite is the place the sport’s problem—and its enjoyable—lies.


The central sport board is split into three double-sided segments. Any of the varied sides can be utilized. After deciding on these and arranging the three segments facet by facet, the outer edges of the board are surrounded by playing cards randomly drawn from their matching decks: Townsfolk within the prime left; House playing cards within the prime proper; Inspiration playing cards alongside the rightmost edge; Water playing cards alongside the underside proper; and Land playing cards alongside the underside left. The middle of the board contains the Journal monitor that’s divided into packing containers linked by ink blots. A number of of those packing containers are empty and are stuffed with randomly positioned Journal tiles. The inexperienced employee meeples are positioned into their marked places on this monitor as nicely. There are additionally places for the varied Improve tiles (pink, inexperienced, black, blue, and yellow). Place these atop their matching photos.

Every participant selects a colour and receives the items of their chosen colour. Two of their three cube are positioned into the guild space of the primary board together with some affect tokens (the places of and quantity positioned are depending on taking part in order). Their participant marker is positioned onto the primary area of the Journal monitor. Then they every obtain a randomly distributed participant board together with some beginning provisions, some money, one yellow employee, and one blue employee. Their remaining three cube are rolled and positioned shut by.

Now, choose a beginning participant and also you’re prepared to start.

Taking Turns

Wayfarers is performed over various rounds till not less than one participant’s marker reaches the ultimate area on the Journal monitor. At that time, each participant, together with the one which triggered the tip sport, receives one remaining flip. Then the factors are tallied to find out the winner.

On a participant’s flip, they’ll do considered one of three issues: place a employee onto the primary board and carry out the motion related to its area, place a die into their tableau to carry out the motion related to its area, or Relaxation. Resting consists of amassing any Relaxation bonuses earlier than reclaiming and rerolling your cube. Whereas related in description, the opposite two choices are completely different sufficient that they bear some additional dialogue.

Essential Board Actions

Every completely different card kind located round the primary board has 4 motion areas related to it. So as to take considered one of these actions, a participant should place a employee matching the colour of the motion onto the cardboard that’s bodily located subsequent to the motion being taken. If any participant has an affect on the cardboard, the individual inserting the employee should pay that participant both a coin or a provision. In the event that they’re unable to, they can not take the motion. Moreover, they can not take the motion if a employee meeple is already current that matches the colour of the employee meeple they’re wanting to make use of.

Inserting a blue meeple right here permits the participant so as to add a blue improve tile to their caravan.

Normally, these actions are used to: purchase the varied card varieties, place affect into the varied guilds, purchase Improve tiles (which we’ll discuss extra about shortly), manipulate cube, or achieve cash/provisions… or some combination of those choices.

Tableau Actions

Every participant board consists of a caravan (damaged into three rows and 6 columns, a number of pre-printed playing cards (some that includes motion areas), and a central column of much more pre-printed motion areas. These motion areas are offered as white squares, which signifies they’ll accommodate a die. Nonetheless, a few of these white areas function an icon. So as to place a die onto considered one of these places, that die will need to have an affiliation with the icon in query or you should have entry to the required tag someplace exterior of your caravan.

To raised perceive all that, let’s take a second to speak in regards to the caravan and tags.

On the prime of every column of the caravan, there may be the picture of a die with a unique pip worth. The areas beneath that picture signify the die’s tag associations. In the event you’re aware of Terraforming Mars (or its spin-off, Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition) then the idea of tags will, little question, already be acquainted to you. In these video games tags act as a form of forex, however they’re by no means really spent. They simply must be current to ensure that sure issues to occur. Within the case of Wayfarers, tags are carefully tied to a few issues: tableau actions, including to your tableau, and endgame scoring.

Right here’s the way it works: Let’s think about you’re desirous to take the topmost motion proven in your participant board. This motion location options the icon of a telescope. So as to place a die on that motion, there have to be a telescope icon within the column matching the pip worth of the die you’re wanting to put there.

Initially of the sport, the one die worth that options this icon is a six. Later, by means of the addition of Improve tiles, you may add new icons to those rows and columns, offering you with new choices and higher flexibility. A few of these upgrades merely give you end-game factors or further tags. There are even upgrades that you would be able to add that may help you manipulate your cube by growing/reducing their worth.

Constructing Your Tableau

Your tableau consists of three important kinds of playing cards—House, Land, and Water—in addition to the playing cards which might be used to enhance them—Townsfolk and Inspiration. These playing cards are acquired utilizing the completely different board/tableau actions which might be obtainable. Land playing cards are connected to the underside left of the participant board, Water to the underside proper, and House playing cards alongside the highest left or proper.

Land playing cards are subdivided into two teams, Cities and Vistas. Cities add new motion places to your tableau, whereas Vistas present the gamers with advantages for buying different gadgets through the sport. These will be modified by sliding Townsfolk playing cards beneath them. Townsfolk playing cards positioned beneath Cities improve the motion area of the cardboard they’re connected to. Townsfolk positioned beneath Vistas improve the bonus offered at any time when the standards are met.

Water playing cards are additionally subdivided into two teams: Harbours and Open Waters. Harbours present gamers with much more motion places, whereas Open Waters present gamers with rapid, one-time advantages. These playing cards can be modified by sliding Townsfolk playing cards beneath them. Townsfolk playing cards positioned beneath Harbours improve the motion of the cardboard they’re connected to. Townsfolk positioned beneath Harbours enhance the effectiveness of your Relaxation motion. Moreover, Water playing cards function some iconography operating up and down the left and proper sides of the playing cards. Matching these along with different playing cards in simply the best manner will earn their proprietor rapid bonuses.

House playing cards present end-of-game scoring bonuses. These will be modified by sliding Inspiration playing cards beneath them. Every Inspiration card has a requirement printed on it. If this requirement is met by the tip of the sport, then the Inspiration card will double the quantity of factors earned by the House card it’s connected to.

And There’s Even Extra

By this level, you must have sufficient context to grasp how Wayfarers is performed, however there are a pair extra issues you need to be conscious of.

The yellow participant can discard an affect from the black guild to progress. The blue participant has extra choices.

For starters, there’s the Journaling motion. Taking this motion lets you progress your marker alongside the Journal monitor on the primary board. Every field on the board is linked to others by way of ink blots. Some ink blots have particular necessities that must be met to ensure that your marker to go over them and into the following field. And virtually each field has some form of bonus {that a} participant shifting their marker to that area will obtain. The bonuses differ, however they embody issues akin to: inserting affect, getting free playing cards, gaining assets, incomes free caravan upgrades, and so forth. Importantly, this Journal motion is the one strategy to achieve Inspiration playing cards.

Then there are the guilds. On the best facet of the primary board are three minarets representing three completely different guilds: black, yellow, and blue. Through the sport, gamers could have alternatives so as to add their affect markers to those. That is essential for 2 causes. First, there may be an end-of-game scoring element tied to affect majority in every completely different guild. Second, at any time throughout a participant’s flip, gamers can take away their affect markers from the guilds as a way to carry out that guild’s distinctive bonus motion. Black lets you carry out an extra Journaling motion along with a Journaling motion you’ve simply carried out. Yellow provides you the power to govern your cube. Blue offers a short lived ‘ship’ tag, helpful for performing actions that require this icon if not one of the columns in your caravan function it.


As soon as the sport has reached its conclusion, scores are tallied to find out the winner. Victory factors come from a number of locations:

  • Having collections of various tags
  • Having collections of the identical tags
  • House playing cards (modified by accomplished Inspiration playing cards)
  • Factors printed on caravan upgrades
  • Guild affect majorities

Ties are damaged in favor of who has essentially the most affect within the black guild, adopted by the yellow, adopted by the blue. There isn’t any rating pad offered, a misstep for my part, however Garphill Video games does have a stellar scoring app which is offered for each iOS and Android.


For many individuals, October thirty first represents a day of enjoyable, dressing up in costume, and consuming their physique’s weight in sweet. Final yr, as my spouse and son had been getting enthusiastic about Halloween, I used to be getting excited for a wholly completely different purpose. Garphill Video games had one thing massive they had been going to be saying on a livestream later within the day. I’m fairly ambivalent about Halloween, however I’m positively not ambivalent to Shem Phillips. I used to be dying to know what the hubbub was all about. This was a livestream I positively was not going to overlook.

What adopted was an hour-long presentation of Garphill Game’s plans for their upcoming trilogy, starting with a radical dialogue of Wayfarers of the South Tigris. By the point that hour was completed, I used to be offered. I knew that I wanted this sport in my life.

Because it seems, I used to be not flawed.

Wayfarers captures your consideration earlier than you’ve even cracked the lid on the field. I’ve expounded on it earlier than, nevertheless it bears repeating: The Mico’s artwork is just amazing. His field cowl illustrations have a manner of pulling you in and getting you hyped about no matter’s hidden inside. However the proof, as they are saying, is within the pudding. Placing lipstick on a pig doesn’t make it any much less of a pig. Wayfarers is not any pig, except pig is an acronym for “Fairly Spectacular Recreation”. Wherein case, yeah, it’s positively a kind of.

Now, some individuals could ding Wayfarers as being a multiplayer solitaire expertise and deal with that as some form of detrimental, and that’s a good level. There isn’t a lot participant interplay. So, if that’s a factor that bothers you, then Wayfarers most likely isn’t the sport for you. And, in the event you’ve bought very restricted bodily area through which to play your video games, then you definately’ll most likely need to keep away from Wayfarers for that purpose as nicely. It’s an enormous, sprawling endeavor, particularly once you begin including extra gamers. However, in the event you’re not delay by both of these components, then Wayfarers is a sport you must positively be looking at. It’s bought three essential issues that work in its favor: tons to do, tons to stay up for, and much to look again on.

Tons to do: Wayfarers is a wealthy tapestry of interwoven mechanisms. On any given flip, even with simply three cube at your command and a restricted array of employees, you’re offered with a plethora of various choices. Not like another video games the place you’ve bought a alternative between one or two good choices and a number of subpar ones, virtually each possibility in Wayfarers is a extremely good one, which makes the act of choosing only one not straightforward. Each resolution turns into simply as essential as each different resolution. Wayfarers is, if something, a sport of effectivity. Discovering the very best path from A to B is a scrumptious, mind-bending puzzle with out an apparent resolution. Even deciding when to Relaxation turns into nail biting. Do you Relaxation as quickly as you’re in a position to be able to regather your cube? Or do you do what I normally do (and never at all times to my benefit) and milk your flip for all its price till Resting turns into the one viable transfer that you’ve got left?

Tons to stay up for: The mix of the Journal monitor and the House/Innovation playing cards creates a dynamic the place, on prime of attempting to handle your wants within the right here and now, a number of your focus is on the longer term. In the event you can’t progress alongside the Journal monitor, you’re not going to do nicely. That development requires a number of advance planning. You’ll end up attempting to pick a path in your thoughts that you simply imagine you may feasibly observe, utilizing one area’s bonus to pay for development to the following. And if you may get that to line up with the necessities of your House/Innovation playing cards… then *chef’s kiss*. This give attention to the longer term is the center of Wayfarers and it feels wonderful when the plan you’ve created in your thoughts is executed to perfection, even when it doesn’t result in a win.

Tons to look again on: The true testomony of an amazing sport is that you end up reflecting on it in a optimistic mild days, weeks, and even months after having performed it. And that’s the kind of sport that Wayfarers is. I continuously discover myself trying again on earlier performs occupied with how I might have achieved issues higher whereas concurrently appreciating these issues that I did proper. On this sport I grabbed a number of House playing cards, which I wasn’t positive about and consequently wasn’t capable of full. In that sport, I grabbed only a few and knocked them out of the park. And in that different sport, I targeted quite a lot of effort on upgrading my caravan, however possibly I ought to have used a few of that effort on one thing else. This fixed state of reflection makes you pine for the sport and that makes it further thrilling each time it hits your desk.

If Wayfarers of the South Tigris is any indicator of what’s to return for the remainder of this trilogy, then know this: I’m VERY excited. And, if previous efficiency is any indicator of future efficiency, Garphill Video games has their work minimize out for them. In my humble opinion, Wayfarers of the South Tigris is the very best sport they’ve ever produced in all of their Medieval trilogies (as Garphill Games refers to them). It’s going to be laborious to prime it, however I imagine Garphill Video games is as much as the problem.