This is quickly becoming my favorite worker-placement game! At least it’s giving Agricola and Dungeon Petz a run for their money.
I got this when I Kickstartered its expansion earlier this year. I like NKSN’s other games (Mistfall in particular) so I was okay gambling on it. But it showed up the same week as Scythe and, well.
My wife and I broke this out a couple weeks ago and relearned it. I like having worker-placement games on hand, because they tend to be less acrimonious and that’s something that works well for us. It works well with my harder-nosed gamer friends as well, sometimes. What I didn’t really understand was how fast this game can play: we banged out a 3-player “short game,” with two players relearning the game, in about 75 minutes.
The secret sauce to Simurgh is that it’s a mix of fixed worker-placement options (mostly for gaining workers, dragons, and two of the six essential resources) and variable options, which are placed and discarded in the “wilderness.” Discarding wilderness areas is one of the game’s two timers, so early on it’s easy to just grab something you need and throw away the location after. But as you close in on the final rounds, you tend to slow that waaaay down. And there’s only so much room in the Wilderness area for these locations.
Anyway, it’s just great. There are no obvious engines (because those Wilderness locations go away) but lots of optimization. The art is amazing, I mean just look at those dragon cards. We haven’t even played with any of the expansion materials yet, because the core game is just so tight and complete.