For no particular reason I felt compelled to learn and play Les Gardiens de Havresac yesterday, a French board game, yet entirely language-independent. A weird choice, since I had read the rules of The Liberation of Rietburg the past few days and was planning to play that one instead, or keep diving into The Guild of Merchant Explorers. Anyway. It feels good to play games, that's the whole point.
So, what about this particular game? It's surprisingly unique, and actually, I was very much intrigued by how similar it feels to The Guild of Merchant Explorers. You draw Guardians from your bag. Each guardian moves from the central castle, or from a previously played guardian. This allows you to cover more ground. One specific guardian, the Guide, sets up a camp so that, in the next round, you can start from there (otherwise all Guardians return in the bag and you need to restart from the castle). At the end of each round, you earn gold to hire more guardians to put into your bag.
The goal is to explore as much of the map as you can, and different locations require different guardians to be interacted with (e.g. you need a Thief to open chests, a Warrior to slay monsters). You may also repair villages or capture fairies. All these gaieties bring you points, of course.
The end game:
It looks bigger in the picture than it really is. The footprint is about two TTR boxes side by side.
I had a fun time, but I am not sure whether I like it or not yet. If I eventually make up my mind, I might write a review.