Planecrafters is the latest game from the team at Paisley Board Games it sits 2-4 players, plays in 30–60 mins and recommended from ages 10+ but I think you could get away with slightly younger gamers.
This preview is based on the a the files provided to me that I home printed myself.
Planecrafters is a set collection game that sees you trying to build and sell planes, you can also hire various specialists to help you in this race for the sky.
Light Rules Overview
Setup is pretty fast, remove cards to fit the number of players, lay out employee cards, shuffle the deck, give out some starting crowns (currency) as well as dealing out some cards and that’s the bulk of it.
Each player turn is broken down into four phases plus a cleanup step:
Hire – You may hire an employee by paying their cost in crowns.
Acquire – Take parts cards from the depot
Flyer – Play parts cards from your hand to build planes in your factory
Buyer – Sell your beautiful plane if you are able to for sweet sweet crowns
Cleanup sees you discard cards if you have exceeded your hand limit etc.
Once the parts deck has been depleted the end game is triggered and then awards for things like the most valuable workforce are issued out awarding more crowns and once you have added all your crowns the player with the most is the winner, it’s a simple as that…
Well it is certainly simple to play and set collection games are always easy to teach but there is more depth in Planecrafters than the easy gameplay would have you believe and a big part of that is the employees, these masters of industry will unlock stacks of different abilities that can be used in various phases be it allowing you to play more parts cards in the Flyer phase or reduce the cost of hiring employees in the hire phase – There are 15 unique employee types so there is a lot of opportunity to build a synergised workforce.
– Artwork, it fit’s the theme it’s vibrant and has been well received.
– The time to play against the complexity just seems very well balanced across different player counts thanks to the deck reduction for fewer players.
– The player aids / cheatsheets are great and reduced potential downtime
Areas of opportunity:
– I think this could sit 5 players with an expansion introducing further planes to accommodate the fifth player and in that maybe even more employee types
I really really like Planecrafters this is absolutely in my top choices for a game evening if there are new players to the hobby and if I had an *award system this would be classed as Gateway Gold. Even with it’s Gateway Gold award this still has a place at the table with an experienced group, it’s not time heavy and it is a really enjoyably game.
I plan to revisit this preview once the crowd funding campaign is live to see if things like price or stretch goals have an impact on my assessment as well as link to the campaign.
*considering an actual awards system, send your ideas on a postcard.