Celtic culture is not that popular outside the Anglo-Saxon countries, but this does not mean that it cannot fascinate random foreigners. That’s exactly what happened with the board game Inis. In it, the player will try on the role of a leader of one of the tribes, which have the sole goal — total domination over its lands.
The discovery of new territories, construction, battles, and the search for Celtic gods — all this is necessary to win and gain the rank of Brenn, that is, the supreme chieftain of all the Celts. The game’s developer is Christian Martinez, also known for his games Histrio and Cairn.
The Victory Conditions
There are several ways to emerge victorious. Unlike many games, there are no points or restrictions on rounds there. Three conditions can be satisfied to win:
- A player’s clans are settled on six or more territories.
- A player is recognized as a chieftain by six or more other clans.
- A player’s clans are settled on territories with six or more sanctuaries.
It is enough to fulfill one of the conditions to win.
The Game Set
The available pack includes all the necessary components for a full-fledged game. The main one is the game board that consists of the territories with curved borders, thanks to which they are perfectly aligned with each other, expanding the game world. There must be something to play with on the Celtic lands. For this purpose, there are miniatures. Each player is given 12 figures of a certain color. The warriors are divided into 4 types: spearman, axeman, warrior girl, and druid.
Cards are an equally important component of the board game. Inis features 3 types of cards divided into decks: green — actions, yellow — territories, red — epic tale cards. To facilitate the process of mastering all the rules, 4 booklets are included in the set. They minutely explain all the game nuances in an informative and accessible format. The set also includes several tokens and counters necessary to determine the status of a player and to construct buildings in controlled territories.
All the game rules are summarized in a special booklet, which does not differ from the rest of the set in terms of style. The text is easy-to-read, and all the explanations are followed by illustrations. The game starts with the setting up. First, one needs to select territories, which number must be equal to the number of players. When new territories are added during the game, they must necessarily be attached to two already involved areas.
When the game board is set up, Brenn, the leader of all the tribes, is to be chosen. It can be any of the players. Among the privileges, Brenn gets the opportunity to choose a territory and put a capital and a sanctuary there. The supreme chieftain tosses the Raven Token to determine a direction in which the players will place their clans, clockwise or counterclockwise. Brenn will subsequently have to shuffle and deal cards on each turn. Each of the players starts with 2 clans, and for one round of the Flock of Crows token, 1 territory is distributed among them.
After the assignment of territories, each chieftain takes the yellow advantage cards for themselves. In the particular areas, the leaders are determined quite simply — whose clans are more numerous there, they are considered the ruler. If the number of clans is the same, dual power is formed without a leader. The only exception here is Brenn. One of the privileges is that all disputes are resolved in their favor, thanks to which, with an equal number of clans, it is Brenn who becomes the leader of a territory.
An unlimited number of cards can be played each turn. But the Trixel cards are used in the game only if certain conditions are met. Struggle for the territories is impossible without battles, so they are one of the game’s cornerstones. During a confrontation, the game order changes, and only the battle participants move. If you are attacked, you can hide in a citadel, retreat, use an action card, or just negotiate verbally. Diplomacy is the softest way to resolve a conflict.
The game is best suited for a company of 3-4 players. If you would like to add a fifth one, you will need to purchase the Seasons of Inis add-on, which game set includes new territories, maps, tokens, and counters. Even though the Inis format does not prohibit 1×1 sessions, in this case, the game can be delayed for a long time due to the strategic features, when everyone can influence the outcome of a turn.