Grande is a game of "political influence" in Middle Age Spain. You play
as an aristocrat, or Grande, and send your Caballeros in different regions
attempting to have a majority of "influence" during the scoring sections
of the game. Throughout the game there are 3 standard scoring times,
which are after the 3rd, 6th, and 9th (final) rounds. If your Grande
marker is in a territory where you have the majority, you gain a bonus.
You also gain a bonus when the King is in a territory of your majority.
The object is to have the most points at the end of the game.
Players play Power Cards to determine who plays first in a turn,
with the highest number playing first. The higher cards aren't always
what you want to play though, since this limits the number of Caballeros
that you will have prepared to move to the regions.
If you have plenty of Caballeros, playing a high card could help
you get the action card that you need to improve your influence in
those important regions. The action card that you chose is also important
because it determines the number of Caballeros that you can move onto
the board or into the Castillo.
The Castillo is also an interesting part of the game. This tall castle
is a place to hold a hidden number of Caballeros that are ready to
move into the regions. Players can place Caballeros into the Castillo
during the normal turns, but the pieces are hidden from view until
the scoring rounds, at which time the Caballeros are brought out.
This gives points to the player(s) that have a majority in the Castillo.
It also allows players to gain or hold a majority of influence in
a region where they may not have otherwise.
For 2-5 players, it seems to work well with 2 or 3 (but since I haven't
yet played it with more, I've only got a one sided point of view on
this). There are many subtle strategies in the game, but that doesn't
make it difficult to play. And at nearly 90 minutes per game, it seems
to be just the right length of time, not so long that they seem drawn
out and not too short where it feels there was so much more potential.
I feel that this can be a fun game for casual and serious gamers alike.