This looks as if it might be quite fun:
How interesting! Why haven’t I heard of this before, I wonder?
We have Welsh Scrabble, Welsh Monopoly and the bilingual game Hyderus here at home and have enjoyed all of them immensely in the past.
Thanks for drawing our attention to this gem, I wonder if anyone from our community here has ever played it?
I’d love to see a review or just a comment on whether it’s worth buying. I’m tempted to buy it for my grandson, but don’t want it to be too simple. He’s a very bright 12 year-old who is learning Welsh in school, but only second language Welsh.
here’s a bit more info. Apparently it’s not officially out until Wednesday, so maybe that’s why there are no reviews about.
There’s one additional photo in the marketing email from Y Lolfa
It seems likely to be fairly simple but I’ll be buying it on principle as a boardgamer who wants more in Welsh! I will report back!
I’m hoping that the information would be of interest to my grandson, even if the game play is rather simple. He is a big fan of castles, like his dad was at the same age.
Sooo… It sold out in the time between my arriving at the Welsh centre to do my coffeeshop shift amd the time I finished it and went into the shop.
Out on the Lolfa website too.
Siop Tŷ Tawe tells me they’ve reordered.
All I can report so far is the box looked satisfying large in my fleeting glimpse of it!
OKay. Huge waffle incoming. TLDR: It pretty and interesting and I like it even though it’s simple.
The longer version…
OK let’s go!
I have three versions of me looking at this… the “Welsh History Is UnderRepresented And We Should Fix It” me, the “Welsh Second Language Speaker Seeking Excuses To Practice” me, and the “Board Game Geek” me.
The box is indeed big, although this is largely to accommodate the ENORMOUS map board and the delightful wooden barrel dice roller – the rest of the components slosh around in there somewhat and you will want to tie up the nice fabric pouch for the markers and tokens very well, because mine has scattered them all over to the point I thought I’d been shipped a copy with a missing yellow.
The proudly HandMade In Wales components are very pleasant and satisfy BoardGamerMe deeply. The single d6 in particular is prettily reminiscent of actual period dice that have been found. The cards are decent glossy quality but not as nice as the wooden components – a linen finish would have been a shade more in keeping with the feel.
That said, I sincerely hope this ‘limited run’ notion is with haste followed by a second edition – It’s a sticker so maybe that’s already in hand with slightly more mass produced components - nice as they are I wouldn’t want to artificially limit supply when tokens should be easy to source.
The art on the board/map and cards is a nice digitally painted style by Chris Illif and I particularly like how even the tiny castles thumbnails had a bit of flavour, they do reflect in miniature the castle they’re meant to represent.
Included as a bit of a surprise and pleasing History-Me is the Glyndŵr book from the Cip ar Gymru series – one of the mini-histories with parallel Welsh/English text.
The rules are a doublesided bilingual set. They’re pretty clear – I only missed one detail which I realised on a reread after the first game.
The gameplay is largely chance but the thematic element is strong enough to make up for it – I yelled aloud in genuine half-horrified-half-delighted dismay when a card sent me off to a Caernarfon when I’d slogged just slogged all the way from Sycharth to Hwlffordd…
You follow a linear track based on your dice roles and trying to collect both castles and goods which will help you on your way (money/weapons/supplies) thus that you are ready to sally over the border as part of Glyndŵr’s rebellion. (It avoids rewriting history with a win by having you play as these aspirational rebels rather than the man himself!)
You achieve this goal by dropping tokens on captured castles to occupy them and drawing loot cards when you land on English-held castles. My history fails me here in terms of knowing whether how each castle has been marked mirrors the history – so that’s point one for the aim of encouraging learning of the history because I immediately wanted to go and look!
Other squares you can land on are “Ffawd” which has you draw a card with a bit of narrative and either a bonus or penalty to your movement, or sometimes something more random like the aforementioned getting sent whooshing off to some other corner of the map. These little bits of narrative also made me want to go looking up the people and events involved.
Battlefield squares also exist and to progress past these you need to survive the battle – as determined by your dice roll. The rules have this as a 50:50 split for win:lose which didn’t feel quite epic enough to me – I may house rule that just a shade to made it need a 5 or 6 rather than 4-6 to succeed.
I lost my first game due to the again-fore-mentioned being whooshed off to Caernarfon but before that it was panning out fairly balanced and with variety in how well players were doing with the collection of castles and loot.
It’s quick to setup and play and the Ffawd cards come up often and are entertaining. It succeeds admirably in raising interest in the history with the gameplay-relevant bits of narrative. The Welsh is clear and straightforward and there’s a vocab list in the English-language rules – it would be a FANTASTIC game to play as a group of learners. The production quality is high throughout and the theme and components quality and big map appeals to BoardGamerMe even without any major element of decision making in the game.
I am VERY tempted to get a second copy, customise the map, and house-rule it mightily. What I WANT out of something with this narrative I think I’ve discovered, is a reskinned Forbidden Island or Pandemic. This isn’t that but it’s lightweight fun and does what it sets out to.
Sooo… any in Swansea/Neath/PortTalbot area what to play it with me??
Oh, this looks excellent! Not at all childish, which is what I was concerned about. Twelve year old boys are no doubt touchy about anything seeming childish. I’m sure my grandson will be able to play with his dad. He’s already mad about castles and visits as many as possible. I must order one of these games as soon as possible.
I wouldn’t hang about if you do - I’m not the only person in my immediate circle who found it sold out at the first place they tried.
Y Lolfa have accepted my order, so I hope that means they have some left.
I have done a video review of the Gêm Owain Glyndŵr and added it to my YouTube channel. I really like the game, but reluctantly I will be handing it over to our grandson when we next meet our son and family. The video is in Welsh, but there is a choice of subtitles, either English or Welsh. Click on the Settings/Subtitles button to choose to switch them on/off or select language.
Also I am very late in saying this but Margaret’s video is awesome. I need lord more Unboxings Yn Gymraeg! (Dadfocsio,???)