Best Board Games #4: Elasund

Playing board games together is one of our family’s favorite past times.   This is the an article in a series of top 10 best family board games. <–You can see the entire list with all the details there.

Best 10 family board games - this is #4 Elasund - pictured is a board game set up in a library with the words Top 10 board games
We are at our #4 pick for best family board games and we have named Elasund…

This is the best family board game list so far:

Top 10 Board Games for Families:

10. Streetcar

9.   Empire Builder

8.   Monopoly

7.   Railways of the World

6.   Carcassonne

5.   Puerto Rico

elasund board game box
Whoo hoo! Let’s play the board game Elasund…it will be fun!

4.   Best Family Board Game: Elasund The First City

Buy the Elasund Board Game Here: Elasund the First City Board Game

Board Game Designer: Klaus Teuber

Publisher: Mayfair Games

Players: 2 “ 4

Time: 60 to 90 min.

Age: 10+

Fun to Age Ratio: 7

Type: City Building

Strategy—-x—–Luck

This is probably the most under-rated game on my list.   I hardly ever see it show up on best game lists, but it is easily one of my favorites.   In theme, it is a spin-off of Settlers of Catan.   The game mechanism bears a vague resemblance at times but the play is really quite different with more strategy and less luck.

The board is a 10 x 10 grid depicting the city of Elasund.   The rows of the city are numbered 2 through 12, skipping the number 7.   Players construct buildings by placing them on the grid.   Buildings come in different sizes and therefore occupy a variety of different grid layouts: 1 x 1, 1 x 2, 2 x 2, etc.   A die is rolled each turn, and whoever has a building on the row of the die roll may earn gold, influence or both as indicated on the building.   Buildings at least partially constructed on the more central numbers are therefore the most valuable as those numbers will get rolled most often.   Some buildings do not earn gold or influence but are worth victory points.   Besides the buildings themselves, you can also earn victory points by building the city wall or by constructing buildings on special spaces called trade fields.   The winner is the first to reach 10 victory points.

elasund board game
The Elasund game board set up

The genius of the game lies not just in the die roll mechanic, which is somewhat lifted from Settlers of Catan, but more in the way land is acquired for building construction.   Each player has five building permits numbered 0 to 4.   On a player’s turn, one possible action is to place a building permit on an empty grid square.   The gold cost to place the permit is equal to the permit’s number.   When a building is constructed, it not only has its own gold cost but also requires a certain number of building permits.   For you to construct a building, the grid spaces to be occupied must have at least the required number of permits and you must have the highest total value of those permits.   If you use someone else’s permit, you have to pay them the permit cost.   This bidding dynamic can get very competitive, particularly for land on the valuable central rows.   Another intriguing aspect of building construction is that, with a few exceptions, a larger building may replace a smaller building.   This means that your smaller buildings are not safe until surrounding land has been developed.   With several ways of earning victory points, Elasund has great re-playability as winning strategies may change from game to game.

Elasund is best with four players but can be played with two or three by adjusting the size of the city grid.   Really the only negative I have for this game is that it cannot be played with more than four players.   But if you’re looking for a four player game that’s relatively easy to learn with strategic variety, I can’t recommend Elasund highly enough.

WHAT WAS THE BEST FAMILY GAME ON OUR LIST?

Check out all the details on the family game Acquire as our top pick for best family games to play on family game night!

#2 Settlers of Catan

#3 Ticket to Ride

MORE BOARD GAME FUN FROM KIDS ACTIVITIES BLOG

What is your family’s favorite board game to play together?

5 Comments

  1. We love playing games too. This is a great list we’ll have to try.

  2. We love Settlers of Catan so will definitely try Elasund. We have just introduced Blokus to our kids. Miss 7 gets the idea, and Miss 4 enjoys rearranging the pieces, and is starting to get it. Much better than Snakes and Ladders or Memory.

  3. We are going to have to try this. I love Settlers!

  4. We too LOVE Settlers so Elasund sounds like it’s right up our alley! Thanks for all the great game ideas. I can’t wait to try them out! We love board games! Well, any kind of game really. 😉 One of our current favorites is Pairamid from SimplyFun. Simple enough that even my 4 year-old is beginning to learn how to strategize but strategic enough for the grownups to enjoy a little healthy cut-throat competition after the kiddos have gone to bed. hehehe! =)

  5. We love Catan as well and I can swear we have that one but with a different cover (maybe we got it in Germany, it’s been a while)… but we have lots of Kosmos games. They have great smaller games for 2 players (I know not for families but we got those pre-baby), they are awesome!

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