Played some Underwater Cities today, took a little while to get into it, lots of cards and bits and pieces. You all build up your own network of cities, buildings, and tunnels. You carry out actions by selecting an action space on the board, and using a card. If you match the colour of the slot with the colour of your card, then you can also perform the card action. You block an action space by using it, but only for that round (of three actions).
You cycle thru cards pretty quickly, but always have to discard down to just 3 on your turn. So you need to think carefully about which action and permanent ability cards to keep. I had a lot of cards with permanent abilities (triggered by specific actions), and thought “this is OP with so many”. But, you have a limited number of turns, and taking an action to keep a card, you need to be sure its going to be useful. Half of my cards never went off, so that was a waste. Also, we stuffed up how the end game bonus cards worked, oops.
Just about everything you build (2 types of cities, farms, laboratories, desalination plants, tunnels to connect your cities) gives you something during a production phase. There are 3 eras to the game, with a production phase at the end of each. You produce resources (kelp, steel, biomatter, science, credits, and of course VPs).
Its a pretty engaging game, and a decent brain burner. And not that long a game either. There are 4 rounds in the first era, and 3 rounds in eras 2 and 3. Each round has 3 actions to play. Each era has its own decks of cards to use.
Also played Pandemic – Fall of Rome, which would be mostly familiar to anyone who has played a Pandemic game. This time, the diseases are invading tribes, and you have the ability to recruits troops and battle the invaders. All good fun, although we lost, so its a decent challenge.