Lewis and Clark is a board game for 1-5 players which came out in 2013 and recently at my local board game group, I had the chance to give it a go. Helped by Native Americans and a whole host of characters, players will attempt to mount an expedition with the first player to reach the pacific being declared the winner.
Four of us were new to the game and the fifth hadn’t played the game in a while which had meant that it took a while to get going. However once we knew what needed to be done the game started to go a lot smoother. It is not that this game is difficult to learn per say but it is much easier to understand what is going on once you have played a round or two.
Essentially this is a racing game with elements of worker placement and managing your resources. However the important thing to remember about this game is that you are not racing to get yourself over the line but where you camp.
The camp mechanic was pretty interesting as you had to make sure you had enough to go forward without going back. Any extra resources, cards or to much help from the Native American would slow you down and cause you to slip backwards.
This led to a lot of interesting choices as you had to work out what you would be able to do before you hand to camp. More choices came from the characters themselves as to power one character meant sacrificing the use of another. However one of the things I found very interesting was that you could also work off what your neighbours were doing.
Landing on other players meant you could skip one space ahead which proved useful to all of us at one stage or another. Activating a Pow Wow gathered all the Native Americans on the board which you could then employ to help you. They were useful for all sorts of things from activating characters to helping to gain more resources.
In the end though victory went to Joey who skillfully landed his base camp right where he needed to be. Meanwhile I was able to do just enough to secure second place in a game that I enjoyed but was happy to have finished.
Lewis and Clark is a really nice looking game with excellent mechanics and even though we didn’t play it quite right on the night, I still had a lot of fun. Maybe next time I could even steal victory.