Already since the beginning of the year it was known that Bonfire from the publisher Hall Games and the pen of Stefan Feld will be published. Pegasus Spiele takes care of sales here in Germany. so the instructions are also accessible, which gives us a better insight into the new release. 

There was news with Stefan Feld this year through the CityCollection quite a few, but Bonfire is far from the thematic field of the collection. In Bonfire the players act in a fantastic world and slip into the role of gnomes. On a planet where the cities are kept alive by bonfire because the sun has become too weak, light is the most important commodity. But the fires went out and the gnomes set out from the woods to see if everything was going well. They find the cities abandoned and the guardians of light withdrawn on sacred islands.

Bonfire: This is how the board game works

Stefan Feld enables one to four players to conquer these cities and bring back the Guardians of Light within 70 to 100 minutes. According to the manufacturer, the game is recommended from the age of twelve, but from a first impression it appears much more complex.

Each player has his own city in which he has to ignite the bonfire. This is done by completing different tasks, each player has a personal choice of these. With each burning fire, a novice joins the high council and acts as a timer. If the council is full, this varies depending on the number of players, the last rounds begin.

Victory points decide on winners and losers. These are added together in the final scoring. But there are a few ways to get victory points. In the course of the game, determining the victory points of the others and keeping an eye on your own rank seems complicated. So you should try to perform your tasks as skilfully as possible and keep an eye on your own assessment.

On the left the islands and on the right the council, prototype of the game. Image rights: @AndreaTO, BGG

The game is played in sequence. With action markers you decide on your turn what you want to do, e.g. go with your ship or expand a part of the processional way. But these markers can also run out and have to be retightened. If you place a fate tile you receive new markers that you need in turn to complete tasks. Resource management is part of the strategy.

All in all, the game makes a well-balanced, well-thought-out impression with many options for designing your own strategy. It definitely looks like it qualifies as an expert game and offers tricky game rounds. And at the same time you have enough different tasks to promise long-term enjoyment of the game.

With Dennis Lohausen as illustrator, the design seems to be looking promising too. The duo also worked together on Hall Games' most recent games, The Oracle of Delphi and Aqua Sphere. Particularly in games with many options for action, clear pictograms facilitate learning enormously and thus significantly increase the fun of the game. This seems to be the case Bonfire from Pegasus Games given.

At least I'm really excited about Bonfire and how it can be played. At least there were no obvious inconsistencies in the rules, and I hope that this is also the case when playing.

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