Here’s something readers probably don’t know about me: I was a classical piano player for over 10 years, and in my 20’s I formed a band. We released an LP, had some radio play, and played some rad shows with some really cool bands. Music has always been an influence on my life in some form.
Therefore, I really connected with Lacrimosa on a different level, even though no musical experience is necessary at all to play and understand the game. I think it just connected on a deeper level for me being a part time musician and just enriched my experience that much more and hopefully, it may do the same for you.
Lacrimosa is a 1-4 player pool building, open drafting card action game with an area influence mechanic designed by Gerard Ascensi and Ferran Renalias, published by Devir Games. The game is thematically based around Mozart’s last action on his death bed, composing the Lacrimosa movement of his Opus Requiem.
You are working to fund the composers work one last time, by drafting missing parts of the requiem using certain resources in the game and creating a monetary engine by selling or singing those pieces for victory points.
As with most heavy euro’s, the goal is essentially to amass the most victory points by game end. During the game you will play two cards per turn to a super thematic double layered song book (the book is beautiful by the way). All cards in the game are multi-use, so you will slide one card in the top of the slotted area of the book and one card down the bottom.
The top card will be the action you are taking and the bottom card (of which you have chosen to forgo the available action with for that turn) depicts the resources you will start with in the following round. Lacrimosa employs very interesting card play and choices, reminiscent of the game Roccoco, which I also happen to love.
You will always have a deck of 9 cards, never any more or less. However, one of the actions you can take is to document memories. You will pay the cost required to draft a memories card from the main board and sacrifice the card you chose to slide in the bottom for resources. Thus, upgrading that card and making it a more powerful action or resource gatherer for the future. You can commission an Opus card from the board to later perform that piece for money and victory points. You may even sell the pieces you commission for greater money and victory points.
Exploring the Music of Europe
There is a map on the main board upon which you may use an action to send Mozart traveling around parts of Europe to perform which can provide you with multitudes of resources and in game and end game bonuses. You may also perform the Requiem action, which will let you contribute to a musical movement ultimately decided by area majority control between two composers. You may place one of your instrument markers from your personal player song book, trumpets, drums, violins, chorus, and organs into one of these five movements.
The instrument markers are double sided and represent 1 of the 2 composers you are trying to influence by denoting one side with an eighth note and the other with a sixteenth note. The influence will provide everyone who joins each movement a first and secondary amount of victory points. Everyone will gain some, but some more than others, depending on placement.
This game flows very smoothly. I really enjoyed how well all the actions flow together. You will take 4 turns per period, and there are 5 periods in total, however if you have upgraded your cards throughout the game, you may be taking multiple actions per turn.
Lacrimosa is a very elegant design, enormously classy and the component design and artwork is perfectly executed to take you into that classical period feeling. As I said before, you do not need any musical knowledge to function in this game. It is all about running the mechanisms to make the machine work and boy does it ever work!
You can purchase Lacrimosa at your local game store or purchase the game online through Amazon today.
- Musical theme is very strong in this game
- Elegant design with great components
- Multi-use cards give players lots of options
- Setup time for the game takes a while