Luna is a worker movement strategy board game for 1-4 players set in a moon religion theme. Published by Tasty Minstrel Games and designed by Stefan Feld, Luna is a strong euro game where there are many paths to victory. Players take turns activating their novices on the isle tiles and doing various actions based on the isle that the novices start their turn on. Players will also receive favor tiles in which they can do extra actions. Play continues for 6 rounds, then the game is over and points are tallied. Whoever has the most points wins.
While Luna was originally published in 2010, the Tasty Minstrel Games version was published this year for US distribution. Luna is very enjoyable strategy game in typical Feld style, many paths to victory and many ways to earn victory points. Luna uses a worker movement mechanic instead of a worker placement. Each players’ novices (workers) start on an isle tile which surround the temple island. Each isle tile has different actions in which the player can perform if their novice is on that tile at the start of the round (or if it is moved there using the sailboat favor tile). Because of this, players will often be doing actions in order to prepare for future turns. Also, there are figures which move around the isle tiles, which can give negative points, positive points or ability to build a shrine. Noting where these figures will be in future turns is key to planning ahead. For example, you don’t want to leave several of your novices in a tile in which the Apostate will be on, or you will lose many points.
There is also two different area control parts of Luna. The first area control is in the temple island. Eventually, players will get their novices into the temple, and be able to knock other players out of their tiles if their tile is a lower number. Because you get points from novices being in the temples, you must be aware of placement and what other players’ are doing. Also, the other part of area control is with the isle tiles. If the moon priestess figure is on a tile at the end of the round, players will receive points if they have the most novices on the tile (but only if there is competition on that tile). This will also change how you may do your turns in order to prevent a player from getting those moon priestess points.
There are many different strategies in Luna and not just one will ensure victory. You must be able to adjust throughout the game based on opponents in order to maximize points. If your group is prone to AP with planning games, you may want to carve out extra time for Luna to account for the strategizing. Also, every game will vary because isle and temple tiles will get placed in different order at the beginning of the game. Also, if not playing with the introductory rules, you will get a choice at which holy isles that your novice starts on. This can greatly effect the rest of the game, so plan carefully!
I enjoyed Luna far greater than I thought I would. I wasn’t stressed about the planning (even though some members of my group were), and I felt like the game had a good pace. While the area control aspects may turn off some players, I wasn’t as concerned about it. I just tried to focus on what was best for me, and planned my strategy accordingly. Although I didn’t win, I definitely look forward to many more games of Luna. I definitely recommend it to any Feld fan and any player that enjoys euros with heavy planning.