The epic story of the Wild West colonization by American settlers has always been a controversial historical topic. While many historians consider this land settlement as an example of progress which brought great benefits to this yet unexplored territory, on the other hand some scholars regard this period as the end of Native American culture, relentlessly overwhelmed by the American settlers' desire for building a better life, regardless of the ways, customs, and rights of the natives.
This clash of cultures is represented on the gaming table by Dakota, a new board game that will put the players at the control of a native tribe or a group of settlers, trying to achieve his own goals using available natural resources to develop their communities. The settlers collect resources to build their settlements and colonize unexplored territories, whereas natives must maintain a balance with their environment, although being also in need of resources.
Created by Piero Cioni, Dakota is a "euro-style" game, with linear mechanics, resources collecting and settlement building, but with more interaction among the players that it's usually present in this kind of game. They must compete but also make alliances, and the key to success lies in the ability to clearly identify the final objective, to manage available resources in a prudent yet smart manner, and to block the opponents along the way, no matter who they are, natives or settlers. According to the author, the game develops in a very different way according the personal player profiles - friendly, assertive, competitive, etc - and there is a lot of confrontation among them. "It's not a game where each player plays on his own, or a "solitaire" multiplayer game", Cioni said.
To illustrate the game, NG International called Giorgio Albertini, an Italian artist skilled in historical illustrations, who collaborates with many colleges, museums and publishers. His images has illustrated magazines like National Geographic, in several international editions, Focus and many other publications dedicated to historical themes, especially to the Medieval period.
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