We are gathered here today to assist in the completion of the Sagrada Família. Please be seated. As novices, you will be assisting in creating some beautiful stain glass façades. Please turn to page three of your hymnals so that we can review a few of the commandments...err...rules of Sagrada. No need to kneel, just a few tips to keep you from eternal damnation.
Thou shall not place like colored dice beside each other for it is an abomination.
Thou shall not place like numbered dice beside one another as the lion 5 shall not lie with the lamb 5.
Thou must follow the window pattern thoust selected at the beginning of the game because, while thou has freewill, some things are predetermined.
I think that's it...There may be something about coveting thy neighbors dice and maybe one about “Thou shall not kill the person who stole that bloody yellow die you needed.” but I think those are more suggestions than commandments.
Just as David pulled five smooth stones from the brook and put them in the shepherd’s bag shall you be putting dice into a bag. Put all 90 dice in there, shake them up real good, and aim for the head...no, wait, sorry, be fruitful and pull out dice equal to the number of players multiplied by two plus one.
“They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.” It's true, Sagrada has undeniable table presence, it draws the eye like..well, a beautiful stain glass window.
Now, take turns selecting a die and placing in on your pattern using a aptly named Snake Draft, for the serpent of the garden will cause much woe. So, if you are the first one to take a dice, you are also the last one stuck with the final dice choice. You must always place your drafted dice next to an existing dice because (flips through commandments) “Something, something, cornerstone.”
(Glances Around the Cathedral) You know what? One of the things that grates me about Sagrada is that, while it is about building a stain glass masterpiece, it's a crap shoot (Ha! Dice Jokes) if you will be able to actually finish constructing one. Maybe it's my OCD but it also triggers my Oh, Crap, Don't you dare take that Yellow die I need to complete this monstrosity I've been building! And the thing is, you don't necessarily need to complete it in order to win. Your first concern should be your private goal, which inevitably nets you the most points with everyone's common goals like “Don't repeat a number in a column” taking the points back seat. It is a puzzle where you don't need all the pieces to complete it, which kind of makes my eye twitch (along with all of the polynomial games that don't give you enough moves to fully cover a board). Sure,it has luck mitigators in the shape of common “Tool Cards” that you can use to change colors or the numbers on the dice and they double down on the “gamei-ness” of these tools: Let him without sin cast the first favor stone to use the tool. To utilize it after someone has initially used it and it will cost you two Hail Marys...errr...favor tokens.
Some, probably heathens, have asked “Can you hate draft dice?” Well (double checks the cathedral) Sure, just hover your hand over a specific dice and watch who else at the table gives you a death stare. Will it come back to haunt you? Maybe, but probably no more so than picking the dice that best suits you on your turn and then having a famine of biblical proportions regarding that color appearing later in the game.
It is written that God saw all that he created and it was good. After playing Sagrada, I say “Well, It's...okay.” Nothing about it invokes passion or glory and whatever the other façades are called. It falls into that sub-section of visually attractive games that I don't dislike playing but are nothing I would actively seek out. It gives Sodoku-but-with-luck-limited-solutions vibes. I know that is not a rousing ending for the sermon I've just given but I'm really not in the mood after you took the blessed yellow die I needed when you literally could have taken almost any other die and it would have worked. Here is your hand basket and I have reserved you a special spot in H-E-double hockey sticks.