One of what feels like a more recent trend in board gaming is combining deck building with other genres. Deck building itself is fairly new so people have really started to broaden out what you can do with it. Valletta combines deck building with a small bit of area control. You are more than likely still going to be looking at mostly what a card can do but if claiming it also gets you a nice area bonus that is great!
On every turn a player will play three cards - no option on that front. You have five to choose from and hopefully the five you have to choose from will improve over the course of the game. You can upgrade some of your cards to make them better or by purchasing spaces on the board you get new powerful cards to add to your deck.
The important part of the game is to figure out the best time to play the cards that you have in your hand. Maybe you have a card that gives you a lot of money for a specific reason. But if you wait just a bit it will get you more points than if you play it now. But since you only have five choices and need to play three of them sometimes you are just going to have to use it for the lesser amount of points.
Using builders is how you take control of parts of the board. You get points at the end of the game for when you have built near to yourself so that is always on the edge of your mind. But there are some really nice cards out there that can work really well together. And of course some buildings are far more expensive than others so maybe you really want to start building you might simply be limited by what you can afford.
Overall Valletta is a great deck builder. The option for what cards are available to buy is definitely far different than other games of its type. Which adds in interesting choices and the rule about playing three of your five cards also makes things interesting. In a lot of deck builders you don’t get to save cards from turn to turn. In Valletta you are forced to so it is all about how to maximize your hand by selectively waiting to play cards. When we already like the deck building genre Valletta is a shoe in for the Top 100!