$10.00

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User Rating Comment Status
Jon
United States
Urbana
Illinois
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10
Feb 2012
This hits a lot of right notes with me. Love the theme, the actions make sense, can be a bit evil or played slightly nicer depending on how upset you want the others at the table to be!
2011-11-27
Owned
Want To Play
Juuso Mattila
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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10
Jun 2012
The best game of 2011. The game looks really good and every single little mechanic fits in and doesn't look out of place. Action choosing mechanic is really cool, but could create some AP at times. The other really pleasant thing is the money/vp management system. Your needs and tactical opportunities are changing rapidly and there's some tension all the time, but it doesn't go over. First play of this felt a lot like my first ever playing of Puerto Rico. After two plays I can say that this works brilliantly with both three and five players and isn't too long.
2012-06-28
Owned
Adrian Montoya
United States
Austin
Texas
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"LET'S PLAY BOARDGAMES!"
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The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with.
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10
Jan 2013
worker placement with aggressive blocking of actions, cool theme, nice art, smooth play and I didn't find the loss of actions due to the majority rules any more frustrating than some other games... some gamers don't seem to like this aspect, but we enjoyed the "aww crap!, I lost an action/couldn't do my actions in the right order" moments
2013-01-15
Owned
Richard Durn
France
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10
Dec 2011
Outstanding game ! Wonderful mechanism 2 + 2 + 1 workers. Best game post Essen 2011 !
2011-12-03
Owned
Javi Santos
Spain
sevilla
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10
Jul 2012
A treasure. Fantastic mechanism for the action selection, very nice environment, tense, difficult choices, and many paths to follow. Really nice components. One of the most enjoyable games I have ever tried.
2012-07-02
Owned
Tanja
Finland
Mäntsälä
Uusimaa
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10
Nov 2014
Area majority worker placement! I love it. You can't avoid interaction in this game and that's good.

Lots to think about when you play, but rules are fairly easy to teach to any gamer. Shipping goods or choosing role cards don't require long rules explanations. Still this game feels different and fresh.

2 player variant is NOT worth it.
2014-09-26
Owned
Merran Furness
Australia
Canberra
Australian Capital Territory
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10
May 2013
Anniversary Present kiss
2012-10-30
Owned
sebas herrera
Colombia
Medellin
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10
Oct 2014
que juego tan genial, el sistema de turnos con subasta simple es muy entretenido, con decisiones complicadas, de duración media y arte muy logrado
2014-10-09
Owned
Adrian Adamescu
Canada
Kitchener-Waterloo
Ontario
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10
Jan 2015
Excellent condition. I love this game, but I can't get it to the table...
2015-04-20
Owned
For Trade
Yun Youhou
Singapore
Singapore
Changi
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10
Jul 2014
This game is a pure gem !!

Very underrated among the top games as this one has his place among them.

Very thematic for a euro game. Lots of players interaction which is something that most euro games lacks.

The auction mechanic is pure genius and very tense, but most importantly... VERY FUN !!

Everything that I love combined into one masterpiece known as Vanuatu.

2014-07-16
Owned
Albo One Ken-Obi
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10
Apr 2015
excellent, lot of evil interaction!
Easy but deep!
2015-01-23
Owned
Jonathan Harrison
United States
Fisher
Illinois
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So long ...
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... and thanks for all the fish.
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9.88
Aug 2013
There are two main branches of worker placement games: the player board–driven games, like Agricola, Le Havre, and Keyflower, and the board-driven games, like Dominant Species and Snowdonia. The former are often conversion-driven (you are exploiting your tableau of resources), the latter spatially driven (you are controlling the board’s areas).

Vanuatu stands at the pinnacle of the latter group. In Agricola, you compete for resources to feed into your conversion engine. In Dominant Species, you compete for the type and specialization of your actions. In Vanuatu, you compete for the order in which you can take your actions—sometimes for the right to take actions at all. In the first game of Vanuatu I saw played, one player in a 3-player game took 0 actions (of 5 possible) her first turn. In spreading herself too thin, she got nothing. And how could she spread herself thin? That’s the magic of Vanuatu.

Playing Vanuatu is like trying to eat a full-course dinner at a revolving sushi bar. And that’s exactly what you have to do. Each round you’ll want to perform a sequence of actions: the more complex the better. Ideally, you spend your five actions building a hut, then fishing, then selling fish, then sailing toward the next island and there diving for treasure. But you don’t do that in Vanuatu, because who would let you? If Jane has more action discs on the hut-building action space (did I mention you could double up? triple up?), then you can’t take your action discs off to build a hut (you can take them off to no effect, and may be forced to) until she takes her action discs off. And if she spends her turns taking off her action discs elsewhere, you’ll be selling your fish to nowhere (you have no hut), leaving you with no money to fuel your movement, and Jesse will scavenge the lion’s share of the treasure you were hoping to plunder first. In the end you get fish.

Turn order is all-important in Vanuatu. Every turn you clear an action space of all your discs on it. If you had more discs than anyone else or break a tie by being higher in turn order, you can take the action. If not, those discs did less than nothing for you. A disc you can’t use is like throwing a dart into your own eye: Do it enough and you’re not going to be winning the game.

Spreading your discs thin can get you more actions, but only if your actions are sufficiently self-contained: Perhaps you are parked in a spot where you have access to one of your huts, to goods for sale, to fish, to treasure—you’re golden. But if you need to move to get to where you’ll be performing your other actions, things get as uncomfortably tight as an empty wallet in a pair of hot pants. If you’re low on the turn-order totem pole, you can kiss your chances of effective accomplishment goodbye. Loading up your discs on the bonus action space may be your highest priority: becoming start player next turn.

Unless you are on the other side of the board, and unless you want a character someone already has. The start player will ditch his character (each character buffs a different standard action) to claim a new one next turn, and so will each other player. If that means a particular currently held character will (in your estimation) trickle down the line to you, then you might want to stay in last place. If you’ve set up camp on the other side of an island and are doing your own thing, you might not care at all: You’ll get your actions in due time, and you’ll get more actions than anyone else will.

Because juxtaposition in Vanuatu bleeds off actions. People who are adjacent to other people choose fewer actions and pump them up more. Who takes what action when matters, especially if it’s building a hut of your own color—the quintessential act in Vanuatu. A hut of your own color lets you sell fish and sell to tourists, and that’s a lot in this game. But if someone tries to move in to join in the fishing boom or the hut rush, then even more actions bleed off as people jostle for position. It happens if someone even appears to be. Taking your whole turn in Vanuatu bears a good resemblance to trying to assassinate someone in the middle of Mardi Gras using a poisoned needle.

Play in Vanuatu is all about the spatial aspect. There are right places to be, and because there are, there are right times to be. Fishing by itself is like holding a scavenger hunt in a hurricane; carrying tourists around the islands more so. But the storm is an outworking of the players’ actions, and if you can find a path through those then you have a path through the storm to create VP-laden locations (the start player discovers additional islands in locations of his choice) and exploit them. From beginning to end a game of Vanuatu is a highly ritualized form of combat: You can win by being quick or you can win by being early or you can win by being just exactly late enough. But you can’t win by not watching where you are standing.a9Z4MnAx
2015-01-29
Owned
Randall B
United States
Grand Junction
Colorado
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9.75
Mar 2015
Pleasant game of to screw, or not to screw your friends over while giving you the false sense of security in your actions you selected. The action selection is a great mechanic, the helper cards are good for first learning the game, but the game is much tighter with out them. I only expect this game to linger in my mind after every play.

2015-02-24
Owned
leonardo balbi
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
RJ
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9.65
Mar 2015
Amazing game. Tight. Cruel. Beautiful. Fast and Furious ! A must-have work placement !
2014-06-26
Owned
rizkar
United States
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9.5
Jan 2012
The action selection via majority control with programming and turn order implications works brilliantly. Many ways to score points in typical Euro tyle, plenty of meaningful decisions, and tons of player interaction. The theme, exploration and movement, role selection, and great artwork are all bonuses. In the running for my favorite game of 2011.
2012-01-08
Owned
Janus Basnov
United Kingdom
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9.5
Oct 2011
Joined best game of Spiel 11 with King of Tokyo
2011-10-24
Owned
ian smith
Scotland
Glasgow
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9.5
Oct 2011
If you do not enjoy this game and consider it to be the find of 2011, you do not deserve to call yourself a geek. This has everything, is streets ahead of the dry mechanics that seemed to set the Fair Play alight this year. It's tough, it's funny and it's brutally evil. An almost perfect game!
2011-10-24
Owned
Nick Case
England
Epsom
Surrey
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9.5
Nov 2011
First Play: An arborted start as we launched in and utterly failed to appreciate the nuances of the turn order. As a result we we screwed from the off and decided to start again.

This is a sublime game. The play order mechanism is one of the most refined I have encountered offering the opportunity to shaft the opposition into losing all of their turns if left to their own devices.

So many ways to score and a need to keep an eye out on how the game develops. Just an absolute joy to play. This will be in my top ten.

Second Play: Its just gets better. The oportunities for diplomacy and screwage are just a joy when combined with the broad possibilities of the game structure. I love this game. If I was ever to offer a 10 for a game rating, this has come closest so far in my gaming life.

And so the plays rack up. So much to look out for, so easy to get pulled in the wrong direction, this is perhaps my favourite game of all time.
2012-02-22
Owned
Sarinee Achavanuntakul
Thailand
Bangkok
Select a State
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9.5
Dec 2011
Excellent resource management game with a unique action selection mechanism (if you don't have simple majority you don't get to do the action you want), making for a fun competitive atmosphere (maybe too competitive for some). I really like how the very limited resources in the game forces you to optimize well, and the board art is gorgeous.
2011-12-27
Owned
Michele Badioli
Italy
Senigallia
Ancona
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9.2
Jun 2014
Dry game with a lot of interaction on modular board. Played only without characters.
2014-03-04
Owned
Paulo Renato
Portugal
Vila Nova Gaia
Porto
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I run through Rahdo's Runthroughs and make right what once went wrong (via annotations)
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9.15
Jul 2014
What an AMAZING game... the placement mechanic and then the resolving of those placements are just awesome and unique... such a shame that the designer tarnished this game with his actions regarding how he handled KS... this could be a CLASSIC!!
2014-05-02
Prev. Owned
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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9
Jul 2012
Mean as shit, stabby little euro. Looks pleasant but it's not. It's MEAN. You can deny people actions, make them waste turns. It's got a little bit of brain burn to it as well, mostly in the form of trying to decide what other players are after and how figuring out how to deny them and/or protect your own interests.
2012-09-11
Owned
Want To Play
Michael Schwerdtfeger
United States
Redondo Beach
California
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9
Nov 2011
A novel, and incredibly vicious turn selection mechanic. Probably the best game I've played so far from Essen 2011.
2011-11-21
Owned
Stuart Carroll
Australia
Melbourne
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9
Dec 2011
Simply wonderful. Very tight economy, requires careful planning, and yet plays quickly with minimal downtime.

The two player variant works well too.

Definitely a keeper...
2011-12-26
Owned
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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9
Dec 2011
This is one nasty, vicious, cut-throat game with the action markers where you can cut people out of actions, particularly if they try to do too much! I realize the potential value of being the start player and winning ties for majorities, but I almost preferred being lower in turn order and being able to play strategies that required less risk. Going first almost requires you to focus on one or two actions...going later in turn order may give you the freedom to take more actions that may be of lesser value. Money is tight in this game, and this game has a nasty addition that if you have $10 on hand, you trade all your money in for 5 points. BTW, that 2 to 1 ratio is not necessarily that great and severely limits your future actions! Enjoy the simple art in this game as well. The fish and treasure are definitely fiddly and can be easily lost (round disks the size of Puerto Rico workers).
2011-12-02
Owned

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