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User Rating Comment Status
Ray Swan
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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10
Aug 2009*
1st played this around 2002 and 8 years later it still holds a top spot. Settlers, El Grande, and others have drifted by the wayside for me but I'm still eager to play this any chance I get.

I would almost consider this the perfect euro.

1. good player interaction
2. simple rules
3. very tactical
4. Plays in at around 1 hour.

If I had to cull my collection to under 20 games, this one would make the cut.

2010-11-12
Owned
richard glanzer
United States
New York
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10
Nov 2012

Looking for new ZMAN edition

One of the best mechanisms I've ever seen in a game. The first person to drop out of the building becomes the canal builder. The other players can bribe him to influence placement of the canal, or the overseer can pay the bank, the maximum bid +1 for a canal space, and place the canal where he wants. It is a wonderful equalizer as the builder has power, even tho' he may not have the money to win the bidding. Mechanism is nasty and wonderfully frustrating.
2015-03-08
Owned
Morgan Dontanville
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
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Plate of Shrimp.
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Here we are folks, the dream we all dream of.
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10
Jul 2007*
I really had to think long and hard about giving this a nine. But, here's the deal, it has every thing I like in it wrapped in a nice package. Mild negotiation, innovative Auction Mechanic, fun area control mechanism, evokes the theme, lots of interaction, and most of all there is a high but controllable screwage factor.
This game has a terrific sense of incorporating all the things I love in modern Eurogames in a new and insightful manner. Great Bidding system, wonderful area control mechanism, Fine sense of movement, nicely balanced turn order, and edgy negotiations that don't overwhelm the game. Plus, you can just be down right nasty. One of the most under-appreciated games I've played.
This one is going to find itself among my favorites.

UPDATE: After many plays this has well earned its ranking, in fact I've upgraded it to a 9.5. One of the best games made in my opinion. UPDATE: This bloom has never faded, it just gets better and better. I have to give it a 10.
2007-07-04*
Owned
Bryan Johnson
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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10
Feb 2012
An extremely challenging and interesting game with some nice features. I love how you can bribe the Canal Overseer to get the water flowing in the direction of your choice. This is a fun game of economics and irrigation.
2005-10-06*
Owned
Phillip Schwarzmann
Finland
Espoo
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10
Nov 2005*
So elegent and pure, lots of strategy/tactics packed into a small amount of time. A must have.
2005-11-15*
Owned
Matt Muller
United States
Holland
Michigan
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10
Dec 2005*
Game plays best with 5 players. I would rate it an 8 for fewer players
2005-12-11*
Owned
Mister Lookback
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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10
Jan 2006*
Excellent! Simple and very fun, yet deep and involving! Players compete to try and get the best location for their plantations and keep them irrigated. The auction and bribe mechanism is just brilliant and makes this game very fun, interactive and balances the dynamic quite nicely. There's always tough decisions to make and never enough money to make them, which makes for interesting and delightful game pay. Highly recommended!
2006-01-07*
Owned
geert van loo
Belgium
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10
Jun 2009*
Excellent game
2006-02-08*
Todd Walker
United States
Culver City
CA
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10
May 2006*
bought at going out of business sale for a steal. Haven't played.
2006-05-08*
Owned
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
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10
Oct 2010
Best negotiation game EVER, but only with 4 or 5 players
2006-07-16*
Owned
Michael Medlin
United States
Montara
CA
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10
May 2009*
I love this game. The auctions are almost always exciting, with difficult choices given the bidding mechanic. The negotiations are intense with lots of ways to play it. One of my favorite 5 player games.
2006-10-17*
Owned
Karl Hanf
United States
Billerica
Massachusetts
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10
Apr 2011
Excellent! My favorite 5-player game; also excellent with 3 or 4. Some nice use, abuse, and extortion; oh yeah, and some temporary teamwork! Can feel "personal" (though not as much as backstabbing games like Diplomacy).
2012-06-10
Owned
Eddy Bee
United States
Marin County
California
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10
Dec 2006*
Wow! Everything just comes together perfectly in this game - lots of decisions to make, high degree of player interaction, and a theme that fits the game's mechanics. This is a fine example of modern game design excellence.
2006-12-18*
Owned
Brad Keck
United States
Utah
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10
Jan 2007*
I have played this game online and love it. The chance for screwing people over and backstabbing is delicious. I just got the actual game for Christmas, so I'm eager to try it f2f.
2007-01-11*
Owned
Guy Riessen
United States
Sebastopol
California
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10
Feb 2007*
Great game, at least with 5--we've got a sign-up sheet to play this one so it'll be quite some time before we play it with less than a full compliment! Curious I may even like this as welll as Power Grid with 5, I'll need a few more plays though to decide. Often crushingly difficult decision to make each round--more so than PG. Far more bluff and counterbluff and a bit more subtlety as well. A bit smoother tension graph (how tense the game is at any particular point in time).

This is SO much better than Power Grid, I shudder at the comparison I made.
2012-02-02
Owned
De Waey Joeri
Belgium
Oostende
West-Vlaanderen
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10
May 2007*
Very good game, good tactics. Very well balanced bluff, betting, ... game.
2007-05-05*
Want To Play
G Herrera
United States
Farmington
Minnesota
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10
May 2011
Thanks Santa 09
2009-12-10
Owned
Preordered
Matt Sears
United States
Adrian
Missouri
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10
Sep 2008*
I love this game, mostly because of the player interaction it creates. The bidding and canal overseeing and water stick placing all work together in such a fun package. Best farming game evar!
2007-11-11*
Owned
Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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10
Nov 2014
An awesome little area control/bidding game. Will play again!
2010-09-16
Owned
Curt Beougher
United States
Rockford
Ohio
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10
Jan 2014
This one is as close to perfect as I've ever seen. Great interaction, simple rules, and plenty of tough decisions. It's everything a board game should be -- fun, interesting, entertaining and challenging without melting your brain. Bravo!
2014-01-10
Owned
Mitchell C
Australia
Perth
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10
Jan 2014
The negotiation and bidding in this game is outstanding. For me it just clicks. Sure it is abstract and can be mathy. But the meta-game that is ALWAYS generated and the quick play time makes for a really enjoyable experience. One of my favourite games. TRY IT!
2015-04-09
Owned
Festival of Song Birds, Flaming Sudoku, Spirit of Christmas, and Cardboard Perfume Aficionado
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10
Aug 2013
Fun.
2013-07-04
Owned
Jonas Baert
Belgium
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9.9
Dec 2014
I honestly can't think of a better game for 5 players, but it is a the same time the biggest drawback of the game - should only be played with 5...
2013-11-21
Owned
Paulo Santoro
Brazil
São Paulo
São Paulo
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9.6
Sep 2014
A very good game for 4 or, even better, 5 players. The auction system is very clever. A game that is original and yet simple and easy to learn. Played in 60 minutes - setup and set down are also fast.
2010-07-26
Owned
- -
Canada
Dartmouth
Nova Scotia
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9.5
May 2004*
A dual-bidding system that is quick and flexible to strategic needs makes Santiago a great, tense play.
2004-05-19*

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