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Subject: Machi Koro or Imperial Settlers??? rss

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Michael Gonzalez
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My group likes Among the Stars a lot. We also play light fillers (Sushi Go, Biblios), mid-weight Euros (Castles of Burgundy), and a little bit of everything (Takenoko, King of Tokyo, Dominion, Coup, Mission Red Planet...).

I'm looking for an instant hit, and I like the idea of both MK and IS, however I have some worries about each:

Machi Koro:

1) Ranked pretty low here on the Geek, relatively speaking.
2) I keep hearing that it gets repetitive after just a few plays (not sure if expansions mitigate this).
3) Is it TOO light? We have enough light games for a while, I think.

Imperial Settlers:
1) I'm worried it will be too much of the "soul-less cube/resource pushing". My crew can't handle that (which is why I've been scared to buy Caverna or Eclipse, even though I really really want to). That terminology comes from Zee Garcia, who hates that sort of "soul-less cube-pushing"... but then he has this particular game in his top 10 of all time, so maybe my worry is unfounded. It just looks that way to me, and while I'd be fine with that, my group wouldn't. Are appearances just deceiving me here?

I guess that's my only real worry about Settlers. It's a shame that both of these games only hold 4, but that's pretty typical, and works out ok most nights with my group.

Any comments from people who have played both games would be especially appreciated. Or any third options you want to recommend (instead of either of these); go for it!

Thanks a million
 
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Thanee
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Machi Koro is super-random. So, unless you enjoy games like that, it might not be the best idea. It's quite fun, but you cannot play it too often, I guess.

As for Imperial Settlers. I only played it once, and found it pretty underwhelming, really. I like the original (51st State) much better, and that one got a remake just recently (51st State: Master Set).

I wouldn't really call either a "filler game", though (which Machi Koro certainly is).

Bye
Thanee
 
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Carl Frodge
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I think what you have to know gong in to Machi Koro is that it's VERY LIGHT. Like, about as light as Sushi Go!, maybe lighter. It's really light. There's also a pretty broken strategy that takes some of the fun away from it. But people say if you add the first expansion, it solves a lot of the problems.

Imperial Settlers is a resource management, engine-building, game, and it's fairly complex. Although it's not that difficult to learn. I definitely recommend Imperial Settlers over Machi Koro.
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Michael F
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You should check out Dice City. I think it is a happy medium between the two games you're looking at.
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Colm McCarthy
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agentkuo wrote:
I think what you have to know gong in to Machi Koro is that it's VERY LIGHT. Like, about as light as Sushi Go!, maybe lighter. It's really light.


+1 to this. It's a very light game.

Quote:
There's also a pretty broken strategy that takes some of the fun away from it. But people say if you add the first expansion, it solves a lot of the problems.


The Harbor expansion does fix this, but you can also fix it without the expansion by simply incorporating the expansion setup rules.
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Jeffrey van Dorp
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Machi Koro with the Harbour expansion is fun as a filler, it works better then Imperial Settlers if you want to play it with more then 2 players
IS only works with 2 players IMO, played it once with 4 but the downtime was to a point I almost got up and left the table, never again for me.



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Stephen Hall
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jevfree wrote:
Machi Koro with the Harbour expansion is fun as a filler, it works better then Imperial Settlers if you want to play it with more then 2 players
IS only works with 2 players IMO, played it once with 4 but the downtime was to a point I almost got up and left the table, never again for me.





Anything but Machi Koro.
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Harv Veerman
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Mentat1231 wrote:
..., however I have some worries about each:...


Quadropolis might be something for you.
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Michael Gonzalez
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Another potential concern: Everyone keeps saying "start with Romans and Barbarians". Doesn't that imply limiting the player count to two? Is that how the game is best??
 
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James C
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I wanted to like Imperial Settlers, but, neither of us found it fun at all. Like Jeffrey, I couldn't imagine the downtime with 4 if any of the players was at all slow or AP prone.

Machi Koro, ehh.

I think you want us to talk you out of them and that's what I'm trying to do.
 
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Jin Juku
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If you like the idea of dice activation that Machi Koro has, I'd suggest looking at Valeria: Card Kingdoms instead. I think it does it a lot better.
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Michael Gonzalez
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SuperGLS wrote:
I wanted to like Imperial Settlers, but, neither of us found it fun at all. Like Jeffrey, I couldn't imagine the downtime with 4 if any of the players was at all slow or AP prone.

Machi Koro, ehh.

I think you want us to talk you out of them and that's what I'm trying to do.


Any suggestions instead?
 
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Michael Gonzalez
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juggler5 wrote:
jevfree wrote:
Machi Koro with the Harbour expansion is fun as a filler, it works better then Imperial Settlers if you want to play it with more then 2 players
IS only works with 2 players IMO, played it once with 4 but the downtime was to a point I almost got up and left the table, never again for me.





Anything but Machi Koro.


Suggestion?
 
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Dave K
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Imperial Settlers is a much more interesting game with more depth. However, it is generally considered to be best with two players, and is also pretty good with three, but it's not very good with four (and don't play with five, even if the expansion makes it kinda-sorta possible). Each faction has a theme and their buildings fit it. I wouldn't call it overflowing with theme, but it has more personality than a "cube pusher."

Machi Koro is a very light gateway-level game, even with all the expansions. However, it is better for four players than Imperial Settlers, even if it is a much lighter and more random game. The city building theme is present, but it feels more like a dice-driven game than a building game.

I would personally recommend IS for experienced gamers, but only if you think you will frequently be playing with just two or three people.
 
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Chris Arnold
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Mentat1231 wrote:
juggler5 wrote:
Anything but Machi Koro.

Suggestion?


I think Machi Koro is just OK. It can be fun, but with the wrong group it can become a horrible grind. If you have aggressive players in your group, people start to gravitate towards the red cards. Then there's no economy in the game and nobody can afford to buy their landmarks. I gave my copy away when Valeria: Card Kingdoms turned up. It plays very similarly but it's a bit more interesting and doesn't grind to a halt.
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Tyler Mykkanen
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+1 to Valeria: Card Kingdoms as a better option along the same lines of Machi Koro.

I also enjoy Imperial Settlers quite a bit, though I agree it plays better with fewer players as the action chains you are trying to set up with limited resources can lead to AP. I don't think it is soulless cube pushing though.

Valeria is such a delight to play though that I'd go with that one for your group.
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Michael Schneider
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Sticking to the two games I would say that IS is better for you.

MK is totally random and repetitive. If you want a filler then get this one.

IS is no cube-pusher imo. It feels like a very light civ game and is played in relatively short time.
 
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Mark T
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My only experience with either of these is a single play of Machi Koro. I liked it, but I don't have enough plays to know how well it holds up over time.

You mentioned Eclipse but said you weren't sure how well it would be received. Perhaps you might take a look at Exodus: Proxima Centauri. I hesitate to recommend a game I have no experience with, but it was very well reviewed by Dice Tower. I think they called it the "Eclipse killer". That certainly got my attention.
 
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Matt Brown
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Mentat1231 wrote:
Another potential concern: Everyone keeps saying "start with Romans and Barbarians". Doesn't that imply limiting the player count to two? Is that how the game is best??


On a game's page you can look at where it talks about player count and click on the graph link to see the breakdown in terms of how it plays at certain numbers. Imperial Settlers plays best with two.
 
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Matt Brown
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Snardo wrote:
I think they called it the "Eclipse killer". That certainly got my attention.


Because they wanted TI3 which played faster and that's not Eclipse. Sam is the bigger hater of Eclipse due to his love for TI3, and he's far more on the Ameritrash side versus Eclipse's more Euro leanings. Also, you are really looking at 2 reviewers versus the mass of people who put Eclipse in the Top 5 at one point and Exodus still sitting in the 800s on here. I would look at why people didn't like Exodus and factor that in. The biggest issue people have with Eclipse is the dice based combat and random VP rewards. Outside of that, it is stuff which got handled in the first expansion.
 
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Jim Rice
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I can understand the perception that MK is "very light", cause...well...it is. That being said my kids like it and if I don't over play it its not a bad game.

That being said, I have to add that my favorite "city building" game has to be Lords of Vegas.
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Carl Frodge
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Happymrdave wrote:
Imperial Settlers is a much more interesting game with more depth. However, it is generally considered to be best with two players, and is also pretty good with three, but it's not very good with four (and don't play with five, even if the expansion makes it kinda-sorta possible). Each faction has a theme and their buildings fit it. I wouldn't call it overflowing with theme, but it has more personality than a "cube pusher."

I actually prefer Imperial Settlers with 3-4, buthasjusmetho.

jukujin wrote:
If you like the idea of dice activation that Machi Koro has, I'd suggest looking at Valeria: Card Kingdoms instead. I think it does it a lot better.

+1 for Valeria. It's Machi Koro with depth.

SuperGLS wrote:
I wanted to like Imperial Settlers, but, neither of us found it fun at all. Like Jeffrey, I couldn't imagine the downtime with 4 if any of the players was at all slow or AP prone.

I guess it depends on the players. I've played a 4 player game with new players, and we breezed through it in like 45 minutes.

Mentat1231 wrote:
Another potential concern: Everyone keeps saying "start with Romans and Barbarians". Doesn't that imply limiting the player count to two? Is that how the game is best??

I disagree with this, actually. I think Egyptians are the easiest faction to play. Romans are just bad. They're simple and they make you work harder than any other faction to achieve the same result.

I would say just don't play with the Japanese unless you have to for your first game, because the Samurai mechanic is a bit extra to grasp on top of all the other rules.
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Adam Tucker
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agentkuo wrote:
jukujin wrote:
If you like the idea of dice activation that Machi Koro has, I'd suggest looking at Valeria: Card Kingdoms instead. I think it does it a lot better.

+1 for Valeria. It's Machi Koro with depth.

Meh.
Valeria has greater potential for a slower build up, but inevitably (based on my plays) reaches a tipping point where resources significantly out paces actions. Many of the people I have played with have not been fond of the 40+ resources sitting in front of players, and, of course, counting them up for VPs at the end of the game.
They are both okay for what they are. I would not consider either significantly better than the other. They both can have a large number of obvious, or false decisions in any given play. Players can easily end up preferring either.
If you do end up getting Machi Koro, I would recommend getting the Harbor Expansion, or some edition that comes with the expansion and using the variant set-up which splits the deck of buildings into 3 and displays 4 buildings 1-5, 2 purple buildings, and 4 buildings 7+ at all times.

agentkuo wrote:
SuperGLS wrote:
I wanted to like Imperial Settlers, but, neither of us found it fun at all. Like Jeffrey, I couldn't imagine the downtime with 4 if any of the players was at all slow or AP prone.

I guess it depends on the players. I've played a 4 player game with new players, and we breezed through it in like 45 minutes.

This would be worth watching on video to me (particularly the with all new players part). Every time I have played it, or seen it played, rounds 1 and 2 are really quick, round 3 nearly so, round 4 gets on the lengthy side, and round 5 is a slog. Of course every player multiplies the time (more than really, since each player now has an additional set of buildings to consider attacking, or worry about attacks from). I've seen games end up being over 3 hours, despite the first three rounds being quite brisk.

agentkuo wrote:
Mentat1231 wrote:
Another potential concern: Everyone keeps saying "start with Romans and Barbarians". Doesn't that imply limiting the player count to two? Is that how the game is best??

I disagree with this, actually. I think Egyptians are the easiest faction to play. Romans are just bad. They're simple and they make you work harder than any other faction to achieve the same result.

I would say just don't play with the Japanese unless you have to for your first game, because the Samurai mechanic is a bit extra to grasp on top of all the other rules.

In all the games I've seen them in, the Romans seem to have more buildings requiring building over another building and a relatively large amount of resources as well. This means they have had to rely more heavily on the center deck and been initially less interesting to play, and more difficult to do well with.
Can someone point me to where the case for the Romans being one of the best first play factions is?
 
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Emperors Grace
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I haven't played MK yet so I can't say anything on it except that some Targets have it in clearance right now for cheap (~$15).

Imperial Settlers is a favorite, though. It really does not do poorly IMHO for 3-4 players if you use the "why can't we be friends" expansion. It's light but fun. My only concerns are that player interaction can be a bit sparse if folks are light on razing and that an occasional card combo can really run away (which is a reason to go razing more) but no worse than in some light games. "Why can't we be friends" raises some of the interaction by adding buildings with a benefit to both the user and the owner.
 
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April W
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agentkuo wrote:
I think what you have to know gong in to Machi Koro is that it's VERY LIGHT. Like, about as light as Sushi Go!, maybe lighter. It's really light. There's also a pretty broken strategy that takes some of the fun away from it. But people say if you add the first expansion, it solves a lot of the problems.

This is why I have avoided buying Machi Koro, even with the discounted price at Target. If I want light I'll play Suhi Go! Or Catan Dice. I haven't played Imperial Settlers either, but my vote would go for that one.
 
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