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Subject: Initial impressions after reading the rulebook rss

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Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Comes from my 2016 wantlist geeklist.

The game's designed by Günter Burkhardt, the author of Seeland, Maori, Darjeeling, Potato Man and Glastonbury (to name a few), out of which I have - sadly - only played the last one.

I read the rulebook and can confirm that it is a thoroughbred euro, medieval theme here, cathedral there, personas to influence, resources to gather (although not your typical building materials!), city quarters to visit etc. What's interesting though, is that the game doesn't have your focal mechanism that describes the entire game (it's not a worker placement game, or an area control game). I'm glad that Günter actually brought something fresh to the table. Action selection wise the game revolves around a 3x3 action tile grid. It is initially seeded with a certain selection of 5 different action tiles, in random order though. The rest of the action tiles are in the bag. On your turn you draw a random action tile from the bag and push it in the 3x3 grid either from the top/bottom of a chosen column or from the left/right of a chosen row. You push out a tile through the other end, yet the row/column still has 3 action tiles. And these are the actions you are going to perform on your turn (one of them was random from the bag, the other two you had control over). You cannot choose the row/column that has already been touched (a pushed out tile lies next to it). And that's the gist of the action selection. If I could I would label it as action drafting, but there's no such mechanism in the BGG database.

Now I can't tell whether I end up liking this action selection mechanism. It sounds nice, it may be interactive, who knows, but I do want to try it out. 5 different actions allow you to:
- take 1 money
- gather pushed out tiles; this has 2 consequences: you gain resources you can spend later on (action tiles are one of the currencies in the game) and you open up certain rows/columns to be used again for actions
- draw cards by paying two action tiles (either blindly or choose 1 from 2 if the two action tiles you spent were of the same type)
- move your barge 1 space forward on the Danube river
- place your seal in one of the two city quarters indicated by a placement of your barge and get your reward

A couple of important things worth mentioning: each card you collect (either through an action or a bonus of some sort) may be played in one of 2 ways:
- discard it and gain a one-time advantage
- place it in your tableau and make it give you end-game scoring capabilities

This second possibility superficially sounds good, but eventually may be game-changing. For example a player pulls out a perfect end-game scoring card on his last turn and obviously plays it. I saw it happen in Murano and Guilds of London and didn't really enjoy this mechanism. In here there are only 11 types of end-game scoring cards, so that may be less random, dunno. Possibly experienced players will anticipate certain cards to be drawn.

Smaller features include marking certain city quarters and/or 3x3 action grid rows/columns as yours. Thanks to that you will get points anytime somebody uses that city quarter or pushes out a tile in a row/column. Your barge only moves forward and the further you go the more opportunities to influence in city quarters you miss. Only one barge may stay at one place, you skip occupied places, so there's a subtle interaction there. There's also a finite number a given city quarter may be influenced. So on the one hand you're encouraged to move your barge slowly, to exert influence everywhere. But then again you want to be as far ahead as possible at the end of the game, because there are bonus points after a certain threshold (and negative points the further you were from meeting it) as well as bonus prizes towards the end. There are ways to gain special abilities for the game and ways to change a random action tile from the bag.

So, like I said, a lot to like in this colorful game if you are a euro enthusiast. Lots of subtle interaction, but also luck of a card draw that may be significant when it comes to end game scoring. Let's see, I'm interested for now. On my wantlist!
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蓝魔
United Kingdom
Bingham
Nottinghamshire
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Definite buy for me, after reading them.
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Andrea Cecchetti
Italy
Navacchio
PI
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BartP wrote:
I'm glad that Günter actually brought something fresh to the table. Action selection wise the game revolves around a 3x3 action tile grid. It is initially seeded with a certain selection of 5 different action tiles, in random order though.

It reminds me a bit of Nieuw Amsterdam action selections... tough in NA there is an auction to take a column of action tokens in the cash grid.

It sounds really interesting... I think I will try to let someone take a copy in Essen for me.
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quaoar 10
Germany
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I studied at Ulm University, so I have a special connection to the city. Moreover, Menzel did the illustrations and I like his work. So I want to like it, let's see if I will.
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Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
Abingdon
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Thanks - Looks good Bart, I will be looking out for this one!
 
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