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Subject: Archipelago killer? rss

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Steve Mccabe
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Hello. I love the idea of Archipelago, and I in fact love most of the game. It is beautiful, presents plenty of options/paths, and I really like the discovery aspect and the domestic and international markets. The secret scoring and end game triggers are cool too.

But, for my group… this game never works. Every time we play it, it just ends up being slow, with lots of rules questions, and a couple players even just ignore the evolution cards and thus the blind bidding, which kind of un-balances the game. In addition, no one aside from me remembers the orders of the phases and what happens in each phase (often causing crushing crisis card events), it is like every round has a new surprise that sets them back (I can see the “oh crap… I didn’t know THAT!” look on their faces…).

Granted… you could say my group is lazy, or they need to try harder… but games should not be work. I want my friends to enjoy playing games at my house. Therefore, I am looking for a game that might have a similar vibe as archipelago, but is a little more streamlined – or has a little bit less going on.

Parts of Archipelago that we enjoy:
-Discovering the board
-the markets/economy
-secret win conditions/end game triggers
-secret resources and money
-the general building and expanding vibe
-negotiations

Parts of Archipelago that we don’t enjoy:
-crisis cards (they just slow down the game and get in the way of the fun parts)
-evolution cards (maybe just a little bit too varied… they are all SOO different)
-lots of fiddly rules about engagement
-awkward/not intuitive round flow

TLDR: Archipelago just doesn’t work with my group. Any other games that give a similar sort of vibe? Thanks very much!!

PS. I still love archipelago and would absolutely play it with the right group – I just haven’t found that group yet.
 
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Oliver Kiley
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Ann Arbor
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It doesn't have the semi-cooperative angle, but have you looked at Cyclades?
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Jonathan Challis
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Inkpen
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I think you are looking for an utterly different game. The bits you want to strip out are the best parts and what makes it Archipelago - all you have left is a very simplistic resource management engine and some hidden goals.
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Nathan T
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New York
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Maybe Concordia.
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Steve Mccabe
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Kelanen wrote:
I think you are looking for an utterly different game. The bits you want to strip out are the best parts and what makes it Archipelago - all you have left is a very simplistic resource management engine and some hidden goals.


maybe you're right. got any suggestions? I'm open minded
 
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Dan
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Clash of Cultures has the exploration of the board, the secret objectives, everything is open to trade, so you can negotiate goods and such. It is a bit long and maybe fiddly, like Archipelago, but in a different way, so maybe it will hit the right size and feel for your group. It also has a building, expanding vibe, and a tech tree, which is different from Archipelago, but fun in it's own right.

Lost Valley: The Yukon Goldrush 1896 is a lighter, 60-90 minute game that has the exploration, board discovery, and while the win conditions aren't secret, the scores, or how much gold you have collected is, so there's some uncertainty, and you do have that building and expanding vibe. While you don't have a market to negotiate, the buildings are all open for anyone to use, so if you build things, many times your opponents will come, and try to leech off your infrastructure.

The Golden Ages is another 60-90 minute games that has the building expanding vibe, secret objectives, and board discovery.

I enjoy Archipelago, and all of these suggestions as well.
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Oliver Kiley
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sirstevie3 wrote:
Kelanen wrote:
I think you are looking for an utterly different game. The bits you want to strip out are the best parts and what makes it Archipelago - all you have left is a very simplistic resource management engine and some hidden goals.


maybe you're right. got any suggestions? I'm open minded


That why I suggested Cyclades. There is a bidding mechanic that's quite interactive that structures your available actions for the turn. Money is hidden behind a player screen. While there aren't secret win conditions - the whole winning of the game is structured around stitching together some really clever sequence of moves at just the right time to snatch victory away from the next person. Lots of table top and free-form negation options.
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Luke Denby
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It sounds like the yet to be released New Angeles might be a good fit. It has most of the pros, negotiation, hidden motivations, fluctuating markets, except for a lack of discovery/exploration. And as far as I can see none of the cons you attribute to Archipelago.

Probably worth following to keep your eye on at least.
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Roland Sanchez
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From the If You Like This Then You Might Like That Department - Deus

It has some of the same build and spread on a map elements, but it all card driven, so more straightforward than Arch.

Plus, some resource management to boot.

What it lacks in looks, it more than makes up in gameplay.
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Steve Mccabe
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Thanks everyone! great suggestions! cant wait to look into them!
 
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Mark Smith

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You may have to look to the heavens and try Eclipse or get a little fix with Xia: Legends of a Drift System
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John Prewitt
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Archipelago is damn unique and I don't think there's anything that will "kill" it but there are other games you might enjoy more.

Eclipse?
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Ian Kissell
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I love Archipelago. I love the colorful board, the exploration, the hidden scoring, and the multiple resources.

I don't like explaining the game work, or how the crisis work in practice. I've made this exact post before, and so far have not really found a good substitute, which makes me sad.

Eclipse is good as far as 4x games go. I've thought a few times that if Scythe has a modular board, it would be a lot of the stuff that I loveabout Archipelago. It is still not a bad substitute. Xia: Legends of a Drift System gives you the exploration, and customizing the ship gives a bit of the feel of customizing your buildings. The new expansion I think improves the market quite a bit.

So to answer your question, I have not found one yet, but those are some you can try.
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Ian Kissell
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Kelanen wrote:
I think you are looking for an utterly different game. The bits you want to strip out are the best parts and what makes it Archipelago - all you have left is a very simplistic resource management engine and some hidden goals.


I would disagree with this. I think the markets are far from simplistic, the hidden goals are unique, and no game does modular board exploration like Archipelago I think.

Most people think the game is the semi-coop element, but I think that is probably the weakest element of the game.
 
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Zee Deveel
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SeaFall
Mare Nostrum: Empires
 
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Kelley Wolatz
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Nebraska
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Hansa Teutonica , power grid or terra mystica
 
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