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Caylus» Forums » General

Subject: Do I want to keep this? Is this a game that will get played here? rss

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Desiree Greverud
Sweden
Stockholm
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I run the toys & games section of a local thrift store. Today, while unboxing the games delivery, staring back at me from the top of the box was a still-in-the-shrinkwrap copy of Caylus. All our games cost 20kr (~$2.25). I slapped a 50kr sticker (for "better" games) on it and put it in my "to buy" cubby and at the end of my shift, it came home with me.

Now, here's the thing. I have heard of the game, but know next to nothing about it other than it's an early (the first?) worker placement game. I did some quick reading tonight and see that some people think the Provost is "mean" or too "take that". My wife is a total care bear player who hates her stuff being messed with. She likes Agricola and other worker placement games and can handle some light, integrated interaction (we play Catan and no one bitches about the robber) but I wonder how bad this really is. Is using the provost to deny someone an action a "mean" move that simply hurts some one else while not directly benefiting you or is the negative effect an incidental thing while making the best move for yourself?

We could actually play the game, sure, but that would mean unwrapping it, and if it turns out that this is not a game for us, still-in-shrinkwrap sounds much better in a math trade listing. Thanks for any help.
 
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LudoH LudoH
France
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You can also play it nicely without using too much the provost, if both of you agree that you would only use the provost if the other is pushing it (i.e. placing a lot of workers close to the provost).

Usually we play quite nice and it works well.
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Björn
Germany
Frankfurt am Main
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I think no matter what you think about the provost - you should DEFINITELY play (and probably keep) this gem. I wouldn't miss it for anything!!

The provost allows for some "take that", yes, but it is also quite expensive for the mean player to use it that way. And to me it doesn't look like random bashing, but always a well thought of move to use it!
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Humulus Lupulus
United States
Andover
Massachusetts
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If you don't mind the direct targeting of the robber in Settlers of Catan, then she shouldn't find the indirect targeting of the provost in Caylus mean. And, as Bjorn stated, moving the provost costs a player either an action and/or money, so it comes at a cost. Furthermore, there are ways the targeted player can protect against it. So, I think you should play it.
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Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
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Absolutely tremendous game. One of my favorites. I play it frequently.

The provost is *not* a mean "take that" kind of thing. It is a way of injecting risk analysis where selecting better actions might end up being useless if the provost is moved behind them along with the tactical elements of doing what you can to either make them useful (if you took the worker placement spots) or useless (if an opponent did).

It absolutely 100% is nasty and that's going to turn some people off. I've seen that. But it is not arbitrary nor is it fundamentally a way to hurt someone personally.
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Steve
United States
California
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DragonsDream wrote:
She likes Agricola and other worker placement games and can handle some light, integrated interaction...

Then she'll probably like this. It's one of the greats.
 
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Zaphod Beeblebrox
United States
Redmond
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FWIW, both my wife & I do not enjoy games with direct conflict, but we're fine with Caylus. Basically, the threat of the provost is usually enough to keep us from getting too close to him. Because of that, there aren't many opportunities to use him, and thus, we don't experience much conflict.

One could argue that the game is more interesting when people are always placing near the provost and using him on every turn, and that might be true. But even without it, I still find Caylus to be excellent.
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Nate Dorward
Canada
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I'm not a particularly good player of Caylus but do feel it's often on balance beneficial when you lose an action via the provost. It's worth placing a worker in risky positions to force other players to spend money to prevent you from taking the action. Worse comes to worst, you've merely lost a denier but they've lost one or more also; or you've even started a bidding war among players and they're short of cash for a turn or two.

I think it's a great game, though feel that for variety, it could use more randomness or hidden information to make games less deterministic and force players to diversify their strategies. (Though if you play with 4 or 5 people this is mostly a non-issue.) I'd never modify the game by getting rid of the provost (if your gaming group hates it then they should play a game like Stone Age instead which lacks that element); but might consider creating an offer/queue of a limited number of wood and stone buildings to construct (e.g. make say 3 available, and as each is constructed, draw a random new one to add to the queue).
 
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Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
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Nate Dorward wrote:
I think it's a great game, though feel that for variety, it could use more randomness or hidden information to make games less deterministic and force players to diversify their strategies.


I'll just say here that I disagree.

2 player gets samey after 70-80 plays. The answer is to either play with 3 or maybe to stop after 60 plays.
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Henrik Johansson
Sweden
Järfälla
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I will buy it for 50 SEK even if I possess the Caylus Premium Limited Edition (Ystari multilingual edition 2007). Är det i Stockholm?
 
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Desiree Greverud
Sweden
Stockholm
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sthrjo wrote:
I will buy it for 50 SEK even if I possess the Caylus Premium Limited Edition (Ystari multilingual edition 2007). Är det i Stockholm?

well, it's in my apartment now, so I guess it's in Stockholm

although reading up more on it and watching some videos, I'm thinking this will go on the trade list. Not so much for the Provost/screwage aspect (but that doesn't help) so much as the too-brain-burny feel it seems to have. I don't mind heavier games, but since family is my main gaming group, something requiring chess-like strategizing is less likely to get played over more family friendly fare (Tokaido/Takenoko/Small World) or even something a little heavier like Five Tribes or Agricola.
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Nate Dorward
Canada
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It is indeed primarily a 3-5 player game. -- I suspect that my reservations about the lack of chance/hidden information would be answered if Caylus Magna Carta were still in print. But I like the original game just fine.
 
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Steve
United States
California
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Nate Dorward wrote:
It is indeed primarily a 3-5 player game. -- I suspect that my reservations about the lack of chance/hidden information would be answered if Caylus Magna Carta were still in print. But I like the original game just fine.

In my opinion Caylus with 5 is madness. It's good with 2 and 4. With 3 it's great.
 
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Chris Hawks
United States
Apple Valley
Minnesota
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DragonsDream wrote:
I'm thinking this will go on the trade list. Not so much for the Provost/screwage aspect (but that doesn't help) so much as the too-brain-burny feel it seems to have. I don't mind heavier games, but since family is my main gaming group, something requiring chess-like strategizing is less likely to get played over more family friendly fare

If you're interested, Lords of Waterdeep takes a number of the mechanics from Caylus (worker placement, buildings that grant the owners a bonus, turning cubes into points, etc.) but puts them in a lighter, more family-friendly context. There is still some take-that in play, though, in the form of attack cards that can single out an opponent. (There's no provost analogue, though.) It's not a classic like Caylus is, but it hits many of the same notes while being far less brain-burny (and IMHO a lot more fun.)
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Steve
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Salt-Man Z wrote:
DragonsDream wrote:
I'm thinking this will go on the trade list. Not so much for the Provost/screwage aspect (but that doesn't help) so much as the too-brain-burny feel it seems to have. I don't mind heavier games, but since family is my main gaming group, something requiring chess-like strategizing is less likely to get played over more family friendly fare

If you're interested, Lords of Waterdeep takes a number of the mechanics from Caylus (worker placement, buildings that grant the owners a bonus, turning cubes into points, etc.) but puts them in a lighter, more family-friendly context. There is still some take-that in play, though, in the form of attack cards that can single out an opponent. (There's no provost analogue, though.) It's not a classic like Caylus is, but it hits many of the same notes while being far less brain-burny (and IMHO a lot more fun.)

I like Lord of Waterdeep. It's lighter and quite a bit more luck-dependent and that's okay. My only real issue with it is those attack cards (which are randomly drawn). If you're a victim of one it's because the attacker perceives you to be in the lead (or is persuaded that you are by another player). In my experience games are often close enough that that randomness can actually decide games.

With Caylus, on the other hand, it's up to you whether or not to take the risk of playing toward the front and getting hit by the provost. There's a more sensible cause-and-effect to the attacks which makes them a lot more interesting.
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Desiree Greverud
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Salt-Man Z wrote:
DragonsDream wrote:
I'm thinking this will go on the trade list. Not so much for the Provost/screwage aspect (but that doesn't help) so much as the too-brain-burny feel it seems to have. I don't mind heavier games, but since family is my main gaming group, something requiring chess-like strategizing is less likely to get played over more family friendly fare

If you're interested, Lords of Waterdeep takes a number of the mechanics from Caylus (worker placement, buildings that grant the owners a bonus, turning cubes into points, etc.) but puts them in a lighter, more family-friendly context. There is still some take-that in play, though, in the form of attack cards that can single out an opponent. (There's no provost analogue, though.) It's not a classic like Caylus is, but it hits many of the same notes while being far less brain-burny (and IMHO a lot more fun.)

I really enjoy LoW (even if it is the posterchild for "pasted on theme"). We leave out the mandatory quests - those are simply not fun. The rest of the game really is.

Randomness is the great equalizer - it's what allows me to play games with my non gamer family members and lets everyone believe they have a chance of winning. Caylus doesn't sound like that kind of game. Hopefully, I can get something off my want list for it in the next Swedish math trade.
 
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