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Orléans» Forums » General

Subject: How to best adress some of Orléans weaknesses ? rss

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Alexandre Santos
Belgium
Brussels
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Yesterday I played Orléans (base game, half the number of place tiles) for the first time with my wife. I always have some apprehension when "premiering" a game with her, since a bad experience will severely limit the amount of table-time that the game will ultimately have for me.

In the case of Orléans she really was caught by the game, and mid-way through our play could barely wait for her turn to pick and distribute her partisans. This was a relief for me, since I plan to play the cooperative mode with her and bought the invasion extension.

Today we discussed further about the game, and she made the following remarks :

- she felt the theme was really pasted on the game, "it could easily have been space-opera, or whatever". For instance recruiting knights did not increase some kind of defensive/offensive value, or had any other impact than recruiting other classes.

- the beneficial deeds board felt uninteresting. There was little sense of "achieving something", and it was mostly used as an after-thought (this despite her having won two notables over me in that same board).

- the events also seemed disjointed. They did not form much of a narrative, and were not very memorable.

I was actually amused to see how effortlessly she summarized common criticisms about Orléans, but my question here is how to address or alleviate some of these issues (without trying to fix them completely, since that is not possible).

More specifically, I'm wondering if there are some variants or scenarii that in your experience worked quite well on those areas, and that I could try for the next play with her. For instance, the "prosperity" scenario from the invasion expansion has scripted events, I wonder if they are more impactful or work better to inject some narrative into the play. Same question for the "duel" and "invasion" scenario.

Same question for the beneficial deeds board: from what I saw the "invasion" board could perhaps feel more meaningful (for instance you are required to garrison the city walls with knights), did those who played have that experience? Or are there other beneficial deeds boards that seem more meaningful that the one in the base game?

As for the question of theme, again the "invasion" scenario may help, and I would like to know how it worked for you. If there are other variants or scenarios that also "work" better theme-wise, I'm interested!

Considering all this, I'm currently hesitating between playing "duel" or "invasion" for our next play.
 
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Hardy
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Invasion feels certainly more thematic and narrative, so I guess you should check that out.
Haven't played the duell yet.
Prosperity brings more thrill to the events. Personally I prefer for a normal game (multiplayer competetive) the new 2nd expansion, though, as it has variable events (in prosperity they are the same every game) and also it features more interesting deeds boards.
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Peter Mulholland
United Kingdom
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Play Invasion next! And it sounds like you need to pick up the second expansion too.

While theme can be a. It tricky in a Euro game it works slightly better in Invasion (you're collecting money and food, and gathering soldiers etc). The events are still a bit random though. I don't think that's something you'd be able to get away from.

The new expansion adds a new beneficial deeds board which is much better than the original. You actually want to place your workers there to get the bonuses rather than just using it to manage your bag or waste actions.

It also adds a new set of events which adds more variety and are generally better, although they're still not going to provide a story - you could do that yourself though.

I can't stand the prosperity scenario. The carpenter is just a distraction and doesn't really add anything, go with Invasion. It's an amazing set up that feels very different to the base game - in a good way.
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Alexandre Santos
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Thank you both for the tips : I'll go on with "invasion".

I plan to buy the second expansion, but I'll need to wait for a french translation, since the rest of the game I bought is in french.

I guess that after playing a couple scenarios I'll develop enough feeling for the game to start writing custom scenarios by creating lists of events and placing elements in the map, to build a bit more of a narrative.
 
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Thomas Robb
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Although I have only seen a review of Handel & Intrigue, the new Beneficial Deeds Board looks better and there are cards you can get by traveling to cities and giving up goods tiles - getting VP in the process.

The cards, I hope, may provide an alternative to building trading stations, getting development points, and racing for citizen tiles - that seems to be the only avenue to victory in the base game.

There are also new and various event tiles to spice things up a bit - in the base game there are only 6 possibilities for events - that means you can plan for them in advance because you know what is coming.





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