$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 100.81

6,379 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
40.2% of Goal | left

Support:

Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
flag msg tools
Thinking about my next move.
badge
So, if my only options are these, then I shall...
mbmbmbmbmb

About The Oracle of Delphi:

1) What is it?
The Oracle of Delphi is the racing game mixed with pick-and-deliver by Stefan Feld, in which players want to get Zeus' favor by fulfilling 12 tasks. Players must build 3 shrines, fight 3 monsters, delivery 3 statues and 3 goods and return to Zeus before anyone else.

The Oracle of Delphi is a pretty straightforward game: the actions are simple, easy to teach and to play. The complexity is low, mostly coming from special cards and how best use the dice in order to achieve the goals.

There are plenty of random factors in the game, from the dice rolls for the actions, to the attacks at the end of each round, passing by the drawing of cards (of oracle, of rewards and of damage), the reveal of places to build temples and the fight against monsters. These, more or less, can be mitigated by the players - the action dice by using favors, the attacks by increasing fighting; but some are simply out of the players control, and even those that are can be hard to keep under tabs. Therefore, The Oracle of Delphi requires constant adjustment in the player's choices, becoming highly tatical in nature.

The direct interaction is low - there are blocking, taking what someone else might want or do something before, but, overall, players will be able to do their thing without much hassle: it will be just a matter of keeping an eye on what the others are doing and where they are likely going.

Replay value is high, since there are many random elements (from the players special powers to the set up of the board and the disposition of things on it) which allow for different plays experiences.

Production value os good - cards, tokens and meeples are fine. The dice are engraved and very nice. Art is well done. This is more Trajan than Castles of Burgundy and La Isla.

2) How do you play?
Each player starts the game with a ship, normally with two spaces in the cargo hold, and the ship are drawn randomly, since each gives the players their special ability during the game. Everyone starts in the Zeus spot on the board.

The player board have have the wheel for the dice (it serves mostly to inform the cost to change the color of a die) and the track of the favor of the Gods.

In each turn players use their 3 dice to do their actions. Dice have colors on their sides, and this informs what the player is allowed to do. For instance, say a player rolls a Red, a Black and a Blue. Players can only do actions based on the colors they rolled, be to move, to take thing, to deliver, to fight, to reveal. In her turn the player can: move its empty ship to a Black hexagon (using the Black die). There, since the ship is adjacent to a place with a Red statue, the player can use her Red die to take it and put it in the cargo hold, using one of the two spaces the ship has. Now, the ship is also adjacent to a place with goods - but there isn't a blue good there. But there is a yellow. The player pays one favor of Zeus, to change the color of the die from Blue to Yellow, and uses it to take the yellow good. Now the ship is full. The player has used her three actions, and since she don't have or don't want to use an extra action (an oracle card), she ends her turn by rolling her three dice. If the other players have a God in the favor track, not in the zero position, whose color matches one of the colors rolled in the dice, they can advance the favor of it one step - only one God can be advanced, even if the player has multiple Gods whose color matched. When a God reaches the throne, the player can, afterwards (during her own turn), use the special power of this God, as a free action - then the God returns to the zero position.

When a goal is fulfilled, the player receives a reward - can be allies, a permanent ability, favors from Zeus, etc.

At the end of the each round the last player rolls, alogside their action dice, the black die, which will say the level of attack received by each player. If the player doesn't have enough shields to defend, she receives a wound. If, at the start of her turn the player has either three wounds of the same color or six wounds in total, she loses a turn and get rid of three wounds.

Game proceeds like this, with players doing their actions based on the colors of the dice rolled, getting things and delivering them elsewhere, fighting and building, dealing with the favor of the Gods, and so on, until someone has completed the 12 tasks and returned to Zeus. This person will be the winner!

3) Which are the decisions made during play?
There are several, but most are simple and very clear, demaning little in terms of thought. The main ones are:
- How best use the action dice. This is made by trying to make the most of the colors rolled without using too much of Zeus' favors, as these can be very important to winning a battle against the monsters, or will be needed to make a key action;
- Picking routes. This might be even more important in the big picture than using the actions in the best way possible, due to the racing mixed with pick and deliver nature of the game. With a good route you open yourself not only to make more tasks faster, while also allowing more colors to be used to achieve what you want, and, maybe, having less competition for things and places;
- Which Gods to favor;
- Which rewards to take;
- What to do first, second, third... Be because is quicker and allow to make multiple tasks in one go, be to get sooner some important special power.

The Oracle of Delphi allows for a good amount of decisions throughout the play, but once a route is decided, most of what you will need and what you must do, is already decided, and is just a matter to make them as fast as possible.

4) What are the good things in the game?
- Easy to teach and to play;
- Tries, for the most part, be colorblind friendly;
- Language independent;
- A good mix of strategy (route) and tatic (most of the other decisions);
- Some amount of indirect interaction;
- Light, but with a nice set of decisions.

5) Which are the bad news?
- Many random elements and luck can be a deciding factor;
- Players powers don't seem balanced;
- Little actual theme.

6) How do you feel while playing?
More like Iolaus than Hercules. There is some excitement in The Oracle of Delphi - many coming from the random factors: will I get a wound and lose a round? How I will fare in a fight against the Medusa? Can this be the place to build a temple? And, of course, rolling the die and sighting or cheerring about the result. But the enjoyment during play was low: the actions felt a lot mechanical and was simply a matter of going from A to B, as smoothly as the dice and the favor allow it.

The racing is a constant pressure to go bold or go home, yet, for the most part, the dispute never reached a very high point or a big low: it stayed in that dull middle level - not truly boring, never all that exciting either.

The random elements, though positive in some aspects, can cause serious harm to a player - we had a play in which the person was constantly having problems in getting his game going, not due a single thing, but little by little of several bad luck moments.

In the end, The Oracle of Delphi was a forgettable experience: I wasn't offend nor enthralled by it. The Oracle of Delphi has a good set of positive things, making itself as a light game with a nice group of decisions and high replay value, but, specially for those looking for more interaction, tension and control, The Oracle of Delphi won't deliver. Though it has plenty of colors, overall, it is mostly gray.

Regards,


Image credit: barandur



To read others reviews in the same format and/or follow new ones, go to or subscribe to this geeklist: Down to the basic reviews.
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Dringautzki
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
Shades Of Boardgaming
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Tiago,

I just went over 4+5. Sorry to note, it is not colorblind friendly. I will have a longer text on that on one of my next blogs I assume.

Player powers vary a lot on setup of the map and cards available already. Yes, you need to see what might be good or even better especially on different player counts.

Which are the elements you count into: "Many random elements and luck can be a deciding factor"?

Cheers
Peat
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
flag msg tools
Thinking about my next move.
badge
So, if my only options are these, then I shall...
mbmbmbmbmb
MeeplePeat wrote:
I just went over 4+5. Sorry to note, it is not colorblind friendly. I will have a longer text on that on one of my next blogs I assume.


I thought that all the colours where also connected with either a symbol (dice, hexagons, etc) or an image (for the gods). This doesn't make it colorblind friendly? This is truly a question, since I'm not colorblind, but keep an eye for these things and considered this one of the good ones.


MeeplePeat wrote:
Which are the elements you count into: "Many random elements and luck can be a deciding factor"?


Things like: the dice roll for the attacks (against monsters and to receive damage), the drawing of damage cards, the very roll of the dice, etc. Though there are ways to counter these somewhat, is require spending resources and/or dice, which can be decisive in a racing game (as well as it would in an optimization game).

Regards,
1 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rob Compton
England
Branston
Lincolnshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
We had an issue with colour blindness due to the exploration tiles. They are placed on land tiles with a colour border which activate with the appropriate dice colour.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Dringautzki
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
Shades Of Boardgaming
mbmbmbmbmb
tiagoVIP wrote:
MeeplePeat wrote:
I just went over 4+5. Sorry to note, it is not colorblind friendly. I will have a longer text on that on one of my next blogs I assume.


I thought that all the colours where also connected with either a symbol (dice, hexagons, etc) or an image (for the gods). This doesn't make it colorblind friendly? This is truly a question, since I'm not colorblind, but keep an eye for these things and considered this one of the good ones.


MeeplePeat wrote:
Which are the elements you count into: "Many random elements and luck can be a deciding factor"?


Things like: the dice roll for the attacks (against monsters and to receive damage), the drawing of damage cards, the very roll of the dice, etc. Though there are ways to counter these somewhat, is require spending resources and/or dice, which can be decisive in a racing game (as well as it would in an optimization game).

Regards,


Hi Tiago,

well they implemented some help on the colors with icons. But if ships are on one field you do not see it. Plus the major problem was when picking up a red cube to deliver it to a red temple. This has cost me the game as the green cubes where at the start area only and we had a tunnel setup. I agree the monster worked better than expected and you can select the colors you see in your tasks if needed. Still a lot of improvements that could have taken.

And you know about the luck factor. And there is a lot you can do to mitigate it. Sometimes you need to be proactive (on wounds) but the oracle dice can be manipulated quite good in my view. I agree on the titan roll but it hits all players the same plus you can raise your shields. I see it as you need to choose one death to take here.

I still would love the game even I don't like race games, but based on the thematic approach and its non-vp usage.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.