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Subject: A Pictorial Overview: Why I love Notre Dame. And why I love it even more with the new cards! rss

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Ender Wiggins
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Do you enjoy euro games? Then seriously consider getting Notre Dame. Do you already have Notre Dame? Then do yourself a favour and get yourself the nine expansion cards. Do it now, and do whatever it takes! Want me to tell you why? Fair enough, then read on. I was first introduced to Notre Dame by a gamer friend several years ago, and it quickly became a house favourite. Since acquiring it back in 2008, my wife and I have enjoyed nearly 20 sessions of two-player games, as well as multiple games with more players. While other games come and go, it remains evergreen and continues to get regular play. And I'm not alone in my positive assessment: based on its current BGG ranking, it's a Top 10 game from 2007. So let me share some of the things I like about Notre Dame, and how the nine new expansion cards inject a lease of new life into it, and help extend the mileage of this quintessential euro even further.



What's good about Notre Dame?

There's a lot to like about Notre Dame. Boiled down to its essence, it's a typical euro, as you juggle your two main resources (influence cubes and money) in an effort to translate them into victory points. Despite being thin, the theme is innocuous enough, although it does incorporate a particularly interesting aspect that helps add flavour and tension to the game, since while working to score points you must also carefully manage the threat posed by the rat population, which can potentially bring on a crippling plague. But for the most part there's much that screams "euro" about the game: the cube pushing and basic resource management as you endeavour to churn out victory points, the streamlined and quick gameplay, and the ease of learning and elegance of the rule-set. It has enough `luck' through a randomized draw of district cards and the person cards to give a reasonable replay value, and yet gives ample room for clever tactical and strategic choices, without being overly brain-burning - in most cases you simply need to choose from one of three options, so the limited number of choices does help minimize potential analysis paralysis. It scales well from 2-5 players, and it has pretty-looking and quality components.

Really, Notre Dame does just about everything by the book, and gets it all right in a crisp and appealing package. All in all, it's a classic poster-boy for the genre of light-medium weight euros, and serves as an excellent model of this form of game. If there are criticisms to make, it's that there's not a huge amount of interaction, but this is redeemed somewhat by the nifty draft mechanism which has since become more widely known from popular games like 7 Wonders. There's an awful lot to like about Notre Dame, and this is one of the games that we continue to pull out several years later, despite having acquired and tried multiple other games since.


Classic euro!

How replayable is Notre Dame?

Two elements of the game mechanics especially enhance the replayability of Notre Dame:

1. The cards you draw and draft. Players get to see all nine of their action cards three times in the game, but you'll draw them in a different order each time. More importantly, what cards you receive from your opponent in the `draft' will vary depending on their card-draw, as well as the choices they are making and strategies they are planning.


Drafted action cards

2. The person cards available for hire. Each round, three person cards can be hired by paying a gold coin. Two of these are from the pool of six brown person cards, and because the game lasts nine rounds in total, this means you'll get to see each of those three times each. One of these is from the pool of nine grey person cards - these only appear one time each during the entire game, and since they are often one of the most lucrative ways to earn prestige points, they can play a big role in determining your strategy.


Person cards available for hire in an early round

Because of these factors, the game will play out differently every time, depending on the draw and drafting of the action cards, and the order in which the person cards appear.

Nonetheless there is a sense in which the game can feel somewhat `scripted' after multiple plays. You will find extensive articles and discussions about strategy in Notre Dame, and many experienced players will often have devised for themselves somewhat of a `system' by which they will approach the game, often focussed on generating cubes and money in the early game, and then switching to earning victory points - often accelerated with the use of the Park - in the late game. Consider, for example, this comment from Patrick Jamet (Pyjam): "I played 590 games of Notre Dame (on BSW). For the last 200 games, I played the same strategy over and over and I averaged 71-72 VP. I never looked at what the other players were doing. The games only differed on a tactical level. The best players played the same strategy. Against them, luck of the draw determines the winner. Therefore, I can't say this game has any level of depth." That tells you two things about Notre Dame: First of all, that it's remarkably replayable, and you can play hundreds of times without getting sick of it! Secondly, there is a certain strategy that can prove to be the optimal path, and even though you'll need to make different tactical choices from game to game in order to walk on this path, the overall strategic track that scores the most points will have the sense of the well-trodden and familiar, at least for very experienced players. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because each game will still present its own challenge, but it could make the game feel old or stale after a while. But don't stop reading just yet, because in just a few moments we're going to shake this theory to pieces, and give these expert players something to think about and reinvent themselves.

But first, let's consider a little more closely what role the Person cards play in the process of shaping a typical and winning strategy.

How do the person cards affect the game?

Notre Dame comes with two types of person cards: brown and grey. In each of the nine rounds of play, you may hire one person, and they will usually provide you with special advantages that you can really capitalize on in a number of ways.

The brown person cards help in various small ways, and two of these will appear each round:


The six brown person cards

Here's what each of these cards does:



But it's really the grey person cards that can change the course of the game, especially by giving rich opportunities for earning victory points. There are nine of these, and each one will appear only once per game, at the end of each round:


The nine grey person cards

Here's what each of these cards does:



As you play the game regularly, you start to realize that the key to maximizing points often is by getting ways to get as many cubes as you can on the board in the first half of the game, and then using the second half of the game to cash in on the benefits offered by hiring grey persons like the Guild Master, Carpenter, Mayor, and Lady of the court - benefits that will only be further accelerated with the help of the Park. It won't work quite the same way every time, because the order in which these cards appear will change slightly from game to game, and you may be helped or hindered by your opponents in the card draft, but it will give you a broad plan to aim for: start by building up a resource engine that generates the cubes and gold you need while managing your rats, and then go for the big points. Skilled players will keep careful track of the grey Person cards that are scheduled to appear, and try to set themselves up for big point-generating rounds, for example, by having lots of districts with two cubes, or with three cubes. There's a lot more can be said about this, and you won't have to look far in the forums to find detailed articles about strategy that document the best ways to do this. I wouldn't recommend reading them too quickly, because it's more fun to try to figure out the best strategic paths for yourselves by experimenting with different possibilities. But if you are a serious gamer and play Notre Dame often enough, it does appear that eventually you'll stumble on what appears to be the `optimal' way to approach the game, and even though the specifics will vary from game to game, and playing the game is still a challenge for that reason, you may find that Notre Dame games start to develop a somewhat familiar feel.

How does this change with new grey person cards?

But that all changes with the nine new grey person cards offered in the expansion. Imagine that instead of the cards mentioned above, the nine grey person cards looked like this:



I didn't make these up. They're real cards, and you can switch them in and out with the existing ones, as well as mix and match. Doesn't that change everything! Did you notice this: The Gypsies earn you points for removing cubes and returning them to the general supply. And the Guard earns you points for cubes that you don't have on the board. What's more, all the cards that let you scoop up points for cubes on the board are gone - except for the Host, which instead rewards you with points for cubes in the Hotel, a district usually dismissed by most veterans as worst of the bunch. Doesn't that turn the whole game on its head? I say it does, because suddenly your long term strategies for earning points have to change in a rather dramatic fashion! You still need to build up that resource engine for cubes and gold, and manage your rats, but the overall trajectory of the game is forced to go on a different track from what we're used to , because the most lucrative objectives have been removed and replaced with alternative ways of getting points. The `system' is broken, and we need to start our thinking afresh.

How do the new grey person cards work?

But it gets better. Because how does this all work? The expansion comes with nine new person cards, three for the first three rounds (labelled A), three for the second three rounds (labelled B), and three for the final three rounds (labelled C). You can simply replace the existing grey person cards from the base game with the new ones - which is what we did the first couple of times, just to help us get a feel for the dynamics and possibilities offered by them. If played with this fixed set of nine new cards often enough, perhaps you'd figure out a new `system' to replace the old. But now consider the set-up that's recommended by the expansion rules: mix the three grey A cards from the base game with the three new grey A cards from the expansion, and then select three randomly! Do the same for the B and C cards. The chosen cards are revealed to all the players, so that everyone knows what cards will be in the mix for this particular game. That's very important, so that you can start planning your strategies accordingly - ideally you'd like to know in advance if the Mayor is going to show up in the last round of play, so that you can try to set yourself up earlier in the game to capitalize on it! But then the chosen cards are shuffled and set-up in the usual manner - meaning that the precise order you'll draw the three A cards remains unknown.


Card backs for the grey person cards

Let's do the math. There are now six different grey persons labelled A (for the first three rounds), and if we're randomly choosing three from these six, there are no less than 20 different possible combinations of grey person cards labelled A for the first three rounds. There's the same number of possibilities for the cards labelled B in the next three rounds, and the same number of possibilities for the cards labelled C in the final three rounds. That makes a grand total of 8000 uniquely different combinations of 9 cards that you could end up with at the start of a game! And this doesn't even take into account the fact that they will appear in a different order each time, which also has an impact on the flow of the game. It's not hard to see that different combinations will lend themselves to different strategies and possibilities, which is only enhanced further by the fact that the order in which they show up will vary from game to game. Sure, they won't all be useful - especially not in tandem - but it's going to be a lot of fun figuring this out on the fly with each new game, isn't it?!


One of the 8000 possible combinations of cards

What are the new grey person cards?

Let's take a closer look at the nine new cards, and explain what each of them does.

Manager: If you bribe the Manager you double the VP you’ve accumulated so far, i.e. take from the supply as many VP as you already have.
Scholar: If you bribe the Scholar you can execute the action shown on your third card (the one that is usually discarded).
Nurse: If you bribe the Nurse take a cube of your colour from the general supply, place the cube in the Hospital and move your plague counter back one step.


Manager, Scholar, and Nurse

Spy: If you bribe the Spy you can look secretly at the remaining pile of grey characters (without changing their order), plus score 2 VP.
Gypsies: If you bribe the Gypsies put back in the general supply as many cubes of your colour currently on the board, and receive 2 VP for each cube you returned.
Coachman: If you bribe the Coachman choose one type of message token you’ve accumulated so far, and receive their benefits again. e.g. If you have two `4VP’ messages, two `2VP and 1 cube' messages, and one `1 VP and 1 gold’ message, you can choose to take 8 VP, or 4 VP and 2 cubes, or 1 VP and 1 gold.


Spy, Gypsies, and Coachman

Host: If you bribe the Host you receive 2 VP for each cube you have in the Hotel.
Guard: If you bribe the Guard you immediately gain 3 VP for each pair of cubes of your colour in the general supply.
Advisor: If you bribe the Advisor you can bribe two of the other visible character cards at a cost of 1 gold each - you can choose to bribe each of them, or to bribe one of them twice.


Host, Guard, and Advisor

Now doesn't that just open up a whole new range of possibilities and excitement!

Where do you get the new grey person cards?

Unfortunately the expansion cards are not readily available separately, because they come as part of the Alea Treasure Chest. The Treasure Chest comes with a whole swag of other expansions, like Puerto Rico, San Juan, In the Year of the Dragon, Witch's Brew, Louis XIV, and Princes of Florence (which is part of the reason why I posted this review for Notre Dame, and not the Treasure Chest). The good news that there's more than enough geeks who have bought the Treasure Chest in order to get some of these other expansions, and are willing to offload the Notre Dame expansion cards for GeekGold or cash, or in trades.


The Alea Treasure Chest

So what all comes in the Treasure Chest for Notre Dame? Well as well as the nine cards, you'll get a small rulesheet which explains the unique ability of each of the new characters. You can download the full English rules for the Treasure Chest here, but once you've read this review you're pretty much up to speed on how they work for Notre Dame. In short then, if you want these nine expansion cards, you need to get the full Treasure Chest, or find a way to get your hands on the nine cards separately.


The complete Notre Dame expansion from the Treasure Chest

What do I think?

New long term strategies. So what's the final assessment? When we first got the expansion cards, we played our first couple of games using all nine of the new cards, to help us get a feel of how they change the game, and then in future games we started doing random mixes as suggested in the rules. In my estimation they change the long term strategies considerably, particularly because they minimize the need for cubes on the board towards the end, and provide alternate ways of scoring points. In one instance, my wife used cards like the carriage house to generate lots of points in the first three rounds, and then used the Manager at the end of round 3 to double her VPs. With a cube in Notre Dame as well, she already had 26 points - and we still had two thirds of the game to go! This kind of strategy would usually be unthinkable in the original game, but became quite viable with the expansion cards - she went on to score 78 points, and my win streak of something like ten games was suddenly in ruins. Naturally the success of this approach depends on the order in which cards appear and which cards are in the game, but it just goes to show that in some instances an early point generating strategy can work. As our next three games proved, you can't play by a fixed `system' any more. Remember those sharks, who have played Notre Dame hundreds of times and figured out the optimal strategies? Suddenly the playing-field is more level again, and they'll have to re-evaluate their approach to maximizing points, from game to game. The beauty about the expansion cards is that they don't change the essentials of game-play, but they do compel you to develop new long term strategies, and force you to make adjustments accordingly. If you have a `system', you'll have to change it. Note that this does not mean that the expansion cards make the game more random, or less strategic. Far from it - the player who wins will usually be the one who can best take advantage of the new objectives and figure out how they best fit together. Experienced players of Notre Dame may find their strategic foundations rattled for a while, but that's okay, because it forces you to get out of the zone that you're comfortable with, and develop new plans and strategies. Often this will involve taking careful note of the nine grey cards that are in the game (print out this reference sheet to help with this), and shaping your plans to maximize them as the game progresses.

Other changes. The amount of rats increases slightly, perhaps making some aspects of the game slightly harder, but this isn't really a change you'll notice too much because it's compensated for in other ways (e.g. the Nurse card has four rats, but lets you put a cube from the general supply into your Hospital), and because you'll be having too much fun exploring the new strategies. Consider, for example, the Host, which earns a reward of 2VP for each cube in the Hotel. The Hotel is often a `I'll-only-take-it-because-there's-nothing-else-to-take' kind of card, but with the Host it suddenly becomes another way to score points, and using the Minstrel to transfer several cubes into the Hotel in the closing stages can even be a viable strategy. Changes like this help `correct' perceived imbalances that have been identified with the original game, but more importantly, offer new paths to victory. Another example: you could use the Gypsies to earn big points by returning cubes to the general supply, and then if the Guard shows up on the very next round, you can cash in on the many cubes in your general supply and turn them into points - neat combo!

Overall, these nine cards definitely succeed in making the game feel fresh, by forcing you to adjust your long range plans, and re-evaluate the trajectory of your gameplay as the game progresses. Casual gamers might not pay too much attention to this to begin with, so it's especially the people who are good at Notre Dame and play it a lot who stand to benefit the most from these changes. Admittedly some cards will prove more useful than others, but they all give the game a different feel and a new sense of replayability, without detracting from its core or heart. They're not like a variant, which adds extra rules or changes substantial aspects of game-play. On the contrary, when using these cards we feel like we're at the steering wheel of the same reliable car that we've come to enjoy driving, only that we're moving through new terrain and countryside. It's like being given the opportunity to enjoy the pleasure of driving on the open road in a new city instead of being limited to a fixed circuit in the same-old town. As such, each game offers that feeling of discovery which you originally felt the first few times you played the game, and tried to figure out the best way to play - now you get to do that every game. The expansion cards don't turn a good game into a great game, but they just help you rediscover what made the game great in the first place.


The blue player developing his districts

What do others think?

There's not a lot of comments about the expansion cards for Notre Dame, but nearly all the ones I could find were very favourable:
"This old favourite which my wife and I play quite frequently was given a new burst of life with the addition of the expansion characters from the Alea Treasure Chest." - Eddy Richards
"I'm also a fan of the treasure chest expansion for ND. A good game on it's own, but after a while it needs a shake-up." - Jack (JohnRayJr)
"Notredame Exp. : A solid 10" - Giacomo Mangiarano
"Rating [of 8.5] currently based on the excellent expansions to San Juan and Notre Dame." - Dominic Rébérez
"9 - Notre Dame" - Michał Jasik
"New person cards provide a fresh approach to some strategies. Recommended." - Stephan Valkyser
"9 new persons to hire. A very nice change of pace. Some seem very powerful -- don't ignore them! 8/10" - snoozefest
"A nice small expansion that adds a bit of variety but leaves the game pretty much unchanged." - Alex Grant
"One word of advice! Make sure to go over what each of the new characters do before you start the game so everyone can plan accordingly. There are some potentially devastatingly high scoring characters in there!" - Larry Rice
"These are great and I'll always use them from now on. Individually, some are more useful than others, but mixed with the original cards, they reduce the predictability of the game (not that this was a problem) and give people a chance to succeed with unusual strategies." - Rich P
"Really great. Adds a lot to the game." - Marcin Krupiński
"The new cards for Notre Dame seems to be the best expansion of the bunch." - Walt Mulder


I couldn't agree more. So don't just take my word for it, there's a clear consensus that the Notre Dame expansion cards are a top notch addition!


The Nurse has lots of rats, but helps your Hospital

Recommendation

Notre Dame is and remains an outstanding euro, and several years after graduating off the production line as part of the class of 2007, has to be considered one of the highest achievers of the light-medium games from that year, by typifying some of the best that the genre can offer. It doesn't quite have the depth of classics like Puerto Rico or Caylus, but compensates for this by being more accessible, and serves well as a somewhat lighter and quicker game that is both intuitive and elegant. Yet it's not to be underestimated or considered as a game of luck - far from it, because Notre Dame offers tense and interesting decisions that require you to manage risk and manipulate a very tight economy, and carefully construct long range plans for your point-scoring objectives. There's just the right balance between tactical choices and strategic options, and the card drafting keeps the game interactive without being overly confrontational, while the finite number of possibilities keep the game from bogging down with analysis paralysis. It's not too heavy, and yet there's also not a sense that so much strategic fat has been trimmed from the design that the end result is muddied by excessive randomness or that game-play becomes a mere shuffling of cardboard and wood with no real flavour, as is the case with some euros we've seen over the years. In many respects I suppose it is an exercise in efficiency, as many euros are, but the random draw of the cards forces you to plan different paths each game, the draft mechanic adds elements of fun and indirect interaction, and the risk management associated with the rats adds tension, all of which prevent it from being categorized with the mundane or blase. In the final analysis, this is no ordinary cube-pushing euro, and while it doesn't pretend to compete with the heavier games in the genre and won't please everyone's tastes, it remains one of the more shining examples of how good a lighter and medium weight euro really can be.

For any serious fan of Notre Dame, the new grey person cards are an absolute must have, and I highly, highly recommend them. Notre Dame has always performed strongly in our house, and the replay value and freshness offered by these expansion cards only makes it better. It's amazing what swapping in and mixing nine different cards can do! All roads do lead to Notre Dame, but as this expansion proves, there's more than one way to get there!


All roads lead to Notre Dame

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Brian Cherry
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LOL. Great timing. I managed to get my copy of Notre Dame to the table yesterday, for the first time in 2 years. We had completely forgotten the rules. Our second game, we played with the new cards, and enjoed many of them. I've now mixed the two sets, so each game will have a different mix of cards.
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Joseph Ellis
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Ender, I love your reviews. I can't stand this game. You say it's the posterboy for euros. I agree, but I think that's true in a bad way. No innovative mechanics. Extremely dry. Multiplayer solitaire. Cube pusher. An arbitrary system of rules you need to master so that you can play most efficiently. Just nothing to like here for me.
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Drew
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Did you notice this: The Gypsies earn you points for removing cubes and returning them to the general supply. And the Guard earns you points for cubes that you don't have on the board.


During our most recent game, these two cards appeared in back-to-back rounds. The player who had the most cubes on the board first hired the Gypsies, and netted a ton of points for removing them. Then in the next round hired the Guard and earned points again for all those cubes he just removed.

It won him the game. Easily.
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Jeremy Salinas
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Awesome Ender !! I've never had the chance to play Notre Dame....going to have to give it a go now that I've read your review.
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Javi Santos
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Fantastic review, as always. I have just purchased Notre Dame, and obviously I will have to look for the expansion.
One question about the Manager, who doubles current VPs. It sounds to me (played only once with basic) quite strong, but I suppose since it is in the A group, and appears early, is reasonable. But I guess it makes a big difference if it shows in round 1 or 3.
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Lance
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This is the game that started me out on my love affair with anything that Stefan Feld makes. Simply an outstanding game.

Great job as always Ender - you do the game great justice.

Now that being said...if anyone reading this has the expansion from their treasure chest lying around...feel free to contact me about a trade/purchase.
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Asa Swain
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Thanks for writing a review highlighting the expansion cards. I got them in a trade a while ago, but haven't had a chance to try them out yet. Glad to hear you really like them!
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Patrick Riley
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barnyams36 wrote:
It sounds to me (played only once with basic) quite strong, but I suppose since it is in the A group, and appears early, is reasonable.


Since everyone has an opportunity to purchase the use of persons, it balances out. It helps to have a gold in reserve to use these cards and if you aren't able to have a spare gold, then yes, you could be at a disadvantage.
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Darin Hoopes
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Fantastic review! Great information!

I learned to play Notre Dame on BSW a couple of months ago along with a few members of my family. We've enjoyed it enough that I was planning to buy it sometime even though we could just keep playing on BSW, but there wasn't a particular need to hurry. After reading this review I am going to go buy the game and the Treasure Chest as soon as I can. Thanks for giving such a well thought out description of the expansion cards. I would have never anticipated the effect you describe so well. Thanks so much! Very helpful!
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Craig Liken
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Great review - and exactly what I think of the new cards. It really does change the potential strategies.
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Anthony DuLac
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As always, Ender's reviews put all the rest of ours to shame.
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Dave Martin
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EndersGame wrote:
Manager: If you bribe the Manager you double the VP you’ve accumulated so far, i.e. take from the supply as many VP as you already have.
b In one instance, my wife used cards like the carriage house to generate lots of points in the first three rounds, and then used the Manager at the end of round 3 to double her VPs. With a cube in Notre Dame as well, she already had 26 points - and we still had two thirds of the game to go! This kind of strategy would usually be unthinkable in the original game, but became quite viable with the expansion cards - she went on to score 78 points, and my win streak of something like ten games was suddenly in ruins.


Maybe your streak was not over. To be clear, the manager only doubles your VP chips, not those earned from messages by the carriage house, right?

Even so, we have found that the carriage house is more useful in the expansion, as the card that doubles all one type of message can be very powerful (8VPs and 4 cubes, or 12VPs and 4 back rats is possible in 2 player).

We haven't had the guts to try sending cubes back, maybe we should (maybe we have gotten into the rut of always playing 'old style').

Awesome game. Awesome review. Good expansion.
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Ender Wiggins
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone, here's some responses to questions that have come up:

Manager

Dave Martin wrote:
Maybe your streak was not over. To be clear, the manager only doubles your VP chips, not those earned from messages by the carriage house, right?

When you collect a message with the carriage, you immediately get the VPs that it offers. So hiring the Manager does indeed double any VPs you've earned from messages earlier in the game.

barnyams36 wrote:
One question about the Manager, who doubles current VPs. It sounds to me (played only once with basic) quite strong, but I suppose since it is in the A group, and appears early, is reasonable. But I guess it makes a big difference if it shows in round 1 or 3.

Is the Manager too powerful? I guess only repeated play will tell. Like you say, it also does depend on which round it appears. A third round Manager lends itself to generating points in the early stages in order to capitalize on it, and I've already seen it used in this way to produce 70+ scores in a two player game more than once. But it is available to all players, so everyone has the same opportunity to use it. Perhaps it could become a favourite over time, and once you get a clearer sense of the impact it can have on scoring, you may need to adjust your strategies accordingly, depending on whether it's in the game, and also when it appears.

Gypsies + Guard combo

Drew1365 wrote:
Quote:
Did you notice this: The Gypsies earn you points for removing cubes and returning them to the general supply. And the Guard earns you points for cubes that you don't have on the board.

During our most recent game, these two cards appeared in back-to-back rounds. The player who had the most cubes on the board first hired the Gypsies, and netted a ton of points for removing them. Then in the next round hired the Guard and earned points again for all those cubes he just removed. It won him the game. Easily.

I've seen these cards appear consecutively as well (the odds of this happening are only 1 in 9 if both cards are in play), in fact I knew it was coming because I'd used the Spy in an earlier round, and was able to plan accordingly. But when I hired the Gypsies my opponent suspected something was up, and followed suit in order to earn just as many points, and then did the same when the Guard appeared on the very next round. Final scores in that game were 59-74, me being the loser. With a different set of grey person cards, or even when appearing at a different round of the game, the Gypsies might be something to avoid - but figuring these things out from game to game is precisely what makes these expansion cards fun.

Acquiring the expansion cards

UndeadViking wrote:
Now that being said...if anyone reading this has the expansion from their treasure chest lying around...feel free to contact me about a trade/purchase.

They're often listed in the GeekAuctions, especially by BGG user matdav. You could try contacting him directly with an expression of interest, but if you're quick you can snag one right now because he has one listed in the GeekAuctions at this very moment!

PollutedMonkey wrote:
It sounds like the mini-expansion would be another perfect fit for the BGG-store format.

That may also be a great idea!
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Julio

Hidalgo
Texas
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I have been on the verge of buying Notre Dame for so long now. I like Feld's Roma and have been very intrigued about Macao. But what makes me wonder is if ND has some worker placement mechanic which we really hate (kind of The Pillars of the Earth). Your mentions on Puerto Rico and the phrase "elegant mechanics" bring me back to the idea of getting ND.

Am I completely lost relating this game to any other worker placement game? Does it have more of building engines as in Puerto Rico? I've read the rules and still undecided...
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Jon G
United States
Goleta
California
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EndersGame wrote:

They're often listed in the GeekAuctions, especially by BGG user matdav. You could try contacting him directly with an expression of interest, but if you're quick you can snag one right now because he has one listed in the GeekAuctions at this very moment!


Already sold, Ender pitched it well. Gotta do something with all that I got for donating...
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Brian Gee
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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Great review, thanks. Notre Dame is one of those games I picked up awhile back and never got around to trying yet. Your review has encouraged me to give it a shot.

Coincidentally, I also have the Treasure Chest expansion. I got it mainly for San Juan, as well as the 6th player stuff for Witch's Brew. My experience with the San Juan expansion has been great! Much like one of the comments you quoted about the Notre Dame expansion, the San Juan expansion also changes things up and allows people an opportunity to win with a more unusual strategy. And much like your comments about Notre Dame, San Juan is a heavily played classic with my partner that really benefitted from a breath of fresh air.

It's great to know in advance that I am destined to get even more value out of the awesome Treasure Chest!
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Dave Martin
Canada
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downstream wrote:
Coincidentally, I also have the Treasure Chest expansion. I got it mainly for San Juan, as well as the 6th player stuff for Witch's Brew. My experience with the San Juan expansion has been great! Much like one of the comments you quoted about the Notre Dame expansion, the San Juan expansion also changes things up and allows people an opportunity to win with a more unusual strategy.


With slight improvisation, the San Juan expansion plays really well with 6 players. For me, Witch's Brew and Louis XIV are the only expansions which I can't use.
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Tadeu Zubaran
Brazil
Porto Alegre
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EndersGame wrote:
The good news that there's more than enough geeks who have bought the Treasure Chest in order to get some of these other expansions, and are willing to offload the Notre Dame expansion cards for GeekGold or cash, or in trades.


Not that simple (for me at least).

I tried to find someone to buy the expansion from and got a message that it is illegal to post such things on the forum and I should use the marketplace. The marketplace only has the whole expansion to sell and I wont buy it for the notre dame expansion only.

Thanks for the review, very well made and informative.
 
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Panayiotis
Greece
Kamatero (Athens)
Attica
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An excellent review for a great game! meeple
 
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Serge Bouwens
Netherlands
Alphen aan den Rijn
Unspecified
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Great review. And a great suggestion to buy a download of the expansion cards with geekgold.

Anybody who can provide me with good quality ready to print files?

I pay in gold



mail me: serge.bouwens@kpnmail.nl
 
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Ender Wiggins
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Xcorps wrote:
Great review. And a great suggestion to buy a download of the expansion cards with geekgold.

Anybody who can provide me with good quality ready to print files?

Ummm...no, I don't think that's legal. What I was suggesting was to buy an actual copy of the real expansion cards with GeekGold, not a digital copy.
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Mark Raciborski
United States
Newport News
Virginia
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It maybe stated above, but, do you just prefer to shuffle the new expansion cards in and draw off the appropriate number to form the deck and hope for a good mix, hand pick the mix in some way, etc?

Got the expansion cards a few months ago, have not used them.
 
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Mark L
United Kingdom
Belfast
Northern Ireland
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danamark wrote:
It maybe stated above, but, do you just prefer to shuffle the new expansion cards in and draw off the appropriate number to form the deck and hope for a good mix, hand pick the mix in some way, etc?

Got the expansion cards a few months ago, have not used them.

I know I'm not who you were asking, but yes, I usually just mix all 6 A's together and draw 3, and the same for the others. If we particularly want to include a specific card we can do so, of course, and just draw 2 others of that type. For example, since the Gypsies and Guard have a nice synergy, I sometimes like to make sure both (or neither) are included.

And it's easy to just reshuffle and redraw if the players don't like the combo that results. (Remember that everyone looks at the cards you've drawn before they're shuffled for the actual game.)

Or you can even pick all the cards beforehand as long as the players agree on them. Whatever floats your boat!
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Ender Wiggins
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Great advice from Mark L, I happily agree!

The important thing is that all players need to know what cards are in the game before commencing play. That way they can plan accordingly and try to set themselves up to maximize the benefit of a particular personage that will come up later in the game.
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