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Maori» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Keyword review of Maori: Pretty, filler, strategy, 2=bad, options, worth owning rss

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Anthony Lazaroski
United States
Montgomery
IL
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I select a few keywords that come to mind when thinking of the reviewed game, then I link the elements to the words...voila! You can find a geeklist of my keyword reviews here.


PRETTY thumbsup
From the box to the components, this is a good looking game. The island theme is carried out nicely across all parts. The tiles are nice and thick (like Carcassonne), the player boards are 2-sided and durable and the wooden boats & shells are a unique shape and colorful. All-in-all, nicely implemented artwork.


FILLER thumbsupthumbsdown
Maori is definitely in the filler class of games. It sets up quick, explains quick and plays quick. You can play a game in about 45 minutes. The rules and mechanics are not very complex. Move the boat, pick a tile, place the tile...next! Some people may frown at a filler game, that is the only reason for the thumbs down. I personally would never hesitate to throw this on the table to fill time in between larger games.


STRATEGY thumbsup
Although it is a filler game and a low complexity game. There is a nice about of strategy involved. A lot of that comes into play when moving the boat for tile selection. You need to pay attention to what your opponents may be looking for as their next tile and as such see if you can grab what you need but leave that desired tile out of reach. Building up your islands too has some strategy. Yes there is a little bit of luck involved as to when certain tiles you may want/need come out (if at all), but you need to learn to manage those issues. Just enough thinking going on to keep you engaged.


2=BAD thumbsdown
A lot of that strategy goes out the window when you play a 2-player game of Maori. With 2 players you nearly always get the tile you are looking for and over all this just becomes a dry exercise in building a collection of islands. This game really shines when you have 3-5 players as it makes your choices tougher.


OPTIONS thumbsup
This game comes with a multitude of options. Either by the way you play it or the strategies you might employ during a game. Maori has a handful of playing variants that change the way the game is played as well as the before mentioned 2 sided player board which gives you different scoring options.


WORTH OWNING

Granted, I am a sucker for tile games, but I really enjoy this one. Carcassonne is great, but Maori takes the tile laying to a different place...one with more strategy and more choices all in a package that is as approachable as Carcassonne. The heart of this game really lies in the method in which you acquire tiles. Trying to figure out if you have enough shells or movements or both to get the tile you need all while trying to screw over your neighbor with where you leave the boat makes for a nice bit of fun. A great filler to have in any collection.
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Andy Andersen
United States
Ada
Michigan
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I will disagree somewhat with your assessment of the 2P game. My wife and I have played it about a dozen times and never find it dry. There can be a lot of screwage in keeping your opponent from getting the tiles they need. We enjoy Maori a lot.

On the other hand, we've played it with four and did find it to be a great game also. Thanks for the review.
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Thomas Chipman
United States
Zephyrhills
Florida
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i'm with andy on this one. my wife and i greatly enjoy the 2p maori experience. because there is only one opposing player, it is much easier to either deny the opposing player a tile or to ensure a chance at a tile that you need. with multiple players, there is much more chaos in the tile selection phase and often have no real chance of predicting which tiles you'll have access to on your next turn.
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Anthony Lazaroski
United States
Montgomery
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Thanks for your input on the 2 player game of Maori. Of course with all these things, each person's mileage will vary. It's a great game.
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Tom P
United Kingdom
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nunyabisnas wrote:
i'm with andy on this one. my wife and i greatly enjoy the 2p maori experience. because there is only one opposing player, it is much easier to either deny the opposing player a tile or to ensure a chance at a tile that you need. with multiple players, there is much more chaos in the tile selection phase and often have no real chance of predicting which tiles you'll have access to on your next turn.


My sentiments exactly. I've played countless 2p games of Maori and love it. You ALWAYS know what the other player can possibly get, and likely to want. Therefore there's lots of tactical play involved. And opportunity for screwage!

I think it's at its best with 2 or 3. Perhaps with 2 it's better to leave the basic rules with the basic board, but still good. With 4 or 5 it becomes far too random I think.

Nice review style tho!
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Rob Duarte
United States
Largo
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I'll jump on the "good for 2" bandwagon as well. As others have mentioned you can definitely grab a tile that will help your opponent. Even if you can't stop your opponent from getting a tile you can try to set it up so they at least have to spend a shell or two to get the tile, thus possibly setting yourself up for winning points on the shells. I'm not trying to say the game is absolutely cutthroat with two, but it isn't complete multi-player solitaire either.

I have not played the game with more yet, but I actually have a little aversion to the thought as I believe the downtime could be greater when you start getting into the 4 and 5 player range.
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Anthony Lazaroski
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These are all great comments and hopefully people will read them and see that 2 players works fine for people (even if for me it didn't). Great comments guys and thanks for reading and discussing.
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Tomello Visello
United States
Reston
Virginia
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mantooth012 wrote:
FILLER :thumbsup::thumbsdown:
Maori is definitely in the filler class of games. It sets up quick, explains quick and plays quick. You can play a game in about 45 minutes.
Wow. We have very divergent perspectives here. I consider those two statements contradictory.
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Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
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TVis wrote:
mantooth012 wrote:
FILLER thumbsupthumbsdown
Maori is definitely in the filler class of games. It sets up quick, explains quick and plays quick. You can play a game in about 45 minutes.
Wow. We have very divergent perspectives here. I consider those two statements contradictory.


I suspect most people on BGG consider any game lasting less than an hour as a candidate for a "filler" game. Some subset of that no doubt better fits even smaller increments of time, but such games often suffer from lack of any appreciable depth, making some groups wonder what the point is of even taking it out of the box.
 
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Tomello Visello
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mantooth012 wrote:
The heart of this game really lies in the method in which you acquire tiles.
I think you undersell this key element. Moving the explorer ship around the selection of tiles is pretty much a random draw. What advances this game is the power players are given by canoes and shells to alter that movement to their advantage (including opponents' disadvantage), and how those items are acquired.

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Tomello Visello
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DarrellKH wrote:
I suspect most people on BGG consider any game lasting less than an hour as a candidate for a "filler" game.
So as I said, we are very much divergent. I think your estimate is quite high. Amongst my personal sphere of opponents, 45-60 min is a standard game.

 
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Anthony Lazaroski
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I think depending on the games lined up for a game night, hour long games certainly can be the standard. But with my group we tend to play 1-2 heavier offerings with games like Maori filling in or bookending the others.


TVis wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
I suspect most people on BGG consider any game lasting less than an hour as a candidate for a "filler" game.
So as I said, we are very much divergent. I think your estimate is quite high. Amongst my personal sphere of opponents, 45-60 min is a standard game.

 
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Darrell Hanning
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mantooth012 wrote:
I think depending on the games lined up for a game night, hour long games certainly can be the standard. But with my group we tend to play 1-2 heavier offerings with games like Maori filling in or bookending the others.


TVis wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
I suspect most people on BGG consider any game lasting less than an hour as a candidate for a "filler" game.
So as I said, we are very much divergent. I think your estimate is quite high. Amongst my personal sphere of opponents, 45-60 min is a standard game.



As it is with my group. We generally play a couple of 2-hour games, or one 3-5 hour game, and run a filler before and/or after.
 
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Tomello Visello
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mantooth012 wrote:
I think depending on the games lined up for a game night, hour long games certainly can be the standard. But with my group we tend to play 1-2 heavier offerings with games like Maori filling in or bookending the others.
Even by my own scale this game might be a "short" game. But I wouldn't classify everything that is "shorter than I commonly play" as "filler". "Short" itself (your "bookend" might fit) leaves the possibility of yet another category that is "really short and usually light".

and in this case I quite admire the strategy component even while it is "short".

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Cristian Cano
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Sevilla
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I also think that this game really shines when is played with 2 players. You can block your opponent and push the boat far from his desired tiles. Often not letting him to get "that" tile is better that fill your board with large islands with a hut.
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Eddy Richards
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Allanton
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mantooth012 wrote:


STRATEGY thumbsup
Yes there is a little bit of lunch involved as to when certain tiles you may want/need come out (if at all), but you need to learn to manage those issues. Just enough thinking going on to keep you engaged.


Thanks for the review - the comments below, especially about 2 player games, were also very useful.

I couldn't resist highlighting this though, I was amused by the thought of a little bit of lunch - a sandwich perhaps? - being involved!
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Anthony Lazaroski
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doh, fixed
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Chris Marling
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Just wanted to throw my support behind the groundswell of opinion here: for me, this is a fantastic two-player game. In fact, I'm not as keen on it with more than two as you're so reliant on the other players not playing badly and king-making because of it.
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Mark L
United Kingdom
Belfast
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hairyarsenal wrote:
Just wanted to throw my support behind the groundswell of opinion here: for me, this is a fantastic two-player game.

Yep, me too. cool

Also, it's quicker with less players -- with only 2 it shouldn't take more than half an hour unless you use one of the more advanced variants.

Actually, that's another point -- the "basic" version of the game is much less interesting to me, but the extra complexity of the variants adds substantial thinking time. I usually play with the standard side of the board (no atoll) and the first ship variant, and it takes about 25 minutes with 2 players, plus another 10 minutes per extra player.
 
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