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Subject: Not Complete Crap, But . . . rss

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Chris Parker
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Interesting review. It's largely the same impression I've had from what what I've seen by reading reviews/watching videos. There just doesn't seem to be much to the game that's different or original and I've been perplexed at the praise that has been heaped on it - it just seems like a dead basic Euro with a D&D pasted theme.

I just think the game serves an excuse for the Ameritrashers to secretly play Euro's without calling it a "Euro".

*ducks for cover*
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duncan easton
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I think I disagree with just about all of the opinions in this review (I enjoy this game a lot) but I don't think i can fault the logic. I think it's one of those reviews which reveals enough facts about the game for people to really make up their own mind to buy or not to buy.
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Oliver Paul
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After reading a summary of the rules of the game a few weeks ago I thought "wow, that's quite the ripoff of Caylus"...

I disliked Caylus quite a bit, as I found it dry, dull and themeless. Maybe LoW as Caylus-lite with theme will make it more interesting to me.
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Allan Clements
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It is a worker placement game, Caylus and Agricola are worker placement games. Agricola is much more complex, Caylus is a bit more cut throat, LoW is somewhere inbetween them and the D&D theme helps players who find farming and pleasing a king a more boring theme.

I agree that it borrows most of it's game mechanics but I certainly don't think it is a waste of a tree, and will definitely serve to help get more players interested in similar and deeper games. Theme can make a big difference in which games people will play.
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M. B. Downey
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Also, all players get an additional worker at the beginning of round 5.
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Chris Parker
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I guess that's what I don't get. In Agricola I'm building fences, baking bread, doing tangible things. In this one it would appear that I'm fulfilling demand cards with different coloured cubes? I haven't played it mind you, but it really does seem very dry.
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M. B. Downey
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boardkiwi wrote:
In this one it would appear that I'm fulfilling demand cards with different coloured cubes? I haven't played it mind you, but it really does seem very dry.


Have you ever played any RPGs?

The "demand cards" and their rewards are very appropriate to the theme. One quest that requires adventurers to rob a nobleman's house needs a bunch of rogues and rewards you with lots of gold.

One that requires adventurers to heal wounded guardsmen needs some clerics and rewards you with a bunch of fighters. The wounded are now in your debt and will assist you.

If you've ever played RPGs, the theme in this is very strong. That is appealing to many players. As someone who thoroughly enjoys a wide range of different types of games, I am glad to find a Euro game that is NOT dry.
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Chris Parker
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No I'll put my hand up there, never played an RPG.

I get that this is what drives an RPG.. go on a quest, kill the dragon, level up. But my point with this is that I didn't ever think that gamers on that side of the fence would react so positively to placing out workers and completing cards (oops, I mean "quests") with 2 orange cubes and 3 black cubes. I mean this is a Euro right? If we had to categorize this game - it would be a Euro?

Edit - I understand that the theme of the game is more appealing to RPG'ers than selling goods in the Mediterranean & all that etc - I guess I thought that the main aversion to Euro's was the whole collecting cubes, changing cubes, placing workers & other dry Euro goodness. Conversely I thought RPG'ers got their buzz from chucking dice, miniatures etc. Are we saying that if I took Puerto Rico and just simply rethemed it to a dungeon with roles being like wizards, magicians and the goods being potions, crystals, etc that RPG'ers would flock to it like they have done with this?
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Kostas K.
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boardkiwi wrote:
But my point with this is that I didn't ever think that gamers on that side of the fence would react so positively to placing out workers and completing cards (oops, I mean "quests") with 2 orange cubes and 3 black cubes. I mean this is a Euro right? If we had to categorize this game - it would be a Euro?


So LoW is a game that appeals to people that categorize games as "good" and "bad", or "fun" and "unfun", instead of "AT" and "euro". Is this a bad thing?
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Chris Parker
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Absolutely not at all - naturally we all like we like.

It's just an observation that I've picked up on while watching all the videos about it etc.
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M. B. Downey
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There are two primary types of RPGers, Roll-players who like chucking dice and moving miniatures and killings things, and Role-players who like building a story and playing a character.

I think the main aversion to Euros is not necessarily the mechanics themselves, but the feel at the theme is not strongly related so it just becomes an efficiency exercise. Some people like it, some don't. I myself enjoy plenty of Euros despite their theme, not because of it.
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Simon Gingras
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boardkiwi wrote:
I mean this is a Euro right? If we had to categorize this game - it would be a Euro?


I don't mean to pick on your comment specifically, but I'm just wondering if this whole "Euro" & "AT" thing is really useful in discussing this game, or any game for that matter.

I'm relatively new to this board, so I admit I might be spouting something heretical or simply stupid here, but it just seems to me that a lot of time is wasted in determining which category a game belongs to.
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Manuel Ingeland
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Concerning "stealing mechanisms": isn't it slowly getting hard not to in any way?
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Gavin Dollman
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This is exactly what I was worried about. As a person who enjoys Euro games I want something new, or at least a twist on a existing mechanic. This with the videos and other reviews I've read prove to me this game doesn't suite me.

Thanks for saving me R600, I'll put it towards War of the Ring
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Jonathan Ramundi
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Good review, if not a little harsh (though that seems to be your shtick). I think it pinpoints exactly why I've so far enjoyed the game.

First of all, I'm relatively new to board gaming. Very new. I picked up the hobby little over a year ago. Look at my profile. I just played Puerto Rico for the first time last night.

So, I don't feel as though I've "been there" and "done that" playing LoW because I've never played Agricola, Caylus (what my veteran board gaming friends consistently compare it to), or what-have-you.

Oddly though, despite having decades upon decades of gaming experience between them, so far the group seems to really enjoy this one; for its simple rules/mechanics, quick play time, and yes, the theme.

I think all of those highlights are what will appeal to my friends back home, new to board gaming as I was one year ago. I'm slowly--very slowly--getting them into more and more games, but I find myself having to tread lightly. Throwing game after game at them will scare them off; they're not as open to learning as I am (I've probably read more in rulebooks than novels in the last year), and this seems like a good "gateway" game of sorts. I think the theme will be especially appealing to them.

Sure, other games may be "deeper" and more satisfying as a result, but what I'm ultimately interested in is having fun with the group I'm playing with. There's nothing stopping me from having a lighter game for one group of friends and a heavier one for the other. Yet LoW has, so far, convinced me that I can do that with both groups of gamers I hang out with.

FYI: I don't own this game. My friends (who I keep referring to as "veteran board gamers") bought and introduced me to this game. Many of them own and have many times played the games this is being compared to, but enjoy it all the same.

EDIT: Clarity.
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CW Karstens
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I consider this game a gateway/crossover game into worker placement Eurogames.

I have been able to get this to the table a lot more than Stone Age (which I am also taking with me to game nights) because of the theme. Of course, I go to large game gatherings 2-3 times a week with players of all types. Many who are Werewolf/RPG players have played it and like it. I could never get them to play Caylus or LeHavre. It has allowed me to play a game with people I only would have talked to otherwise at these game days/nights. Well worth the cost I paid to own a copy.

If you only play in hardcore Eurogame groups, then yes, I can see this being a little too light. The thematic feel of the game has hit the full spectrum based on the players. Some games I have played, I can't stop them from saying orange cubes, white cubes, etc. and the theme is ignored. Others tell the story of their adventurer party beating all odds to complete the storyline quest with a mishap or extra challenge thrown in for good measure and smiles.

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Ken B.
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Quote:
If you like this game, you hate good games, or have never tried any.



I have played a lot of games, good and bad. And I like this one.

It is a Euro with a palatable theme; no bored Euro kingly authority figure staring at you from the cover, waiting for you to impress him. Instead, a game about rounding up adventurers and sending them on quests to meet your own ends (you're the authority figure; no ass kissing necessary from the players.)

That sort of thing makes a hell of a lot of difference.

And the "take that" cards? Some of us prefer more interaction than *just* the worker placement cockblocking that serves as "interaction" in games like Caylus and Agricola. These cards serve quite nicely.

But I get it, you've got your microbadge and gimmick and all that. Rock on, man.
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M. B. Downey
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someotherguy wrote:
My point is that you can't get more workers in relation to everyone else other than as I describe.


I'm confused by your problem here. There are two ways to get more workers than other players, plus several other ways to use one worker more than once (which you did not mention at all).

Do you think that this is not enough? How many ways should you be able to get more workers than everyone else? What's the right number? Five? Ten?
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Jimmy Okolica
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someotherguy wrote:
LoW is just Caylus uber-lite plus "take that" card play


This is what I'm getting from the reviews I've read (although perhaps uber-lite may be a bit strong). In addition, it's got a theme that will attract many players more than most Euros.

Given the current state of my collection, it's not a game I need to own, but it's one I wouldn't mind playing for an hour. And as many people have pointed out, if you're just entering the hobby, it may be a better game to own than Caylus (not Agricola -- nothing is better than Agricola ).
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Kevin B. Smith
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My hope is that LoW will be similar to Caylus Magna Carta, but easier to get to the table. The theme of LoW seems likely to be more appealing to many, and LoW looks a bit less "fiddly". I think some people would say that I am looking for "a very watery Euro with a lot of borrowed mechanics, toe-deep game-play". But hopefully one that doesn't have missteps that ruin it.

Going through the review's concerns one by one:

- Stone Age is ok, but I'm not fond of the scoring mechanisms, and prefer building buildings.

- That a couple players may get workers and others might not indeed sounds like a valid concern. It could be solved with a house rule to remove the two worker-giving quests from the deck.

- I haven't seen other reviews complaining about the secret role bonuses being unbalanced. Something to watch.

- Lots of good games (including Caylus Magna Carta) don't have engines. But again something to watch.

- I'm fine with a pasted-on theme. In this case, the quests look suspiciously like recipes (2 corn, 1 milk). But that's ok.

- The turn order is a minor annoyance, but obviously it hasn't stopped Agricola from being revered.

- I like some randomness in games, so where Stone Age has dice, LoW has random quest card draws. I might change my mind after playing, but it doesn't sound bad. I also enjoy Thebes, in case that helps you understand my tastes.

- I really hate any kind of screwage or "take that" in games, so the intrigue cards are a concern. From what I have read, 2/3 of them are "positive" cards, so only 1/3 are negative. Of those, they sounded more like irritants rather than devastations. If they are too annoying, I would house rule them, either by eliminating the bad ones, or by saying that once your worker is on the intrigue spot, it CANNOT move elsewhere later in the turn. So you could play an intrigue card, but it would cost you.

Many games, including many euros, have screwage and attacks of various forms. If you hate any game that has any mechanism like that, you'll have very few games to choose from. Believe me. I know. I seek out games without screwage and they are surprisingly rare, even among euros which are claimed to lack interaction.


So thanks for posting a negative review, and thanks for including specific concerns that we can discuss. Each of us can decide whether or not they would affect us the way they affected you. As constructive criticism, this jab was not helpful: "If you like this game, you hate good games, or have never tried any."
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Dan Patriss
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franklincobb wrote:

But I get it, you've got your microbadge and gimmick and all that. Rock on, man.


Well put.
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M. S.
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GeekJock wrote:
franklincobb wrote:

But I get it, you've got your microbadge and gimmick and all that. Rock on, man.


Well put.


The OP made some interesting points. I fail to see the gimmick.
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Tristan Hall
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Google 'NinjaDorg Fantasy Quest'
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red black wrote:
The OP made some interesting points. I fail to see the gimmick.


Read his other reviews.
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Chris Pierce
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Don't get me wrong. I disagree with just about everything in this review, but I'm only commenting on a few items.

someotherguy wrote:

* In turn, everyone places their workers and takes corresponding cubes or actions; you can't use a space that's already taken. DIRECT rip-off from Agricola...


This is just the definition of worker placement. Lot of "rip-offs" out there...

someotherguy wrote:

* Great components. (However, the box insert fools you into thinking it's awesome, but ends up being a mess.)


Box insert works great for me. I transport and store this game vertically and the only things that ever get out of place are the 100 tokens.

someotherguy wrote:

* Bad points-scoring mechanisms. All Quests (primary points-scoring cards) are face-up throughout the game. Two of them, when completed, give you an extra worker; there are zero more ways to get additional workers. Some quests are dealt to players during setup and quest cards are acquired on a first-come-first-served basis, meaning that some players may have immediate access to additional workers while others basically never will because of a fluke of the draw, or first-turn turn order.


The quest that gives you the Lieutenant requires a huge investment of adventurers and rewards you with a new worker, but no victory points. So getting the extra worker requires turns spent gathering resources that could be spent on a quest that gives big points. It's not an immediate benefit for the player lucky enough to draw the quest. It's a trade off, and a significant one. I guess I haven't yet come across the other quest that gives a worker.

someotherguy wrote:

* More bad points-scoring mechanisms. Players are dealt secret bonus cards at the beginning of the game. Some are radically better than others. One guy gets a bonus for building buildings, while another for a certain kind of quests. Buildings are ALWAYS available and always good, the right kind of quests take actions to uncover and actions can be wasted uncovering the wrong ones (which are the right ones for someone else).


There are 11 Lords, and 10 of them are basically equal. Score 4 points for 2 different types of quests. Only one could be argued to be better than the others, and it is the 1 (and only one) that gives bonuses for buildings. But contrary to what I quoted above, buildings are not ALWAYS available. There is only 1 action space for buildings, and once it is taken, no one else can build without one of the few cards that allows extra builds. Unchecked, the builder Lord is probably more powerful, but it is also relatively easy to deduce when a player has this Lord, and easier to prevent them from building than it is to stop the other players from getting specific quest types (if you can even tell what types they are after in the first place). My assessment is the builder Lord is NOT more powerful than the others.

someotherguy wrote:

* MORE bad points-scoring mechanisms. The quests are pulled randomly from a deck as a worker-placement action. If you pull quests that happen to match your current batch of resources and bonuses, you can score very efficiently. If you don't, you can't, entirely based on luck of the draw.


Any game with deck of cards is going to have this "problem" to some extent.

someotherguy wrote:

If you like this game, you hate good games, or have never tried any.

Really? yuk Ok then, you asked for it.

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Jon Quinn
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downeymb wrote:
someotherguy wrote:
My point is that you can't get more workers in relation to everyone else other than as I describe.


I'm confused by your problem here. There are two ways to get more workers than other players, plus several other ways to use one worker more than once (which you did not mention at all).

Do you think that this is not enough? How many ways should you be able to get more workers than everyone else? What's the right number? Five? Ten?


In addition to your starting agents, the addition of more on round 5, the leutinant, the ambassador, there is also the reassignment of agents who were used to gain intrigue cards for a possible 3 additional agents per round. So, I should think that this is plenty of opportunity for additional agents.
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