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Subject: Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years? rss

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Jeff Jackson
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OK, one time Randy Beaman had to take baths with his brother. So one time his little brother took a potty in the bathtub .....and now Randy Beaman gets to take showers alone. 'K, bye.
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One time, OK, see, one time Randy Beaman's little brother ate Pop Rocks and drank a soda at the same time and his head exploded! 'K, bye.
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Because it's a damn fine game!

Every few years a boardgame comes around that sets a trend in boardgame design. El Grande is to Area/Majority Control what Dominion is to Deck Building. In that light, Caylus offered us Worker Placement, whether Mr. Attia knew it or not.

After giving some much-deserved love to Mykerinos a couple months ago, I’ve decided to share with you the beauty that is Caylus, the game featuring the cover of ‘that CREEPY king dude’. With 30 games played face to face and over 300 games played on BSW, I hope to provide insight as to how a game of Caylus plays. You should know going in that Caylus is one of 4 games I rate a 10, but not only that, it is my favorite of the 4. I’ll try to refrain from being too big of a fanboi, but consider yourself warned.

As usual, feel free to read this in its entirety for a breakdown of all aspects or simply scroll to the bottom for my conclusion, but you can trust there’ll be no Caylus bashing here.

INTRO
Each player helps develop a small French medieval town by constructing buildings and contributing to the building of its castle.

The game is designed by William Attia, plays 2-5 players of age 12+, and is estimated to last 120 minutes.

THEME
Medieval castle…construct buildings…get most prestige…blah, blah, blah…it’s a euro. And most importantly, you’ll be pushing around differently colored pieces of wood in an attempt to get the most points. Sure, some of the names of buildings make sense to their function, but this game could be, with some creative thinking, rethemed to cow-milking or beauty pageants.

My blanket statement on euros – the theme is loose and is certainly off in a few places, but I’m looking for an engaging game not a life simulation.

COMPONENTS
Caylus comes in the standard box sized similar to the Alea series. Inside, you’ll find a game board that shows a scoretrack (Prestige) around the perimeter of the board, a castle section, a grid representing the Favor tracks and finally, a winding road containing squares for building placement that leads away from the castle.

Notice that the road starts at the castle and winds its way over a bridge then to the bottom of the board. This road is key to game-flow of this masterpiece.


Courtesy of Karis

You’ll also find plenty of differently colored cardboard tiles representing the various buildings available for construction. These tiles are of similar quality to popular tile-laying games such as Carcassonne and Alhambra.
1) 6 pink (Start buildings)
2) 8 brown (Wood buildings)
3) 10 gray (Stone buildings)
4) 8 green (Residences)
5) 9 blue (Prestige buildings)


Courtesy of bazik123

Deniers in denominations of 1 and 5 are also cardboard:


Courtesy of tomfisher

And finally, the wood:
1) two white cylinders of different height – tall (bailiff) and short (provost)
2) cubes of pink (food), brown (wood), gray (stone), purple (cloth), and yellow (gold)
3) and of course, player pieces of five different colors including cylinders of two sizes and houses.


courtesy of ZiggyZambo and Verti, respectively

The components are durable and will last. Artwork is obviously subjective, but I consider this fine for the theme it’s meant to represent. The stern king on the box cover does get his share of controversy though.

SET-UP
Each player chooses a color and gets the respective cylinders and houses. The short cylinders are for record keeping aspects such as score, Favor tracks, Bridge, etc. The tall narrow cylinders are the ‘workers’ and the houses are used for castle contributions and to indicate the owner of a building.

Turn order is determined randomly. First player gets 5 deniers, 2nd and 3rd players gets 6 deniers then 4th and 5th players get 7 deniers.

Shuffle the Start buildings and place them randomly in the empty squares after the Bridge. Place the Bailiff on the Start building furthest from the Bridge. Then place the Provost on top of the Bailiff.

Finally, place the cubes and deniers supply in a pool nearby. I prefer to keep them separated by color and denomination, but one heaping pool is adequate as well.

GAME PLAY
Caylus lasts a variable number of rounds consisting of players placing their workers then collecting resources and/or spending them. Every few rounds a scoring phase (Dungeon, Walls, and Tower) will occur. After the third and final scoring phase, players do a quick conversion of leftover resources to Prestige then he with the most Prestige is deemed the game winner.

Admittedly, that last paragraph sounds awfully similar to many a decent Euro. So, what makes Caylus so great? Continue on and learn. Note that you’ll see Mr. Spiffy, ninja, appear in sections where I believe Caylus offers something excellent or unique to its game play. I’ll also expand on each Mr. Spiffy in my Conclusion.

A round consists of the following phases:

Income
Each player collects 2 deniers. During the game, you can boost your income by constructing different buildings, namely Residences and a couple Prestige buildings.

Worker Placement
Welcome to the heart of the game and 90% of the playing time. In turn order, players pay the appropriate amount and place a worker on an available space. Available spaces include:
1) Any empty preprinted square
2) Any empty Start, Wood or Stone building
3) The lowest number of the Castle
4) The lowest number in the preprinted Stables square
5) The orange spot on the preprinted Inn square

ninja
The amount paid for placing a worker is the lowest number seen on the pass bridge, 1 – 5, with two exceptions:
1) You ALWAYS pay 1 denier to place in a Wood or Stone building you constructed (designated by your color house)
2) You ALWAYS pay 1 denier if your worker is in the activation, not the ‘to be activated’, spot on the Inn.

When a player decides not to or is unable to place a worker, they pass. Players who pass move their bridge token onto the lowest numbered space available. The first, and only first, player to pass each Round gains a denier. By passing, that player may no longer place workers but has increased the price for others to place a worker this Round. Play continues until all players eventually pass. Be wary of paying more than 1 denier per placement as money can be tight in the game although the last player to pass does HAVE an advantage later in the Round (see Worker Activation below).

Worker Activation
Note that your workers haven’t activated yet. Players have simply placed workers on spaces they hope to activate. Caylus introduces this genius ‘Mother May I?” approach to worker placement. Once all players have passed, the buildings activate beginning with the preprinted building next to the castle (Gate) and winding away. Workers located AFTER the provost do NOT activate.

ninja
Seems easy enough, right? Simply place your workers on spaces before or containing the provost and you’re safe. You can see where the provost is located after all! Ahh…yes, but the dreaded provost MAY, and likely will, move after all workers have been placed and players have passed. There are two functions that allow provost movement:
1) The first is the Merchant’s Guild (the 3rd preprinted space). When activated, the player there may move the provost 1, 2 or 3 spaces (forward or backward).
2) The Bridge. In pass order (following the path) each player may move the provost 1, 2, or 3 spaces (forward or backward), however, each square of movement requires a denier.

Can you sense the importance of provost location and pass order? Haphazardly placing your workers furthest ahead on the path tempts other players to move the provost back denying you access to your placed worker. Of course, if you have the disposable cash, paying extra for worker placement to be the last to pass does give you final say in provost movement. As mentioned earlier, passing last offers this advantage.

The provost does have two very minor movement restrictions:
1) He may not be moved onto the bridge, therefore, the first Start building and all the preprinted squares before it will activate every Round.
2) He may only advance as far as the last square on the board.

When all spaces up to the provost have been activated then all workers on the road beyond the provost are returned to their owners. Continue to the Castle and activate all workers there beginning with the worker on #1.

Most buildings/squares provide players with resources (cubes or deniers) or a way to convert those resources to Prestige.

End of Turn
After all workers have been activated or removed from the board, the bailiff gets moved down the road one or two squares. If the provost is on or behind the bailiff, the bailiff advances one square. If the provost is in front of the bailiff, the bailiff advances two squares. Finally, place the provost on top of the bailiff

Scoring Phase
If one of the two following conditions is met, a scoring phase occurs:
1) The bailiff lands on a square with the Dungeon, Walls, or Tower icon in the top left corner.
2) All sections (6 for Dungeon, 10 for Walls, 14 for Towers) of the current Castle phase have been built.
If not, begin a new round beginning with Income.

The Scoring Phase offers Favors to players who contributed enough sections to the Castle, however, it also penalizes players for not contributing any sections to the Castle. It’s obviously ideal to qualify for these bonus Favors, but you won’t always have enough time or resources to build enough in the Castle.

Favors
ninja
Favors, indicated by the Fleur-de-lys, are benefits offered to players for performing certain actions. Players keep track of their Favors on the Favor Track, the grid in the top right of the board. There are four different tracks (Prestige, Denier, Resources and Building), each with an increasing reward for advancing. Favors can be gained in the following ways:
1) Place a worker on and activate the preprinted Joust square
2) Build the most sections in the Castle during the Round
3) Construct a building that offers a Favor as part of its award
4) During a Scoring Round if you’ve contributed the specified amount of sections to the Castle


courtesy of HandEyeProtege

There is an entire archive of strategy articles on how and when to use the four different Favor tracks. Some factors are player count, pace of the game, and buildings available.

Learning how and when to manipulate the Favor track is almost as equally important as understanding the provost movement. Most likely, you’ll focus on one or two tracks while dabbling in or ignoring the third and fourth.

Buildings
The game starts with numerous preprinted and Start buildings available for workers, but Wood, Stone, Residence, and Prestige buildings are available to be built for those with the appropriate resource cubes. There are two ways to construct buildings:
1) Place a worker on the appropriate square (Carpenter for Wood buildings, Mason (Wood Building) for Stone buildings, Lawyer (Wood Building) for Residences, and Architect (Stone Building) for Prestige buildings)
2) Advance on the Building Favor Track

Buildings require cubes to construct and offer Prestige and sometimes a Favor in return. Wood or Stone buildings are placed on the earliest empty square of the road, while Residences replace either Start buildings or buildings you’ve constructed, and finally, Prestige buildings replace Residences. Place one of your houses on the building to indicate who built it. In addition to the immediate Prestige or Favor acquired when constructing a building, the owner of a building gets a Prestige every time another player places a worker on it. The owner gets the Prestige immediately whether or not the building activates or not. The final bonus to owning buildings is that it only costs YOU 1 denier to place a worker on a building YOU own. This becomes very important during rounds you’re hoping to stay at the end of pass order.

As with Favors, which building and when to build is covered in strategy articles. There are heavy building strats, but there are also light building strats that can provide the winning score at the end of the game. Most often, the order of buildings placed will be Wood, Stone, Residence, then Prestige, but there can be tweaks to that order.

Turn Order
ninja
I believe this is a clever enough mechanic to give it its own subsection. Unlike many other games where turn order simply rotates or the last person to pass becomes start player, Caylus, introduced a brilliant mechanic for start player.

The game itself does not force a change in turn order, rather, players change turn order by placing a worker in the Stables (one of the preprinted squares before the bridge so it ALWAYS activates). The Stables is one of only a couple spaces that allow multiple workers, up to three, to place in it. The first worker placed in it goes on the 1, the second on the 2 and the third on the, yup, you guessed it, 3. When this square activates, the turn order is immediately rearranged, respectively, on the turn order bar next to the castle.

This very simple execution of turn order makes it exciting and creates interesting decisions. While it’s never fun going last, sometimes you simply don’t have the action (or deniers) to waste to place a worker in the Stables. To be efficient, you don’t want to have to place a worker every turn or even every other turn in the Stables, but if a lack of buildings requires you to maintain turn order then it must be done.

End Game
When the third, Towers, scoring phase is complete, players may convert leftover resources into Prestige:
1) 3 Prestige for every Gold cube
2) 1 Prestige for every 3 cubes (non-Gold obviously)
3) 1 Prestige for every 4 denier

CONCLUSION
So how do all of these mechanics combine into a game and play? Brilliantly.

Within Round 1, several factors can determine how the rest of the game may play out. What order are the six Start tiles placed? Does someone use the Carpenter and build a Wood Building? If so, which one? Does the provost move up or back denying others their activations? Tension is created and this is just the first Round!

As the first couple rounds play through, you may notice that your supply of deniers is running low as you only receive two deniers during Income, but will likely play two to four workers. There are two ways available at the start of the game to acquire deniers – Trading Post (3 deniers) and the Marketplace (exchange 1 cube for 4 deniers). An improved Marketplace (exchange 1 cube for 6 deniers) is available as a Wood Building, but it may not be built in the early game. This makes competition for the money squares high. A player may gain Favors (Joust or building in the Castle) and use the Money Track as an option as well, but be careful how you use those precious Favors as they can be rare. Furthermore, even if you have cash advantage, placing workers for even more money can be fine as a few buildings require money to activate to earn additional Prestige, Gold, or other cubes. In short, try to accumulate cubes, but don’t neglect cash accrual! This, by design, is a tension that is constant throughout the game and equal for all players.

Several other boardgames allow the placement of a worker then immediately collecting the offering from the square. Not Caylus. While many squares are guaranteed to activate (everything before the Bridge and the first Start building), others are not. As the game goes on, the earlier squares become safer, but surely anything near the bailiff is easily denied. I believe this risk management aspect of Caylus is superior to any other Worker Placement game. I often advise new players to ‘share the burden’. By this I mean, if you place on a square near the bailiff, then wait for a second player to also place near him before placing your second. If all players are near the front, then there’s a decent chance your worker won’t be lost. But keep in mind that pass order remains key as if you’ve placed the furthest worker AND passes first, then you can pretty much kiss him good-bye, unless, you are also moving the provost using the Merchant’s Guild (move provost up to 3 spaces). This entire sequence is played every Round as players try to place on the ‘best’ squares AND activate them – easier said than done.

As with some other games, there are rewards. Caylus offers rewards in the form of Favors. An average game of Caylus offers about 2 Favors per Round so the longer the game lasts (in Rounds) the more Favors available. If a game is pushed quickly by moving the provost up, there will be less Favors available. In a 2-player game, each player will get a fair amount of Favors, but in a 5-p game, each player will only get a few. This factor may also determine the pace of game you’ll try to play. Deciding which Favor track to advance isn’t agonizing, but games can be lost by choosing the wrong track. The resource track is generally weak in games with few players as each player has plenty of opportunity to grab cubes, however, in a 5-player game, the squares that offer cubes fill more quickly so the Resource track is NOT that bad. The Prestige track can win you the game with any number of players and is generally a safe play, but others could easily be better. The Coin track is typically taken on an as-needed basis. The Building Track is fun as it allows you to construct additional buildings at a discount. Remember, buildings not only offer the initial Prestige but also a single Prestige every time an opponent places a worker on it as well. Since the Favors are relatively limited, this makes competition for them relatively high. You’re trying to maximize your amount of Favors while also limiting your opponents’.

As you can see, players are in competition for several different squares. Turn order is yet another one. Mr. Attia has stated that the turn order competition was absolutely part of the design as he didn’t simply want a neighbor to be rewarded/penalized simply by seat location. Caylus solves this and creates yet another square that cannot be ignored. Once you move down the turn order, you will NEVER move up unless you place a worker in the Stables. And even then, if you’re not the first player there, you will only move up to 2nd or even 3rd. But in many situations, that is still considerably better than 4th or 5th. Early placement can be a huge swing depending on the available buildings.

The only flaw I can offer – no make-up mechanic. While I don’t consider it a flaw, I can accept the fact that others may. It can be clear during the Walls Phase that a player is out of the game. He may only be down 4-10 Prestige, but the condition of the board gets much harder to overcome. This game is unforgiving and is not going to let you rely on luck for the win. You must play better than your opponents if you want to earn that W. No Freebies here – did you see the face of the king?

So there you have it - a rundown of my numero uno. Admittedly, I was smitten after my first play, but I believe there’s a difference between liking a game and playing it over 330 times. Sure, it’s dry theme-wise and certain start conditions can cause a first-timer to be off-put. But I can’t emphasize enough how the first 1-3 Rounds really set the stage for this Masterpiece. If Wood Buildings are constructed and the provost is continuously moved back denying workers their resources, then it can be a painful start. But if that same group plays again but builds Wood Buildings early and the provost is moved ahead, the speed and enjoyment can rise, while not losing ANY of the tension. I believe the competition for squares and the random Start tile placement does indeed offer many different ways to approach a playing, i.e. repeatability.

Love it, like it, or hate it – there are enough supporters of this game to keep it atop the charts since its release in 2005 and they’ve even created Caylubration, an annual celebration of Caylus where ‘Geeks around the world promote and dedicate themselves to playing this gem of a game. Have you caught the fever?

Happy Gaming!
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David Debien
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
Still my favorite worker placement game. Great review.
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Medievalbanquet
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And if you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
casualgod wrote:
Still my favorite worker placement game. Great review.


Agreed.
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Benson Propst
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
Tremendous, tremendous review!

Reading your review got me excited and reflecting on my first game (partial game experience of Caylus. (My wife and I had to pause/save because we had to go to bed so our 5:30 a.m. alarm clock wouldn't be such a rude awakening).

All of the cleverly-designed, tension-creating, unforgiving, though-provoking game mechanics that you mentioned in your review were clearly experienced. The two player game seems a little more wide open, and I cant' wait to play a tighter 3 or 4 player game, but nonetheless, the timing and efficiency of all decisions seem to either help build a lead or keep your opponents a helping hand.

So far my favorite aspect of the game, out of the many to choose from, is paying to place your workers, and how placing workers becomes more expensive as more players pass. Sheer genius!

Caylus is my King of "worker placement" games. Used to own Le Havre, and it pales in comparison to Caylus. I have never played Agricola and I know it is super super popular, but I'm not convinced owning a lesser "worker placement" game is worth having in my collection.
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David Debien
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
Bendalf wrote:
I have never played Agricola and I know it is super super popular, but I'm not convinced owning a lesser "worker placement" game is worth having in my collection.


I own both and prefer Caylus to Gric, but the later is definitely worth playing at the very least. I am happy to own and play both fairly regularly.

Besides, how can one proclaim The Rolling Stones the greatest rock band of all time, having never listened to Led Zeppelin? whistle
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Benson Propst
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
casualgod wrote:
Bendalf wrote:
I have never played Agricola and I know it is super super popular, but I'm not convinced owning a lesser "worker placement" game is worth having in my collection.


I own both and prefer Caylus to Gric, but the later is definitely worth playing at the very least. I am happy to own and play both fairly regularly.

Fair point.

Besides, how can one proclaim The Rolling Stones the greatest rock band of all time, having never listened to Led Zeppelin? whistle


Awesome point. Never getting the chance to listen to Zeppelin would be a travesty. Favorite Album?

III and Houses of the Holy are my top 2.
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Jay Sachs
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
casualgod wrote:
Bendalf wrote:
I have never played Agricola and I know it is super super popular, but I'm not convinced owning a lesser "worker placement" game is worth having in my collection.


I own both and prefer Caylus to Gric, but the later is definitely worth playing at the very least. I am happy to own and play both fairly regularly.

Besides, how can one proclaim The Rolling Stones the greatest rock band of all time, having never listened to Led Zeppelin? whistle


Don't impugn Led Zeppelin like that. Agricola is more like Lynyrd Skynyrd -- a bar band that got lucky.
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Len
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
Great review! I enjoy Caylus Magna Carta. I'd like to try Caylus one day.
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Jeff Jackson
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OK, one time Randy Beaman had to take baths with his brother. So one time his little brother took a potty in the bathtub .....and now Randy Beaman gets to take showers alone. 'K, bye.
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One time, OK, see, one time Randy Beaman's little brother ate Pop Rocks and drank a soda at the same time and his head exploded! 'K, bye.
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
Bendalf wrote:
I have never played Agricola and I know it is super super popular, but I'm not convinced owning a lesser "worker placement" game is worth having in my collection.


As stated earlier, I rate 4 games a 10. Caylus is my favorite of them, but Agricola is also one and I highly recommend it as well.

Trying not to derail the Caylus thread though ninja

LSMB wrote:
Great review! I enjoy Caylus Magna Carta. I'd like to try Caylus one day.


Thanks. I've heard and read good things about CMC, but I haven't had the opportunity to give it a go.



 
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Dan Moore
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
wrote:
The only flaw I can offer – no make-up mechanic. While I don’t consider it a flaw, I can accept the fact that others may. It can be clear during the Walls Phase that a player is out of the game. He may only be down 4-10 Prestige, but the condition of the board gets much harder to overcome. This game is unforgiving and is not going to let you rely on luck for the win. You must play better than your opponents if you want to earn that W. No Freebies here – did you see the face of the king?

Happy Gaming!


I haven't played all that many games, especially not FtF or online, but I think the game does offer make-up chances. Last and squished out of the good spots? Choose to go first. Collect money at the wossname - the three coin spot. Chose Provost and Inn. I did all these in the first turn of a three player game and dragged the Provost way way back, started the next turn very well indeed.

It is a great game.
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Alessandro Maggi
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
Excellent review, I've played my first game of Caylus just recently and since I'm new to the "hobby" it was also my first attempt at a worker placement, and it was a blast!
I totally agree with Mr. Spiffy here, especially on the turn order mechanic.

I think the game can be thinky, hard and cut-throat just as much as players want it to be. I had my first game with two non-gamer gals (one being my gf, who is totally not a gamer), we were basically starting from scratch and we had great fun and no frustration whatsoever. The final scores were very close as well.

The only problem is that Caylus can be a polarizing game in some groups. Mine hates most euros because you're not fighting, rolling dice, or playing cards. Another group who likes eurogames and lighter-on-theme games does find Caylus a bit too long. However this is usually a problem with any medium-heavy eurogame, surely not a specific fault (problem is, that while I don't mind most eurogames, I really dig Caylus!).

I had some doubts about its replayability due to its complete open and deterministic approach, but your "vet" point of view is quite a sound answer to this concern.
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Nick Fisk
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
jjacjackson wrote:

Thanks. I've heard and read good things about CMC, but I haven't had the opportunity to give it a go.


Don't.

If you're a big fan of Caylus, steer well clear of this one - You'll only end up missing the bits that are not included.



N.

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Tom
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
I can remember when it went out of print and it was going for a ridiculous (at the time) price. This game is a classic and is always welcome on my table!
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Richard Hutnik
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
jjacjackson wrote:
Bendalf wrote:
I have never played Agricola and I know it is super super popular, but I'm not convinced owning a lesser "worker placement" game is worth having in my collection.


As stated earlier, I rate 4 games a 10. Caylus is my favorite of them, but Agricola is also one and I highly recommend it as well.

Trying not to derail the Caylus thread though ninja

LSMB wrote:
Great review! I enjoy Caylus Magna Carta. I'd like to try Caylus one day.


Thanks. I've heard and read good things about CMC, but I haven't had the opportunity to give it a go.



If you can, try Magna Carta. I personally ended up losing interest in Caylus, because I had a bad experience with a much more experienced player that ended up tainted it for me. I associate getting my teeth kicked in with Caylus because of it. Magna Carta, on the other hand, I find lighter and more varied with gameplay actually. For me, it is a more enjoyable experience.
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Jeremiah Power
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
Thanks for the review! I started reading and contemplated stopping after the first few paragraphs, since I already have several other worker placement games on my wish list. But after reading all the way through, I think this may have jumped up the list.
I've had my eye on Troyes for a bit, are they different enough to merit getting both of them?
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David Debien
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
powerhouse wrote:
Thanks for the review! I started reading and contemplated stopping after the first few paragraphs, since I already have several other worker placement games on my wish list. But after reading all the way through, I think this may have jumped up the list.
I've had my eye on Troyes for a bit, are they different enough to merit getting both of them?


For people familiar with other WP games and have never tried Caylus, the main thing I would be sure they were aware of is that Caylus has a lot more screwage, or take that type of play, then any other WP game I have played thus far. This is why I enjoy Caylus so much. The tension created by this screwage is what sets Caylus above other WP in my eyes.

I haven't played Manhattan Project yet and in that game you can bomb your opponents. So Manhattan Project may unseat Cylus as the meanest WP game out there.
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
casualgod wrote:
Bendalf wrote:
I have never played Agricola and I know it is super super popular, but I'm not convinced owning a lesser "worker placement" game is worth having in my collection.


I own both and prefer Caylus to Gric, but the later is definitely worth playing at the very least. I am happy to own and play both fairly regularly.

Besides, how can one proclaim The Rolling Stones the greatest rock band of all time, having never listened to Led Zeppelin? whistle


I have yet to try Caylus (want to) but can say this: Led Zeppelin is the freakin' business and The Stones are merely great.


Get the Motha Flippin' Led Out!
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
casualgod wrote:
powerhouse wrote:
Thanks for the review! I started reading and contemplated stopping after the first few paragraphs, since I already have several other worker placement games on my wish list. But after reading all the way through, I think this may have jumped up the list.
I've had my eye on Troyes for a bit, are they different enough to merit getting both of them?


For people familiar with other WP games and have never tried Caylus, the main thing I would be sure they were aware of is that Caylus has a lot more screwage, or take that type of play, then any other WP game I have played thus far. This is why I enjoy Caylus so much. The tension created by this screwage is what sets Caylus above other WP in my eyes.

I haven't played Manhattan Project yet and in that game you can bomb your opponents. So Manhattan Project may unseat Cylus as the meanest WP game out there.


Hmm...maybe I didn't emphasize the importance of the provost and denying others their activations, but this is huge in Caylus - offensively and defensively. I did mention that you are encouraged to 'share the burden' of the provost. I consider this 'screwage' a calculated risk. When you place a worker near the bailiff/provost, you know there's a chance of him not activating.

As far as a Troyes comparison, the two games play very, very differently. I've only been able to play Troyes three times so I'm not well versed in the game, but it is definitely different enough, in my opinion, to warrant owning both.
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
I owned this since it came out and have still never played it.

Nice review that piques my interest again.
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
ronster0 wrote:
I owned this since it came out and have still never played it.

Nice review that piques my interest again.


Since. It. Came. Out.

Wow. Play it!
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
[q="ronster0"]I owned this since it came out and have still never played it.

Dude! King Edward or Louis the Fair is getting PO'd sitting on the shelf. Break the game out. You and the King will be happy you did.

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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
LSMB wrote:
Great review! I enjoy Caylus Magna Carta. I'd like to try Caylus one day.
Caylus is great. One of my very few 10's. CMC is fun and makes a great travel game. You have to get the expansion though. Given a choice I'd pick regular caylus everytime but wouldn't turn down a game of magna carta.
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
Ok...I am sold ...gonna buy the Ipad version ASAP !!!!
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
Excellent review. But at the start, you say, "Caylus offered us Worker Placement," seemingly implying that it pioneered this mechanic. But in fact, other worker placement games such as Keydom / Aladdin's Dragons were around years earlier. Caylus offered us a different (and very good) take on worker placement, but it wasn't the first by any means.
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Re: [Voice of Experience] Why is Caylus still in the Top Ten after 7 years?
Bruce Linsey wrote:
Excellent review. But at the start, you say, "Caylus offered us Worker Placement," seemingly implying that it pioneered this mechanic. But in fact, other worker placement games such as Keydom / Aladdin's Dragons were around years earlier. Caylus offered us a different (and very good) take on worker placement, but it wasn't the first by any means.


In my defense, I did not state it was the first but rather that it started a trend in boardgame design:
jjacjackson wrote:
Every few years a boardgame comes around that sets a trend in boardgame design. El Grande is to Area/Majority Control what Dominion is to Deck Building. In that light, Caylus offered us Worker Placement, whether Mr. Attia knew it or not.
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