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Subject: Comparison this with Phoenicia? rss

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Chih-Hsien Wang
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Hi:

I would like to buy one Auction game, but not decided yet. Currently maybe I would buy this or Phoenicia, but I don't know which one is better, or is there any other auction game to recommend ? Thanks.
 
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Doug Adams
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Oakleigh
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I owned Phoenicia and enjoyed it, but I think Homesteaders is superb.
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Clement Tey
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Modern Art is the best auction game. But I personally found Phoenicia too optimised and un-fun.
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Andrew
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Phoenicia has a minimal set of resource types - money, VP, workers and storage, and the buildings generally just provide the above.

Homesteaders has money, VP, workers, trade chits, wood, food, steel, gold, cattle and copper; a significant element of the game is converting between them. There is a larger variety in what the buildings do, and a greater variety in how you score.

To me, Phoenicia is a more unforgiving game, with more riding on playing the auctions well. Homesteaders is relatively less about the auctions and more about constructing combos and a scoring path with all the buildings.
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Alex Grant
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I think they're both fairly similar games, and are both great games. Compressed economic games that revolve around auctions.

If I had to pick one I'd go for Phoenicia. The system is cleaner and with just a single resource (money) and no prerequisites all the buildings stay available to everyone.
 
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Chris Linneman
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Of the two, I prefer Homesteaders. It has less of a runaway leader problem, because you always have access to debt, meaning you can always take the risk to bid your opponents up. Phoenicia has no debt, so if you fall behind you may have no way of participating in the auctions, allowing your opponents to get further ahead.

If you want a pure economic snowball game like Phoenicia, I think both Outpost and Scepter of Zavandor are superior, with a slight preference for Scepter.
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Jason Reid
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fateswanderer wrote:
To me, Phoenicia is a more unforgiving game, with more riding on playing the auctions well. Homesteaders is relatively less about the auctions and more about constructing combos and a scoring path with all the buildings.


+1 to this. Phoenicia is all about the auction. In some sense, all of the other shiny things in the game are there to be distracting to players.

In Homesteaders, the importance of out-auctioning players is reduced. There's just more going on, and often it's impossible to prevent players from getting things they need (whereas in Phoenicia that can be a prime motivator some rounds). It's still a great game that happens to have an auction, though.
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Kenny VenOsdel
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I've played both and Homesteaders is still one of my favorite games after around 20 or so plays. I played Phoenicia a few times and then gave it away for free. There were some elements to it that I found interesting but the overall package just didn't come together for me. I didn't feel like the time and I effort I put in resulted in enough in enjoyment.

FWIW Homesteaders 2-player variant is very nice but I've also heard Phoenicia can be played nicely with 2 as well.
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Brian Bankler
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Both are excellent, IMO. I don't think either game is clearly better, but it's possible that one is much better suited to your group.

Homesteaders is more approachable (better graphic design, clearer rules) and Phoenicia can be brutally unforgiving (one missed auction can put a player out, and people who randomly get slightly worse cards really have to know what they are doing to handle the situation). If you have a group that is likely to be put off by that, Homesteaders is a safer bet.

Neither game is shallow, both will hold up to repeated (10+) games. I suspect Phoenicia is deeper, but I've played it more often (30+ games, is compared to 10+). If you are playing games deeply, then Phoenicia may be better.
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Kevin B. Smith
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I haven't played Phoenicia, but based on what I have read, many of these comments make sense. The auctions in homesteaders are definitely a major part of the game, but the resource management is also critical. And the resource conversions are where I spend most of my brain power while playing Homesteaders.

Another civ-light auction game you might consider is Peloponnes. It is lighter than the other two, but still feels fairly meaty to me. The auctions are definitely the central focus there.

I suppose no "auction games" discussion would be complete without mentioning Power Grid. Personally I *loved* the auctions and the resource market, but *hated* the map play. Again with PG, the auctions are not the central mechanic of the game.
 
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Lacombe
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Neither is a particularly interesting auction game. Homesteaders is probably the better game overall, though... certainly the most "sure fire" game in terms of likelihood to suit an arbitrary gamer's tastes. It has broad appeal, where Phoenicia has a very particular audience.
 
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Chris Linneman
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peakhope wrote:
Again with PG, the auctions are not the central mechanic of the game.


A bit off-topic, but I respectfully disagree with this.
 
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David
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kvenosdel wrote:
FWIW Homesteaders 2-player variant is very nice but I've also heard Phoenicia can be played nicely with 2 as well.

I played Phoenicia twice as a 2 player and won't be playing it again - the runaway leader problem is huge.

*as a 2-player I mean. I'd certainly play it 3+.
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