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Subject: It's almost like Carcricola rss

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Bought Glen More a while back and have enjoyed playing it; and thought yet another review was needed; you have clicked on this review, maybe considering buying it, and that's why we're here.

This is the fifth installment of my reviews. I still hate subjective rating systems, and I might have to upload a few pictures to adequately convey turn sequence.

Components: 7/10
Theme: GREAT! (If you would like to do math while watching the movie Braveheart, and I would.)
Gameplay: TI-30
Analysis Paralysis: 3/5
Player Interaction: Minimal
Fun:


Components
Like most Rio Grande Games, the component quality is good. Like most Rio Grande/Alea big- or medium-box game that I have, there is one component that I think could be improved. In this case it’s the central board, which I think is just a bit too thin and flimsy. It’s not as bad as the player mats in Castles of Burgundy, but you do notice it.

The other components are quite nice. Twenty-five clan member meeples, five player pieces, cubes of brown, green, yellow, grey, and white representing different resources, little wooden whiskey barrels, victory point hexagon chits, cardboard coins, action tiles with 0, 1, 2, or 3 on the back, castle/loch cards, and a wooden die.

Everything makes sense and gameplay flows well. The most interesting component is the player turn track, which we’ll get to later.

One minor quibble is that, even thought is can be a four-player game, you only get two player summary cards.

All in all, it’s not bad for a less expensive game.


Theme
In this game, you are trying to build your Scottish clan and earn the most victory points doing so.

Like most, if not all, Euros, the theme probably seems pasted on, but that doesn’t bother me. I don’t have to suspend my disbelief much—if at all—to play Glen More. You, of course, might not agree.


Gameplay
The gameplay is TI-30; that is to say, you’re almost always calculating something. Calculating which tiles to take, if/where you can place them, keeping an eye on your opponents’ victory conditions and comparing them to yours, looking at the turn sequence, and seeing if you have too many tiles (more on this later). All in all it can lead to some serious AP, especially if you are new to the game, haven’t played in a while, or are just prone to AP.

I referenced Carcassonne and Agricola in the title. The tile laying aspect really reminds me of Carcassonne and the claiming of the tile you place really reminds me of the worker placement mechanic in Agricola. Weight-wise, Glen More probably fits somewhere between the two.


A. The game is played over three rounds, with scoring happening after each round. These tiles get placed on the central board when tiles are taken off the track.
B. Central playing board with player markers, resource track, marketplace, and scoring summary
C. Castle and loch cads
D. Resource cubes
E. Victory points
F. MONEY!!!


In a sample turn, the following happens:
A. Because yellow is at the end of the line, it’s his turn.
B. He places his meeple on B, because he wants the pasture and the livestock it produces. Yellow must wait until he is the last person on the track before he gets another turn.
C. A tile is drawn from stack one and place here.
D. It is the blue players turn . . . and this sequence will repeat.

(E) You can buy and sell resources in the center, but only to cover immediate building expenses.


You then take your tile and add it to your clan, placing it orthogonally to an existing tile and adjacent (even diagonally) to a clans member. The new tile then activates AND activates any tile it touches (even diagonally).


Analysis Paralysis
There’s a good amount of decisions you have to make each turn. These are the possible analysis paralysis pitfalls for you to consider on each turn:

Which tile do I need the most?
Will I be able to place the tile?
Where is the best place to place the tile?
How many chieftains do I want to have, and where should I move my clan members?
Am I falling behind with whiskey barrels?
Should I take more castles and lochs?
The tile I take will determine when my next turn happens.
Do I have too many tiles?

The decisions you make are impactful and will affect your outcome. I don’t get the feeling that one bad decision will sink you (though it might if you play with world-class Glen More players), but streak of bad decisions can put you in a hole. Some of the AP might come from the lack of a die roll to compensate for poor decisions, of which I’ve certainly made my share!


Player Interaction
Apart from "I'm gonna take this so you can't" there really isn't too much player interaction. It maybe fits in to the “multiplayer solitaire” category I’ve seen leveled against some games. It’s certainly not Diplomacy, and it’s not even Settlers or Catan, but you don’t get the feeling that you need to interact with your opponent while playing. You interact with their actions more than with the individual.


Fun
This game is fun, but like most Euros I play I get more of a feeling of satisfaction after playing it than excitement while playing it. It’s a game I could really picture my high school math teachers enjoying. There’s not the feeling of victory as in Twilight Struggle, not that feeling you get in Dominion where you play an awesome card combination, and not the visceral feeling of conquest after an external conflict in Tigris & Euphrates, but you look at what you did at the end of the game and feel satisfied if you played a good game, win or lose.


Final Thoughts
This game might appeal to you if you like Power Grid; both are math heavy, have a dynamic turn order mechanism, and not much interaction. It’s a good game, but it’s quiet, contemplative, and calculating. It’s not overly complex—ultimately you’re laying tiles down—but there are many variables that you end up thinking about.

If you’re thinking, “Why don’t I just take every tile I can and bury my opponent in a Scottish hailstorm of tiles?” the game rewards efficiency and punishes excess. Last game I played I lost fifteen points at the end because I had five more tiles than my opponent. So, don’t take every tile just ‘cause it’s there.



Like the review? Hate it? You can make your opinion known in the comments section.
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David desJardins
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jmganey wrote:
The gameplay is TI-30; that is to say, you’re almost always calculating something.


I have absolutely no idea what this means.
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Generic Pseudonym
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it's a calculator by Texas Instruments.
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Joe
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DaviddesJ wrote:
jmganey wrote:
The gameplay is TI-30; that is to say, you’re almost always calculating something.


I have absolutely no idea what this means.


It's a spaceship capable of arranging efficient algorithms to manipulate scottish agriculture from the future.
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Bruce Murphy
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louper wrote:
jmganey wrote:
(E) You can buy and sell resources in the center, but only to cover immediate building expenses.


I believe you can sell resources at any time; you're right that you can only buy them to cover immediate expenses.


Immediate expenses that you can't cover from your other goods.

B>
 
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Moe45673
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Just played my third game of this tonight. I think this game does everything I like about stereotypical eurogames in a light package. Like the reviewer says, it's more on the multiplayer-solitaire end of the spectrum (like Agricola is), it's not an absolute blast to play but it's damned satisfying when the game ends. And it does it all in a smaller, cheap box without being too fiddly and overstaying its welcome.

Glad I bought this
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