BoardGameGeek » Podcasts & Blogs » BGWS 049 - Video exploration of Metropolys (with a touch of Caylus)

Author: snicholson
Board Games with Scott, Episode 049 is now available.



You can get it in several formats at the Board Games with Scott Website:
http://www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=85


or watch it below through Vimeo:



Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:44 pm
Author: zuviel
Thanks for the review and explanation. I've really enjoyed the games of Metropolys I've played so far. It also looks like a game that I can introduce to non-gamers without much trouble. Even the cover-art seems aimed at drawing non-gamers in.

I disagree with your opinion of Caylus (yes, I know it's tongue in cheek). I've never seen a game last past 2 hours and it contains a timing mechanism with the Bailiff and Provost that moves it along quickly. It probably partly depends on the group though. Caylus isn't a game I break out till someone is comfortable with Settlers, Puerto Rico and other less complicated games.

Oh, I've always figured the title fit into the pattern because it's CaYluS. laugh
Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:52 am
Author: Curtis Anderson
I haven't seen the Metropolys board in person, but it seems to me the subdued colors might help the board be less garish and might help the buildings stand out. I also wouldn't be surprised if they were characteristic of art nouveau, but I'm not enough of an art historian to say.
Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:14 am
Author: Walsfeo
zuviel wrote:
I disagree with your opinion of Caylus (yes, I know it's tongue in cheek). I've never seen a game last past 2 hours and it contains a timing mechanism with the Bailiff and Provost that moves it along quickly.

When I played Caylus with a pusher I didn't have the problem with the length of game either. But then again he didn't like for us to talk about anything so it made what could have been an interesting social game a total bore to play. snore So I think if you have the right group Caylus can be a fund game, but that group is narrower than with many other games.
Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:06 am
Author: snicholson
zuviel wrote:
I've never seen a game last past 2 hours ...


Every game you are in is fewer than 2 hours?

Go Caylus Commando!

Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:13 am
Author: Thommy8
Thanks for the video review of Metropolys. Definitely piqued my interest in the game. After being disappointed with the last couple Ystari games, this new one definitely intrigues me.

I think all their original games fit into the pattern (i.e., not their reprints of games like Princes of Florence and Taj Mahal):

Ys
Caylus
Mykerinos
Yspahan
Amyitis
Metropolys

They don't all have a Y immediately followed by an S, but they all have a Y and an S in the title.

It looks like their seventh (not counting Caylus Magna Carta) game, named Sylla (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/35761), will follow the trend, although be the first one to have the S come before the Y.
Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:57 am
Author: Thommy8
Forgot to mention, I loved the faux Caylus review, but I do think you're playing Caylus with wayyyyy too many people if your games are taking more than 2 hours. I think 2 players is best, and 3 players is tolerable, and 4 or 5 players is crazy. As a 2-player game between players who've played at least once before, it should definitely be under 90 minutes, closer to 60 minutes for people who make gut decisions rather than optimizing.
Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:00 am
Author: Walsfeo
Thommy8 wrote:
Forgot to mention, I loved the faux Caylus review, but I do think you're playing Caylus with wayyyyy too many people if your games are taking more than 2 hours. I think 2 players is best, and 3 players is tolerable, and 4 or 5 players is crazy. As a 2-player game between players who've played at least once before, it should definitely be under 90 minutes, closer to 60 minutes for people who make gut decisions rather than optimizing.
While the number of people certainly has an impact on the game length it also has a dramatic impact on the way most games, including Caylus, plays. That being said I'd like to try a few games of 2 player Caylus and see how it plays.
Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:17 pm
Author: Thommy8
Walsfeo wrote:
Thommy8 wrote:
Forgot to mention, I loved the faux Caylus review, but I do think you're playing Caylus with wayyyyy too many people if your games are taking more than 2 hours. I think 2 players is best, and 3 players is tolerable, and 4 or 5 players is crazy. As a 2-player game between players who've played at least once before, it should definitely be under 90 minutes, closer to 60 minutes for people who make gut decisions rather than optimizing.
While the number of people certainly has an impact on the game length it also has a dramatic impact on the way most games, including Caylus, plays. That being said I'd like to try a few games of 2 player Caylus and see how it plays.


Yes, I completely agree. Not only is Caylus too long with 4 or 5 players, but it also too chaotic. You lose the ability to plan and have far less control. Just like with Through the Desert, Samurai, Hansa, Hey That's My Fish, Carcassonne, Louis XIV, or Torres. I prefer all of 'em with 2 players, for the added control and reduced between turn chaos.
Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:29 pm
Author: MeGrimlockKing
Another fine review! I don't own any games with bidding mechanics, but this one has me interested. Now I just have to hope Rio Grande gets production going soon. I'm still waiting for my reprint of Galaxy Trucker!
Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:31 am
Author: onenatv
great review! now I have to get Metropolys Thanks.
Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:54 am
Author: Awakening
Another great one from Scott (and I forgot to post a comment yesterday). It feels like ages since my see-all-the-episodes-I-skipped-the-last-time marathon. I'm looking forward to #50 and hopefully Agricola

Now I know why you don't like Caylus. I have yet to try it out myself, I've not even read the rules. But when I do, we will all be beginners and while I do learn fast I usually don't play too seriously; I don't get upset when people make bad moves in Puerto Rico. As others have mentioned I believe the fun of the game depends on who you play it with.

As for Metropolys I totally agree on the board, while we shouldn't be distracted by the city features inside the areas it doesn't come out as a nice and clear board. I have nothing against the bidding part but the rest of the game sort of puts me off. It's too abstract, relies to heavily on "play by the moment" (not "build up play" like PR) and the scoring did not appeal to me.
Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:42 am
Author: Awakening
Actually looking at some images of the game your movie didn't do the board justice. The colors are far more vibrant and the details really comes out well. I was just browsing around and saw the box and wanted a closer look and that's when I noticed the board, still doesn't make in wanna play it though.

Here's a nice photo:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/321861
Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:40 am
Author: Walsfeo
Awakening wrote:
Actually looking at some images of the game your movie didn't do the board justice. The colors are far more vibrant and the details really comes out well. I was just browsing around and saw the box and wanted a closer look and that's when I noticed the board, still doesn't make in wanna play it though.

Here's a nice photo:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/321861

I wonder if not all the boards are the same?
Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:18 pm
Author: snicholson
Awakening wrote:
Actually looking at some images of the game your movie didn't do the board justice. The colors are far more vibrant and the details really comes out well.


I actually never had problems with it, but some of the people I have played with complained about it. So, I brought it up.


Hehe, and I just saw this picture in the gallery:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/322722

Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:27 pm
Author: zuviel
Awakening wrote:
Actually looking at some images of the game your movie didn't do the board justice. The colors are far more vibrant and the details really comes out well. I was just browsing around and saw the box and wanted a closer look and that's when I noticed the board, still doesn't make in wanna play it though.

Here's a nice photo:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/321861


I found it to be a little muddy. Nothing terrible and you end up with a pretty result at the end once all the buildings are placed.

It did cause some confusion with a particular player who wasn't sure what was a river and what was a lake. I didn't find that part too confusing myself, but next time I teach the game I'll spend a few extra seconds going over the water and bridges to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

It's also possible that there's differences in the boards, but I suspect lighting will have a big impact too. Playing Metropolys in a dimly light basement or convention hall will likely cause more problems than playing in a sun room (or with custom track lighting focused on the table as I'm lucky enough to enjoy sometimes).

My biggest complaint with the art (which I love in general) is that it's a bit too saturated. It helps make the districts very distinguishable, but it leads to the complaints of garishness and muddiness. Since the colours are bright and each district type has a unique architecture, they probably could have had a neutral background behind the colored buildings... It's a case of balancing utility and aesthetics for which there probably isn't a single right answer.
Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:51 pm
Author: icheyne
I loved the homage to Zero Punctuation. meeple
Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:05 am
Author: Awakening
My point was that a video have lower quality compared to a photo and I thought that the board looked better once I could see it properly.

BTW, I don't really like what they did with the city edges, using that plain color is boring; games tend to cover the whole board with art.


Using advanced and simplified scoring mechanics seems like a great idea for a card game I'm working on as I figured out some more gamer oriented ways to get points last week. I've even decided to make one playing rule optional.
Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:39 pm
Author: Legomancer
Hey Scott,

This is the first BGWS video I've watched and I really liked it. Well-done explanation, and even though I like to have the game in front of me when I learn it, you made everything crystal clear. Good job, and now Metropolys is on my want-to-play list!
Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:12 pm