My BGG.con hits and misses (with commentary)
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
47 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
This is a list of games I played for the first time at BGG.con. In other words they’re all new to me even if they are not a new game in general. I rank the games from worst to first with commentary.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: convention [+] recap [+] bggcon [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:337]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I never need to play this game again and I really mean that.

The game is very chaotic, which isn’t necessarily bad, but when combined with the long play time it’s a killer. Several factors contribute to the general chaos, first is the tendency to get tangled up with other players and thus thrown off your plan, second is the accumulation of damage which severely limits your options on subsequent turns, third is the randomness of drawing movement cards and the chance of not getting a movement option that you need, and finally is the seemingly unbalanced special power cards (of which we started the game with one each). I suppose that the enjoyment of this game comes from watching the chaos unfold on the board rather than from seeing a carefully laid plan executed and to a certain extend I can understand that. In the environment of a convention playing with people I don’t know and with other, better, games calling, it was just annoying, however.

And this opinion is not based on sour grapes. In the game I played I won handily, never being interfered with or thrown off my plan. We played on a 2 board setup and I was relatively lined up with the first flag and had decent movement cards on the first turn so I jumped out to a lead while the other robots were prevented from catching up by continually interfering with each other. So I cruised to a victory which probably cut the play time by an hour. Thank God!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Big City [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:986]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another older game that was new to me. Big City shares a lot of the problems that plague roborally though to a lesser extent. It’s another game where the joy is in watching the board unfold in surprising ways rather than planning and executing a strategy. The bits are great and the final board looks good but getting there involves very little in the way of appealing game play. It’s just a matter of drawing a card and hoping to get a scorable move while also hoping that nobody drops a factory on you. Once again I won easily because I was left relatively alone and not interfered with. The factories landed elsewhere and I was free to play my cards to their maximum (which is generally an obvious play). I suppose I would play big city again because it’s relatively quick so it’s not nearly as painful as Roborally but I’ve definitely scratched it off my to buy list.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Euphrates & Tigris: Contest of Kings [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:3242]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Uh oh, here’s trouble, what are we doing at this game so early in the list? It’s not that this game is broken in any way or not enjoyable it’s just that there’s no reason for it to exist. Let me put it this way: the T&E cardgame is NOT to the T&E boardgame as San Juan is to Puerto Rico. It’s not an inspired reimagining of the heavier boardgame. Instead it tries to faithfully capture the feel and mechanics of the boardgame in a new format and therein lies the problem. Why not just play the boardgame? Seriously, T&E the boardgame should not be taking you longer than an hour to play with 4 people so if you feel you need a shorter version of T&E I’d say you need quicker players instead. Whatever time you save by playing the cardgame does not justify the losses to the gameplay itself. Ask yourself this, what would you strip from the boardgame? If you answered “the map” then rush out an buy this game. If you think taking the map away from T&E takes away an important layer of strategy, theme, the sense of kingdoms developing, colliding, and splitting, and pretty much any sense of engagement with the game then you’d be right.

I’d go so far as to say that T&E the cardgame answers the eternal question that has been debated since the beginning of BGG: is Tigris and Euphrates a well themed game? Having played the cardgame I can now answer yes, yes it is. The card game is essentially stripped of all theme and reduced to pure mechanics and something is lost. I predict in two years when a newbie comes to BGG and posts an article titled “T&E the cardgame vs. the board game which should I get” The overwhelming response will be to get the boardgame. The cardgame is going to fade away in my opinion.

One more thing before I leave this game. Since your hand size is increased from 6 to 8 (necessary since you have to pay for points out of you hand) and since the maximum number of supporting temples in an internal conflict is only 1 something feels off. There’s not as high of a barrier to conflict in this game, something which I think is finely balanced in the board game. And the external conflicts only pay off with one point instead of points equal to the number of tiles removed from the board. Remind me why I should be risking an external conflict then if not for the big payoff? I suppose conflict is inevitable once space runs out but, really, an underwhelming feeling the whole time time playing this game. Pass.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:91] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I admit I’m a Ticket to Ride junkie, I love the original game but the changes that Europe makes do not appeal to me. First of all I miss the longer connections! Some people claim they unbalance Ticket to Ride but I don’t think they really do. Part of the reason I enjoy the game is the tension involved in saving up for that 6 car black route. With so many short routes in this game there’s less tension, you can quickly get the cards you need for most routes. It’s simply not as much fun creeping across the board 2 or 3 cars at a time as it is slashing your way across with daring 5 and 6 car connections!

The stations are a mixed bag. I’m glad they prevent you from getting locked out of a city but really they just remove even more of the tension from the game. Why go out of your way to block someone when it’s not devastating to their position? Sure they hate to play a station but if you gave up a turn and some cards to block who is really worse off?

The mechanic of giving everyone a long route card really does balance the game better it’s true. But who says balance is always a good thing? In a relatively quick and simple game I can live with a little bit of unbalance in exchange for some excitement. Of course I curse my staring hand often enough in TtR but really I’m surprised at how often you can recover from poor tickets. If the tickets are bad enough (like Denver to El Paso or KC to Houston) I’ll just ignore them and go for all long connections (difficult to win the game this way but still possible, probably more so than by making those crappy tickets and drawing new ones). And I’ve won my share of games by drawing a lucky long route ticket that I’d already practically completed. I guess I’d rather have the flavor than the balance, Europe is bland.

Here’s the worst part though. The tunnels and the gray routes which require wild cards really ruin the game in my opinion. The reason is that it’s now practically more desirable to draw off the deck than it is to take any of the face up cards, even if there’s a color you need. The combination of shorter routes (requiring fewer matching cards) and the high demand for wildcards means people spend a lot of time drawing off the deck. That really crushes one of the things I like best about Ticket to Ride which is the ruthless efficiency involved in drawing cards. If you draw off the deck in Ticket to Ride you’ve really failed strategically, an ideal game of TtR involves drawing only from the face up cards and never wilds then spending your last two cards to get down to two trains. Efficiency is everything and that is removed in Europe. Drawing from the deck in Europe will get you the colors that you need plus the wildcards (no need to worry about getting blocked in the mean time, you’ve got the stations). Drawing from the face up pile will get you the colors you need slightly faster perhaps but you won’t get the wilds. All in all you draw from the deck more frequently and have less fun as you watch everybody else do the same.

Stick with the original

(Love the bigger cards though, why can’t they sell a replacement deck for TtR owners?)

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Attika [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:565]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I played Attika because I’m always on the lookout for medium weight 2 player games to play with my wife. This one didn’t strike me though because it seems to be all about blocking and I don’t like games that force me to spend all my time thinking about how to stop other players. Also the order in which you draw your tiles seems to be pretty important and you have no control over it. I probably need to play this again to get a fairer evaluation but for now I’m taking it off the radar.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:519]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I probably would have liked this game much better before I played Rumis. There’s nothing wrong with Blockus and it was a fun enough game but I think I’d rather play Rumis every time so I have no need for this one.

Can we get an expansion for Rumis by the way? I want more pieces.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Tempus [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1490]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a fantastic game marred by one horrible flaw.

This really is a two hour civ. It feels like you’re building up and running a civilization, the mechanics are brilliantly simple yet lead to deep and agonizing decisions. Two thirds of the way through the game I was telling everybody who walked by how wonderful it was and I had decided to bump it to the top of my to buy list. Then it all fell apart.

The problem is that there is a defined ending (game ends after x number of rounds) and all the scoring occurs at the end of the game. This leads to a horrible final round in which you throw out any style or strategy from earlier in the game and begin a brutal optimization process to get as many VP’s as you can. Nevermind that you might make attacks which aren’t strategically sound or even likely to succeed or that you try to seize ground that you couldn’t possibly hold the next turn. You’ll do it all in the hopes of getting the points. This really leaves a bad taste after an otherwise exciting build up.

I wish the scoring had been hidden and incremental throughout the game and I wish the end game trigger had been semi-random. As it is I don’t really want to play the game again because I don’t look forward to switching gears out of Civ. building mode and into VP scoring mode.

A true true shame, this was almost a must buy and I could easily see dozens of plays.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:523]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I’d heard great things about this game so maybe it was the victim of hype. It’s not a bad game at all and I’d definitely play it again but I don’t feel a need to own it. I think my hesitation about the game is in the bribing mechanic. It seems like there’s a chance for some hard feelings since the best move is not always to accept the most money but to the person offering the most money it can feel kind of personal. There’s an almost identical mechanic in Tower of Babel (discussed below) but it’s handled much better. First it’s not called bribing, second if your offer is not accepted then you get victory points in proportion to the size of your offer. I find that to be the better solution.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: PÜNCT [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1334] [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don’t love two player abstracts but I’m a big enough fan of the Gipf Project to own Dvonn and to be excited about trying out new entries in the series.

After only one play I’m not sure what to make out of Punct. I simply did not grok it at all. It might be because we learned from the rules without any strategy advice, I don’t know. Whatever the case I want to try it again but I don’t want to buy it just yet.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Werewolf [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1168]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I’m a werewolf regular here on the Geek but had never played face to face until BGG.con so I was anxious to try it out. How did I like it? It’s a lot of fun with one exception discussed below but first a brief recap of one of the games.

It was on Saturday night and we had a 25 person game (4 wolves, 1 seer). I was seated between seanp and xandryyte (two people I know well from BGG werewolf and who I was delighted to meet in person). The first day I leaned over to seanp and asked him “If you were the seer who would you have checked?”

He replied “I’m the seer and I checked you” Awesome! I immediately believed him because if I had been the Seer I’d have checked him too. The next few days we privately discussed who should be checked and he would tell me the results the next morning, always he found a villager. On about day 4 I had come to trust xandryyte on my right just by listening to her discussions and defense so I leaned over and whispered to her that seanp was the seer and how did she feel about the person to her right? She replied that she hadn’t made up her mind about him yet. It was a risk I know but if seanp had died that night it would have confirmed that xandryyte was a wolf and we would have at least gotten one wolf in exchange for the seer.

But seanp did not die the next night and it confirmed xandryyte was indeed a villager and it enabled a rather brilliant plan (probably not so brilliant really, I’m sure it’s been done but I’ve never heard of it). The plan was that when seanp finally spotted a wolf we would pass that information to xandryyte and have her claim to be the seer and point out the wolf. When that person was lynched and their role revealed then it would confirm in the wolves’ minds that xandryyte was indeed a seer and she would be eaten, thus gaining another night for the real seer. If, by chance, seanp spotted another wolf we could pull the same stunt the next day with myself claiming to be the real seer and pointing out another wolf.

It didn’t come to pass however because xandryyte leaked some information to the guy on her right to the effect of she knew the seer was on her left. Well the next night I got eaten and the night after that seanp spotted a wolf but he got eaten also. Xandryyte had been passed the names of all the cleared villagers who were still alive and between them and herself there were 4 safe villagers and 3 wolves with about 13 players left in the game. Unfortunately at this point the pattern of the wolf meals didn’t register with xandryyte and she failed to identify the player to her right as a potential wolf (which, in fact, he was).

The game went on with villagers getting lynched until there were still 3 wolves and only 4 villagers left. One more mislynch ends the game and the village has to lynch 3 wolves in a row to win. That’s exactly what happened however, three correct lynches won the game for the village, very exciting. With the final wolf lynched being the one next to xandryyte

So what’s the one big problem with werewolf? Player elimination. Some people don’t mind watching the game from the outside but I hate it. It’s a blast while you’re in and a drag when you’re out. But that’s the nature of the beast and I’d definitely play it again at a future con but I feel no need to play it with the regular game group.

In addition to seanp and xandryyte I met some other online regulars including nishikawa-collector, jaredh, gregarius, and luthien. Nice to meet you all.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Palazzo [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1439]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Technically this isn’t a new game to me because I already own it but for all intents and purposes this was my first game of Palazzo. What did I think? Well, the theme to mechanics integration is nonexistent. You can lift up your entire palazzo and insert a story underneath it. And there’s really no theme to the currency drafting, or purchasing mechanics. But if this doesn’t bother you the game is quite solid. It’s quick and full of decisions. The mechanics, despite being clunky, work well. I’m glad I own it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: YINSH [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:132] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In contrast to Punct this was a more obvious game. We were really engaged this one and it’s going on my to buy list.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:45]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Does it live up to the hype? Well, it’s a very very good game. I’ll almost certainly buy it, but it will never be in my personal top five games, I’m confident enough to say that after only one play. I won’t elaborate on what’s good about this game, plenty of others have done that. I’ll just highlight a couple of the problems (and I use that word loosely, there really are no major problems with the game). The first is a certain fiddlyness related to the constantly changing turn order. Since turn order is likely to change every round or two it becomes difficult to remember who you follow and so there is a lot of reminding about whose turn it is and a lot of staring at the board wondering if the next guy realizes it’s his turn or not. That’s during the placement phase, then during the “walking” phase turn order is again completely scrambled as you take your action in the order that your pawns come up. Now, these are not complex actions, usually nothing more is required than to grab your pawn and some colored cubes, but (as someone who focuses on games and rarely misses that it’s his turn) I even forgot that my pawn was next up sometimes. This whole process caused me some anxiousness because I hate it when another player needs to do something and I realize that but he doesn’t and that happens a lot with this game.

The second thing is playing time. I’m sure with experience the playing time can be shaved. But I’m not sure that the game play supports even a two hour play time and certainly not three hours. There’re some games I can play for three hours, Power Grid is one of them and Caylus is not.

If the game could be played in 90 minutes with people’s full attention and effort to move the game along then it may never leave the table. I think that’ll be the exception rather than the rule though.

The bottom line for me is that Caylus belongs in your collection but it probably doesn’t belong in the BGG top ten (though that’s not up to me).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Tower of Babel [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1316]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Why the indifferent reaction from the gaming community to this title? I absolutely loved it. It’s simple and quick but is packed with constant interesting decisions. I’ll grant that the gameplay is somewhat repetitive and it’s not something you’d want to play back to back but seriously, this is a great game and I don’t understand its lukewarm reception. Could it be just a case of Euro fatigue?

If you take it for what it is, a light to medium weight abstract game that plays in 30 to 40 minutes then it’s a gem. Don’t expect Tigris and Euphrates here.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is my number one game of the convention. I loved it, I loved everything about it (disclaimer: I have not played Age of Steam). In terms of weight and complexity (and even a little bit of mechanics) it reminds me of Power Grid. If you like Power Grid I think you’ll like Railroad Tycoon.

I admit that I preordered this game as soon as I heard about it but after I did I began to have serious regrets. I mean this is Eagle games after all and I do own Attack so I should have known better. Plus I began to have concerns that the board was just too big (not in terms of square feet but in terms of playable hexes), that the east coast would dominate the strategy and be the only viable starting location, and that the game wouldn’t be good for 2 players.

Well, those concerns are completely addressed (not the 2 player one but what are you going to do?). There is indeed a lot of room on the map but in a 5 player game competition for resources and routes was intense and player interaction was high. I feel it still would be interactive in a 4 player game but less than that would be more like solitaire.

And the winner of the game didn’t have a single route in the North East, he built entirely in the Midwest. A southern strategy did well also so clearly the map supports different valid starting locations.

A couple of component problems though. First, as has been widely reported, the purple cities are very difficult to distinguish from the blue. Initially I thought, how big a problem can this be? People always seem to exaggerate color issues but indeed it is an issue. You must be very careful to point this out before the game begins. Second, the “rungs” in the scoring ladder are very narrow and using player locomotives for scoring markers is not ideal. They are bigger than the rungs themselves and so can lead to confusion over which rung is being scored. Also, they can be easily jostled and knocked off of the scoring track. I wish they had provided some more suitable dedicated scoring marker.

That’s it though, that’s all of the complaints (well, I do wish the game were shorter. Three hours is pushing its limit but Railroad Tycoon just barely supports it whereas Caylus does not). The game is just plain fun. I was completely engrossed and the time flew by. I cannot wait to play again. I’m so glad I preordered the game now. I’m not sure if it’ll edge its way into my top five games (if it doesn’t it’ll be because of the length) but it’s rock solid in my top ten.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: Power Grid: France/Italy [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is kind of cheating because I own Power Grid and have played it plenty of times but I’m putting it on this list because this was my first game on the French map and also so I could compare and contrast it with Railroad Tycoon.

I’ll deal with the French map first. I thought the map was very good, it seemed to smooth out the game considerably because all of the connections were of relatively equal magnitude and what differences did exist were evenly spread throughout the board. This eliminated some of the “lurchiness” of the American map. The one problem was the 3 Paris sectors with zero connection costs. The player who claimed this area first won the game and it does seem to be an advantage. Overall though a nice map to play on.

Now, how do Railroad Tycoon and Power Grid compare? Well, turns in both games start off with an auction; for turn order in RT and for power plants in PG. PG has by far the better auction however, correctly valuing the power plants is difficult and there’s a push your luck element in waiting for better plants to drop. The auction is really the heart of PG and it outshines its equivalent in RT. The RT auction is ok but it has the big problem of rewarding the player to the left of the winner since play continues clockwise. This feels slightly uneven and could potentially be a problem.

RT doesn’t really have an equivalent to buying resources as you do in PG. But you do urbanize or take power cards, all interesting decisions that work well.

Another similarity is cash management. PG is a calculational game in that you have to know how much you’re going to spend on cities and fuel in order to know what your auction limit is and estimating these two things requires quite a bit of mental gymnastics. RT is like this also but to a lesser extend because you can always just issue stock if you run out of cash. Therefore, it’s not nearly as devastating to come up one dollar short in RT as it can be in PG.

Finally, we come to board play where RT really shines over PG. In PG board play is a rather pedestrian afterthought. You find the cheapest connection and you take the cheapest connection. There is a race aspect to lock up certain cities before your competition but usually this is pretty obvious. In the PG endgame you may build 6 cities in the final turn and at this stage it’s merely tracing the cheapest route without any other consideration.

In RT board play is everything. Evaluating where to start is much more critical and there is actual movement on the board as goods are delivered, it’s not as static. There’s still a race to lock up cities but routes have to be carefully planned (terrain has to be taken into effect which is not a consideration in PG) and timing is critical.

Overall I find that the games occupy the same niche in terms of complexity, length, and mental approach. This is rather a shame since they’ll be competing with each other for table time. I don’t want to miss out on playing either one.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.