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Subject: Vineta.....A seaside romp without the holiday snaps rss

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Blazing Apostle
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Being a God is no easy thing.Consider.
All day spent freezing your nuts off in the hallowed marble halls, wearing that thin toga they give you, having to decide who lives and who dies; who gets to win their fortune, who doesn`t; who gets to win a war, who loses; and then after all that having to decide what`s for dinner tonight before retiring to bed with your hot cocoa and your latest blockbuster novel.Decisions, decisions.

Being a player in Vineta is no easy thing either.Now YOU are the God.(No, this isn`t an add from an Avalon Hill game.)
Now YOU get to decide the fate of millions in this EPIC tale of Vineta -
ATLANTIS of the North..
Hold on, did I hear you just say Atlantis?. There was only one Atlantis, and we Gods had that one destroyed Eons ago. So, sorry mi old Vinny, you have to go...to make way for that planned council Ocean going straight through here...Demolition starts Monday 8-00 a.m. sharp.

Gods with attitude is what Vineta is all about. A game that entails bluff/counter bluff with the playing of God cards in order to destroy the 9 District sections that make up the Isle of Vineta. Once 8 have gone by the wayside the final remaining district triggers the final scoring round....most points wins and the winner gets to put on that brand new white toga.

All sounds fair enough, but is the game any good? For me Vineta is a good game ruined by production issues, some of which are real pet peeves of mine..but more of that later.
My copy is the Winning Moves edition and opening the box you`ll discover a board, 9 island districts, 49 wooden houses/tribes/meeples call them what you will in 7 colours.180 God cards in identical sets of 30 cards for each God player...one of which is named Frigga.....no, I`m not going there ! There are 7 house tiles, 9 district tiles and a first player marker.

To set up the game the 9 district sections of the island are laid out onto the board. Depending one the number of players house colours are randomly drawn from the tiles + one extra colour.
These house tiles are then randomly shuffled and a player selects and keeps it face down in front of him/her self. This will be the colour house he secretly supports from destruction at the end of the game. The rest of the house tiles are put to one side face down as these will not be used. Then the 9 district tiles are randomly shuffled and each player draws one and places that too face down in front of him/her self.The district drawn also acts as a secret support that the the player wishes to survive all the destruction which will ensue.Each player takes a set of God cards, shuffles them and draws a hand of seven cards. Players then select a start player....who`s wearing the best Toga today? etc .

Starting with the first player, he/she places a house meeple on any one of the nine districts.Then the next player selects a house meeple and does the same as above and so on until all the house meeples have been placed. So, as an example, say four players are playing a game 35 wooden houses of five differing colours are placed onto the island anywhere in the nine districts that make up the island.Your now ready to start a game round.

The eight rounds of the game follow the same pattern.

The start player selects a card from his hand, places it down in front of himself face down and then the next player does the same until all players have laid a card down. Then from the start player, he reveals the card and takes the appropriate action of the card, and so on round the table of players.Once you play a card you draw a new card to make your hand back up to seven cards.

God cards come in 2 categories. Wave cards and action cards.
Wave cards are numbered from 1 to 4, and will be the cards that will destroy a district with the highest number played by all players, whilst action cards come in a variety of effects which will either help a player or hinder an opponent.

Once a player plays a wave card, he places his God Chit on any district bordering the ocean. This becomes the district he wishes to destroy this round.Each player gets to play 3 cards in a round, so once the start player plays his first card, the other players will have the choice of either trying to support the district chosen for destruction or playing a higher wave card on another district and placing your own God chit, or by playing an action card to help your own selection or hindering an opponents choice of district.

Why would you support an opponents choice of district?
Well, after each player has played 3 cards, the district that has the highest number of wave cards sinks and is removed from the game, then the houses from that district are distributed among the players who played wave cards on that particular row.

The player who laid the first card on the flood row takes a house from the sunken district, then the owner of the second wave card takes a house meeple, and so on until all the houses of the district are exhausted. If after all players have taken a house and houses still remain on the destroyed district, then another round of distribution starts again from the player who played the first wave card etc, until all houses have been taken.

The first player marker is then passed clockwise and a new round is ready to begin.

Once 8 districts have been destroyed and scored, a final district survives and final scoring takes place.

Houses claimed by a player score 1 point each, whilst a players secret house colour selection at start of game which survives to be on the final district scores and extra 3 points per house.
Also, the district secretly selected at start of the game by players score extra points if that island district has survived.
Red districts score an extra 2 points.
Yellow districts score an extra 4 points.
Green districts score and extra 7 points.

Highest score wins.

So, whats it like to play?
For me Vineta is a good game dragged down by production issues which really is a great pity. I`ll explain. Firstly there is the game board which for me is a useless inclusion and acts as only a bit of extra eye candy. I think this has already be mentioned before.

Secondly, the district tiles are a little hard to decipher at first, and I personally did my own letter coding system for both the tiles and the district sections. (Photos in the files section) Anything which helps with confusion is good thing right? It certainly helps when you select at start of the game and with the district you are secretly attempting to protect.

Lastly and my biggest gripe with the game, is the language independent God cards. The wave cards are easy enough, but the action cards ( they are what really fuels this game) and what they do are listed on a seperate reference sheet.

So, a game might go something like this...

Right ...my turn... I think I wanna play this....oh..where is it?....where`s the reference sheet AGAIN?....argh yes.....The panic action card.....Is that the panic card?
" Will you hurry up"
Sorry.......just need to check on....this ...card...see what it...ugm, no I don`t think that`s the card I really need to.......
"Will you just play a bloody card"

And on and on it goes, and all players will be doing the same thing on their turn too.
Why in heavens name did they not put what the action cards do on the cards rather than some strange symbols that mean nothing to me or anyone else? Production costs I hear you say. Well it might well have been a good idea not to put so much cost in a game board that has absolutely no use, and transfer said cost into putting information on the cards.

I am aware that this is my gripe and that others might be fine with all this...and that is all fine by me, but it just slows the game down and makes for a more frustrating exercise than it need be.

But eh, being a God was never an easy thing.
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Dan Wojciechowski
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Aurora
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I enjoyed your review, with one exception. I like Vineta, though I've only played a house-ruled version where each player selects and plays their card before the next player selects his card. I agree that the lettering on the island sections is hard to read. Personally I don't find the cards confusing, but then I like El Grande which has similar graphics. (I personally find the icons in Race for the Galaxy easy to understand, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.) So, what didn't I like about your review? The toga references! These are Norse Gods, not Roman or Greek, so they really are going to be freezing their whatsits off if they are only wearing togas.
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Blazing Apostle
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Thanks Dan, yeah those Norse Gods are made of sterner stuff meeple and noted. I too like the game..and have toyed with the idea of doing my own cards...problem solved then for me..but it would take an awful lot of my time to be honest at the moment so...cry I like the house rule idea.
 
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Chris Stanton
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I thought the action cards were visually fairly self-explanatory.
The real problem is that the list of those cards on the extra sheet has some of them wrong. It's something to watch out for.
I agree with you on the board - mostly it's just somewhere to stick the cards as opposed to on the table - meh.
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Blazing Apostle
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Thanks Chris..wasn`t aware of that..will have to go back and check meeple
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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Toc13 wrote:
I thought the action cards were visually fairly self-explanatory.
The real problem is that the list of those cards on the extra sheet has some of them wrong. It's something to watch out for.
I agree with you on the board - mostly it's just somewhere to stick the cards as opposed to on the table - meh.



Yeah, the cheat sheet in the box is wrong - and that makes the iconography on the cards seem more confusing than it really is. the pictures actually are quite obvious. I printed out the cheat sheets here in the file section and that helps a lot too.

So, did we all go to The Works?
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Blazing Apostle
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A friend did...not me. meeple
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