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Lagoon: Land of Druids» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Lagoon Review rss

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Marco Kaisth
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Princeton Junction
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*This is for the Print N Play version of Lagoon*

When I first say the art of Lagoon, I irresistibly wanted it. From someone who grew up on D&D the lush fantasy landscapes pulled me in from the start. However, I was wary, as Kickstarting board games can be a waste if the game isn't as good as it seems, or lacks the substance thoroughly playtested games have. Thankfully, there was a PnP version of the game. I immediately got to work assembling it.

My group is generally into Ameritrash games, and we have great games of Runewars, D&D Adventure system and Mage Wars games. I've tried to get them into non-dice heavy games without the hack n slash of the ones we normally play. Thus far, only Terra Mystica inspired multiple play throughs. However, when we got our hands on Lagoon, we played 3 times immediately.

The game is incredibly fluid, and the mechanics of unraveling made the game incredibly fun to play. The constantly shifting map meant that the terrain always changed and strategy had to change with it. I expected the rock-paper-scissors system of unraveling land to be trying but it worked great with the balance of the game. If you add that to the fact you have no set faction you have to fight for, the game becomes, in my mind, similar to Coup, in that it isn't dense and is easy to pick up, but the strategy is incredibly deep.

I can't wait to get my (real) copy come August!


Pros:
Fluid game mechanics
No set factions
Easy to pick up, hard to put down
Constantly shifting terrain

Cons:
Stretch goals have (thus far) been un-enticing
Teaming up late in the game can be devastating

Overall, the game is a solid 9.5 out of 10, and is currently tied with Terra Mystica (although my group likes Lagoon far more) for the best strategy no-luck game I've ever played!
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Aaron R
United States
Centrville
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mkai wrote:

Cons:
Stretch goals have (thus far) been un-enticing


I'd personally put this in the Pros list. The designer clearly places the integrity of the game over overfunding the game with exciting stretch goals. Rather than building in a whole bunch of room in his pricing to give us a bunch of extra cool stuff that unbalances the game, David set the price at a very reasonable $35 and has said consistently said he won't add anything to the game that can't be extensively play-tested before the end of the campaign. Some games have a lot of room to expand with new content without compromising the experience (i.e. Myth), but Lagoon is a very tight game with very deep strategy that could be easily unbalanced by careless expansion. I've played the PNP (I'll post my own review soon) and I think the game itself is fantastic. I believe improvements in component quality, while not the most exciting, are the right way to go with this game.
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Marc Bennett
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Illinois
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fireandlight27 wrote:
mkai wrote:

Cons:
Stretch goals have (thus far) been un-enticing


I'd personally put this in the Pros list. The designer clearly places the integrity of the game over overfunding the game with exciting stretch goals. Rather than building in a whole bunch of room in his pricing to give us a bunch of extra cool stuff that unbalances the game, David set the price at a very reasonable $35 and has said consistently said he won't add anything to the game that can't be extensively play-tested before the end of the campaign. Some games have a lot of room to expand with new content without compromising the experience (i.e. Myth), but Lagoon is a very tight game with very deep strategy that could be easily unbalanced by careless expansion. I've played the PNP (I'll post my own review soon) and I think the game itself is fantastic. I believe improvements in component quality, while not the most exciting, are the right way to go with this game.


i agree with everything you said.... except that component upgrades are unexciting. i love component upgrades.
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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KEW GARDENS
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fireandlight27 wrote:
Some games have a lot of room to expand with new content without compromising the experience (i.e. Myth), but Lagoon is a very tight game with very deep strategy that could be easily unbalanced by careless expansion.


There's no limit to the variety of exciting stretch goals that can be added without in any way tinkering with game balance.

I have nothing but respect for a designer who is committed to not tossing out untested gameplay expansions, but not knowing how to offer enticing stretch goals without compromising gameplay just shows a lack of imagination.

In the absence of unique and enticing add-ons / stretch goals I'm generally not inclined to tie up my funds for months no matter how good a design looks, when I can just wait until it's in wide release and usually get it cheaper via OLGS.
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Marco Kaisth
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Princeton Junction
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Let me clarify. I'm totally on board with component upgrades, but also, I feel like the two goals thus far adding new Druid circles were unnecessary and could've been replaced by things that actually added to the game, whether components or additional tiles.
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G Bus
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Just my two cents, but I do agree that some more varied stretch goals, which as others have said should not introduce untested elements to the game, would have been nice. If memory serves, up to $40,000 it was basically just "progressively thicker cardboard." The next goal is 6 new tiles, which is much more enticing. Maybe they were saving the hotter goals for later ones to bring up backing after the initial "rush?" (this sounds like a pretty good idea to me).

For me, I one of the reasons I lean towards backing this is that there is basically one price tier which gets you "everything" that comes with stretch goals.
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Aaron R
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LostGradaution81 wrote:
For me, I one of the reasons I lean towards backing this is that there is basically one price tier which gets you "everything" that comes with stretch goals.


This is one of the things that caught my eye initially and something I really like about the campaign. The designer seems to be focused on getting a really solid game out there over having a runaway kickstarter. I like that I don't have to drop $100, $200, $300+ to get the full experience of Lagoon. The good price, awesome art and good initial reviews got me to try it and once I tried it there was no way I wasn't backing it.
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David Elliott
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League City
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First off, I am already sold on the game and very happy with it the way it is. David doesn't need to change anything as far as I am concerned. That being said, I do believe that the OP's statement regarding unexciting stretch goals/pledge levels is valid. There are no special Kickstarter-only rewards (unless you got in early at $150). Now that it has reached it's funding goal there really is no incentive for anyone else to invest.

While I do not want to see a change in gameplay there are other ways to make the Kickstarter generate additional excitement and revenue. What would I pay more money for? How about 3D miniatures instead of cardboard player tokens? How about a premium tile bag? Hell, you don't even have to hold up the schedule for the KS extras, just send them when they are ready.

In short, you already have my (our) money and we are excited for the game but I would love to see something that ONLY a kickstarter can get to reward us for being a backer. Otherwise why not just wait until it's produced?
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Steve Hiner
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Thanks for writing up a review. I'm probably going to have to jump in and buy Lagoon, it looks great.

I like some of the stretch goals, better components is always a plus, but I'd like to see more things to distinguish the Kickstarter version from the retail version. I'm curious what the retail price will be, if Kickstarter saved me a bit vs. waiting until it hits retail I'd be even more inclined to jump in. If it doesn't save anything over retail then Kickstarter exclusives are always nice.

Honestly though, regardless of the stretch goals I'm probably going to buy this game. The fact that he hands out a print and play version blows me away, I wish more games would do that. I found out about Lagoon today, I'll be printing it out tomorrow and playing it with my son this week.
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Jason Z
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CodeMercenary wrote:


Honestly though, regardless of the stretch goals I'm probably going to buy this game. The fact that he hands out a print and play version blows me away, I wish more games would do that. I found out about Lagoon today, I'll be printing it out tomorrow and playing it with my son this week.


I'd love to hear how it goes with your son. My 12 year-old would probably be my primary opponent. He likes MtG, so I really think he'll like the combo element of Lagoon.
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Anna Smith
United States
Michigan
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You're in luck, as now all KS copies include a full set of wooden, screen printed Druid tokens (as well as the cardboard components of the retail version.) And David is working on calculations for the cost of KS exclusive wooden seed tokens too! With funding still steadily climbing, I'm heavily invested. If the option to purchase multiple copies surfaces, I will be doing so :)
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