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Subject: There's beauty in Madeira (and it's NOT Cristiano Ronaldo) rss

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Victor Caminha
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Hello Paulo and Nuno,

Last night I played Madeira (with the harvester promo) for the first time with two other friends (Marco and Claudio) and what a great game it is! After 3 hours of gameplay or so, the scoring ended with Marco winning with 107, me in second with 99 and Claudio with 88.

Madeira is definitely a gamer's game, I felt there was a certain similarity in style (not mechanics) with Vinhos, another game I love. Explaining was a pain in the butt, but we got the game almost right. There were only two points we went wrong:

- I believed the King's Reward was "one-time only then discard" instead of applying it after every ship movement into that colony. I guess I misread when the rules emphasized its benefit should be taken immediately.

- I thought that 1 VP bonus for putting a worker into a city only happened if you actually PUT that worker there.

There was only one thing I disliked about Madeira: the pirate scoring at the end. The VP penalty for them is so high (speaking in absolutes) and the difficulty for getting rid of them is not a big deal. At the end of the game, everyone had no pirates, because if a player ended with a single pirate and everyone else cleared their reserve, that unfortunate player would lose 16 vp.

I would love a variant which made pirates harder to get rid (or easier to accumulate, perhaps gaining one token everytime one uses a pirate die - like accepting clandestine help just like accepting corruption in Cleopatra and the Society of the Architects?). Also, a negative VP-scoring with a smoother scale for pirate tokens would be much appreciated, like the poverty cubes in London. And instead of the flat-out -16 VP/-8VP/... for the greatest "pirate hoarders", the quantitative token difference between players could be more relevant (besides that -1 vp for each token beyond 20).

Disclaimer: All of my suggestions above are based after reading the manual and playing just once. Please take my considerations with a grain of salt since I didn't exhaustively play Madeira as you and all the playtesters did

Conclusion: Right now, I put it on #2 on my Essen 13 ranking and a solid "8" on my general ranking. Madeira is a great gamer's game, meaty and somewhat fiddly. If it fits your gaming style, go get it!
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Paulo Soledade
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Thank you Victor. Very much appreciated.

The thing with the pirates, and you probably will feel that in your next plays, is that you must be sure you know how to control them and don't be afraid of what your opponents can do to hurt you. There's a way to play with them assuming you're getting them, rather than be in panic if you get a couple. The idea of the pirates was not only see them as a menace to your gameplay but also - and this is something we tried to do with every single aspect of the game - see them as opportunities to follow a strategy.

Very happy that you enjoyed the game and I'm sure you'll find some different strategies in the future to deal with pirates.

Paulo
 
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Victor Caminha
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Thanks for the kind words, Paulo. I will certainly try a new approach in future games. Just for clarification: nobody panicked or got afraid of gaining them . In average each player had 5-10 pirates at the end of the turn, only getting rid of all of them at the 4th or 5th round.

Question: How heavy will be Panama in comparison to Madeira? If it is lighter, how much? And how fiddly will it be?

 
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Paulo Soledade
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wykthor wrote:
Thanks for the kind words, Paulo. I will certainly try a new approach in future games. Just for clarification: nobody panicked or got afraid of gaining them . In average each player had 5-10 pirates at the end of the turn, only getting rid of all of them at the 4th or 5th round.

Question: How heavy will be Panama in comparison to Madeira? If it is lighter, how much? And how fiddly will it be?


The weight of games always depends on how many and of what kind you know and if you're willing to separate time from complexity. 18xx games can be found complex just because of playing time and they are not. Wargames like Here I Stand, for example, are complex and take time.

Well, in a 1-5 (reasonable) scale I consider Madeira a 3,5 and Panamax maybe a 2,5. But I would consider Here I Stand a 7 on this scale
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Victor Caminha
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I wonder what scale you would give High Frontier . Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in Panamax, hope it will be a big hit like Madeira.
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