Recommend
60 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

The Ancient World» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Playtester Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Drew Sonnenberg
United States
Rock Hill
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Naturally, the first thing anyone will notice about the Ancient World is the artwork. Ryan has done an excellent job creating not just artwork but an entire world that really helps to bring out the theme of this game. Which brings us to our first important point:

What is this game about?

The Ancient World takes place in (you guessed it) an ancient world that has been oppressed by the wild and savage Titans. For years, the people have been unable or unwilling to fight back and have merely banded together in various tribes and just barely managed to survive. But that's all about to change.

In The Ancient World, you are the ruler of a city-state that is attempting to recruit member of 5 ancient tribes to your city. You do this in two ways. The first is by building up your city-state with various buildings that attract members of the tribes (as well as giving you various abilities and bonuses). The second, and the heart of the game, is by attacking Titans. When you defeat a Titan, members of the tribes flock to your city-state as you are, obviously, a glorious and mighty city-state that will be able to protect them from the Titans that have ravaged their land for so long.

So how does it work?


The Ancient World is a worker placement game. At the beginning of the game, each player has 3 worker of different skill levels (1, 2, and 3). There are 7 actions for you to choose from:

Build - Build an Empire Card from the available pool
Recruit - Recruit a new military unit from the available pool
Learn - Pay 3 coins to gain a Knowledge
Rebuild - Take the start player card, gain a coin, and repair 2 Empire Cards
Labor - Gain 2 coins
Draft - Gain one sword
Expand - Pay 3 coins or a Knowledge to gain a District, which provides more room in your city-state for additional Empire Cards

On your turn you can choose to either place one of your workers on an action or to attack a Titan (more on that later). You can place your worker on any empty action space. Additionally, if an action space is already occupied, you may still place a worker there provided your worker is of a higher skill level (you can place your 3 worker there if there's already a 1 worker).

As the game progresses, two additional action spaces open up:

Explore - store an Empire Card from the pool or draw the top 4 cards of the Empire deck and store 1
Grow - Gain an additional worker (first a 4, then a 5)

Fighting Titans

This is the center and best part of the game. To attack a Titan, you must activate one or more of your armies. You begin the game with 2 armies. If an army has not been used before (in previous rounds) it costs one coin to activate it. You activate an army by placing the coin on the army card. You must have activate enough armies to match the strength of the Titan. Armies each have a number of swords and arrows and you can gain additional swords and arrows from various Empire Buildings, the Draft action, and a few other ways. Titans will show a strength number followed by either a sword or a sword and an arrow. If the Titan shows only a sword, you may only count your sword strength when you are trying to defeat it. If it shows both swords and arrows, you may use any combination of swords and arrows to defeat it.

There are always 3 Titans available to attack; 1 star, 2 star, and 3 star (each one getting progressively more difficult to defeat). If you defeat a Titan, you roll the damage die to see how much damage the Titan inflicted on your city-state during the battle. For a 1 star Titan, you roll the die once, two stars twice, three stars thrice. The damage die can damage one of your Empire Cards, make you lose coins, or do nothing at all.

At the end of the round, you slide any coins on your army cards from the top of the card to the middle. In future rounds, if you wish to activate the army it will cost 1 more coin that the number of coins already on the card (the second time costs 2, the third time costs 4, the fourth time costs 8). As you can probably tell, using the same army over and over gets expensive. That's where Recruiting comes in.

When you Recruit a new military unit, you may place it on top of one of your existing armies. The previous card is turned over to show that it is retired, but the retired officers teach the new recruit a few things. This is represented by the Legacy ability on the back of military cards. Legacy abilities are primarily additional Swords and Arrows, but can also include gaining coins or knowledge, or repairing a building whenever that army is activated.

When the new unit is recruited, it also pushes all coins off of that army, reducing the cost to activate it back to 1 coin. In addition to the new recruit making your army potentially stronger, it also makes it cheaper to use.

So how do you win?

After 6 rounds, the game ends. Players receive victory points based on how many tribal banners they have in their city-state. Each empire card provides 1 or 2 tribal banners. Each Titan that you have defeated has a number of banners equal to its star level (1-3). For each color of banner (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple) each player counts the number of banners they have. They are awarded points in the following way:

1 banner - 1 point
2 banners - 2 points
3 banners - 4 points
4 banners - 6 points
5 banners - 8 points
6 banners - 11 points

There are also a handful of Empire Cards that can give you bonus victory points for collecting certain colors of banners.

Anything else?

I've certainly left out some of the finer details of the game. The rulebook is posted here and on the Kickstarter if you would like to read more about how the game is played.

So what sets this apart?

While artwork alone is no reason to buy or play a game, I would be remiss if I did not mention what a fantastic job Ryan has gone on all of the cards and components. It really is a beautiful game to look at spread out on your table.

But what sets the gameplay apart? The most obvious feature is the workers that have a skill level. I have seen other worker placement games where the workers are differentiated (Deadwood and Belfort to name a few) but none quite in this way. It provides for many interesting tactical decisions. Do you place your 1 worker first and save your 3 worker in case someone picks one of the other actions you want? Do you place your 3 worker first in order to block a certain action from the other players? Do you try to play all 3 of your workers on the same action (perhaps Draft) in order to specialize in a certain area this round?

The game has the tightness that many gamers search for in a euro, but has a rich theme that many of those games lack. You really do feel the need to build up your army and attack the Titans. Your city-state won't be able to compete if you don't. And you do feel the pain when they fight back and destroy your buildings. At the same time, you're forced to find a balance between the different actions. Many of the Empire Cards give you advantages that are too good to pass up. You want to use the Grow action and gain more workers, cause more workers is always better. You need to Expand in order to make room for all of your Empire Cards.

Gameplay varies greatly from game to game. Only a certain amount of Empire Cards are available to build each round and you never manage to see all of them in one game (or even two). The Empire Cards that do show up (especially early on) can really dictate the strategies you must take in order to be efficient and successful. Ryan has said he drew inspiration from Race for the Galaxy in this aspect in the sense that every game will be different based on what cards show up and you will never see all of the cards in one game. I would say he has definitely succeeded in that design goal. Each game feels different and you must adapt to both the cards that show up, as well as your opponents' actions.

Final Thoughts

The world Ryan has built is vivid and engaging. The gameplay is deep and varied from game to game. The theme is always present. You never feel like you are just optimizing victory points. Rather, you are doing your best to gather the tribes to your city-state and slay the vicious Titans.

Once acquainted with the game, it can be done in under an hour with 2 players and just over an hour with 4. The length feels just right. You are never able to do quite everything you wanted to. There is always one more building you want to build or one more Titan you want to slay. And it leaves you itching to try again.

In a market flooded with Kickstarter games and worker placement games, The Ancient World stands out. It provides, in a relatively short amount of time, a tense and engaging experience that I would recommend to any gamer.



[Full Disclosure - I was a playtester for The Ancient World. I will receive a free copy of the game for playtesting it. Ryan suggested that we could write reviews to give potential Kickstarter backers an idea of the game. I am not obligated to write this review and am not being compensated in any way for this review.]

66 
 Thumb up
7.56
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daryl Unwin
United Kingdom
Basingstoke
Hampshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was attracted to look at this game by the lovely artwork but this is a great review and sounds like a really interesting game.
Cheers Drew, you may well have just cost me some money.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What a great review, Drew. The artwork alone was tempting me to back the game, but your summary of the gameplay and your general enthusiasm for the game has made it even more tempting! Thanks!
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Gerrits
Belgium
Leuven
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dedlius wrote:
But what sets the gameplay apart? The most obvious feature is the workers that have a skill level. I have seen other worker placement games where the workers are differentiated (Deadwood and Belfort to name a few) but none quite in this way. It provides for many interesting tactical decisions. Do you place your 1 worker first and save your 3 worker in case someone picks one of the other actions you want? Do you place your 3 worker first in order to block a certain action from the other players? Do you try to play all 3 of your workers on the same action (perhaps Draft) in order to specialize in a certain area this round?

Sounds quite similar to Bora Bora, except there the values of your workers change each round and may differ from player to player.

This one sounds interesting, though I'm leery of the damage die.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Doughty
United States
California
flag msg tools
OVERTEXT HERE
badge
Funded by supporters like you!
Avatar
mb
Runkst wrote:
This one sounds interesting, though I'm leery of the damage die.


The Damage Die is a great part of this game. The tension it causes by never quite knowing how bad a fight will go leads to some interesting decisions.

Because attacking a Titan doesn't require the use of a worker token, but rather an army instead, each attack is basically an additional action that round. However because a damaged Empire card stops functioning until repaired and because the worker tokens available to be used are dependent upon functioning Empire cards that provide food a player can't always be sure that the extra banners collected by attacking a Titan will offset the lose of worker actions in the following rounds. Sometimes a player will have to choose to fight weaker Titans or no Titans in order to safeguard their Empires. Sometimes a player will have to push his luck and attack a strong Titan to push ahead on banner count, then maybe use remaining workers to Rebuild.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel DeMars
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm torn over this game. On the one hand, the components look gorgeous, and it sounds like a solid worker placement game with an interesting theme. On the other hand, the theme still seems a bit tacked on. It sounds like it sort of boils down to a "build the most excellent ________" game, which sort of seems like a wasted opportunity for a game about fighting giant monsters. For one thing, it doesn't sound like the titans actually threaten the city-states, as they only really retaliate against being attacked. I would want a game with this theme to have a semi-coop element, where, if not actively challenged or defended against, the titans would attack the city-states, meaning city-states might have to form temporary alliances for mutual protection. At the same time, players could have opportunities to avoid attacks themselves while allowing their opponents to be attacked. There could be a whole political/negotiation layer that would create tension in a much more interesting way than a 6 round race for points.

....so basically, I guess I'm not so torn, I just really like the theme, and feel like the game (as good as it probably is) doesn't really do it justice.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Renee Rose-Perry
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Race for the Galaxy?
How is this game like Race?

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew Sonnenberg
United States
Rock Hill
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dedlius wrote:
in the sense that every game will be different based on what cards show up and you will never see all of the cards in one game.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Runcible Spoon
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks to the OP, I have been wanting to see a review of this game and that this game looks very interesting.

LeinadColtrane wrote:
I would want a game with this theme to have a semi-coop element, where, if not actively challenged or defended against, the titans would attack the city-states, meaning city-states might have to form temporary alliances for mutual protection. At the same time, players could have opportunities to avoid attacks themselves while allowing their opponents to be attacked. There could be a whole political/negotiation layer that would create tension in a much more interesting way than a 6 round race for points.


I am glad it does not include a "political/negotiation layer" as you describe. What you are suggesting is one of those "pass-the-buck" and "stop the leader" games like Munchkin where some players won't stop the leader believing that others will and when the leader is stopped (repeatedly) the game starts to drag on and on.

This would result in games whose 'critical decisions' would be something like this "Well, Joe won last game, so let's have the 3 of us band together to defend each others cities and just let the titan attack Joe repeatedly."

Boring. No thanks.

On a positive note, I think the game Ryan has developed sounds very interesting and of course the artwork looks great.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel DeMars
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Runcible Spoon wrote:

I am glad it does not include a "political/negotiation layer" as you describe. What you are suggesting is one of those "pass-the-buck" and "stop the leader" games like Munchkin where some players won't stop the leader believing that others will and when the leader is stopped (repeatedly) the game starts to drag on and on.


Well, that's not at all what I'm suggesting, but if you feel compelled to interpret me that way, fine, that's up to you. There are plenty of well made negotiation games that don't get reduced to a random, take-that, jump on the leader snooze-fest (i.e., Munchkin) - Cosmic Encounter, Dune/Rex: Final Days of an Empire, etc. But what I was suggesting was something more along the lines of what it seems like Archipelago has done, i.e. a sort of mutually assured destruction semi-coop situation, with perhaps the possibility of breaking alliances or avoiding some of the worst consequences. But obviously, something like that would have to come from careful planning and not from random card draws. But really, I was just spitballing. My major complaint is that as good this game will probably be, I feel like it's sort of a wasted opportunity, because the theme lends itself to far more than point-maximisation and "building the best _____".

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Runcible Spoon
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
LeinadColtrane wrote:
Well, that's not at all what I'm suggesting, but if you feel compelled to interpret me that way, fine, that's up to you.


I get exactly what you want; a negotiation game.

All of the games you suggest involve negotiation (Munchkin involves negotiation too). The game Ryan has designed is not a negotiation game and for that I am thankful.

With that said, I think the game Ryan designed sounds interesting and I look forward to giving his design a try.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Gelb
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
LeinadColtrane wrote:
For one thing, it doesn't sound like the titans actually threaten the city-states, as they only really retaliate against being attacked.


Thats because there are two sides to every story...especially with enemies and civilizations that don't understand each other....

Like you mentioned...the tribes SAY that these titans are evil...yet they don't outright attack the tribes. The young tribelings are raised with hatred for these so called, "evil" titans...yet a wise and watchful eye will see they only attack when provoked.

Perhaps this game has a nice political undertone.

Probably not, but I think the theme is AWESOME and I beleive the Titans are NOT evil..just...misunderstood by close-minded, fearful humans!

Once, just ONCE a titan accidentally steps on a village and BAM...ALL titans are public enemy #1. A sad, sad tale.

I have alread bought this game in my head.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Doughty
United States
California
flag msg tools
OVERTEXT HERE
badge
Funded by supporters like you!
Avatar
mb
asgelb wrote:
Probably not, but I think the theme is AWESOME and I beleive the Titans are NOT evil..just...misunderstood by close-minded, fearful humans!


This is it exactly! It's another game in the vein of Dungeon Lords and so forth. The players play the bad guys. Bad guys in this case that attack those poor misbegotten "monsters".
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel DeMars
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Runcible Spoon wrote:

I get exactly what you want; a negotiation game.


No, by comparing it to Munchkin, you insinuated that I wanted a take-that card game with elements of negotiation, which is not what I said at all. What I said is that I wanted a semi-coop with elements of negotiation (sort of a spin on Archipelago). Mentioning Munchkin was a straw-man argument.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JJL
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Would anyone who has played this care to comment on how it compares to Ryan's other games? E.g., Empires of the Void, City of Iron. I'm not looking for a detailed comparison of the rules or anything (nor being told that they can't be compared because one is worker placement while the other is not, etc.). But I'd be interested in hearing things like:

"If you get one Ryan Laukat game, get The Ancient World because _______."
"I like City of Iron better because it is a meatier game with more strategic depth."
"Empires shines for four players, but The Ancient World is better for fewer players because _________."

So comparisons at a more general level, I guess. Just for background, I haven't had the pleasure of playing any of Ryan's games (yet!) so I'm curious whether this one is the best one for me to start. Thanks in advance!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Risley
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
I'm wondering if there is a problem with "Rich get richer" with the worker placement part. Does the first player (or two) to get their 4 worker have a big advantage that they could use to block others from getting theirs? With the extra worker they now have another move over everyone else and can always save their last person to use that building in the demo to get First Player. Then each turn use your 3 to take what someone else needs to get their 4 worker each turn. Or can it not actually work like that in real play?

I'm also wondering how the shift from "higher skill" to "equal or pay" for recruiting affects the game. The switch seems a little random and I'm wondering the purpose for it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew Sonnenberg
United States
Rock Hill
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JJL_WashDC wrote:
So comparisons at a more general level, I guess. Just for background, I haven't had the pleasure of playing any of Ryan's games (yet!) so I'm curious whether this one is the best one for me to start. Thanks in advance!


I own all of Ryan's games and have had a chance to play them each a fair amount.

Many comparisons will be drawn between City of Iron and The Ancient World. In both games, you are trying to build up your own city by acquiring various cards. The cards you acquire will help you build an income engine which will help you acquire more cards and they will also give you various additional abilities that will help dictate your strategy for the game.

However, each game has a distinctly different feel. In City of Iron, it feels like many different avenues are available to you at the start of every game. All of your Citizen and Military cards are available for you to buy at any point in the game and you can decide whether you want to focus on a Military strategy and attack Towns or whether you want to focus on exploring new lands and building lots of cards. All options are available to you, but your strategy will be dictated by what your opponents are doing and by what order the cards show up (but you know they will all show up eventually and you can plan accordingly).

In Ancient World, you feel more constricted (in a good way). You cannot go into a game with a set strategy that will work every time because there are no guarantees of which Empire and Military cards will show up. Rather than just reacting to what order the cards show up, you are reacting to which cards show up. You can't go into a game thinking "I'm going to focus on getting more workers" because there's no guarantee that any food will show up. You can't go in saying "I'm going to buy all of the Empire cards that give additional swords or arrows, because they might not show up.

In the Ancient World, you feel like you are just scrapping by and trying to find a way to win. In City of Iron, you feel like the whole world is open to you and you can choose which path you want to take. Both are very enjoyable in their own way. You may enjoy both (I do). You may prefer one over the other, it really just depends on what type of game you like.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Doughty
United States
California
flag msg tools
OVERTEXT HERE
badge
Funded by supporters like you!
Avatar
mb
MikeRisley wrote:
I'm wondering if there is a problem with "Rich get richer" with the worker placement part. Does the first player (or two) to get their 4 worker have a big advantage that they could use to block others from getting theirs? With the extra worker they now have another move over everyone else and can always save their last person to use that building in the demo to get First Player. Then each turn use your 3 to take what someone else needs to get their 4 worker each turn. Or can it not actually work like that in real play?

I'm also wondering how the shift from "higher skill" to "equal or pay" for recruiting affects the game. The switch seems a little random and I'm wondering the purpose for it.


Having more workers than your opponent is certainly an asset, but it does not by any means guarantee a victory. While The Ancient World is certainly a worker placement game, the key action is attack, which uses armies instead of workers. This is the main reason that Recruit has an exception to the basic worker placement rule. In most games it will be vital to recruit during most rounds. The "equal or pay" rule still allows for some tactical placement of different skill leveled workers, but prevents a hard block on those most critical of actions.

There were of course several games where a player with an extra worker or two was able to use those actions to win, but during playtesting it was not uncommon for a player with only his original three workers to win over a player with four or even five workers, by managing his military assets better.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew Sonnenberg
United States
Rock Hill
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MikeRisley wrote:
I'm wondering if there is a problem with "Rich get richer" with the worker placement part. Does the first player (or two) to get their 4 worker have a big advantage that they could use to block others from getting theirs? With the extra worker they now have another move over everyone else and can always save their last person to use that building in the demo to get First Player. Then each turn use your 3 to take what someone else needs to get their 4 worker each turn. Or can it not actually work like that in real play?

I'm also wondering how the shift from "higher skill" to "equal or pay" for recruiting affects the game. The switch seems a little random and I'm wondering the purpose for it.


This was a definite concern that was addressed during playtesting. There are primarily two things that stop this from happening.

1. There are a limited amount of Empire Cards that provide Food. If you don't have enough food, you can still use the Grow action, but you make one of your lower workers starve. In this case, you would not have more workers than other players, just more skilled workers. It is unlikely that a player would be able to Monopolize both the Food cards and the Grow action. Other players would take measures to stop this from happening.

2. The first player to use the Rebuild action each turn gains Starting Player for the next round (even if other players use the Rebuild action later in the round). If you are worried that one player will block you from the Grow action next round, you take the Rebuild action this round so that you cannot be blocked.

The "equal or pay" option is used to prevent players from blocking the Recruit and Build actions. These are two of the most important actions for all players and it is useful for players to be able to use them every round and even multiple times each round. The "equal or pay" option gives players the ability to make the action more costly for other players, but not to block it altogether.

Hope that helps, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Risley
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Thank you for the explanation Bryan. It's good to know that you can't necessarily be blocked off and stuck floundering if someone beats you to that spot.

Just curious, how did you find the damage dice to be? I get that the Titans are out in the world harassing the tribes, so you build up your army in the safety of your Empire and when ready go on the attack. But then why is it possible to receive damage to your Empire? Thematically it seems like you're going to them, not that they randomly show up on your doorstep one day looking for a fight where they could damage your city. Having played it, what were your thoughts?

Edit: Thanks also to Drew. I like that you can still advance your skill level that way, even if you don't have more people. That could be useful to know and I'm not sure I would have thought of it at first. Though, I don't like when games count on "Other players would take measures to stop this from happening." I play most of my games two player with either my wife or kid. So we can't count on the group hammering the person in the lead. That alternate way of advancing but loosing one might be the way for one of us to go instead.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Doughty
United States
California
flag msg tools
OVERTEXT HERE
badge
Funded by supporters like you!
Avatar
mb
MikeRisley wrote:
Just curious, how did you find the damage dice to be? I get that the Titans are out in the world harassing the tribes, so you build up your army in the safety of your Empire and when ready go on the attack. But then why is it possible to receive damage to your Empire? Thematically it seems like you're going to them, not that they randomly show up on your doorstep one day looking for a fight where they could damage your city. Having played it, what were your thoughts?


As far as theme goes, I may not be the best person to ask, but here goes...

I don't think of the attack action so much as being a single strike or even a single battle. I think of the action as being more along the lines of maybe an entire campaign. Just boiled down to a simple check and roll. The Titans are always out there menacing folks. As such it’s perhaps easier to imagine that an actual necessity might exist to recruit an army and march it out to meet the Titans. After all an Empire may actually be quite large and it’s structures may not all be contained within the city proper. The battles could wage all over the landscape where any number of important structures and locales could be harmed.

At the beginning of playtesting the Damage Die was only rolled once per attack regardless of Titan level, and instead of losing a coin one sixth of the time you would actually gain a coin one sixth of the time. As such the repercussions of attacking were minimal. Mechanically the Damage Die now does a good job of keeping a militarily aggressive player in check without making an attack to oppressive. In a recent game I felt I was falling behind, I took a gamble and attacked two of the two-star Titans in a single round while having very few Empire cards I could afford to burn. The result...I ended up having to damage one of my starting food cards without an opportunity to Rebuild later that round. The next round I had to play with only two of my worker tokens while the other starved, and one of my two worker actions had to be used to Rebuild. However I also picked up more banners that turn than did my opponent The Damage Die set me back on potential actions more than I had ever previously been hurt, but the attacks let me get caught up on points, and in fact I eventually went on to win.

At the beginning of playtesting combat was too effective. A clever player could easily attack twice most rounds and some times three and four times. Theoretically that may still be possible, but it would require just the right combination of cards and some bad play on the part of one’s opponents. Now usually with the right cards and some skillful play a player can find opportunities to attack twice in some rounds, but will have to work for it.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For me, a "fatal flaw" of worker games is when you MUST increase your workforce early and often to stand a chance. Agricola is a great example of a game that is terrible on that point. A good example of a game that does it right is Walnut Grove, where extra workers are so expensive that you might or might not want to recruit any additional workers at all (or maybe you grab one in the final round just for points).

It's great to hear that you can win with only your original workers. I hope that's really the case for normal folks, and not just an extreme strategy that is possible to pull off if you are an expert and things roll your way.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.