Sight Reader
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Hello there!

It sounds like this could be a great game, but before buying it I wanted to check if the following criticisms I read are justified:

1. No meaningful decisions: it's always obvious what you have to do

2. Play is too repetitive

3. Stalemate: play grinds to a halt as both players try to force the other into revealing a card

4. Luck-driven, as suggested by having to play best of 3

What prevents these factors from ruining the game in the long run?

Thanks!
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Chris
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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, where you will be forced to drift aimlessly farther into the vast, empty abyss of space until a lack of food, water and oxygen causes you to succumb to Death's cold embrace.
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It's a light game, it's simple so yes there can be repetition, but so what? And there is luck, sure, but that's a good thing often. You're certainly never forced into a certain thing, and the fact that goods reduce in value over time really reduces the stalemate side of things, you can't have a standoff easily when the first player to cash in gets the highest goods points. I often do get annoyed when I take all the camels as there's nothing else worth doing, and then they all get replaced with valuable goods for the other player, but unless they are ALL camels, I could just take a single good I don't want instead.

The best of three annoys me, it's a daft number to play to, especially daft given they give you three counters. Can you count to 1? If so you don't need counters for best of three!

It's fun game that I certainly recommend, but it's never intended to be the cornerstone of a collection.
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Josh Chen
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1. No. To win I am always counting cards. There are some tough decisions to be made although not brain burning.

2. It's the same with every board game. If you love it you want to play it all the time, if they didn't stick then they get shelved. It's simple enough to bring it out to the table to play once a month without revisiting the rule book. That's a plus for me in a filler game.

3. It gets cut throat on a higher playing level. So if you don't like games that you are trying to constantly deny/gring then maybe this isn't for you. But like Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne you can play friendly too. It's not the game, it's the players.

4. I win 80% of time vs my fiancée. Skill is important. I can beat an average player on BGA easily so I can say I am above average on Jaipur.

Be your own judge to see if this game is right for you. Good luck.
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Derek Thompson
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Play it on Yucata.de first and see if you like it.
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Sight Reader
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Thanks so much for the quick replies! You guys addressed most of my concerns. It's hard for me to elaborate on the criticisms, so I'll have to quote the ratings directly.
porkchop_tw wrote:

2. It's the same with every board game. If you love it you want to play it all the time, if they didn't stick then they get shelved.

Well, I guess every game has you doing the "same thing" to some extent, even in Chess. I'm not sure if that's what they're getting at, however, so I'll quote:
Jaipur Ratings wrote:

- Well, I've given this one as many chances as I think I can give it. It's too repetitive and boring and has zero thought involved when cards come up.

- I just wonder if it doesn't get too samey, with it playing out the same over and over again, and scores generally in the 60-80 range. I also wonder if there's a first-turn advantage.

Does that match what you were referring to?


porkchop_tw wrote:
3. It gets cut throat on a higher playing level. So if you don't like games that you are trying to constantly deny/gring then maybe this isn't for you. But like Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne you can play friendly too. It's not the game, it's the players.

Cool, thanks for the info! Once again, though, I just want to be we're sure referring to the same thing, which seems to be something that's not immediately apparent after a few plays. Here's what they said:
Jaipur Ratings wrote:

- The rules are simple and promising, but towards the end most close rounds tend to grind to a halt, because nobody wants to risk exposing cards that would benefit their opponent. This means both players will try to burn as many turns as possible while doing almost nothing in order to force their opponent to reveal a new card which, if they're lucky or unless they're unlucky, will let them score big (or block their opponent) and win the round. This is caused by too much information being available: you know exactly (from the tokens) what has been sold, you know what your opponent has drawn recently and everything else can only be in the deck.

- Played online. Rarely has a game gone from hero to zero as fast as this game. While I can give the designer credit for trying to creat something innovative, the game is an excrutiating luck stand off fest between players of equal skill. You pull a card and hope a high value card does not fall. Each player tries to slow the game down by making piecemeal sales and pawning camels. Gameplay is actually very limited. Just feels like all the excitement I had for the game evaporated after the first few plays. It is a shame as it is a nice concept and could work re-designed multiplayer.


Thanks hugely for your feedback! Sorry I don't know how to multi-quote, lol. In the meantime, I'll see if I can get to Yucata and figure it out!
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Ben Crane
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It is a game where, generally, revealing cards off the deck is something you want to avoid. A large part of the second-level strategy of the game (that is, what you do once you've figured out how all the basic parts fit together) is tactical maneuvering to force your opponent to reveal cards or to get yourself into a position where you safely can reveal them.

This can lead to games where, about 2/3 of the way through, both players adopt a stalling strategy. There is still some strategy here, though, as generally speaking, the player who has best set themselves up to stall effectively will come out on top. As in any game, if two players both go for the same thing, the one who did it better will usually win.

That said, it's a 10 minute game with lots of cards. There is luck involved. A good deal of it. But it lasts only 10 minutes, so who cares. It delivers a good amount of fun in a very small amount of time. Just enough decision making to feel worthwhile, but it is light and fast enough that it isn't crushing when you lose because of a bad draw.

And the best of 3 is dumb. Just play individual games until you're done.

And yes, there is probably a small first-player advantage, but it's not enough to really matter.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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sightreader wrote:
1. No meaningful decisions: it's always obvious what you have to do

Meaning and obvious are not mutually exclusive characteristics. You can make a meaningful decision that is obvious (Chess: checkmate in 1). You can make a meaningful decision that is not obvious, but turned out to be meaningful in hindsight. You can make an obvious but completely superfluous decision.

In Jaipur some decisions are obvious, some are meaningful, some are both. I certainly don't know what to play at times. And if that then leads to the critique You're just guessing! ... Well, that's the nature of an incomplete information game, isn't it? Seems rather silly to hold an accepted characteristic of a deck of cards against itself.

Quote:
2. Play is too repetitive

I would say this is true. Once you have the major strategies and tactics mapped out (this will take a while, though) there isn't a lot to discover save the nuances of each and every deck of cards.

Quote:
3. Stalemate: play grinds to a halt as both players try to force the other into revealing a card

No, not true. The game always progresses. Sometimes the market is refreshed quickly, and sometimes players let it fill up to decide what their next set collection target is going to be. A hand limit of 7, a game which is finished when the deck runs out or three stacks of goods, and a desire to collect bonus tokens to raise the value of a sold hand sees to it that a stalemate doesn't really occur.

Quote:
4. Luck-driven, as suggested by having to play best of 3

So? It just means that in a single game, you may win from a pro. Over the course of a few dozen hands? You're toast. Same as with Poker, really.

Contrary to what many people believe there is skill in most games featuring lots of randomness; you just need to play more for the randomness to even out, and the skill of the player to show through. It is certainly understandable that people don't like this idea and want something in which they are in full control over their own destiny. Jaipur won't ever give you that. But! If there's anything wrong with Jaipur it is that the capriciousness of Lady Luck can be somewhat annoying because the natural card variation can very quickly prove decisive. If someone sells three gems and three gold moments after a fresh round started you might as well pack up shop and restart. Since setting up is a bit of a hassle I don't like this aspect much, and wish Jaipur had been hardened a bit against this scenario.

Quote:
What prevents these factors from ruining the game in the long run?

The game will be ruined in the long run no matter what you do. There isn't sufficient variety in it to last forever; and the character of the players (which would then provide the variety) cannot really express itself. Jaipur is a game you'll be done with at some point.

HTH.
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Josh Chen
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Jaipur Ratings wrote:

- Well, I've given this one as many chances as I think I can give it. It's too repetitive and boring and has zero thought involved when cards come up.


It is true that once you get the intricacies down the game became kind of obvious to you. But this game doesn't have the depths like other games but for a small filler game what do we expect? I got my copy played 29 times and I am still in a state that I won't turn down a game. 29 plays for a $20 game? I think I got my money's worth.

Quote:
I just wonder if it doesn't get too samey, with it playing out the same over and over again, and scores generally in the 60-80 range. I also wonder if there's a first-turn advantage.


Like I said, with a simple card game like this, one should expect the game to play the same in the most part. However, I think these criticisms come from people who didn't enjoy the game and thus put it to blame. I can say the same for a lot of the games I don't like and they just play same-y or dull so I don't want to play again. YMMV on this one.



Quote:

- The rules are simple and promising, but towards the end most close rounds tend to grind to a halt, because nobody wants to risk exposing cards that would benefit their opponent. This means both players will try to burn as many turns as possible while doing almost nothing in order to force their opponent to reveal a new card which, if they're lucky or unless they're unlucky, will let them score big (or block their opponent) and win the round. This is caused by too much information being available: you know exactly (from the tokens) what has been sold, you know what your opponent has drawn recently and everything else can only be in the deck.

- Played online. Rarely has a game gone from hero to zero as fast as this game. While I can give the designer credit for trying to creat something innovative, the game is an excrutiating luck stand off fest between players of equal skill. You pull a card and hope a high value card does not fall. Each player tries to slow the game down by making piecemeal sales and pawning camels. Gameplay is actually very limited. Just feels like all the excitement I had for the game evaporated after the first few plays. It is a shame as it is a nice concept and could work re-designed multiplayer.


Yes in an equal skilled setting Jaipur can be down to the luck of the draw. It is a card game. Who can say this doesn't apply to other card games as well? The luck element is there. But a skilled player can still win more than losses.


Again, you are worrying too much on the negative comments. They do have their warrants, but if you enjoy this game you won't pay them any mind. I would say do yourself a favor and head to Yucata.de or Boardgamearena.com to try it out. Then base on your experience there you can see if you need to own this or not.
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Brad McKenzie
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sightreader wrote:
Hello there!

It sounds like this could be a great game, but before buying it I wanted to check if the following criticisms I read are justified:

1. No meaningful decisions: it's always obvious what you have to do

2. Play is too repetitive

3. Stalemate: play grinds to a halt as both players try to force the other into revealing a card

4. Luck-driven, as suggested by having to play best of 3

What prevents these factors from ruining the game in the long run?

Thanks!


No. If the above were true, my wife wouldn't continue to beat me regularly and come back asking for another game. If you want a great, lighter two-player game, this is it. It is my wife's favorite, and is one I don't mind losing in often.
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porkchop_tw wrote:
I would say do yourself a favor and head to Yucata.de or Boardgamearena.com to try it out. Then base on your experience there you can see if you need to own this or not.

Actually, based on the feedback here, I'm pretty stoked to get this game. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing some sort of subtlety.

Thanks dudes!
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cymric wrote:
In Jaipur some decisions are obvious, some are meaningful, some are both. I certainly don't know what to play at times. And if that then leads to the critique You're just guessing! ... Well, that's the nature of an incomplete information game, isn't it?

This is some absolutely awesome analysis and was precisely the kind of feedback I was looking for. I know other games that with exactly this type of subtlety and love them. However, I also know games where the balance is off and you're pretty much forced away from any real choice, so I just wanted to make sure that wasn't the case.
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Péter Muhi
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If you're used to heavier games (and compared to this, something like TtR: Europe is heavy), this might get repetitive fairly quickly. Initially, I thought the game was brilliant (9/10 or so), but after about a dozen rounds (2 hours), it did get slightly bland. It's still pleasant, but I find myself wanting more, it seems there isn't too much to this game, rounds are too short I guess. Now I'd give it a 7/10.
 
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calvin chow
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I have literally not won a single hand against my wife... I think I'm about 0 for 12. It's getting a little ridiculous, but clearly she has something figured out that I don't...

But I'm not giving up! And that first win will be sweet...
 
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