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Subject: Compared to Stone Age for new player rss

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If by "sub-genre" you mean full genre that is "worker placement" than Stone Age is the safer bet. It really depends on what level of complexity you want.

Stone Age is a simpler game and is easier to learn for new players.

However, you probably would be fine getting Viticulture. I'd let the theme be a big deciding factor as well as comfort level with complexity. Viticulture is not incredibly more complex, but it is more complex.

Most likely, you'll grow tired of Stone Age quicker than you will Viticulture. Stone Age does have an expansion, but it's hard to find and is therefore expensive. Viticulture's expansion has many parts and adds a LOT of replay value.

Edit: I'd like to bookend this with a clear statement that I think Viticulture is the better game for me. Jamey summarized it very well when he said that Stone Age is really a tactical game while Viticulture has much more strategy. Based on the limited information the OP presented, I do still think that Stone Age is the safer choice, initially.
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Tyler, I want to let unbiased people answer your question (thanks Dan), but I feel that I should point out a key distinction between the games that may or may not resonate with you. Stone Age is mostly a tactical game. There isn't a lot of long-term strategy or planning. I really like Stone Age for this because it's super easy to teach, and it's still enjoyable for advanced players upon multiple plays. But for the most part, all you're doing is acquiring resources and turning those resources into buildings.

With Viticulture, there is a lot more long-term planning. The game usually lasts about 7 rounds (years), and by year 2 or 3, if you don't have your end game figured out, you're in trouble. Usually players score most of their points in the final two years. There's an element of order of operations that you have to hone over time--draw vines, plant them, harvest fields, make wine, then fill wine orders. That's 5 steps, and the whole time, your grape and wine tokens are aging. They're not sitting in your resource pile doing nothing like the resources in Stone Age.

I mention that specifically because if you like Stone Age because you don't have to map out a master end-game strategy, there's a decent chance you might not enjoy Viticulture. There are plenty of tactical elements to Viticulture, but the element of planning can be overwhelming to people who are used to lighter worker-placement games.

If you have any questions for me, I'm happy to answer them. Otherwise I'll step back and let people say whatever they'd like about Viticulture. Please be blunt and honest with Tyler--I only want people to spend their hard-earned money on Viticulture if there's a good chance they'll actually enjoy it.
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Vivienne Raper
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jameystegmaier wrote:
I really like Stone Age for this because it's super easy to teach, and it's still enjoyable for advanced players upon multiple plays. But for the most part, all you're doing is acquiring resources and turning those resources into buildings.


I should add that whether it's satisfying for advanced players depends on play style.

At advanced levels, Stone Age is a simple set collection game with a fair bit of mathematics (to calculate the optimum way to turn wood, brick etc. into buildings, and the probability of getting a certain amount of wood, etc). The game is simple enough to calculate an optimum move every turn and - if that doesn't float your boat - you will get routinely beaten by experienced and mathematically-competent players.

I traded Stone Age for that reason. My husband calculated the optimum move every turn, I had to do the same, and I don't enjoy constant calculation. The underlying game (outside the calculations) wasn't interesting enough to make the maths feel worthwhile.

I've never played Viticulture, but I've Kickstarted it and the Tuscany expansion. As Stone Age is pretty-much the only game where we've had this optimisation problem, I'm expecting to enjoy Viticulture.
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Vivienne Raper
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veemonroe wrote:
[q="jameystegmaier"] I really like Stone Age for this because it's super easy to teach, and it's still enjoyable for advanced players upon multiple plays. But for the most part, all you're doing is acquiring resources and turning those resources into buildings.


I should add that whether it's satisfying for advanced players depends on play style.

At advanced levels, Stone Age is a simple set collection game with a fair bit of mathematics (to calculate the optimum way to turn wood, brick etc. into buildings, and the probability of getting a certain amount of wood, etc). The game is simple enough to calculate an optimum move every turn and - if that doesn't float your boat - you will get routinely beaten by experienced and mathematically-competent players.

I traded Stone Age for that reason. My husband calculated the optimum move every turn, I had to do the same, and I don't enjoy constant calculation. The underlying game (outside the calculations) wasn't interesting enough to make the maths feel worthwhile.

I've never played Viticulture, but I've Kickstarted it and the Tuscany expansion. As Stone Age is the only game where we've had this optimisation problem, I'm expecting to enjoy Viticulture. Even if Viticulture has the Stone Age problem, the expansions should solve it by adding variety and complexity.
 
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Jeff Paul
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Given this add complexity, one would have thought the game time was longer. Yet, it lists 60min.

Is this only for experienced players? How long can new players take to play the game?
 
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Eric Hogue
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TnT! wrote:
Given this add complexity, one would have thought the game time was longer. Yet, it lists 60min.

Is this only for experienced players? How long can new players take to play the game?


Experience with other worker placement games will help, but is not necessary to enjoy the game.

With inexperienced players, depending on player count, you should figure 45-90 mins (more if they succumb to analysis paralysis).
 
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