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Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture» Forums » General

Subject: Doing too much (trying too hard) ?? rss

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蓝魔
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I backed TUSCANY right from Day-1 but as time has passed and the KS campaign draws to a close, second thoughts have surfaced in my mind ..

I'm fairly certain VITICULTURE + TUSCANY will be a good worker placement game but apart from stunning components and a myriad of different worker types does it actually stand out from the crowd ??

Euphoria, ultimately, was disappointing for me. Interesting dice mechanics under utilised. The four factions, as others have commented elsewhere, felt too samey. The risks & penalties for high knowledge and exclusion from markets too random and mostly too soft. And so all this make me wonder if again deep down V+T will also leave me feeling flat, once the pleasure of opening a "new box" has passed.

Obviously the base game has been tweaked and with it the expansion brings features which should iron out any flaws from the initial release and add new fun options but my last niggle is that perhaps the designers are trying too hard to make a game that has a little bit of everything thrown in, instead of focusing on a few core elements and doing them really well. By this I am referring to the Old Country (area control), Visitors (hand management), Unique Workers (difference for the sake of it, ie: cool standard game rules breaking abilities), Aboriculture & Formaggio (I thought this game was about Wine, not Commodity trading of Olives, Tomatoes, Cheese, Cows, Sheep, Pigs etc ..)

*EDIT: I forgot to list the Legacy feature, although I don't understand at all why this is included in the rules (why do I need a predetermined condition to tell me when to add an expansion to the game ?? yuk ) *

I wouldn't normally class myself as someone who likes simple games. Complexity is fine, but I think there's a difference between a game that makes you think about your choices and one that just throws too much at you (open ended ??).

Please feel free to tell me I'm spouting nonsense, or is there anyone out there who firstly agrees with me, secondly can possibly express and explain my concerns more succinctly, and then lastly perhaps even allay my fears ..
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Felix Lastname
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Subscribed, anyway.
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Mark O'Reilly
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Hi Marc,
I can only speak from my experience with first Edition Viticulture with the Aboriculture expansion, which included the Grande workers.
I also own Euphoria.

Viticulture was a fine game prior to the "tweaks" , but a little harsh, frustration could creep as it could be too tight.
Once the Grande worker was tweaked to implement into the standard game - well ( for my group and myself) it was a much better flowing game with more choices, less angst and the fun factor increased a lot.
(I assume you know the Grande lets you use a slot already taken by an opponents worker, or indeed your own to use a spot again in the same round).

I was pleasantly surprised by Viticulture, I would say it is medium- light worker placement game, with a huge dollop of fun that comes ( mainly) from the visitor cards and combos that can happen.

The new edition of Viticulture will include Grande workers, double thick player mats and better fitting glass bead tokens and naturally the updated final rules.

I can only imagine Tuscany is going to be a blast, the fact the winner can choose a "module" from a layer to add to the game is an awesome feature.
My guess is that once everything is eventually added, people will no doubt have their favourite parts of Tuscany and can mix and match as they choose to make their own unique game.

The fact it's incredible value for the collectors box delivered ( I think I worked it out to £62 delivered), for both Viticulture and Tuscany with metal coins...and a no quibble money back guarantee + the impeccable reputation of Stonemaier games to go above and beyond with their customer satisfaction, well it was an easy choice for me
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Chris Smith
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I certainly think you've done a great job of explaining why this is an expansion pack and not an expansion*. I'll structure the rest of my post with the 3 tiers of modules, to demonstrate how you should look at and be interested in this game. The legacy mechanic should be looked at as a guideline, but you have to be open to see what it brings to the table.

--1--

The first tier fleshes the game out, opening up the early game through variable starts (Mama's & Papa's), more balanced gameplay with advanced visitors (With 2 abilities to make them relevent at all times) and additional options for running your vineyard (Property's & Patronage).

If you like, this would be a fine place to stop adding things to the game. At this point you have an updated Viticulture which is huge amounts of fun to play.

--2--

The second tier takes the game to a new level. First is an extended game-board, bringing some new mechanics with it (area control) as well as making some of the smaller decisions from the base game more impactful (Wake order). There's a new set of visitors, that have advanced abilities for a more veteran player. Special workers introduce an additional decision to adding to your workforce, as well as decisions on where and when to place workers throughout the year. Finally there are new structure cards, that introduce a ton of variety into the build action of the game.

These really make Viticulture into a great game, and are where I would personally stop for most games. The content up to here is more than worth picking up Tuscany for as they really make Viticulture into something special.

--3--

Finally, we have a tier of modular expansions. These 3 modules are designed to bring new possibilities into the game, and go outside the games original roots. These have a big impact on the game and, in my opinion, are a hugely exciting possibility for veteran players when they're comfortable with the expanded game (i.e. base+tier1+tier2). They're also optional, and should be considered that way. I've had Arboriculture since getting Viticulture in the first place, and while I have found it a fun addition I feel happy both playing with, and without it in the game, which is great as it means the game stays fun with new players and with those that have played many times.

So what does this tier add? Well, that depends on the individual. For me, I won't use these modules often, as I more often introduce games to new players than to veterans, but I'm still excited for them and they give me options if and when I want them. In addition, they give me a fantastically varied future for my experience with this fine game.

--TLDR--

I've playtested Tuscany for a few months and feel it's absolutely fantastic. At $45 you get more than your money's worth with this one.
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Mark O'Reilly
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Wow Chris, if I wasn't convinced before - I would be now!
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Gordon J
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moocher wrote:
... that has a little bit of everything thrown in, instead of focusing on a few core elements and doing them really well. By this I am referring to the Old Country (area control), Visitors (hand management), Unique Workers (difference for the sake of it, ie: cool standard game rules breaking abilities), Aboriculture & Formaggio (I thought this game was about Wine, not Commodity trading of Olives, Tomatoes, Cheese, Cows, Sheep, Pigs etc ..)

*EDIT: I forgot to list the Legacy feature, although I don't understand at all why this is included in the rules (why do I need a predetermined condition to tell me when to add an expansion to the game ?? yuk

Please feel free to tell me I'm spouting nonsense, or is there anyone out there who firstly agrees with me, secondly can possibly express and explain my concerns more succinctly, and then lastly perhaps even allay my fears ..


I have played with almost all the Tuscany expansions. So I think I can address some of this.

I initially scoffed at the idea of a Legacy style feature, because I am a fairly experienced gamer and throwing in 5-7 of the 12 expansions at once was no big deal to me. I did that and I didn't have trouble with it, since most of the Tier 1 expansions are very easy and don't add a lot, but just enough to make it different. The Tier 3 expansions, and you can only play with 1 of them at a time, do add a bit more thinking and choice to the game without changing the game. But my wife who is not a gamer, but does play games from time to time, has had her hands more than full with the base game, and I think the Legacy feature is really for family members and other non-gamers so they don't get overwhelmed with all the choices. Hard core gamers are going to have no problem using all the Tier 1 and 2 expansions right out of the box. Tier 3? That does add a complexity level I wouldn't throw in on someone's first game even if they are experienced.

Again, you are not a robot, the rules, I believe tell you, you CAN play this in Legacy style fashion, and it gives you several options on how to use it, but also mentions that you can play with 1 or 2 or more expansions however you see fit. You can ignore the Legacy feature--which I will probably do with my gaming group, because A) we hardly play the same game more than a few times and Legacy wouldn't make sense for use and B) they are experienced and don't need their hands held. (But again Legacy is for newbie players to the world of gaming, my wife and I will play this for a long long time so Legacy will make sense for her).

Yes the cheese making and olive and tomato making from the Tier 3 do add a very different element, but it doesn't overpower the base game. You still have to win off of your wine making in some way, it just now you have other options to get VPs. With Arboriculture I like the fact I can sell an olive token with a wine order to get 2 more VPs when I sell the wine, to me it is very thematic since you are an entreprenuer and yes your main business is selling wine, but that doesn't mean you are above making $$ in other ways if it helps grow your business.

The Tier 3 big expansions do have the potential to throw you off your game, as you have a lot of choices and if you fart around and do this action and that, you can get lost in the weeds. But it also offers you the chance to explore new ways to score VPs and strategy. The replay ability of this game is enormous, in a good way.

For me, the base Viticulture was fun, but a little simple, in a good way, because I think this game would be perfect to get people who never game into the hobby--and for that I praise Jamey for making that kind of game. But with Tuscany and all the Special workers and new visitor cards and Structures expansions and others, it all adds depth to the game, and just the right complexity. The Special Workers are fun and haven't really seen that feature in that way in worker placement before. And despite all the expansions and added features, it still plays quickly. Overall I have had a great time playing this game.
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patton55 wrote:
The Special Workers are fun and haven't really seen that feature in that way in worker placement before. And despite all the expansions and added features, it still plays quickly. Overall I have had a great time playing this game.


Archon: Glory & Machination uses special workers. Funnily for every special worker in Archon there is also a worker with the same functionality in Tuscany.
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蓝魔
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ZdadrDeM wrote:
patton55 wrote:
The Special Workers are fun and haven't really seen that feature in that way in worker placement before. And despite all the expansions and added features, it still plays quickly. Overall I have had a great time playing this game.


Archon: Glory & Machination uses special workers. Funnily for every special worker in Archon there is also a worker with the same functionality in Tuscany.


I pointed that out too in the KS comments.

Thanks everybody else for your thoughts. On reflection it seems as though its the Tier-3 expansions that are causing me the most concern, but as has been pointed out its a perfectly valid option to simple leave them out most of the time ..
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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I have no experience with Tuscany. But I thought that still might be a perspective of interest.

Backing the collectors edition was a decision made using the following logic:

-I am highly confident Viticulture is a good to great worker placement game.
-I am extremely confident that some parts of Tuscany improve Viticulture to ensure it is a great worker placement game in all cases - even if I may need to filter some wheat from some chaff.
-I really like modular expansions. I get so excited every time I touch the Alhambra Big Box that I need a smoke afterwards.
-The extra twenty bucks for some bling seems a reasonable luxury tax.

I'd also put out there that the resale value in the near term seems pretty solid, so if you regret your choice there is only a small penalty to be paid.
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Gordon J
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moocifer wrote:
ZdadrDeM wrote:
patton55 wrote:
The Special Workers are fun and haven't really seen that feature in that way in worker placement before. And despite all the expansions and added features, it still plays quickly. Overall I have had a great time playing this game.


Archon: Glory & Machination uses special workers. Funnily for every special worker in Archon there is also a worker with the same functionality in Tuscany.


I pointed that out too in the KS comments.

Thanks everybody else for your thoughts. On reflection it seems as though its the Tier-3 expansions that are causing me the most concern, but as has been pointed out its a perfectly valid option to simple leave them out most of the time ..


Really, just playing with the Tier 1 and 2 expansions with the Extended board is more than enough. Or if one just played the base game with the Extended board would be a really good experience. After playing the base game and the Extended board, I can't see going back to the normal board. the extended board just makes more sense and is more fun.
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Quote:

*EDIT: I forgot to list the Legacy feature, although I don't understand at all why this is included in the rules (why do I need a predetermined condition to tell me when to add an expansion to the game ?? ) *

The expansion-load conditions are known to all, and the setting up of an end-game condition (because a player wants to load an expansion they think will better suit their own play-style more than their opponents) can be part of that player's multi-game strategy. That's a feature Legacy didn't have, with it's 'secret' expansions.

Also, I've played Viticulture; and I thought it was a solid Euro but without any exceptional hook. This (and the fact of the expansions at all) is the hook the game needed.

I didn't feel the need to own the base game before. I instantly backed the game now.
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