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Subject: Questions Arising from Game Night rss

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Randy D

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I keep reading so many good reviews about really fun experiences playing this game, that I was excited to play it at my game group last night. There were 5 of us and everyone in the group are avid gamers, so I knew they wouldn't have a problem picking up on the rules or be thrown off by the number of pieces. I pulled everything out and set it up. Since this was everyone's first time, I played mostly the classic version (I left out the XP, Skills, Treasure clues).

First of all, the movement seemed to complicate things: up to 2 intersections by a river or 3 if you have a canoe, or 1 intersection across land or 2 if you have a horse or 2 if you have nothing in your backpack, and no one may occupy same intersection unless by a river in which case 2 people may occupy the same intersection. Do I have that right? Deliberating about where to move and what action to perform and in which order to do them would take each player about 5 minutes each with repeated questions such as "what do I need to build xx again? how many spaces can I move? How many actions can I perform? Who can use the work I build? Where do I put this item again? ... Right off the bat that caused the game to really drag on slowly and the others would tune out of boredom as they waited for their turn. I figured things would pick up as they got the hang of it and things moved a little faster, but they each would still spend about a minute or two deciding what to do and in this type of game with 5 players, a minute or two for each person's turn was really long, a real game-killer.

They kept needing timber and kept thinking the tundra sections provided that since they were green. As I kept telling them that forest sections are darker I began to think that perhaps these could have been made more clear as they do seem rather similar in tone (Settlers of Catan, Kingdom Builder, ... have little to no ambiguity among different land types).

Since we were all bunched up in the same area, no one wanted to build anything because others would be able to use it as well. I told them about XP & Skills, but that I opted not to use them this first go-around. They then began to spread out and explore more and we quickly ran out of event tokens. So as they turned over more and more tiles to gain events, there were no events to put down. What happens in this case? Some of the more aggressive explorers felt cheated out in this case.

One player received a 1-time use gear of dynamite from his event. He later built a mine and then mined gold from it. When he mined the gold he then turned in his dynamite to grab an extra mountain gold. Did he play that correctly or did he need to pay the cost of gaining the second mountain gold token? If the former is correct, then dynamite is extremely powerful in allowing the player to gain an extra 5-6 gold without expending any extra materials. However, if the latter is correct, then it seems pointless since your entire backpack needs to be filled up with 2 timbers and 2 food in order to make use of it before running back to get more materials. He played it the first way.

When the river was completed we started the iceberg, even though the rest of the map was not finished. At this point the game had already taken 1.5 hours and I think everyone was getting ready for it to be done. Eventually the ice reached the waterfall and the game was over. We counted up our gold and the one who used the dynamite won easily.

I think the concept for this game is neat and fun and it has potential, but I think perhaps this game is not the best choice for this particular group of heavy thinkers who take long time to think through their moves -- that can really kill the fun a game like this, especially with 5 players.

So, to recap, here are my questions for you all:
1. Should I ever play the classic version or should I always play with all the extras?
2. Does this game play well with more than 4 players or is it advised to always play in a smaller group?
3. How much time should an average 5-player game take?
4. Does anyone else have a hard time distinguishing the different terrain types? Was there ever any talk for the remake to add a bit more color or design to distinguish these terrain types? If so, why was the current implementation selected?
5. Does the dynamite allow a user to grab a second mine gold token after paying for the first one or do they still have to pay for the second one?
6. Regarding the Black Market, the rulebook says "The player lays one event marker or treaure clue facedown on the black market and selects one of the 3 availble clues (or events), returning the others face down on the black market." Does this mean you have to give up an event marker or treasure clue before you can look to see what your options are?
7. Is it correct that any item on the center of a tile can be used by anyone at any corner of that tile (ex. mine, trading post, fishing hole, ...)? If so, does that mean that I can use the trading post on the start tile from either starting corners of that tile (where you ford the river)?
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Jonathan Chaffer
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randyd42 wrote:
First of all, the movement seemed to complicate things: up to 2 intersections by a river or 3 if you have a canoe, or 1 intersection across land or 2 if you have a horse or 2 if you have nothing in your backpack, and no one may occupy same intersection unless by a river in which case 2 people may occupy the same intersection.

This looks correct, but need not be complicated by explaining the canoe or horse before anyone has one. My explanation goes: "You can move one space on your turn. If your backpack is empty, you can travel faster, so you get to move two spaces. Also, the terrain is much easier to navigate along the river, so you can move two spaces along the river bank." Tying rules into the theme works wonders for teaching.

randyd42 wrote:
Do I have that right? Deliberating about where to move and what action to perform and in which order to do them would take each player about 5 minutes each with repeated questions such as "what do I need to build xx again? how many spaces can I move? How many actions can I perform? Who can use the work I build? Where do I put this item again?

A lot of those questions can be eased by a good player aid. I wish the game came with one, but you can print some out from the Files section here to help.

randyd42 wrote:
I figured things would pick up as they got the hang of it and things moved a little faster, but they each would still spend about a minute or two deciding what to do and in this type of game with 5 players, a minute or two for each person's turn was really long, a real game-killer.

The game works fine mechanically for 5 players, but I also felt it dragged with that many. 3 or 4 seems ideal to me.
They kept needing timber and kept thinking the tundra sections provided that since they were green. As I kept telling them that forest sections are darker I began to think that perhaps these could have been made more clear as they do seem rather similar in tone (Settlers of Catan, Kingdom Builder, ... have little to no ambiguity among different land types).

randyd42 wrote:
They then began to spread out and explore more and we quickly ran out of event tokens. So as they turned over more and more tiles to gain events, there were no events to put down.

I don't think this can normally happen. I'm guessing you removed all of the event tokens that contained treasure clues, since you were not playing with treasure? In this case you wouldn't have enough events to go around, but in the full game it's not a problem.

randyd42 wrote:
One player received a 1-time use gear of dynamite from his event. He later built a mine and then mined gold from it. When he mined the gold he then turned in his dynamite to grab an extra mountain gold. Did he play that correctly or did he need to pay the cost of gaining the second mountain gold token?

He played correctly. Dynamite is very popular, but remember that it took a turn and some food or lumber in order to get that dynamite, so it really only saved him one raw material, not two.

randyd42 wrote:
1. Should I ever play the classic version or should I always play with all the extras?

I find the full version much more fun.
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Roland Goslar
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randyd42 wrote:
Movement: Do I have that right?

Yes.

Quote:
Since we were all bunched up in the same area, no one wanted to build anything because others would be able to use it as well.

A typically situation with hardcore gamers. Think of it like trading in settlers. If two coordinate works they'll be both better than someone going alone.

Quote:
there were no events to put down. What happens in this case?


This should not happen. Did you remove the treasure clue events? Without treasures they should be treated as 1 Gold.

Quote:
dynamite is extremely powerful in allowing the player to gain an extra 5-6 gold without expending any extra materials.

Yes.

Quote:
When the river was completed we started the iceberg, even though the rest of the map was not finished.

That bracket in the rule should be killed. If you play it this way it can happen that the game is really short and there is no chance for a positive ROI.

Quote:
1. Should I ever play the classic version or should I always play with all the extras?

With gamers: use them all.

Quote:
2. Does this game play well with more than 4 players or is it advised to always play in a smaller group?

I wouldn't go above 4 when none played it before. And I recommened the team version with 5 to 6 as it halfs down the down time you feel.

Quote:
3. How much time should an average 5-player game take?

1 and a half should be fine when you know the rules.

Quote:
5. Does the dynamite allow a user to grab a second mine gold token after paying for the first one or do they still have to pay for the second one?

He pays 1 food, 1 timber, 1 dynamite and takes 2 gold tokens if present.

Quote:
6. Black Market: Does this mean you have to give up an event marker or treasure clue before you can look to see what your options are?


Yes, but sometimes you know something because there was a clue traded in before. And it is a trade, so you can still make an action in this turn.

Quote:
7. Is it correct that any item on the center of a tile can be used by anyone at any corner of that tile (ex. mine, trading post, fishing hole, ...)?


Yes.

Quote:
If so, does that mean that I can use the trading post on the start tile from either starting corners of that tile (where you ford the river)?

No you have to stand on the little island. If you lay a triangular grid on the starting tile, you can think that there is river triangle on the top and another triangle beneath showing the post. But for the most players I know it is better just to say that tile is special as these 2 triangles are treated a bit different to all others.
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Pandasaurus Games
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One note on your rules. The Ice Block only comes out once the land tiles are fully explored, not the river. This is one of the two errata captured in the expansion/updated rulebook




1. Should I ever play the classic version or should I always play with all the extras? I would play with the extras. It fixes a lot of your issues (good to build works, enough event markers)


2. Does this game play well with more than 4 players or is it advised to always play in a smaller group?
The game works well with 5 or 6, but you may want to try and team rules as it keeps you better engaged during any downtime.


3. How much time should an average 5-player game take?

It shouldn't take longer than 60-90 minutes. But it sounds like your grop is AP prone. This is a game that typically has 30-60 second turns. If turns are taking 5 minutes,its going to drag a lot.


4. Does anyone else have a hard time distinguishing the different terrain types? Was there ever any talk for the remake to add a bit more color or design to distinguish these terrain types? If so, why was the current implementation selected?

These are the same color as they were in the first edition. There is a little cheat sheet in the FAQ that also shows this that might be handy


5. Does the dynamite allow a user to grab a second mine gold token after paying for the first one or do they still have to pay for the second one?

The second mountain gold is "free". it's very advantageous to buy the dynamite


6. Regarding the Black Market, the rulebook says "The player lays one event marker or treaure clue facedown on the black market and selects one of the 3 availble clues (or events), returning the others face down on the black market." Does this mean you have to give up an event marker or treasure clue before you can look to see what your options are?

Yep. It is a black market after all, not always good for the buyer.



7. Is it correct that any item on the center of a tile can be used by anyone at any corner of that tile (ex. mine, trading post, fishing hole, ...)? If so, does that mean that I can use the trading post on the start tile from either starting corners of that tile (where you ford the river)?


No, you have to ford the river and go to the trading post (see the FAQ as it has good graphics for this
 
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Randy D

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Great, thanks for the quick responses!

I did leave out the treasure tokens and I saw afterwards in the rules that it says to keep them in but treat them as 1 gold, so that was my mistake.

What if the player is allowed to place their Claim Marker on anything they've just built instead of just mines? They would have to decide if it worth moving it from a mine to a newly built sawmill or bridge, but it might add an interesting strategy. The same rules would apply about leaving a good or gear item in order to use it. The rulebook specifies the claims are to be used on mines, so I was wondering if the ability to use claim markers on any work had been playtested and if so, what was it that caused them to be limited only to mines.

Thanks,
Randy
 
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randyd42 wrote:
Great, thanks for the quick responses!

I did leave out the treasure tokens and I saw afterwards in the rules that it says to keep them in but treat them as 1 gold, so that was my mistake.

What if the player is allowed to place their Claim Marker on anything they've just built instead of just mines? They would have to decide if it worth moving it from a mine to a newly built sawmill or bridge, but it might add an interesting strategy. The same rules would apply about leaving a good or gear item in order to use it. The rulebook specifies the claims are to be used on mines, so I was wondering if the ability to use claim markers on any work had been playtested and if so, what was it that caused them to be limited only to mines.

Thanks,
Randy


I played it this way for months until Roland yelled at me.

It works pretty well I thought but the downside is some of the works have unlimited resources so it can just sort of sit there and accumulate too many goods.

That said, most people were willing to happily bypass someones works if there were less valuable than a gold mine.

I think the game works ok this way, but the gold mine only is a little simpler and is probably the optimal place to play your claim anyway.
 
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Ryan Keane
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RoGo wrote:
randyd42 wrote:
Movement: Do I have that right?


Quote:
7. Is it correct that any item on the center of a tile can be used by anyone at any corner of that tile (ex. mine, trading post, fishing hole, ...)?


Yes.


I just wanted to clarify what your .... refers to. The mine is the only thing that you build that goes in the middle of the tile. Fish traps, bear traps, and sawmills all go on the vertex. This means only one player (or 2 for river spots) can use the building at a time.

As others said, the player aids are a must to speed up the game. I can see if all the players cluster together, playtime will be longer because you need to wait to see what others do before figuring out your turn. If players (or teams) spread out, turns can be pre-planned and take under 30 seconds.
 
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Ryan Keane wrote:
I just wanted to clarify what your .... refers to. The mine is the only thing that you build that goes in the middle of the tile. Fish traps, bear traps, and sawmills all go on the vertex. This means only one player (or 2 for river spots) can use the building at a time.


Good grief... another thing we've played wrong! The rulebook really doesn't help this one. The obvious reference says: "Building a sawmill on a forest section costs one tool." I didn't realize until just now that "section" must mean "(inter)section". This is spelled out a few paragraphs earlier in the rules, but not in the obvious location.
 
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Yes. This rule should have been repeated as redundance in rulebooks helps many times.

When we startet 2002 with LV we thought many hours about tessalations, how they are used in other games like settlers and carc and why we like it more in these than in others using the same tessalation like Kings&Things and typical dungeon crawlers.

For me the neet point is that S and C use all characteristics of the tiles in different ways: the edges, the intersections and the plain area.

So we tried to do this as well and were really happy with our diamonds as they provide some more twists doing this than are possible with hex and squares.

When we started 2012 to add a little set collection aspect via treasures it was wonderfuld that it combines really sweet for me with our special tessalation like I've never seen it before. If you look at Nautilus published around the same year as LV adressing many similar game aspects as LV the treasure hunt and especially the value of treasures feels to me far more artificial.
 
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Ken Chaney

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Some more questions here. Sorry if these seem picky but they are legitimate questions to me and I'm sure there are a lot of rules lawyers out there that may raise them at some point. I dig confirmation, and I want to make sure I'm playing the game correctly.

1) "Exploration
When a prospector moves to an intersection that is still partially unexplored they must end their movement and explore the land ..."
If exploration occurs after a move along a river or by horse or with no items in their backpack/cart, may the prospector subsequently move another length along the river or across land in the same move if their mode of movement has not otherwise reached its limit? It would seem that they may not but a confirmation would be appreciated.

2) "Dig for Gold
If the prospector owns a sieve, they may take two green river-gold markers instead." (Instead of one.)
Does the second marker come from the worked tile or from the supply. (Thematically if from the tile, the sieve works the tile more quickly; if from the supply, the sieve works the tile with less gold lost in the process. Which is not clear to me!) If the second marker comes from the tile and there is only one marker there to begin with, what happens?

3) "Dig for Gold
If the prospector owns dynamite, they may take two mountain gold markers instead." (Instead of one from a mine.)
Same question - does the second marker come from the mine tile or supply?
Also, 1-time (small) dynamite is consumed in that process while the box of dynamite is not, correct?
Really picky point: if someone paid to work your claim with dynamite and you have not collected it so it is not on your inventory sheet but still on your claimed mine, I presume even though you may be thought to "own" the dynamite it can't be used when it is not in your inventory. Although not likely to come up, I'm asking while I'm at it!

4) "Weigh Gold Team Game
To prevent the game end, both players from a single team must reveal more gold than this lower amount."
This is presumed to mean each of the players from another team must reveal more gold than the lower weighing team member revealed, rather than that the two combined must reveal more than this lower amount. Please confirm this.

5) "List of Skills
Geologist - Draw 2 mountain gold and choose 1 when collecting mountain gold at a mine. (Draw 3 choose two with dynamite)
Gold Nose - Draw 2 river gold and choose 1 when collecting river gold. (Draw 3 choose two with a sieve)"
Where does the extra token come from, the worked tile or the supply? Presumably the declined token goes back where the extra token came from. If from the tile, is the ability unusable if there are insufficient tokens on the tile?

"Miner - As an action get 1 river gold out of an exhausted mine, with a cost of 1 food."
Presumably this token (or tokens) come from the supply. The Gold Nose presumably adds a token from which to choose. Please confirm.
Is this a "Dig for Gold" action so that a sieve would yield an extra token?

Looking forward to confirmations,
Ken
 
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kenchaney wrote:
Sorry if these seem picky.

np, my gamegroup hates my picky questions...
Quote:
1) "Exploration
When a prospector moves to an intersection that is still partially unexplored they must end their movement and explore the land ..."
If exploration occurs after a move along a river or by horse or with no items in their backpack/cart, may the prospector subsequently move another length along the river or across land in the same move if their mode of movement has not otherwise reached its limit? It would seem that they may not but a confirmation would be appreciated.

Yes. They may not. Otherwise you could press the game end very easy.

Quote:
2) "Dig for Gold
If the prospector owns a sieve, they may take two green river-gold markers instead." (Instead of one.)
Does the second marker come from the worked tile or from the supply. (Thematically if from the tile, the sieve works the tile more quickly; if from the supply, the sieve works the tile with less gold lost in the process. Which is not clear to me!) If the second marker comes from the tile and there is only one marker there to begin with, what happens?

The second marker must be present on the tile. If there is only 1, the prospector receives just 1. Only tresure gold or gold you receive by using a skill like miner ot treasure hunter is taken from the supply.
Quote:

3) "Dig for Gold
If the prospector owns dynamite, they may take two mountain gold markers instead." (Instead of one from a mine.)

Same procedure.
Quote:
Same question - does the second marker come from the mine tile or supply?
Also, 1-time (small) dynamite is consumed in that process while the box of dynamite is not, correct?

Correct.
Quote:
Really picky point: if someone paid to work your claim with dynamite and you have not collected it so it is not on your inventory sheet but still on your claimed mine, I presume even though you may be thought to "own" the dynamite it can't be used when it is not in your inventory. Although not likely to come up, I'm asking while I'm at it!

If you are not adjacent to your claim you can't pick it up for free thus you can't use it.
But if you like to use it when you are adjacent to your claim and there are 2 gold markers left you can do it, even if your inventory is full as the inventory is only controlled at the end of your turn or when you move.

Quote:
4) "Weigh Gold Team Game
To prevent the game end, both players from a single team must reveal more gold than this lower amount."
This is presumed to mean each of the players from another team must reveal more gold than the lower weighing team member revealed, rather than that the two combined must reveal more than this lower amount. Please confirm this.

Correct. In the first edition gold weighing always ended the game, which could lead sometimes to unsatisfying kingmaking problems with 3 or 4 players. But when you play with just 2 players or 2 teams this is not a kingmaking, it feels more like "surrender" which can be allowed as a houserule.


Quote:
5) "List of Skills
Geologist - Draw 2 mountain gold and choose 1 when collecting mountain gold at a mine. (Draw 3 choose two with dynamite)
Gold Nose - Draw 2 river gold and choose 1 when collecting river gold. (Draw 3 choose two with a sieve)"
Where does the extra token come from, the worked tile or the supply? Presumably the declined token goes back where the extra token came from. If from the tile, is the ability unusable if there are insufficient tokens on the tile?

Yes, we always take it from the tile and if there is none you can't take one. As a house rule to make the skill a bit stronger you can play: Look at the last token and exchange it with 1 hidden token from the supply if you like.

Quote:
"Miner - As an action get 1 river gold out of an exhausted mine, with a cost of 1 food."
Presumably this token (or tokens) come from the supply.

Correct.
Quote:
The Gold Nose presumably adds a token from which to choose. Please confirm.
Is this a "Dig for Gold" action so that a sieve would yield an extra token?

Tricky question. We never had this discussion.
Miner + Gold Nose: As we play that the Gold Nose may only choose from the present markers, I would say No, but if you play the stronger house rule, I'd say Yes.
Miner + Sieve: No. As a sieve doesn't add a marker to the tile, it just speeds you up taking the present tiles. If sieve or dynamite would add a second marker from the supply to a last token they would be far too strong IMHO.
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Ken Chaney

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Thank you for the reply - this resolves quite a few issues for us.
Happy gaming,
Ken
 
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