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Subject: Green Deal: Mean Deal rss

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J. M.
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Green deal Mean deal

 



So you may not have heard of this game yet. Good! It's on starnext.de (German kickstarter) right now, it almost has met its funding goal and I had the opportunity to play the game twice. My review is based on that. Sidenote: I am not affiliated with the designer, I just met him the two times I played the game.

What is the game about?

It's about creating sustainable projects, not bashing the environment, taking care of it. It's about thrust, pretty flowers, working together beautifully and making the world a better place.

WRONG!

It's about die-hard economic arrogance! Oh yeah? You thought the world would change in 2050, did you? Well sorta-kinda-not.... Wait wait wait... Backup a moment... Let's talk about it first.


How to play! [skip if you're an uninterested bastard and just want to read my opinion)

*muzak in the background* Welcome. So you want to know how to play?

 


Everybody starts the game with a certain amount of income and cash. Displayed on 2 tracks on the board, with a cilinder for each player to keep track of everything. Then we also have a place to keep track of how strong each player is in each project-category (social, environment, jobs and research). This is important for the scoring rounds, which are located next to it. Last but certainly not least is the world map.

 


First everybody bids simultaneous for turn order, this amount is reduced from the cash-track. Then players get their income and start taking their turns.

What can you do on your turn?

Buy a project

These projects range from value 1-5. They will more often than not cost money and lose you income, while gaining victory points. In addition to that victory point boost, you are getting stronger in that particular project-category and move your cilinder up as many spots as the value of your card.

Buy action cards

These are very divers, but self-explanatory. They give you things like cash, different ways of getting victory points, more nasty ways of interaction on the world map (which I will get to later).

Additional actions

Buy pr-tokens

These range from value 1-3 and change, temporarily, how strong your chosen project is during scoring rounds.

Get a loan

get money, pay back more before the end of the game or lose victory points.

Buy dividends

Exchange cash for victory points, depending on where you are on the incometrack.



Everybody, except for one unlucky bastard, has gotten a nice eco-socio-friendly project! Hooray! They will now place them on the world map. (you get a token representing the card you just bought) Here is where you will earn some bucks!

Whenever you place a project next to a project of the same type/color, the player who placed the last tile has a choice of competing or collaborating. When collaborating both players increase their income as many steps (!!) as the average value (1+5=3, 4+5=4). You can only compete if your project has a higher value. In that case you get as many income as the difference, while the other player loses that many! (5-1=4, 4-3=1) Yes.. it can get nasty.

When you place your project next to multiple other projects of the same color, you can do this with each (orthogonally) adjacent project!

That's it!Almost...

Then after round 4,6,7 and 10, a scoring round happens.

There are 3 kinds:

A scoring round where you score points for each of your strongest projects

Here, and only here, you will use your pr-tokens to secretly increase how strong you are at certain project-categories.

A scoring round where you score points for your lowest project
(the higher your lowest, the more points you get), Like Tigris and Euprates. (big points scored here!)

A scoring round based on your income.

There.. we did it!





So what was I talking about in the beginning?

Well, It looks like a nice game about the environment and making futuristic electric cars. However! In its essence it is a pure economic game. It is highly interactive and it can get even nastier depending on the action cards that come up. A very important part of the game is bidding for turn-order. This will dictate how much choice will be available! Projects are a necessity to get income and victory points. If you're last, you will likely be stuck with an action card.. Now during my first play, I found the action cards extremely underpowered. Some gave some victory points or cash, etc.. However in my second game, this was a completely different story. A very useful card is one, where you are able to buy 2 projects in one turn! Basically you aren't behind on a project then, but someone else in a later turn is, while you get to cherry-pick. Another powerful one is where the difference while competing is increased by 2! That means some serious nastiness! Let my tell you that.. These cards can't be too powerful in my eyes, seeing that you NEED projects to win (well they can, but you get my point). Also, whenever a player takes a leap on the incometrack, people start to bash that player to even the field. Or at least, they should.

The game has at lot of mechanics. So it definitely isn't for a non-gamer. My girlfriend would give me that look again after I made her play Agricola. So I'm probably not playing this with her. In my first game I had trouble to figure out what best to do. What projects are strong? How do I manage my cash? After 1 game however, you understand what to do. The mechanics are well interwoven and make for a very enjoyable game. I wouldn't play this game with someone with AP! This drags the game and my short attention span can't handle it. As long as the game keeps moving the playtime is more than respectable! My second game had 4 new people to the game and we got it done in about an hour and a half. While my first game.. That took awhile. I do however believe 1.5 hours is more realistic. You could probably clock a 3-player game in under an hour (haven't tried, guessing here). Which makes this a short, deep and very elegant game! That's why I'm recommending it and why I backed it.



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