Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: Macao vs. Palaces of Carrara vs. Glass Road rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Shane Larsen
United States
Salt Lake City
UT
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I recognize that the three games in question are very different, and I know their differences. I have spent plenty of time getting to know them the best I can.

I recognize that two of them are OOP, and I don't want that to be a factor for the terms of this discussion.

What I do want to see, is peoples' opinions on the three. What they do and don't like on the three. And for the people who have played more than one of them, please compare them, with a focus on their similarities--as subtle as those similarities might be.

Thank you!

Oh, and here's a poll:

Poll
Please rank the three games in order of your personal preference.
  Gold Silver Bronze
Macao
Palaces of Carrara
Glass Road
      44 answers
Poll created by thedacker
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jerry Wilkinson
United States
New Castle
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
When asking "What would Jesus do?", remember that flipping over tables and using a whip are within the realm of possibilities.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shane, I admit that this won't be the most helpful reply, as I have played all three of them...exactly once each.

I thought Macao was dry and boring, but FWIW I'm not a Feld fanboy.

I enjoyed both Palaces of Carrera and Glass Road, and for me Palaces was a little more fun, but I would easily play either of them again.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I do enjoy Macao, but my enthusiasm for it has waned a bit over the last year or so. This thread reminds me I need to play it again as it has been a while. But if I want to play a dice driven Feld game, I usually would rather play Castles of Burgundy.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shane Larsen
United States
Salt Lake City
UT
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jrtolf wrote:
Shane, I admit that this won't be the most helpful reply, as I have played all three of them...exactly once each.

I thought Macao was dry and boring, but FWIW I'm not a Feld fanboy.

I enjoyed both Palaces of Carrera and Glass Road, and for me Palaces was a little more fun, but I would easily play either of them again.

Jerry, it is helpful. Thank you for your input.

aaxiom wrote:
Shane, I've played Macao three times, and Glass Road nine times at this point.

Thank, Phil. Your comments on Macao and its use of the dice are helpful for my decision.

pfctsqr wrote:
I do enjoy Macao, but my enthusiasm for it has waned a bit over the last year or so.

This seems to be the consensus in the few comments so far. If you play it again soon, please let me know your thoughts.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad vanVugt
United States
Baltimore
MD
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played all three, and am also a Feld fan. With that said, I love Palaces as a mid-weight euro, and didn't particularly care for the other two. Note that all of these impressions are playing these games exclusively two player, and I do recognize the fact that Macao and Glass Road in particular are better with higher player counts.

For Palaces, I enjoy the simplicity of gameplay, the push-your-luck aspect when it comes to scoring cities and buying blocks, and the varied endgame conditions that force you to adjust your strategy from game to game. The fact that players get to decide when they score during the game is also a pretty cool aspect you don't really see in other games.

While I found the resource management in Glass Road intriguing, the rest of the game fell flat for us. The four round structure makes it tough to get a decent tableau built. The two player variant also loses part of the strategy of playing cards you think others will use as well, which is key to the game.

For Macao, it's by far my least favorite Feld title. While the 12 turn structure makes for some interesting decisions in game, what ends up happening is you shuffle through 8 or 9 really small turns where you don't get anything accomplished, and 2 or 3 big turns where you do most of your work. The downer with the two player game is also that you won't see several of the different person/building cards during the game. Being as several of them chain off of one another, it makes it difficult to focus on a particular strategy. The two player game also diminishes the importance of the turn order track, as it largely doesn't matter whether you act first or not since there isn't a ton of competition for the better cards that appear.

If you're comparing the three, I would say Palaces compares to both Glass Road and Macao, though I don't see a ton of similarity between Macao and Glass Road. Palaces and Macao share a mechanic where you are using specific resources (colored blocks in both games) to purchase buildings/people. One thing I prefer about Palaces is that paying attention to what blocks your opponents are buying can clue you into their intentions. In Macao, which blocks your opponents get matters less because you only know of two cards that will be available in advance for each round.

The comparison to Glass Road comes in having a changing marketplace of buildings that replenish only when players purchase them. In both cases, the buildings can score points for you (or gain money also in Palaces' case). The buildings in Glass Road can also provide other benefits such as gaining additional resources for you.

I would recommend Palaces out of the three because it's the most accessible and varies the greatest from game to game. Naturally, it's also the toughest one to get out of the three, but c'est la vie.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Logan
United States
Peoria
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have only played Macao, which I also own. Of the 3 Feld's I own (Macao, Bruges, Castles of Burgundy), I like Macao the best. I game almost exclusively 2 player, and I find Macao plays at its best with two. If you know Feld, it's obvious that Macao is highly tactical and opportunistic. You never know what cards you are going to see, and you can never count on getting the dice rolls you need. I also like the Windrose. It's a unique mechanic, and makes the game stand out in my collection.

I also replaced the Windrose with an invention of my own, which I discuss in this thread.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael F
United States
Albany
OR
flag msg tools
Look at me!
badge
Get Schwifty!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've only played Macao, but it's one of my favorites. The Windrose mechanic coupled with the tableau-building that goes on makes it feel very unique, especially when compared to other Feld games.

The game has a great sense of ramping up also. Turns start off very slowly, but usually around the halfway point of the game you're having these epic turns with a bunch of actions to take.

The only real downside for the game is that it can feel somewhat samey if you play it with only 2p. At 3 and 4, the area control of the city's resources becomes a lot more interesting. For those who say it's dry, I usually can't stand dry Euros (Both Village and Firenze were flops for me because of this reason). Maximizing your actions really helps keep me invested in what's going on, and the cards feel thematic in the same way that the cards in Bruges do. Those reasons, along with the unique gameplay, keep the game from feeling too dry, though I did have that concern before going into it.

I think you'd enjoy Macao. It does feel different from other Feld games, but in a good way. Points can be very scarce, there can be some really difficult decisions on what cubes and cards to take, and the player interaction is there just enough to where you have to keep an eye on what your opponents are doing.

Hope this helps!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bing Hwang Tan
Malaysia
Sungai Dua, Penang
Penang
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have played all three of them; Each game more than 5 plays and I prefer Palaces of Carrara and Macao much more than Glass Road. All 3 games plays differently and all possess unique mechanics that would keep you occupied most of the time.

For brain burner, Macao seems to be the one that provides such experience. The usage of dice implemented in this game by Feld is brilliant. The game makes you plan for long term as well as making sure you'd plan for short term as well at the same time which is pretty frustrating sometimes if you eyed on those juicy large valued colored dice that favors your build. Besides that, you need to keep an eye on other player's cubes and turn order so that you won't be denied of what you want. Something that most of Feld's games lack which is interaction but can be found in Macao and I love interactive games more than multi-player solitaires. This game provides a great sense of accomplishment if you managed to pull a huge combo and will gurantee a smile on your face once you do it

Palaces of Carrara appeals to me because of the components and simple gameplay mechanics. The choices in the game are pretty much buy bricks or build a building or score a city. One of the plus points when I consider in a game is the instructions/teaching your friends how to play that game. The simplicity allows me to explain this game within 10 minutes and it can be played within 45 minutes. The cool part of this game that I love would be the end game objectives. Its never the same each game and that provides you ample of replay ability value here. Also I liked the fact that this game allows you to rush through to end the game especially when you feel that one of your friend is building a huge city, and you can hasten to end it quickly by achieving the 3 end-game objectives. Instead of feeling left behind while watching your friend build up his city to earn all the VPs, you can actually do something about it. This is something beautiful about this game that most game do not provide. Sadly this game is unavailable in most places. I got mine from Canada and it was the final English copy. It took 4 months for it to be shipped to where I live and I'm glad it came! However, if you want to get hold of this game, I would just suggest to buy it off from amazon.de for a German version. You'll be able to print a copy of the rules from BGG and there's no language-dependent components in this game.

Finally for Glass Road, I find that this game lacks objective. Don't get me wrong (There are loads of ways to score points!), what I'm trying to say here is that when you play the game for the first time, you'd probably be blown away with all the character cards that you need to choose from. Uwe implemented a similar resource wheel mechanic for Ora Et Labora and used it here in Glass Road. It's a brilliant way to..save space! Reducing all the resource cubes to a resource wheel is brilliant. However, I find that this game plays itself as the round progresses (the resource wheel seems to make glass/bricks for me automatically when my resources reach a certain threshold) and I can't seemed to know if I managed to pull of a great move or not. The mind-reading aspect in this game is unique and fun but I didn't like it compared to Palaces of Carrara and Macao. Hope this helps and enjoy your games!


6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shane Larsen
United States
Salt Lake City
UT
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks to everyone for your comments thus far. It has been very helpful to read through the different perspectives.

The poll is interesting. We have clear winners in each place:

1. Macao
2. Palaces
3. Glass Road

The two that are OOP are in first and second place.

Maybe a little more insight on me and my preferences will give some more food for thought:

1. I only have one Feld: Trajan, and I like it. At one point, it was in my top 10. It has worn its welcome a little, but I find the puzzle element of the rondcala mechanic very interesting and fun. So I've kept it.

2. I've played Castles of Ron Burgundy once, and liked it. But in the end I decided against buying it because when I want a dice-manipulation fix, I always reach for Troyes.

3. I'm not dependent on theme. Theme is important to me only as far as it doesn't ruin interesting decisions in the game. I've found with experience that games where the mechanics are all based on the theme, the decisions end up being all the same, and not much fun. Sure, I like it when there's something of a thematic reason for what I'm doing, but in the end, good game mechanics rule the day. So yes, I'm a typical BGG Euro junkie.

4. I really want a game that uses a wheel mechanic for managing resources. That's how these games came into view.

--

So far, I'm finding myself most inclined to getting Palaces of Carrara. I've got a (German) copy on reserve for the next time Thor has it in stock
at Gamesurplus.com. I'm happy to wait a month or two. But if I decide I want one of the others, I think the decision will be tougher.

Any more insight?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael F
United States
Albany
OR
flag msg tools
Look at me!
badge
Get Schwifty!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
thedacker wrote:

1. I only have one Feld: Trajan, and I like it. At one point, it was in my top 10. It has worn its welcome a little, but I find the puzzle element of the rondcala mechanic very interesting and fun. So I've kept it.

2. I've played Castles of Ron Burgundy once, and liked it. But in the end I decided against buying it because when I want a dice-manipulation fix, I always reach for Troyes.


Macao is also very much a puzzle in how you're going to select cubes, because you want to make sure that you're activating cards on your player sheet before it fills up, but at the same time you want to grab those resources you want on the board. Not to mention that you want to avoid too many "dead turns" where you don't have any actions and take a penalty as a result. I actually think this is Feld's heaviest game except for maybe Bora Bora because of this. I still like Trajan a bit more than Macao personally, but I think that's because there's more going on in Trajan whereas Macao is a lot more focused.

As for the dice, Troyes and CoB do use the dice in more interesting ways, but that's because you have so many options in what to do with them. Here the dice just serve as a way to randomize the amount of actions you can take at however many turns from now. Don't get me wrong, it IS a neat way of using dice, but it feels like you're drafting dice as opposed to selecting actions with them. I don't think you're going to get the same satisfaction if you go into this comparing it to Troyes or CoB.

For me, the tableau building is much more interesting than the way the dice are used. It's different enough from games like Race for the Galaxy to not feel redundant, but also gives options for neat combos and the like.

thedacker wrote:

4. I really want a game that uses a wheel mechanic for managing resources. That's how these games came into view.


That may be a hit against Macao then. Unless you consider action points resources, Macao is not the game you're looking for in this respect. That argument could be made, though I think the other two games have better implementations of this from what I've seen.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Claudine Finlay
United States
Herriman
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
He's eating a Dungeon Lord imp...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shane,
Of the three, I've only played Glass Road and Palaces. I seem to be in the minority, but my favorite was Glass Road. We played with four and maybe that is the ideal player count, but it was fun trying to guess what cards your opponent would play. Sometimes you want to have the same cards and sometimes you don't. I think many people don't like the chaotic nature of the game. We loved it. Palaces IMO is a lighter game. You can explain it in five minutes. Timing is crucial in this game. It's one of those easy to learn, hard to master type games. The game group was a little indifferent to it though so we haven't played it much. As for Macao, I like Feld, but don't love Feld so I haven't wanted to even seek it out.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan Clegg
United States
Escondido
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you like the puzzle of setting up future turns on Trajan's mancala, I think you will like Macao. It's more critical; I feel like there's always a good move in Trajan, even when I have run out of planned moves, but Macao punishes you for lack of planning.

Glass Road will appeal to mind-reading fans of Race for the Galaxy or Witch's Brew. You feel like a genius when you correctly predict the actions of your opponents. When you're wrong, it's good-natured disappointment. And then there are the complete left field surprises.

I haven't played Palaces, but as the lightest of the three I'd put it in third place for you:

Macao > Glass Road > Palaces of Carrara
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shane Larsen
United States
Salt Lake City
UT
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well I found myself involved in an auction for Macao. Funny how that happens. Funny how it also happens that I won the auction.

So, I've got Macao now.

I'm still interested in the other two, however. The more I read and watch, the more I think I might just need all three. I know I'll pick up Palaces as soon as Thor has it again--or perhaps in a trade. And Glass Road should be available for a while longer. I'm guessing I'll have it by the end of the year.

It makes me wonder why I even acted like I had to choose between them. whistle

Thanks to everyone for your time and help.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.