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Subject: San Juan vs Innovation rss

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How would you compare the experience of playing these two games? Since I only play with my GF, we’ll always play them as 2-player games.

We enjoy fairly fast games, those kind of games you feel like playing again once you finished. We don’t look for extremely deep games but we also want to explore different experiences.

Right now we mainly play Dominion, Agricola: All Creature Big and Small, Galaxy Trucker, Pandemic, A Few Acres of Snow and Samurai.

The ones that didn’t work for us are Android:Netrunner, Sentinels of the Multiverse and Jaipur.

San Juan seems to be an elegant and easy game to play, but maybe too light?
Innovation looks funny and competitive, but maybe too difficult?
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T. Nomad
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San Juan is a game that definitely rewards repeated plays, especially 2P. Shenomad and I have over 200 plays under our belts, and are still having lots of fun.

Innovation, while clever, did not hold our interest very long. It's wildly chaotic, though if you like constructing elaborate gambits it might be for you. We describe it as Killer Bunnies without the fun, cartoony violence.

FWIW we also disliked Jaipur, but hated Pandemic as well. We love Samurai and think GT is just ok.
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Xavier Raabe
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tommynomad wrote:

Innovation, while clever, did not hold our interest very long. It's wildly chaotic, though if you like constructing elaborate gambits it might be for you. We describe it as Killer Bunnies without the fun, cartoony violence.


I hate to be that guy, but I must say that Innovation isn't really chaotic. It takes time to figure out how to navigate the game, but the swinginess and unpredictability goes away with experience.
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If you like San Juan, you can always upgrade to Race for the Galaxy, which has a bunch of variety and replayability, especially with the expansions.

I have friends that love Innovation, but we prefer Glory to Rome. I'm one of those that found it to be chaotic, but also too directly attack-ey for our tastes.
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Matt Gustafson
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“The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” – Ed Seykota
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San Juan - 1 play
Innovation - 45 plays

Probably 43 of my Innovation games were 2 player, because that is how the game shines. I lost my first 11 times that I played and was ready to play again right away. As an aside, I lose a lot of games that I play, but I have fun while losing.

I prefer Innovation and would not be upset if I never played San Juan again.
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Jeff Wood
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Go ahead and try a few games of Innovation at http://innovation.isotropic.org/, then you'll know how two-player feels like. It can be intense.

San Juan is available as an app (Condado on the Google Play Store) for you to experience too.
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Matt Brown
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gamesgocrazy wrote:
San Juan - 1 play
Innovation - 45 plays

Probably 43 of my Innovation games were 2 player, because that is how the game shines. I lost my first 11 times that I played and was ready to play again right away. As an aside, I lose a lot of games that I play, but I have fun while losing.

I prefer Innovation and would not be upset if I never played San Juan again.


On the flip side, I liked San Juan the more I played it and the scoring tends to be rather tight as I have had a couple games come down to 1 point victories. San Juan currently is on the difficult side of getting, but it is worth getting if you know where to get a copy. Innovation has always been described as being a little too chaotic for my own taste so I never went and got it. Glory to Rome fills my need for a deeper card game.
 
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Mr. Blue
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Of course, your decision may also be impacted by the fact that San Juan is out of print, while I believe Innovation is still readily available.
 
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Josh Bodah
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Robot74 wrote:
How would you compare the experience of playing these two games? Since I only play with my GF, we’ll always play them as 2-player games.

We enjoy fairly fast games, those kind of games you feel like playing again once you finished. We don’t look for extremely deep games but we also want to explore different experiences.

Right now we mainly play Dominion, Agricola: All Creature Big and Small, Galaxy Trucker, Pandemic, A Few Acres of Snow and Samurai.

The ones that didn’t work for us are Android:Netrunner, Sentinels of the Multiverse and Jaipur.

San Juan seems to be an elegant and easy game to play, but maybe too light?
Innovation looks funny and competitive, but maybe too difficult?


San Juan is okay. It's very light and I would always choose Race for the Galaxy or Puerto Rico over it. The strategies just aren't very interesting. All of the cards have the same sort of bland feel to them. Fleet would be another good option over San Juan, but I find that to be a bit dry

Innovation on the other hand is truly wild (in a good way). The card mechanics are very intriguing and the game is brutal. Chaotic is not the word I would really use. The game does kind of spiral at the end as almost every card is a game winner if you get that far. Cards are so powerful, but smart card play can negate many of their effects.

I feel like Innovation has much more meat to it, and it takes a lot of time to really feel comfortable with the strategies. I love it because you have the option to play aggressive strategies as well as turtle strategies and every mix in between.

So if you want a light game, get San Juan. I personally sold my copy as it has very little flavor, and I don't find it fun. I think Fleet is just as easier to teach and is more entertaining. And I would pick either of the next two over Fleet or San Juan

If you want a heavy strategic game (e.g. I'm going to try a military strategy and use all my cards towards that strategy) get Race for the Galaxy. Race has the advantage that the deck is fully randomized so you get a feel for what the percentages of drawing certain cards is, then you can balance that with what your actual draws are.

If you want a heavy tactical game (e.g. I have these cards in my hand that can combo well, and I have an idea of what my opponent has because I know the deck, so I'll try this strategy now and then hope to transition into something else based on my draws) get Innovation. Innovation has the phases split into separate decks, so the game transitions between the phases. The fun part is learning how the phases interact and identifying the particular strategies for each phase and how to counter them. This makes the game really feel like knife fight as some of the strategies are vicious

My personal preference: Innovation = RftG > Puerto Rico > Fleet > San Juan
 
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