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Subject: The new car smell has worn off rss

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Sheldon Smith
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I wanted to share my thoughts and opinions about Bruxelles: 1893. It was one of the hot games that came out late last year. I watched the walkthrough videos, and decided from the high ratings it was a safe automatic purchase. I was very excited to play it.

The first couple times I loved the game - even if there were a few issues that bugged me. After several more plays, I can say this game unfortunately is not all that it was cracked up to be. While my initial rating may have been between an 8-9, in reality this is more like a 7 at best (ouch, I know).

First off, let me express what I think is GOOD:

1) The "clock" mechanism. When I first saw the board I imagined it was something to determine when the round ends. Instead, I was delighted how this 2-handed rotating device determines the resource types to be used for constructing buildings. Very cool idea!

2) Not only do buildings reward victory points on 3 different levels (no wilds + roofs + bonus multiplier), they also allow "leeching" benefits when opponents land on you. I have always enjoyed this - whether it be in Caylus, Inca Empire, and Keyflower among others. This is fun stuff.

3) The overall CONCEPT of a triple-layered streamlined mechanic to place workers in the art nouveau board. It's worker placement - not only for the action itself but also for area majority VP's. Not only that, players must also bid at least $1 money for the opportunity to place there. There is a bidding system where the highest bidder in the column takes the card. I like how all of these concepts are tied down to just a single flowing mechanic. That being said, I do have a huge problem with the way the bidding system works (more on this below).

4) I like the worker placement system of the Bruxelles board, and how the player who placed the most workers must keep one of his people tied up in the court system.

Now let's talk about the BAD:

1) The art nouveau's bidding boils down to one player being left with a "silver platter" opportunity. It does not matter if the previous bidders bid high, as the final player has the last say whether to tie or just spend an extra dollar to get the benefit all to himself. Money really isn't as tight as it first seemed, since there is PLENTY of opportunity to gain money (i.e., stock market action, sale of art, tapping of cards) for higher bids. I don't have a problem with the availability of gaining money. The problem I have is how the other players who previously bid still LOSE their money!

Let's say you plop down $7 bucks (or even higher). It really doesn't matter because no matter what you bid (since money actually isn't very tight) the final bidder can simply pay a sum of $8 and screw you TWICE. You're not only out of the card race, but on top of this you just threw away $7. Most bidding games allow losing bids to get their bid back (or at least receive a consolation prize). I initially thought there might have been enough interest with the VP sector spots, or possibly tempting opponents with cards that really aren't that useful to them. But even the non-useful ones still have the "tucking" capability for end-game bonus. Ultimately, as designed, the bidding system is absurd. And yet I'm wondering if it may be possible if the game can be tweaked by a BGG variant. I'm all ears! If the investment track in Tinners' Trail can be wonderfully tweaked I'm thinking Bruxelles' bidding system can be too.

2) The game is a single-path race. It's all about constructing buildings! Our scores were in the 175+ range, and so the buildings (plus bonus) can yield a potential of 100 points (assuming non-wild resources are used). That's over 60% of the total game right there! Not only that, but constructing buildings early means more "leeching effect" - so if you are not immediately using the building action this means you are falling behind. As such, the game feels very scripted. True, you can squeeze other points with the VP sectors (climbing up that path) along with the sale of occasional art. But ultimately, the buildings are critical. And it doesn't seem to matter which actions you place the buildings. Eventually someone will land on you, and the secondary rewards they give are TOO BALANCED. One player can get X# of victory points, while another player can get resources which ultimately convert to apx. the same victory points.

3) Now let's talk about the sale of the art! I find this whole system boring and anti-climactic. It looked like a neat idea on the surface, but after a few games the whole thing is kind of ho-hum. It's generally better to accumulate art and not sell. You get more income for unique colors. Not only that, the potential to score VP's (via leeching) when other players land on a building if you placed on that action. There is nothing exciting or fun about the market system IMO.

===

So, in short, I think the game had some great ideas and ambitions, but ultimately misses the target of what a great design truly is. Even the "tucking" aspect feels pointless! I can tuck a bonus for people... which will give me... hmm.... an extra 4 points. Or, I can tuck it for my works of art which will give me... hm... 3 points. Or, I can tuck it for my money which will give me... 3 or 4 points. Or I can tuck it for my card collection which will give me 4 points. SINCE THERE IS NO ENGINE BUILDING IN THIS GAME, THERE ARE NO MAJOR SWINGS WITH THESE BONUSES! It's all "tit for tat".

I'm left wondering if this game might still be saved with some tweaks. While I don't have the answers, here are some of the ideas I was thinking:

(1) REDUCE the end-point VP scale for the building construction track.
(2) INCREASE the tucking bonus from 0/1/2 into 1/2/3.
(3) Allow market movement points to rotate the square (must be one direction of course) clockwise :-)
(4) Allow players to receive some kind of consolation for lost bids (maybe reserve just for 2nd best bid... with ties broken by clockwise order from mannekin pis).

Some ideas:
2nd highest losing bidder = collect 1 noble cube
3rd highest losing bidder = collect 1 wild cube
-or-
2nd highest losing bidder = collect one art piece.
3rd highest losing bidder = collect 1 wild cube.

But I fear doing this could mean too many gifts are given away. So then I started thinking of giving away poker chips that players can save and exchange for certain rewards.

For example, if a player bids $7 and loses his $7 would not just go to the "bank", but in return be allowed to save "spending credit" at a virtual store! Some kind of scale would need to determine what goods can be had for what prices. Perhaps it could look something like this:

- create an art = 90 points.
- noble cube = 50 points.
- wild cube = 30 points.

I don't have the answers, but IMO the way this game plays out of the gate doesn't feel right. I think it needed more play testing.

Sheldon
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Sara
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
EyeInSky wrote:


2) The game is a single-path race. It's all about constructing buildings! Our scores are in the 175+ range, and so the buildings (plus bonus) can yield a potential of 100 points (assuming non-wild resources are used). That's like 60% of the total game right there! Not only that, but constructing buildings early means more "leeching effect" - so if you are NOT immediately doing the building action that means you are falling behind. As such, the game is very scripted. True, you can squeeze some other points with the VP sectors (and climb up that path) along with the sale of occasional art. But ultimately, the buildings are critical. And it also doesn't seem to matter which actions you place the buildings. Eventually someone will land on you, and the secondary rewards they give are TOO BALANCED. One player can get X# of victory points, while another player can get resources which ultimately convert to apx. the same victory points.


I don't agree with the above statement as in our games we had winners who didn't do a lot of constructing and others who constructed all their buildings and still lost. There are several paths to victory. Constructing all your buildings is not necessary, you just have to find a thing to focus on: collecting art, working with the noble men etc.
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Kai Teo
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
Don't concur with your thoughts...

1) precisely because the winner of the bids will win the cards, this causes players to have to think carefully when they place their bids to get the action they want and how much they want to put in. They can put in more so that the player who really wants that card will have to pay more. Players have to be very careful not to set someone else up to swoop in for the +1 coin to win. If you want the card, then your bids have to be high enough to enter ensure you win it or deter the others. I have personally bid 8 coins just to prevent others from swooping in later. Losers losing their coins just makes it all the more painful to make wrong decisions here. That to me is a level of deliciousness I enjoy.


2) Agree with Sara on the different paths to victory. I have done quite well with the other paths. The building seems the most obvious and easiest and so a lot of people will fight for it which leaves the other paths to victory very viable. I liken this to the Temple track in Tzolkin or the Engineers in Russian Railroads. Initially it seems as if there is only 1 way to ensure a win. But after several plays you will gradually realise that is just not true and its possible.Sure it maybe tougher or even counter intuitive but when you make it happen, the feeling is very rewarding.

3) Art wise I think its just a way to get quick points and money if you are opportunistic enough. 6 points + 4 coins is nothing to laugh at.

After all the new games and going back to bruxelles again recently, I still very much enjoy the game. My gaming friends as well also enjoy the thinkiness and the dynamic interaction we get with our opponents.
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Sheldon Smith
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
The combination of constructing buildings AND pushing the architect to the top level is the "sure win" path IMO.

If a player constructed all of his buildings and still did not win, it likely means his architect track hasn't reached the 2nd highest spot (or higher). This means each house now yields 6VP's or less. If that happens, the player must also score by other means - either by sale of art and/or VP sector bonuses to attain victory.

So while I do see it's possible to *NOT* win (even if you have built all of your buildings), I think it's unlikely to win if you haven't focused on buildings to at least some degree (and pushing the architect track up). I doubt it's possible to neglect the houses and only focus on art sales and VP sectors. To do the art sale strategy, you need ways of grabbing MORE art pieces (to push the market square along for max. benefit). Having houses on the "create an art" spot brings the player the black art pieces! Again... having houses is still important for that strategy. At the same token, I suspect the absolute maximum # of sales a player can do in a game is 10 (probably 8 or 9 is more realistic). Even in the unlikely situation a player does have 10 art sales, and also in the unlikely situation he was able to get 6 VP's for each sale, that's still a grand maximum total of 60pts (houses can bring 100pts).

I like the analogy of the Temple track in Tzolkin. With Bruxelles, you must pay at least SOME attention to the houses (and push the architect track up). After that has been achieved, you can start grabbing points by selling and/or VP sectors and have a chance at winning.
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Sheldon Smith
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
I will also say with the new lovely expansion to Tzolkin (Tribes & Prophecies), Tzolkin is now a complete masterpiece of a game.
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Sheldon Smith
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
In our games, it didn't matter if an opening bid was 8, 9, or even 10. Players were always able to generate enough money to overcome painfully high bids.

NOW... I do think the bidding system may work best with 2 or 3 players! There is more opportunity for the round to come back to the other player and add more coins (either solidifying his bid or downright being able to reach the certain win amount).

HOWEVER... while the bidding system may work best with 2 or 3 players, there will be some rounds where every action spot (on the art nouveau board) is not filled up. Less players = less competition, and more vacancies. More vacancies = less Area/Majority VP points to be had - which further WEAKENS the VP sector path even more.

I did play this game as a 5 player once, and it was waaaayyyyyy too chaotic! I did not like the 5 player version at all. 4 players still feels a little too chaotic. I think the sweet spot for this game may be 2 or 3. I would rather deal with the frustration of the VP sector path being slightly weakened over the complete lack of control with the chaotic bidding system (less players does give more tactical control as timing when to place on the Bruxelles board has more importance)

Regardless of the # of players, I still think the architect track's VP values need to be reduced!

duckizz wrote:
Don't concur with your thoughts...

1) precisely because the winner of the bids will win the cards, this causes players to have to think carefully when they place their bids to get the action they want and how much they want to put in. They can put in more so that the player who really wants that card will have to pay more. Players have to be very careful not to set someone else up to swoop in for the +1 coin to win. If you want the card, then your bids have to be high enough to enter ensure you win it or deter the others. I have personally bid 8 coins just to prevent others from swooping in later. Losers losing their coins just makes it all the more painful to make wrong decisions here. That to me is a level of deliciousness I enjoy.
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Nathan Clegg
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I've never found money so easy to come by. Are Sheldon's experiences consistent with other people's? Bids of 10 seem quite high to me.
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Sheldon Smith
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
Actually... let me re-iterate:

Our max. opening bids are usually 5-7, but in longer bid columns another pawn could be placed making the total (among both pieces) 8-10... sometimes even higher. It didn't matter how much the total was because the other player could always bid higher.

There are moments when you can see how much money an opponent has and bid the "safe amount". I just think the way the overall bidding system works (causing high bids to be completely lost with no consolation) is a major flaw.

Money isn't necessarily too easy to come by, but it is FAR from a "money tight" game. Try Vinhos, Saint Petersburg, and Power Grid for a money tight experience :-)
 
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Kai Teo
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
well,
1a) money is not easy to come by. We often have very tight matches to get money (mostly because people did not want to lose their worker OR use the action to do other more constructive things)
1b) most opening bids usually start with 1 or 2 for us because most of my group do the "wait and see" approach.

2) My friend last game was only 5 points from me. He maxed out the buildings + architect. I had only 2 buildings, architect did not move but I had about 5 patrons and x 5 points. PLUS I had used my patrons every round to get points. So while I did not say its easy, there ARE ways to win.

I agree on tzolkin. The expansion does add quite a bit to it such that
players are definitely encouraged to shift away from the temple track.

Again I am not saying that getting max architect + all buildings built is a bad idea. It is definitely the most straight forward to win (6x5 + 20 + 6x10 = total 110 points) but if the other players start blocking you, then you can be quite hampered. Plus not to forget you have to play a very brilliant game to be able to grab all 110 points which is often not the case. All I am saying is that with multiple plays and challenging yourself to try other paths to victory, it will be rewarding when it works out

Perhaps Sheldon we should get a game in Once one of these online sites get Bruxelles implemented.
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Bryan McNeely
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
I've yet to play a game where the max bid has exceeded three coins. I can see how losing seven or more due to being outbid can be frustrating, but I've not really felt the need to get cards so much that I'll pay my entire fortune to get them.

I would say that my initial thought was that building is the most important aspect of the game. Scoring is a bit much for them and I think a square 100 points for finishing one's masterpiece with nothing but noble goods is very, very high. However, this game, it appears, is about "proper" management of workers. I think, given enough analysis, one could overcome another player's gung-ho building with some careful placement of coins, workers and even occupying valuable spots on the Nouveau board. My wife focused a lot on building in our first game and she did eventually win, but I also made some silly decisions for myself. If I had done a little more thinking, I would have squeaked ahead.

---

I think the criticisms of the game are good, though. I just don't feel they are enough to get me to shy away from playing. I absolutely love the game and it sits nicely on my shelf. Excellent job, Etienne!

Also, Alexandre Roche with the artwork! C'est magnifique!
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Kai Teo
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
agree with Bryan though competitively we bid like 5 or more coins to ensure we got the card which gives us the multipliers at the end
 
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Steve Duff
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
EyeInSky wrote:
Actually... let me re-iterate:

Our max. opening bids are usually 5-7, but in longer bid columns another pawn could be placed making the total (among both pieces) 8-10... sometimes even higher. It didn't matter how much the total was because the other player could always bid higher.

Money isn't necessarily too easy to come by, but it is FAR from a "money tight" game. Try Vinhos, Saint Petersburg, and Power Grid for a money tight experience :-)


Money is tight when we play, no idea how you're getting so much of it. And we're selling artwork to earn cash.

Each round, we generally have 5 guys to place on the board, maybe 6-8 bucks to start with (sometimes less), so many placements are for the minimum $1. You drain your reserves during the round, maybe you stock market or sell artwork to re-stock back to the 6 or 7 buck range.
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darryl benzin
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
EyeInSky wrote:

(2) INCREASE the tucking bonus from 0/1/2 into 1/2/3.

I believe that the tucking bonus is 1/2/3. Each row has a VP symbol already built in and you score that even if you don't tuck anything in that row. Or am I misreading what you mentioned here?

Edit: I read your other post about the proposed tweaks and now understand that you're talking about the point value of tucking a card. Truthfully, I don't think that every card should have a VP tuck bonus. some have 2 and the ones that don't have a tuck bonus will give you an option of 2 immediate use bonuses or two Manneken Pis figures. adding higher tuck scoring on those, I think, would really affect the card balances.
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Sheldon Smith
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Re: The new car smell of Bruxelles has worn off
A few quick comments to reply to those who asked...

1) The end-game bonuses start with 1VP for each of 4 different items. I am proposing to increase the CARD tuck bonus from 0/1/2 up to 1/2/3. A player may now choose to tuck a double-benefit effect for 1VP instead (normally it's a zero VP card).

2) In our games, sometimes players start with just $1 money for the "wait and see" approach (hoping to come back in the column later and plop more money down). Other times players may start with a heavy amount of money ($3-$5) to begin with. During later rounds, starting bids of more than $5 are NOT uncommon!

3) Income is not really too hard to come by once you figure out you can play the market + grab an extra card or two and tap 2-3(+) people (also gaining $5 money) + do the occasional sale for $4 or $6 money. Getting 3, 4, or 5 art to hold on to really helps because at the end of each round you get $1 for each unique color as well. Money seemed like it was tight the first couple games, but since then we've all managed how to fine-tune the ability of gaining money a lot better.

4) That's encouraging news to hear a player only had 2 buildings (and didn't move on the architect track) and was only 5pts away from the leader.

Still... I feel the game is very scripted and also feel there is a huge favor towards the building path. Not only are there huge points available (and the maximum is 100, not 110) but you also get the ongoing "leeching" benefit. In my opinion, the type of action you place your building does not matter. What's more important is the LOCATION of the building. Centrally located buildings will get more "action" than those around the perimeter - simply because of the "cornering off" effect the start player chooses when placing the frame corner piece.

Even with the cool leeching stuff, the game feels sort of "tit for tat" for me. I don't find myself holding my breath in suspense hoping & praying someone will land on me so I can get "CRITICAL RESOURCE X-Y-Z". I'll either get points, or some cubes, or a piece of art, etc. that I can always later convert to something on my next turn. Same thing with the end-game bonuses. They really aren't that significant (as it stands).
 
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Sheldon Smith
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On a different note...

I took the liberty of purchasing some 14mm colored dice! I got 5 sets of each color. So now when players place a worker pawn on the Art Nouveau board, the money is paid straight to the bank and a colored die/dice accompanies the worker.

From an aesthetic-visual standpoint, it makes reading the bids in the column VERY easy to see (a slight time-saver).

Furthermore, from a clean-up standpoint, it's very quick to grab the worker + dice and give back to the player instead of picking up the cardboard coin discs to place back in the bank (another slight time-saver).

Both benefits combined can possibly shave about 5-10 minutes from the game across the course of 5 rounds, but even better is the "smoother" appearance and placement. No more worries of knocking down towers of coins :-)

I may take a couple pictures and post in the photo section.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Where did you buy the dice?
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Sheldon Smith
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Hi Jenn!

How's it going? Long time no see ;-)

I bought mine from a vendor off eBay. I tried going to game stores, but they didn't have much dice in stock. It's also hard to get orange!!!

Game stores sell the plastic case of 6 dice for around $5 bucks a set. I didn't go that route because I didn't like the size. They either had the bigger size (16mm) or the tiny size (10mm-12mm). I think 14mm is the PERFECT size for fitting inside the action spot (w/ the worker pawn) while also large enough where displaying the value is an easy read.

If you're interested, I can sell a batch of matching dice to you for $20 bucks. I have enough extra that you would get 6 of each color (red / blue / green / yellow / orange). What's cool about that is if you end up selling or trading Bruxelles away you can take the dice out and use them for Perudo!
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Stephane Bassiaux
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As crazy as it sounds, I've seen bids of 15 in one of my games.

Obviously not the first three turns.
 
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Stephane Bassiaux
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Not even !
She finished third.

Actually, I often concentrate on construction, but even with maxed architects, I have yet to win a game.
 
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Sheldon Smith
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I didn't mean to suggest getting all bldgs up + reaching the top of the architect track was all you need to do to win. That would only yield 90-100 pts out of the 160-185ish range that's likely required.

As with most bidding games, obtaining actions (and cards) for a good value is important. That helps give the player some "slack" to patiently wait for the best opportunity to "STRIKE" - in order to achieve max points for selling art, or getting the most VP points for the Area/Majority sectors. Even though I have my complaints, there is no doubt this game offers nice opportunities for big points. It's especially rewarding if you can squeeze yourself into several majority spots and have 3-4 pts on the A/M track. There are times when it's important to focus on the Art Nouveau board, and other times when you can mostly stay out of it and use your workers on the Bruxelles board. Knowing you will sacrifice a worker gives more freedom to place a lot of workers there (unless you were planning to tie so you can bring someone else down with you).

I would also like to state that I don't think this is a lousy game by any means! I think it's a good one, but this is one of those games where the more I play the less good it gets.
 
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Tatiana Dorra
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EyeInSky wrote:
1) The art nouveau's bidding boils down to one player being left with a "silver platter" opportunity. It does not matter if the previous bidders bid high, as the final player has the last say whether to tie or just spend one more dollar to get the benefit all to himself.
2) The game is a single-path race. It's all about constructing buildings!
3) Now let's talk about the sale of the art! I find this whole system to be boring and anti-climactic. Sheldon


Hi Shelton,

It's your opinion and, of course, you have got the right to share it... but let me share mine.

1) So, your first "bad point" is for me the BEST POINT of this game. It creates a real tension in the game. ("Ok, i want to make this action here... but with how much money ???" Of course, he can put more money. But in this case, i could get an other bonus in another column... Well, let me think... ;-)" I love that in the game.

2) People who don't know well "Bxl" say often that but trust me, i have played this game dozens of time and i can say you are wrong ! Of course, building is a good way to win ("you are an architect!) ... but not THE ultimate way to win. You can win the game with artworks or even due to the "TownHall" shields. Next time, try it ! ;-)

3) One more time it's your opinion... but not mine. And it's an original mechanic, i've never seen that before.

But, of course, it's just my opinion. ;-)

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Sheldon Smith
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From the games I played, getting majority shield bonuses on a few areas yielded some good points - especially if the player climbed up to 3 or 4 on the VP shield track. That's the 2nd most important way to generate some serious VP's.

As for comment #1: If I'm on the verge of giving away a "silver platter" opportunity I examine how much money my opponents have. If a player can outbid me, I look to see how beneficial the card is to THEM. There are times when the card isn't that beneficial, or if the placement would lose opportunities of VP scoring elsewhere.

I have enough workers, I often place another round on the Bruxelles board; even if it's an action I'm not overly fond of. This sort of creates an artificial form of "passing". Eventually, it always happens when a player will be given that "silver platter". From there, it's a decision of whether the action spot is favorable, and if the cost is worth excluding the other player(s).

The art box piece that moves around, and how the center black square always yields less money & vp's is an original idea I haven't seen before either. I still ultimately find that system a little bland.

===

The next time we play we're going to try a few changes. I'm scrapping the whole store/purchase idea. But we're going to try a variant I proposed a while back (posted under the variants section):

1) Reduce the VP track of the architect path.
2) Increase the value of the tucked cards from 0/1/2 to 1/2/3
3) Most important: Limiting each worker to 6 money on the Art Nouveau board! If a player wants to bid higher, he will need to place an additional worker on the spot for 7-12 money (or 3 for 13-18).

With the worker/money limitation system in place, the outbidding player still pays more money but also must forgo an additional action. Now the "platter" isn't so shiny. The players who have enough workers to outbid is counter-balanced with less actions, but has the consolation of having an additional worker in his favor to count towards VP shield scoring (each box around the VP shield must still be filled of course).

I haven't been able to try this variant myself yet, but I received a couple emails from users who tried it with positive results... so now I'm tempted to give it a shot and see how it goes.

That said, I do realize more people are in favor of the game (than not). My opinion is just an example for those who may be sitting on the opposite side of the fence.
 
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Kelly Bass
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EyeInSky wrote:
... so now I'm tempted to give it a shot and see how it goes.
If you do, please post your thoughts & evaluations. I'm interested.
 
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Eric Knauer
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Quote:
1) The art nouveau's bidding boils down to one player being left with a "silver platter" opportunity. It does not matter if the previous bidders bid high, as the final player has the last say whether to tie or just spend one more dollar to get the benefit all to himself. Money really isn't as tight as it initially seems, since there is plenty of opportunity (i.e., stock market action, sale of art, tapping of cards) to gain money for higher bids. I don't have a problem with the availability of gaining money, but the problem I do have is how the other players who previously bid still LOSE their money!


This element actually works quite well in a two player game but I can see it being really frustrating with more from the added chaos. With two, it's a fun game of chicken on setting yourself up to being able to bid last in a column. If you really want a card and there are only two spots left, you often buy time by going over to the Brussels board to take action(s). Of course you risk losing an assistant if your opponent doesn't go there as well but at least you can use the rest of the spaces there and only lose one pawn. Anyway, I don't think this needs to be fixed in the two player and is actually a strength of the game.
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Sheldon Smith
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I have also found the less # of players, the less chaotic the art nouveau board is. 5 players is ridiculous. 3 players seems to play better than 4 - also because you are limited to 1 player on the bruxelles board.

I suspect the "chicken" aspect would feel best (least chaotic) in 2 players. But the other main issue I have with the game is that it is too "tit for tat" for my liking. In other words, if I lose out on VP's in one sector I can get about the same VP's in another sector anyway. There doesn't seem to be a harsh penalty for bad plays nor a great reward for good plays (tit for tat).

I really enjoyed the game the first few time I played, but since then the experience has become increasingly dull.
 
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