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Subject: Help me choose between 2 workerplacement games rss

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Amir G
Sweden
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Hi all, I want to buy a new game for a gamenight with some friends tomorrow. Now I bought Stone Age a couple of months ago and everybody loved it, but we have played that game so much now that it's starting to feel a bit "samey".

So I noticed we really enjoy the workerplacement mechanism and only requirements would be:

* Plays in between 1-2h
* It must be a game that players directly in their first or second session can start seeing effective strategies and such.
* We are usually 3-4 players

The two games I have found which I'm currently choosing between is Fresco and Lancaster. Both are pretty expensive where I live so I would appreciate any advice on which one you think is better than the other or would suit my group the best.

Thanks
 
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Damien Seb. ●leoskyangel●
Malaysia
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I don't know how my input will help you out, but I'll comment on both games based on my experience.

Both games play within 90-120 mins with the full boat of players. Both games are quite obvious in the strategy route within one to two/three plays .

I've just played a five-player game of Lancaster this week (my first ever Lancaster game). It handles that many player VERY well and I love the amount of interaction with that many players. Can't say much about how the three player game would be, but I'd imagine it's better with four/five players.

Fresco however is great with both three and four player counts. When I play with non-gamers, they often described to me that the part where you need to find the right colour cubes for a tile is kind of brain-burning for them. The mixing part and collecting/finding the right colour are where they struggle the most. Nevertheless, they enjoyed the game greatly.

Since both games are expensive, maybe knowing that Fresco has three expansions included in the box could help you decide better.
 
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HenningK
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Fresco is NOT a worker placement game. That said, I prefer it to Lancaster. I especially like that it comes with 3 extra modules that you can add or leave out. With this, you can adjust the complexity and depth of the game to your own needs, and it all works very well together.

Lancaster has a rather high amount of direct conflict for a Euro game. Whether that is good or bad for your group is up to you to decide.
 
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Holger Doessing
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Persiatic wrote:
Hi all, I want to buy a new game for a gamenight with some friends tomorrow. Now I bought Stone Age a couple of months ago and everybody loved it, but we have played that game so much now that it's starting to feel a bit "samey".

So I noticed we really enjoy the workerplacement mechanism and only requirements would be:

* Plays in between 1-2h
* It must be a game that players directly in their first or second session can start seeing effective strategies and such.
* We are usually 3-4 players

The two games I have found which I'm currently choosing between is Fresco and Lancaster. Both are pretty expensive where I live so I would appreciate any advice on which one you think is better than the other or would suit my group the best.

Thanks

May I suggest you take a look at Lords of Waterdeep? It is another straightforward gateway worker placement game. I was personally very pleasantly surprised by it. I don't dig fantasy themes at all and thought the game sounded pretty dry, but the gameplay is very satisfying.

You start out with 1 or 2 slow rounds (as in Stone Age), but once you get going you'll be collecting points almost every turn, so there will be this constant race for points. Players will also secretly be garnering certain points that will be tallied at game end, so even players that are appearing to fall behind may remain in contest.

Moreover, each player receives a role card that will allow them (but not require them!) to pursue specific strategies, meaning that it feels like there's a much larger scope than in Stone Age.

Randomness comes in the form of card draws; there are no dice here.

Player interaction consists of blocking, buying/creating new action spaces for other players to use (upon paying an appropriate fee), and card play: some cards require you to take stuff from opponents, others require that you share a bonus with (a) player(s) of your choice, and some are aggressive attacks that mandates a player to spend time and resources on addressing the attack before (s)he may continue garnering further points. The latter cards are seen as vindictive by some, who simply remove the from the game for a more friendly experience.

Game length is approx. 45m-1.5 hrs, depending on the number of players. 3-4 players should take about an hour. There is also a really good expansion, so the game should stay fresh for some time.

If you can get past the veneer-thin theme there is a very good, not too heavy, worker placement game there. Highly recommended as a step up from Stone Age.
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Shelby Buttimer
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I second Lords of Waterdeep. If a forgiving WP game is what you're looking for, LoW is great for that. Even new players can catch on quickly and be competitive.

I haven't played Fresco, but I have played Lancaster and I have to say I didn't really care for it. It wasn't taught very well, so that might be part of it, but I honestly just didn't like it that much. Too random, too much direct competition, too hard to plan.
 
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Robert
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I own Lancaster and have played Fresco, too. I'm not a huge fan of worker placement games, but Lancaster and Yedo are among the most interesting ones.

I found Fresco to be a good game, but I would not want to own it.
The theme is pasted on, literally laugh.
 
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Michael F
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I'll add another vote to Lords of Waterdeep. If you pick it up and enjoy it, the expansion adds a lot of longevity.

I'd also recommend looking into Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar, which is a really unique worker placement game where timing is key.

I realize that these aren't the two you're looking at, but these are my go-to games of the genre.
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chris thatcher
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Lords of waterdeep is great.
I also love lancaster but its a step up from lords.
 
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Drew Duke
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I'm sorry. I know you did not ask, but I want to throw another game in the mix. Ninjato. We prefer it over Stone Age, Fresco, and Lords of Waterdeep. We have Lancaster but it has not made it to the table. Ninjato holds its theme pretty well and the art work is killer. (And we totally make the losers bow to the winner because of their superior honor!) It might save you a couple of bucks compared to the others, as well. Again, sorry for the unsolicited info.
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Gregg Saruwatari
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Lords of Waterdeep is good,

The Manhattan Project is better.
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Goldfinger
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Own Fresco but haven't played it yet.

+1 Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

If you are looking for other WP ideas I would recommend

Caylus
Assyria
Egizia
 
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David B
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I almost traded away Fresco, and I am glad I didn't. The game has really grown on me and I enjoy playing it quite a bit. The above comment is correct, though. Fresco is not a worker placement game; it is a simultaneous action selection game.

Lancaster is quite good, too. There is a lot of interaction and direct conflict for many of the spaces. I would not want to play Lancaster with less than 4, though. Fresco on the other hand is great with 3 or 4 and is really not too bad with 2 as long as you do not mind making moves for the dummy player.
 
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Stylianos Kalaitzis
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I would recommend neither of these 2 games you want to buy. There are better choices, most of them already mentioned.

Does it have to be a "worker placement" or do you like the building aspect? If so, have a look at the (little pricey) Terra Mystica.

If it has to be Worker placement there is always Agricola or Caverna: The Cave Farmers, which expand a little bit the worker placement with different upgrades.

All of them Pricey but worth every penny.

"Clean" worker placement with no greater mix of other other elements (and cheaper):
I could recommend Carcassonne but its too much like stone age.
There is also Village beeing more complex and different than stone age, which is quite cool.
 
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Joel Oakley
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Brandon
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Fresco is quite fun but, as others have said, not a true worker placement game. Nevertheless, I think you should consider it.

Another alternative to consider is Snowdonia, which is an extremely well designed game about building a train route to the top of the highest mountain in Wales.
 
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Josh Worley
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St Paul
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In what world is Carcassonne a worker placement game?
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Matthew Sanchez
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Just finished a game of fresco last night with my family. Highly recommended. The base box comes with three expansions and unless you are playing with young kids or very inexperienced gamers be sure to play with all three. I hear the game is dull without them. My family was easily able to pick up the rules including the expansions 1,2,3.


Joakley815 wrote:
Fresco is quite fun but, as others have said, not a true worker placement game. Nevertheless, I think you should consider it.


Totally agree here. Fresco and Dungeon lords (similar mechanic) do not work like a traditional worker placement since you are placing your workers in secret and there are advantages/disadvantages to going before/after other players. It makes for a very interesting game.


As a side note I also own Euphoria and Asking for Trobils which also have a very different "Worker Placement" mechanic where you can not block other workers. If you bump a worker it returns to their hand helping them. Great mechanic. Euphoria is medium weight but Asking for Trobils is Gateway weight.

Enough with my random comparisons. Fresco Great and not samey. Big box should be out soon and it has 11 total expansions in it to make sure it never ever gets samey. Expansions are available separate but cost more that way.
 
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Jason Edwards
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I also think Lords of Waterdeep is a much better choice.

Of the two you are officially considering I would go with Lancaster. However, I have typically not played Fresco with expansions and did find it dull. I played the other night with the Big Box and expansions were used but I don't know if the ones I used are in the base game expansions that folks above are mentioning.
 
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David B
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bioworm wrote:
I would recommend neither of these 2 games you want to buy. There are better choices


Both games are good choices. This particular poster seems to have tastes for games a bit more complex. That does not mean Fresco and Lancaster are not good choices.

bioworm wrote:
"Clean" worker placement with no greater mix of other other elements (and cheaper):
I could recommend Carcassonne but its too much like stone age.



This statement should make you a bit wary of this poster's opinion.
a) Carcassonne is not a worker placement game.

b) Carcassonne is nothing like Stone Age.
 
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Phil Keil
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I would also suggest Lords of Waterdeep or Manhattan Project. Waterdeep is good alone, but if you ever add Skull port its excellent. Manhattan Project is excellent alone.
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