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Subject: First impressions rss

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quaoar 10
Germany
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It's a bit too early for a proper review, but here's some of my thoughts and impressions after the first play.

What I like:
- ALL components are excellent - board, cards, tiles - even the card sleeves. I like the quality graphics, which is an important aspect for me. The game simply looks and feels great. Well done Mage!
- I haven't played tile-placement-games for a while and I like that Hoyuk is reviving the genre.
- The playing time fits to the game, it's neither too long nor too short.
- All in all I enjoyed playing Hoyuk, it is a solid game - nothing completely new, but it blends known mechanics and some fresh ideas well.

What I don't like / think should be improved:
- the German rules have some issues (see my separate posting)
- for me, the catastrophes are too influential and have a kingmaker effect. In our game, one player was hit hard by the first catastrophe whereas the other players were merely affected. As a result, this player was basically left without winning chances. Sure, this player could have tried to diversify more, but due to the situation on the board it would have made no sense for him.
- I'm not sure how much "the game plays the players". You can only construct what's on the cards and which cards you get is random. One player was unlucky and never, throughout the whole game, was able to place animal meeples, which was a problem for him, since many of the other scoring categories were knocked out during the game and collecting cards in the animal-category proved to be important.
- with 5 players and all scoring categories, the board becomes really crowded and I think less strategic. Whatever you do to get majorities, it is always a gamble: The moves of the other players are usually hard to predict since there's (too?) many scoring options and you never know which option your opponents will choose. So you take an action and simply hope that the others will not also construct in the same "block". If you are lucky, you score. If you are unlucky, you don't get any cards.
- I like the element that you can use the cards in two ways and I also think that the decision when and how to play a card is crucial, allowing for some strategy. But I also think that the flow of the game is interrupted by the many rounds of "who wants to play card(s) now?".


Overall I liked playing Hoyuk and will try again soon. It is definitely a solid and well designed game. However, I think it also has some issues that will limit its number of plays in our gaming group. There's simply too many great games out there and too few gaming nights...
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quaoar 10
Germany
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Update: actually, Hoyuk did not get a second play. There simply are too many better games in my collection. So, I traded it for Five Tribes.
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Mark Williams
United Kingdom
Gosport
Hampshire
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Ha ha, that made me smile. I traded Five Tribes and got Hoyuk!
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quaoar 10
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Hehe, well, I hope we both made a got deal! ;-)
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