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Subject: power grid, alien frontiers or chaos in the old world rss

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slaw x.
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Hi folks, I'm trying to choose a game of these only three and it's difficult especially that I haven't played them yet.

We like to play Coup, Avalon, Cosmic Encounter with "party gamers".

And we like to play Settlers of Catan, maybe El Grande (alhough in German language it seems dry) with "Euro gamers".
I also have Keyflower, and Puerto Rico but haven't played them yet.

Imperial was too heavy and counter intuitive for us. And Struggle of Empires although very, very interesting was too long, and also heavy.

I disliked Steam, and Pandemic because of no negative interaction at all.

Which of these three games would you choose for party or euro gamers?

Alien Frontiers ed4 with Factions ed2 (if they match altogether?) seems smoewhat interesting but I'm afraid the game is mostly about rolling dice, as in the poker - dice game, and also people says it's AP prone.

Chaos in the old world with the expansion would be good for party gamers but seems too similar to El Grande, and I'm not sure about the dice fighting. I like dices in Settlers or SOE, but it seems differnt story to me. Also Battlestar seems very interesting here, but really seems heavy ang long.

Power Grid would be OK for euro gamers, with lots of interaction as I like but it seems not a very multilevel game like the game was too straightforward to me/ to simple mechanic and could be repetitive, couldn't it be? Terra Mystica looks more complex, but too complex and not much of an interraction which I dislike.


Can you help me with this dilemma?

Kind regards,
Slawek

 
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Chris
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No interaction in Steam? Indirectly there's loads... you move MY yellow cube, I'll get you back after the game's over.

As for Pandemic though... it's a pure co-op! why would you want to cripple your colleagues?

Chaos is good, esp with a maximum player count. Worth acknowledging that it's a euro with combat, despite what it looks like. it's NOT an ameritrash romp of a game, so may well be more appealing to the euro people instead of the party gamers.

Power grid has a LOT of maps (Not as many as Steam... ahem...) but the variety is certainly there. You might also want to check the brand new Deluxe version which is refreshed significantly and isn't just more expensive components etc.
 
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slaw x.
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In Steam we have never fought too much as there was always plenty of cubes available.

Well, Pandemic is kind of a family game so neither my party friends nor euro gamers were never really satisfied about playing this. For me it was funny sometimes.

Chaos is an euro game similar , maybe too similar to El Grande, but I thought I could possible play this instead of Cosmic Encounter, or Avalon from time to time. It is very thematic.

Power Grid looks nice the deluxe edition but its expensive.

And what about Alien Frontiers?
 
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David B
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slawas2001 wrote:
In Steam we have never fought too much as there was always plenty of cubes available.




You are not playing Steam correctly. The fight for territory and cubes should be bloody.

But regarding your question, Power Grid is the best of the bunch you are considering. And it ain't close.
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Chris
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slawas2001 wrote:
In Steam we have never fought too much as there was always plenty of cubes available.
different maps with different player counts does affect this a lot tbh, I try to keep at the high end of the player count for the map I choose.


Quote:
And what about Alien Frontiers?


Not played it myself, but I can say that it inherits a lot from Kingsburg mechanically. But that in turn has been more fully revamped and re-implemented in Kingsport Festival, with Chthulu and all that fashionable gubbins. All get great reviews in general.
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chris thatcher
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Alien frontiers is great. But its very "take that" (we like that, other groups dont). I wouldnt bother with the expansion tho, base game is better imo (altho i am waiting on next expansion).

As for Steam, im surprised, it normally comes down to stealing others cubes.

May i also suggest a good worker placement with interaction. Lancaster
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Samo Oleami
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For "party gamers" stick with Cosmic Encounter. Seriously.
Also get some fluffy stuff like King of Tokyo, Condottiere, Survive: Escape from Atlantis!. Maybe even Small World (which is less fluffy).

If Steam wasn't satisfactory, then avoid Power Grid as well. PG has a much better theme implementation and makes more sense, but if indirect interaction isn't your thing, might as well skip it.

I haven't played Alien Frontiers yet, because people playing always complained that it really drags. For simple area control I'd recommend Small World or Mission Red Planet (I think it would be ideal for this group, but I think we're still waiting for an announced reprint).

Chaos in the Old World is a great great game. With a hefty rulebook. And lots of text on cards. And plays exactly four. Or exactly five with the expansion. It's on the heavier scale of things I like. And it's best if the same group of people play it again and again. We can do two games per session easily. But if complexity is a problem, it might be too heavy (?). Can't comment on the dice, without them the game would be too easy for Khorne, and it's just one facet off the game anyway. It strikes me weird that somebody playing Cosmic Encounter would complain about dice. (and ask about Alien Frontiers... que?). Anyway if you don't like dice, get Small World.

Regarding El grande comparison - El Grande sucks . For me El Grande feels like 20 year old game, which it is. Theme makes no sense, you have to auction for turn order, adjacency doesn't matter except in really weird ways - in CitOW adjacency matters, theme makes sense and turn order is fixed! Not that El Grande is so terrible, but each time I've played it, I was wishing I was playing citow. But take this with a grain of salt.

As far Imperial goes - shame! It's not heavy, I can explain rules in 10 minutes. True, understanding what to do with them is "counter intuitive" if you expect a combat oriented game. Which Imperial isn't - it's a stock market game and behaves similar to other stock market games.

What else:
Cyclades? Auctions, fighting, nicely chaotic, some building of things, pretty simple. And. Has. Dice. For. Combat. Though a bit different than in other games.

Terror in Meeple City That's where the party is.

Galaxy Trucker Party in space!

Quantum Relatively simple DoaM game in space. And uses dice in very clever ways. Might be a problem with AP prone players.




For euro gamers.
Power Grid might work for them. For its complexity it's pretty simple to explain and grasp the game play.
Small world might work as well.
Tigris & Euphrates! - it has area control (kinda), it has theme (if you can look beyond need for eyecandy), it has great interaction, emergent partnerships, a bit of chaos. Absolutely recommended. It takes a couple of plays to grasp (!!!), but it's a relatively short game.
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chris thatcher
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Quote:
Regarding El grande comparison - El Grande sucks


No, it really dosent. Its elegant, smooth and brilliant. Certainly better than Chaos in the old world.
 
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J M
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My experience with Alien Frontiers was very negative. Didn't roll a double for two hours, and so never got more dice to use. I looked up this issue later on BGG, and found the solutions boiled down to "give everyone else two-three free turns then start your game. Provided you know what every card is in the deck before you play." The end-game is really the middle-end game and an unbearable slog.

Chaos in the Old World needs exactly four players,; no more, no less. If that's a factor for any decision.
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Samo Oleami
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Tariff wrote:
Quote:
Regarding El grande comparison - El Grande sucks


No, it really dosent. Its elegant, smooth and brilliant.

laugh

Honey, I've caught a fish. I dunno, wasn't even fishing, I just put an empty hook in the water...
You really should resist better.

Anyhow, I've argued about it before, check if you must: initial argument, detailed argument.
Yes CitOW fixes all the issues I have with El Grande and makes gameplay smoother and with less AP. But that's me.
 
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H C
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If you're a primary euro gamer, I would expect you to like PG the most.

Its mathly, calculation based, high interaction between players, and pretty versatile.
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slaw x.
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Chaos seems more thematic than El Grande and this actually might be a bit of an advantage. Both have a good amount of interaction which I like. They both look similar, too similar to have both of them probably. I'd choose CITOW if I didn't have El Grande as it's newer and seems more "interesting" visually.

I think the choice is rather between Lancaster and Power Grid, the first one seems more interesting to me (the knights, fights, interaction, voting etc.) and the Power Grid has something to it that puts me off -probably the visual design, or it's just too simple for me to graps? Or, maybe it reminds me of Monopoly? I dont know what it is, but I've played it once and it was a very good game, with lots of interaction especially at the end when we tried to block the winner, and the person who actually won was the one that was really quiet, and behind Maybe it gets samey after a few plays?? What do you think?

Still can't make up my mind, can anybody make any comments about these two games - especially Lancaster?
 
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chris thatcher
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Lancaster is my fave Worker Placement game. Its very interactive because you can displace the other knights, the laws also add some spice. It plays very smooth and dosent take too long. If you want more complexity add Lancaster: Henry V – The Power of the King and i also love the Lancaster: Reward Tiles mini expansion.

Quote:
Honey, I've caught a fish. I dunno, wasn't even fishing, I just put an empty hook in the water...


You wasnt paying attention...the maggot was on your rod and it was dangling in the water.. whistle

Quote:
Yes CitOW fixes all the issues I have with El Grande and makes gameplay smoother and with less AP. But that's me.


El-Grande can be taught in like 5 mins. The concept is super easy to grasp. Chaos has the usual FFG chrome overhead, lots of cards to read, dials to understand, and then theres the interactions you have to know otherwise Khorn will win. No contest as to which is the smoother, more balanced game. Also, visually, i love the way El Grande looks. Chaos is a love or hate theme with a board that hinders play.

If i want to play that kind of fantasy doods on the map type game id rather play Kemet or Cyclades. Both are just better balanced and more fun than Chaos. But El Grande is a different beast.

Quote:
My experience with Alien Frontiers was very negative. Didn't roll a double for two hours, and so never got more dice to use.


There are plenty of Alien Techs that alter the die rolls.
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Samo Oleami
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slawas2001 wrote:
Chaos seems more thematic than El Grande and this actually might be a bit of an advantage. Both have a good amount of interaction which I like. They both look similar, too similar to have both of them probably. I'd choose CITOW if I didn't have El Grande as it's newer and seems more "interesting" visually.


While I do prefer one over the other, the vibe is very different because of symmetry (El Grande) VS asymmetric (CitOW). CitOW is meant to be played repeatedly with the same group, because players need to learn how to keep each other in check. And roles are very defined in the base game - one Chaos God does this and everybody should be aware of it (I was told expansion adds more freedom in this sense). And because of this the focus is on the balance of power between the four Gods - you're playing the other players. El Grande is probably easier to pick up for new players or to play once in a while.


slawas2001 wrote:
I think the choice is rather between Lancaster and Power Grid, the first one seems more interesting to me (the knights, fights, interaction, voting etc.) and the Power Grid has something to it that puts me off -probably the visual design, or it's just too simple for me to graps? Or, maybe it reminds me of Monopoly? I dont know what it is, but I've played it once and it was a very good game, with lots of interaction especially at the end when we tried to block the winner, and the person who actually won was the one that was really quiet, and behind Maybe it gets samey after a few plays?? What do you think?


I don't like the visuals of Power Grid, if I'd buy it now, I'd get the Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America version. Looks nice for my taste in aesthetics. Power Grid has many things going on - blocking, grabbing resources (it's good to fuel your plant(s) by something that people aren't competing for), knowing for which plants to go for. And most of all: turn order. It's gamey, but a lot of dynamic is centred around the turn order. And of course: bidding. As replayability goes, I've never encountered this problem - you never play with all the regions on the map anyhow. And there are many extra maps to chose from - for the most interesting change the rules in certain aspects (I own China/Korea, Japan/Russia also seems interesting).

Also the place to stop the leader isn't on the board (I think blocking is more important in the early game) - it's in the auction and especially on the resource market (I've won one game from behind as the leader bought the plant he couldn't buy resources for it).

Actually I prefer Fleet to Power Grid. The structure of the game is similar - everybody has one turn with auctions first, followed by actions. But it's much shorter. (45 min)

Lancaster felt to me pretty mediocre. It looks nice, plays very smoothly, but it's a spread sheet thingy about getting most points as many other euros are nowadays (if I can trust my comment after my only play). I'd actually recommend Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery over it (not sure it it's still available, and visuals are a bit old). AoE III is also a mish-mash of different euro mechanics, but seemed more dynamic to me.

My take on it is: Lancaster is more pleasant, smooth, nice looking. Power Grid looks crude, has some ruff edges (play order track), but can be far more tenser and interesting. But that's me - I love games where it's not about points, but money you have at the end (partially in PG) and you have to watch how much money can you afford to spend. Especially in auctions.
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Samo Oleami
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Sorry Slaw for upsurping the thread, I'll try to be brief.
Tariff wrote:
You wasnt paying attention...the maggot was on your rod and it was dangling in the water.. whistle


But what a catch for one maggot!

I agree:
- CitOW is to be played repeatedly with the same group to get the most out of it and not a good pick if this can't be achieved.
- El Grande is more balanced because of it's symmetric design. But I prefer players to balance the game, not the other way around.
- Both boards are too brown for me.

I have a group where we've played CitOW, Kemet and Cyclades and it was CitOW that got the most unanimously good response. Waiting to try Titans expansion to see if we can get something more out of Cyclades.

Disagree on claims of smoother gameplay, but this is not a place to discuss it. I suggest a link to a geeklist I provided in my previous post.
 
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chris thatcher
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Quote:
Titans expansion to see if we can get something more out of Cyclades.


The Hades expansion is very good. Cyclades is one of my 10's, just love it, but i personally have no interest in Titans because it uses a different board plus it just makes it more combat orientated, and i have Kemet for that. (cant wait for Kemet expansion tho!)
 
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David B
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sgosaric wrote:
slawas2001 wrote:
Chaos seems more thematic than El Grande and this actually might be a bit of an advantage. Both have a good amount of interaction which I like. They both look similar, too similar to have both of them probably. I'd choose CITOW if I didn't have El Grande as it's newer and seems more "interesting" visually.


While I do prefer one over the other, the vibe is very different because of symmetry (El Grande) VS asymmetric (CitOW). CitOW is meant to be played repeatedly with the same group, because players need to learn how to keep each other in check. And roles are very defined in the base game - one Chaos God does this and everybody should be aware of it (I was told expansion adds more freedom in this sense). And because of this the focus is on the balance of power between the four Gods - you're playing the other players. El Grande is probably easier to pick up for new players or to play once in a while.


slawas2001 wrote:
I think the choice is rather between Lancaster and Power Grid, the first one seems more interesting to me (the knights, fights, interaction, voting etc.) and the Power Grid has something to it that puts me off -probably the visual design, or it's just too simple for me to graps? Or, maybe it reminds me of Monopoly? I dont know what it is, but I've played it once and it was a very good game, with lots of interaction especially at the end when we tried to block the winner, and the person who actually won was the one that was really quiet, and behind Maybe it gets samey after a few plays?? What do you think?


I don't like the visuals of Power Grid, if I'd buy it now, I'd get the Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America version. Looks nice for my taste in aesthetics. Power Grid has many things going on - blocking, grabbing resources (it's good to fuel your plant(s) by something that people aren't competing for), knowing for which plants to go for. And most of all: turn order. It's gamey, but a lot of dynamic is centred around the turn order. And of course: bidding. As replayability goes, I've never encountered this problem - you never play with all the regions on the map anyhow. And there are many extra maps to chose from - for the most interesting change the rules in certain aspects (I own China/Korea, Japan/Russia also seems interesting).

Also the place to stop the leader isn't on the board (I think blocking is more important in the early game) - it's in the auction and especially on the resource market (I've won one game from behind as the leader bought the plant he couldn't buy resources for it).

Actually I prefer Fleet to Power Grid. The structure of the game is similar - everybody has one turn with auctions first, followed by actions. But it's much shorter. (45 min)

Lancaster felt to me pretty mediocre. It looks nice, plays very smoothly, but it's a spread sheet thingy about getting most points as many other euros are nowadays (if I can trust my comment after my only play). I'd actually recommend Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery over it (not sure it it's still available, and visuals are a bit old). AoE III is also a mish-mash of different euro mechanics, but seemed more dynamic to me.

My take on it is: Lancaster is more pleasant, smooth, nice looking. Power Grid looks crude, has some ruff edges (play order track), but can be far more tenser and interesting. But that's me - I love games where it's not about points, but money you have at the end (partially in PG) and you have to watch how much money can you afford to spend. Especially in auctions.


This is a superb post that points out several reasons why Power Grid is and will continue to be one of the best euro's ever made. Lancaster was ok, but Power Grid has far better potential to keep your interest for a long while. I don't quite agree Fleet is better, though. The interaction in Power Grid continues far beyond the auction. In Fleet, the interaction pretty much stops at the auction. I also see more instances in Fleet than in Power Grid where the available licenses are all good but not good enough that anyone is willing to pay more than face value. So it ends up being more of a draft than an auction. That CAN happen in Power Grid, too, but not as often.

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Samo Oleami
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pfctsqr wrote:
This is a superb post that points out several reasons why Power Grid is and will continue to be one of the best euro's ever made.

Whoa, David agrees with me. laugh

pfctsqr wrote:
I don't quite agree Fleet is better, though.

For repeated plays and serious competition I see your point. For a less serious occasional player like me, shorter = better (scratch same itch and all that). If a group will play the game seriously and repeatedly, yes, PG.
 
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