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Subject: Why I do think T&E is the best game I've ever played rss

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Guillaume G.
Switzerland
Genève
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I believe T&E to be the ideal game, sitting somewhere between conquest and german mechanisms.

If you play tactical battle games (such as Risk), you'll notive that games tend to last for may too long. Units are generally numerous and fights are usually dice fests.
All the more, if you play with 3 or more persons, player eliminations tend to occur before the end of the game.
Tigris & Euphrates provides you with the benefits of territorial conquest without those drawbacks.
It allows a better pace through a subtile tile placement mechanism which replaces troops moves and offers a score system with which you can "loose a battle without loosing the war".
If we consider the conflict resolution system, through tiles in hand, it favors deduction and instinctive play, in opposition to cold calculations.
Those conflicts, which are almost "games within the game" are considered very carefully by all players because they have the bitter taste of sand for those who lose them and a wonderful flavor for those who win and for who the supremacy is revealed on the board.
With practice, you can better estimate your chances of winnong and better "read" the board and your opponents placements. T&E really develops itself through extensive play. You can improve your tactical skills and practice the art of bluffing, which sometimes allow to deal properly with a poor hand of tiles.
At last, the game materials are splendid with those large wooden leader disks at the "color" of each of the player. Between the two versions of the game (german / american), i'm entirely for the older version which distinguishes by its sobriety and the easy-to-read board and tiles.

Among the blames set on the game, there is its difficulty which makes it a proper game for experienced players only, a lack of them (regularly argued) and the luck factor (the importance of the "red" color).
If it's true that T&E cannot fit everyone's needs, the other criticisms are, to my point of view, untrue. Reiner Knizia said, on Geekspeak, that the theme of civilisation raising and falling was at the very origin of the game. It is true that the game is very much streamlined but it was made towards improving the flow of the game and keep a certain simplicity. It does not hurt the joy of playing.
At last, variety rules within the tiles in hand and statistically improbable situations do occur. Those elements provide length of play to the game. As games are played, you have to adapt to your hand as much as to the board and seek the advantages of both. All the more, monuments and treasure provide solutions to deal with the luck of the draw.

If I only had to make one statement against the game, it would be related to the turn order. As proved on the BGG interface, first persons to play have a double advantage of choosing their starting location and of being potentially able to play more than other players.
This small drawback is the price to be paid for a very good game and it is up to the players at the table to remember it and compensate favor of destiny.

thumbsup A permanent tension nurtured by doubts on conflicts solving
thumbsup A scoring system maintain suspense all throug the game
thumbsup A quality material elegant and sober
thumbsup A dynamic board, which can totally differ from one turn to another
thumbsup A german-style pace and flow of the game

thumbsdown The advantage left to the first player

P.S. I hope you'll apologize my poor english writing
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Aram Schvey
United States
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I would add that the game scales well from 2-4 players. Yes, the box says 3-4 players, but it's excellent (if a bit more intense) with two. Certainly more fun (and less intense) than a chess match.
 
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Pieter Bruring
Netherlands
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I too rate this game very highly. But, no game is perfect.

My main problem with T&E is that its very difficult to introduce it to new players. They feel overwhelmed by the complexity and after a first confusing game the will to play again is often gone. Also, the theme is too thin to keep new players involved. Of course this depends on the group. And it helps not to play a cutthroat game in the beginning

Bottom line is:
This game needs to grow on you, go easy on the newbie’s. After several plays the tactical choices are much clearer and the game will start to shine.

By the way, in the Netherlands the box states that this game is playable from 2 players and up. I can confirm that it works well!
 
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Francesc Sardà
Andorra
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Excellent review. I also follow your steps in TRIC-TRAC.

Thanks for loving E&T.meeple
 
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Mike Church
United States
New York
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Bruur wrote:
I too rate this game very highly. But, no game is perfect.

My main problem with T&E is that its very difficult to introduce it to new players. They feel overwhelmed by the complexity and after a first confusing game the will to play again is often gone. Also, the theme is too thin to keep new players involved. Of course this depends on the group. And it helps not to play a cutthroat game in the beginning


In my experience, new players want to play again about 80-85% of the time. This is a very high retrial rate for a game of any complexity. (For Ambition, I get about 65%.)

Often I give new players enough strategic tips/insights to make them competitive; it's my way of handicapping the game. I don't play for them, but I give hints ("you could really screw me if you used a catastrophe tile"). I let the game evolve naturally until I have a decisive lead, and then I help them dismantle the monster I've built. If they don't beat me (as one is "supposed", by codes of good form, to lose when teaching new players) they come close, at the least.
 
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Colonel Mustard
Canada
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Actorios wrote:
P.S. I hope you'll apologize my poor english writing[/size][/i]


Your English is excellent...far, far better than my French (which basically consists of names and words from bilingual product labels. If anyone ever asks me to pass the Corn Flakes or a pineapple...I've got it covered.)

Great review, by the way.
 
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M Hellyer
United States
Aurora
Illinois
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So far, in my limited amount of playing T&E, this is far from a "favorite" game, but I'm not a fan of abstract games. I'll give it a little more of a chance, but if it doesn't win me over soon, it's going into my re-sale box. Right now of the 60 games I've played, it ranks about 50th.
 
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Patrick Jamet
France
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Great review Guillaume.

The advantage of the first player is easy to compensate: let's restrict him to one action during the first turn. And the game is now perfect!

Pyjam.
 
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Yoki Erdtman
Sweden
Södertälje
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Good review, I'm off to read your session report, but I think I must move T&E up my want list.
 
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