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Subject: Aladdin's Dragons versus Ys rss

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Phillip Heaton
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Springfield
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I have seen several places that the games are very similar. I tried to find a forum like this, but had no luck. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get one of these games (maybe both eventually, after I've thined my want list some more), so the question is, which one? Please explain why you recommend one over the other, or why you would recommend that I don't get one (or both!).
 
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Philip Johnson
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Boonville
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I've been eyeing both of these for some time as well, I'd be interested to know what people have to say about them. Incidentally, if anyone is looking to trade either of these, see my trade list
 
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Alex Sorbello
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Albuquerque
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Components wise both are excellent!
AD is the better of the two IMHO. Y's is a bit heavier but has one small flaw in the endgame with experienced players.
AD can be played by a larger age and gamers vs nongamers group.
For someone who usually prefers heavier games to pick out the lighter of the two should give some reference of the quality between the two.
however AD is OOP and Y's is reprinted by RRG...
both merrit owning since they are different enough.
hope this helps a bit.
 
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フィル
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Ashfield
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I've only played AD, but from what I've read, the main differences are the bidding (in AD all bids are blind and use unique tokens numbered 1 to 9, in Ys some are blind, some are open, and the tokens are number 0 to 4 with multiples of each), and the scoring (Ys is a bit more complex and has open scoring versus AD's hidden scoring). It looks like Ys has more control / planning (due to the open bids and scoring) while AD has more bluffing / chaos. And of course there's the question of whether you can even find a copy of AD locally.
 
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Mike Frantz
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Wenatchee
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I haven't played Ys, but AD is a favorite. I'm not sure the partial blind bidding of Ys would be an improvement. The fantastic part of AD (For me) is the way you have to puzzle out each round. Decide on a main approach, coupled with a backup plan or two, and then execute with your bid tiles. There is some bluff, but a lot of it is deciding on your risk/reward tolerance for each "area" you decide to compete in. Lots of sparring with your opponents. Dang, I'm going to have to get this one to the table again, soon.
 
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Adam Deverell
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Melbourne
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I have played both and given both an 8, despite the fact I'm fairly crap at them.

Ys has the benefit of being quicker and less stressful than AD. There's often quite a bit of arguments and finger pointing in AD when you compete with others in the throne room to gain artifacts. Ys has a little more control too as you're bidding with less numbers (0-3)

AD is a tougher game, even though the game weight is roughly the same (mid complexity for a euro IMO). Requires more bluffing and thought. I think Ys is more accessible for first time players. In AD you can really cream first time players.

Overall, AD will stay at an 8 but Ys may slip - it's not quite as interesting.

They are different enough because of their scoring mechanisms to purchase both. I own AD and would consider Ys if the price was right.
 
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mrbass
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lexen wrote:
Components wise but are excellent!
however AD is OOP and Y's is reprinted by RRG...


yes but Aladdin's Dragons can be found at www.funagain.com along with San Marco also long out of print too.
 
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Kurt
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Kirkland
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I haven't played Ys, but AD is awesome. With an agressive group and the magic rules this one is wonderfully tense and usually a very tight, fun game. Don't bother playing without the magic cards, they aren't too complicated, and add some much needed powers to help keep people from running away with the game. I recommend laying them face up for bidding, allowing the winners to pick one (without letting the others know which one was chosen) and pass the left over to the second place bidder. It leaves some chaos since you don't know who has what card, doesn't leave it too chaotic as you know what cards CAN be played, and it adds a very nice tension.
 
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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Sunnyvale
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I like the Ys bits and board much more than AD.

My group played AD once and disliked it. One player got so frustrated during play that they claimed they could do just as well by bidding RANDOMLY and blindly.

He came in second.

I traded AD away within a month in an ultimate trade where I ultimately got screwed and subsequently created the Deadbeat/Slacker Traders! Geeklist.

True story. shake

I'm very apprehensive about Ys. I want to like it, but I'm worried that it will be too much like AD for me to enjoy it.
 
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Charles A. Davis
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Interesting that most people like AD over Ys. I like AD a lot but I think the Ys system of changing the price of the jewels with the jewels you buy makes it the superior game. The half blind bidding seems to work for me. I enjoy both games and would play either at any time.
 
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David Tracy
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I think you can't go wrong with either Ys or AD. Personally, I lean towards Ys, but it is a close call. I think the theme and components are better in AD, but I think Ys has a quicker pace and is just more interesting to me. Maybe it's the fact that you play one broker face up and the other face down, or maybe it's the gem market, but whatever it is, the game feels less like a straight blind bidder. There is just more to consider in Ys so I think it is a little more engaging. Again though, both are good games.

To confuse you even more, I suggest taking a look at Doge. Doge is an excellent combo of blind bidding and area control that I think is underrated.

I have placed AD on my trade list for now, but that could change.

 
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Jeff Michaud
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Longwood
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Having played both more than once I'm in the camp that prefers AD. Just make sure you play with the magic, else you might as well play Ys
 
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Dave Kudzma
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I would like to mention a few details that would be signifgant:

- Ys uses semi-blind bidding. What this means is you place two numbered bidding markers per turn, one face up and one face down. In essece, it isn't a true blind bidding game. In Aladdin's Dragons you place all markers blindly.

- In Aladdin's Dragons you are primarily turning in sets of treasures (of which there are 3 different types) to earn artifacts. In Ys, you are primarily trying to earn different colors of gems (of which there are 5 colors) for points. The ranking you fall into at the end of the game for 4 of the colors will give you points based on rank, while the 5th color, black, awards points evenly based on the total number of gems collected in that color.

- Ys only plays 4 without it's expansion (which is very worthwhile if you can get a hold of it), while Aladdin allows up to 5.

- It's my personal opinion that Ys is the much deeper game, as there is an alternate area to play tokens into that affects the rank of a particular gem you have collected. You see, in Ys, gems are ranked in value based on a scale that players have influence over during the course of the game, then players are ranked by the number of gems of that color they have. There are multiple layers of gameplay here. With Aladdin, there are action cards (Ys has them too) that can effect gameplay, but you mostly collect gems, and vie for the chance to turn them in and buy artifacts, which is how you win the game.

I hope that helps clear things up a but. I like Aladdin, because its simpler, and fun to play; but if you want a meatier game that has more layers, I say Ys is the choice.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Both games are good in their own right, but if I had to make a choice, AD it would be. Ys just gives me a splitting headache because there is no way to calculate your score quickly, let alone that of others, not to mention that you have really no idea what you need to do to hinder them. There's only general guidelines to follow, and a truckload of gut instinct. For a game in which blind bidding is an important element, this simply doesn't work as well as you would hope. AD is the simpler of the two, but in a good way: the game is more playable than Ys.
 
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Nate Sandall
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Aladdin's Dragons is a masterpiece. So many things you want, so few resources! And there is a lot of potential for really dramatic plays that leave your opponents with their mouths hanging open at how they just got whacked that is so entertaining! The game is easy to learn as it's not gratuitously complex. However the play is deliciously agonizing because you really have to make the most effective use of your resources and try to outwit and outguess the other player. And the lack of information in this regard works beautifully.

I played Ys once. It's reminiscent of Aladdin's Dragons with Basari-like scoring of the gems. The ability to manipulate gem values is a stupid zero sum game though as the one time I played, one player completely avoided trying to do that and won by just accumulating a lot of everything. Sorry, but the game just seems derivative, bland, and completely joyless and you really should try it before buying it as there will be copies around for a long time.
 
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Ilkka Holm
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Helsinki
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I haven't played AD, but I like YS a lot. The part open and part blind bidding is great and creates a very poker like experience. At first one of our players didn't see much skill in it at all, to him it seemed really random who would do well. To me, the experience was totally opposed to his. I had poker experience, he didn't. The thing is, that you need to learn how to read the game (and players) much better and it's not immediately obvious how to do it. In a quick summary:
-you need to know your opponents, their skill and character (are they willing to bluff or do they usually play safe)
-read the game and think after every move what that player is trying achive. This, of course depends the overal situation in the game (and the skill level of the player) and situation of the player.

Actually a lot of the same advice you can read from poker books can be applied to YS (and to other good games)

Definitely a great game, but like most games, it's not for everyone.


 
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