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Subject: Impressions after initial play through rss

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This was part of my 15 in 15 Challenge. Wasn't sure how/if linking directly to that post is possible/allowed so I thought I'd repost the review here.



REVIEW: When first looking at the game and reading through the rules this looks like a fairly complex game. There are A LOT of parts and it takes up a fairly sizable chunk of table real estate. As I mentioned above "I foresee many mistakes in the first run through". However, we started by watching the "How to Play" video (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/video/56934 ) which covered most of the basics. From there we were able to dig right in and it all just sort of clicked almost immediately. (We did have to restart after getting through the first year though because we realized we forgot to add the secondary market board... my fault blush.) We had to check the rule book for a couple of things as the game went on, but it is a pretty straight forward game. That's what I meant by "it looks more complex than it plays" comment above. I imagine after a couple more plays it is going to take longer to setup the game than it will to explain it.

However the simplicity in play does not by any means mean it is a simple game. With all the variations in tactics (which beers to brew and when, which people to hire, when to bring on a second shift, which buildings to add, which research track [if any] to pursue) no two games are going to be the same. It is hard to say whether something will become obvious in the long run, but after an initial play through it looks like there will be many paths to victory and no one strategy will be a guaranteed win. There were a few observations made that we'll have to see how they work out in the long run...

- I found myself getting bogged down for most of the second year trying to get the ingredients for a specific batch, whereas the other players were generally just pumping out what beers they could w/ the ingredients they could get. I lost

- One of the players got a combination of employees that gave an extra malt whenever a malt was taken and an extra hops whenever 2 or more ingredients were taken (or something like that, don't have the cards in front of my right now). That turned out to be a pretty powerful combination. There were some other pretty good combos that came up too, but that was a early one that really seemed to help that person... that person came in second though

- Maybe somewhat contradictory to what I said above about many paths to victory, but having the 2nd shift (or even the 3rd) seems like a really good idea fairly early in the game. We'll have to play it a couple more times to see if it is a "requirement" to winning though. The person who got the 2nd shift earliest won though since the extra brew actions gave more options at that phase in the game.

- No one seemed to have any money issues. Not sure if that is typical or we were just able to get the right combination of things going. By the last winter we all had operating costs about $10 and everyone was able to make it.

Overall though a really enjoyable game that everyone at the table liked. This will definitely be a keeper that I look forward to playing more in the future.
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Don Barree
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We've found that the person with the most brewery improvements has won. We haven't played enough games to make any definitive statement about that yet but it seems to be an important part of the game.
 
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Craig McRoberts
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dbarree wrote:
We've found that the person with the most brewery improvements has won. We haven't played enough games to make any definitive statement about that yet but it seems to be an important part of the game.


Along those lines, in my experience, the Brewpub seems to be one of the more important improvements. Cutting out the extra brewing step at the potential cost of some of the improvements for the main system seems to be a valid strategy.
 
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Barry Miller
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And don't forget to use those additional shifts to also conduct research as often as you can. Some of those End Game Research benefits are worthwhile!

But you're right... this game can yield a hundred posts on this thread with a hundred different strategies.
Sort of like Dr. Oz coming up with a different way each day of the week on how to improve your health (my wife watches his show)... the possibilities are endless and sometimes get in the way of each other. Getting all that part figured it is one of the reasons this is a FUN game!



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Kyle S.
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imprimis5 wrote:
dbarree wrote:
We've found that the person with the most brewery improvements has won. We haven't played enough games to make any definitive statement about that yet but it seems to be an important part of the game.


Along those lines, in my experience, the Brewpub seems to be one of the more important improvements. Cutting out the extra brewing step at the potential cost of some of the improvements for the main system seems to be a valid strategy.


Unless you are going for extra points from Oak Barrels since they don't work in the Brewpub. Getting the 2nd brewing chain works better if you focus on the Barrels. Although anytime I try and get this strategy to work I just never can manage to gain enough resources to make that 2nd brew line effective. Still trying to find out how to make that work.

Brewpub + hops infuser is really good though. Add in a farm in the first season and you have a very solid path to winning.
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Craig McRoberts
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Bigfoote wrote:
imprimis5 wrote:
dbarree wrote:
We've found that the person with the most brewery improvements has won. We haven't played enough games to make any definitive statement about that yet but it seems to be an important part of the game.


Along those lines, in my experience, the Brewpub seems to be one of the more important improvements. Cutting out the extra brewing step at the potential cost of some of the improvements for the main system seems to be a valid strategy.


Unless you are going for extra points from Oak Barrels since they don't work in the Brewpub. Getting the 2nd brewing chain works better if you focus on the Barrels. Although anytime I try and get this strategy to work I just never can manage to gain enough resources to make that 2nd brew line effective. Still trying to find out how to make that work.

Brewpub + hops infuser is really good though. Add in a farm in the first season and you have a very solid path to winning.


Perhaps we can find a copy at PAX East and play...
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Kyle S.
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imprimis5 wrote:


Perhaps we can find a copy at PAX East and play...


YUP
 
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Dice Hate Me
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imprimis5 wrote:
Bigfoote wrote:
imprimis5 wrote:
dbarree wrote:
We've found that the person with the most brewery improvements has won. We haven't played enough games to make any definitive statement about that yet but it seems to be an important part of the game.


Along those lines, in my experience, the Brewpub seems to be one of the more important improvements. Cutting out the extra brewing step at the potential cost of some of the improvements for the main system seems to be a valid strategy.


Unless you are going for extra points from Oak Barrels since they don't work in the Brewpub. Getting the 2nd brewing chain works better if you focus on the Barrels. Although anytime I try and get this strategy to work I just never can manage to gain enough resources to make that 2nd brew line effective. Still trying to find out how to make that work.

Brewpub + hops infuser is really good though. Add in a farm in the first season and you have a very solid path to winning.


Perhaps we can find a copy at PAX East and play...


Perhaps.
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