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Subject: Explaining this game thematically? rss

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S C
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...Or this is just slavery isn't it?

So when I taught this game to new people they started making jokes about how this was just slavery, you are giving the people away. At first I laughed but then when I thought about it I can't think of any other way this game works.

You 'order' a group of people to do some work, you trade them to a mysterious 'source' for the ability to build buildings and when you use the meeples on someone else’s place they now get to 'order' them around instead of you.

It's the last one that gets me. If it was just a work contract they would return to you when done.

Also the green meeples are clearly a cult and use sacrifices to initiate new people into their ranks. They get more efficent near the end and can get three initations from one 'sacrifice'.
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Evan Beach
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....I don't even know how to respond.

Edit: Maybe the process of going to another village to work is dangerous and they end up liking it better and just staying there?
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john guthrie
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scott3387 wrote:
...Or this is just slavery isn't it?

So when I taught this game to new people they started making jokes about how this was just slavery, you are giving the people away. At first I laughed but then when I thought about it I can't think of any other way this game works.

You 'order' a group of people to do some work, you trade them to a mysterious 'source' for the ability to build buildings and when you use the meeples on someone else’s place they now get to 'order' them around instead of you.

It's the last one that gets me. If it was just a work contract they would return to you when done.

Also the green meeples are clearly a cult and use sacrifices to initiate new people into their ranks. They get more efficent near the end and can get three initations from one 'sacrifice'.
there's a variant where you just sit there and wait for the meeples to move wherever they want to go. it takes a while though
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Eric Rampson
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scott3387 wrote:
...Or this is just slavery isn't it?

So when I taught this game to new people they started making jokes about how this was just slavery, you are giving the people away. At first I laughed but then when I thought about it I can't think of any other way this game works.

You 'order' a group of people to do some work, you trade them to a mysterious 'source' for the ability to build buildings and when you use the meeples on someone else’s place they now get to 'order' them around instead of you.

It's the last one that gets me. If it was just a work contract they would return to you when done.

Also the green meeples are clearly a cult and use sacrifices to initiate new people into their ranks. They get more efficent near the end and can get three initations from one 'sacrifice'.
Yep. This is all correct. Are there people that are confused about this?
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that Matt
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Now that I think about it, we treat all these workers and meeples in all these games like mindless automatons, forcing them to go through whatever menial labor strikes our whim. You! Go get wood! Build a fence! Find some cows! Make a child! What about choice? What about self-determination? What about FREEDOM?!

The meeples have nothing to lose but their placement. They have a world to win. WORKING MEEPLES OF ALL GAMES, UNITE!
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Evan Beach
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At least we feed them in Agricola.
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I think it's based on de facto segregation. The workers of different colors just won't work with each other.
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Jake Waltier
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I explain that the immigrants are from England, Spain, and France, and that they don't work together because they don't speak the language and have a mistrust based on the legacy of Old World rivalries. Green are culturally American and become immediately distrustful of these foreign-born immigrants. You act as the town founder and political leadership, guiding the progress of your people.
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TwentySides wrote:
I explain that the immigrants are from England, Spain, and France, and that they don't work together because they don't speak the language and have a mistrust based on the legacy of Old World rivalries. Green are culturally American and become immediately distrustful of these foreign-born immigrants. You act as the town founder and political leadership, guiding the progress of your people.
this is how i've always thought of it as well. The name Keyflower is without a doubt a reference to Mayflower. That would imply Pilgrims who were all English but my mind went the same place yours did that these were foreigners who didn't trust one another.

as for the green meeples, we differ. in our games, they simply become a defacto way to make irish jokes. things like, "why are the irish so uncommon? you can't swing a dead cat and not hit 100 of them in new england." or, "why doesn't the tavern produce green meeples?"
 
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TwentySides wrote:
I explain that the immigrants are from England, Spain, and France, and that they don't work together because they don't speak the language and have a mistrust based on the legacy of Old World rivalries. Green are culturally American and become immediately distrustful of these foreign-born immigrants. You act as the town founder and political leadership, guiding the progress of your people.
The colours aren't my issue. In Agricola you go out do some farming and come home to the wife. In keyflower you go off one day being told to mine stone on your neighbors quarry and then after a couple of months he says he now tells you what to do and orders you around. What?
 
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Colin Marsh
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scott3387 wrote:
TwentySides wrote:
I explain that the immigrants are from England, Spain, and France, and that they don't work together because they don't speak the language and have a mistrust based on the legacy of Old World rivalries. Green are culturally American and become immediately distrustful of these foreign-born immigrants. You act as the town founder and political leadership, guiding the progress of your people.
The colours aren't my issue. In Agricola you go out do some farming and come home to the wife. In keyflower you go off one day being told to mine stone on your neighbors quarry and then after a couple of months he says he now tells you what to do and orders you around. What?
obviously you can imagine it as you like but the slavery bent that you've chosen doesn't really explain the no mixing of meeple colors very well. also isn't it possible your workers go to another town to work because that's where the work is. the next day / season, they stay there since it's easier to work where you are then to travel somewhere else? each town will have occupations that are in high demand, but if the french get to corner the market that season, you may have to emigrate to find that work near by.
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ArrBeeDee Dial
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Anything can be taken the wrong way.

This same challenge was applied to Puerto Rico.

I prefer to play the game and enjoy the mechanics the developer established.

Keyflower is one of my favorite games.



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Raujour wrote:
This same challenge was applied to Puerto Rico.
I see an important difference here.

Puerto Rico is themed as an actual history of the 19th-century colonization of that island. It papers over the actual practices of the beginnings of industrial agriculture there, abstracting away and literally renaming slavery.

Keyflower is a worker placement game that uses cute meeples of different colors. It doesn't present itself as a model of any actual real-world scenario. There's no particular historical conflict that Keyflower is whitewashing. That said, I think it's still open to the general critique of the sunny colonial view of economic development and 'settling'... see Bruno Faituddi on Postcolonial Catan: http://faidutti.com/blog/?p=3780.
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Derry Salewski
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The game only last a year.

They're all still there, ready to build a new village next year.
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Alex P
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The most efficient workers are German - green. The blues are French, red English and yellow... Not sure. That's why you can't mix them, they speak different languages and/or dislike each other too much.
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grafpoo wrote:
scott3387 wrote:
...Or this is just slavery isn't it?

So when I taught this game to new people they started making jokes about how this was just slavery, you are giving the people away. At first I laughed but then when I thought about it I can't think of any other way this game works.

You 'order' a group of people to do some work, you trade them to a mysterious 'source' for the ability to build buildings and when you use the meeples on someone else’s place they now get to 'order' them around instead of you.

It's the last one that gets me. If it was just a work contract they would return to you when done.

Also the green meeples are clearly a cult and use sacrifices to initiate new people into their ranks. They get more efficent near the end and can get three initations from one 'sacrifice'.
there's a variant where you just sit there and wait for the meeples to move wherever they want to go. it takes a while though
Keyflower: The Ouija

only it knows when it's due for release

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scott3387 wrote:
TwentySides wrote:
I explain that the immigrants are from England, Spain, and France, and that they don't work together because they don't speak the language and have a mistrust based on the legacy of Old World rivalries. Green are culturally American and become immediately distrustful of these foreign-born immigrants. You act as the town founder and political leadership, guiding the progress of your people.
The colours aren't my issue. In Agricola you go out do some farming and come home to the wife. In keyflower you go off one day being told to mine stone on your neighbors quarry and then after a couple of months he says he now tells you what to do and orders you around. What?
I always thought that workers placed in another players village found work there and as such, relocated. The immigrants coming over from Europe idea makes the most thematic and mechanical sense.

The real question I believe you have is, what is the players role in all this? Are we mayors, wealthy capatalists, the collective will of villagers, a spirit of progress..? But then do players need defined roles in a game is another question. Sometimes it makes things easier but is it always necessary?
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If specific groups of immigrants coming over from Europe makes sense to you, I suppose that's a way you can think about the game. But it's as thematic as black representing the French and white representing the English in Chess.
 
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Colin Marsh wrote:


Keyflower: The Ouija

only it knows when it's due for release

Just like the next production run of Keyflower.
 
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scott3387 wrote:
So when I taught this game to new people they started making jokes about how this was just slavery, you are giving the people away. At first I laughed but then when I thought about it I can't think of any other way this game works.
...Or all players are using people from one central colony, and sending them out on single tasks. No one is getting paid, so there's no incentive to return to the original task. Why are they doing the work for free? Because it's a colony being built, they get a yearly stipend.
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tumorous wrote:
If specific groups of immigrants coming over from Europe makes sense to you, I suppose that's a way you can think about the game. But it's as thematic as black representing the French and white representing the English in Chess.
I don't think anyone was discussing depth of theme so much as its intended subject. It's called Keyflower after Mayflower which of course was a ship that brought colonists to America. Yes we can look for other angles and make the theme deeper in ways we see fit, as I may have, but in the end it's about building a colony/village in America.
 
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R3DSH1FT wrote:
tumorous wrote:
If specific groups of immigrants coming over from Europe makes sense to you, I suppose that's a way you can think about the game. But it's as thematic as black representing the French and white representing the English in Chess.
I don't think anyone was discussing depth of theme so much as its intended subject. It's called Keyflower after Mayflower which of course was a ship that brought colonists to America. Yes we can look for other angles and make the theme deeper in ways we see fit, as I may have, but in the end it's about building a colony/village in America.
No, it's not about America.

Like all the other Key games it is set in the time of the medieval land of Keydom.
It's called Keyflower because that's a cute play on words, like "Keydom" and "Keythedral." (In fact, Breese credits the "Keyflower" name to Tony Boydell.) Thematic overlay, not historical representation. I'm arguing that there is a critical difference between the two.
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tumorous wrote:
R3DSH1FT wrote:
tumorous wrote:
If specific groups of immigrants coming over from Europe makes sense to you, I suppose that's a way you can think about the game. But it's as thematic as black representing the French and white representing the English in Chess.
I don't think anyone was discussing depth of theme so much as its intended subject. It's called Keyflower after Mayflower which of course was a ship that brought colonists to America. Yes we can look for other angles and make the theme deeper in ways we see fit, as I may have, but in the end it's about building a colony/village in America.
No, it's not about America.

Like all the other Key games it is set in the time of the medieval land of Keydom.
It's called Keyflower because that's a cute play on words, like "Keydom" and "Keythedral." (In fact, Breese credits the "Keyflower" name to Tony Boydell.) Thematic overlay, not historical representation. I'm arguing that there is a critical difference between the two.
that's fine that it's medieval & a fictional land but if "Keyflower" isn't a play on words with Mayflower than calling it Keyflower doesn't make much sense. Obviously Keythedral = Cathedral & Keydom = Kingdom but what do you suppose Keyflower is other than Mayflower? Thematically it's a game about people arriving on boats and building villages. This isn't just the case with the game mechanics but with the box art as well. If the name was not in any way intended to pay homage to Mayflower than it's a heck of a coincidence.

 
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colinmarsh wrote:
tumorous wrote:
R3DSH1FT wrote:
tumorous wrote:
If specific groups of immigrants coming over from Europe makes sense to you, I suppose that's a way you can think about the game. But it's as thematic as black representing the French and white representing the English in Chess.
I don't think anyone was discussing depth of theme so much as its intended subject. It's called Keyflower after Mayflower which of course was a ship that brought colonists to America. Yes we can look for other angles and make the theme deeper in ways we see fit, as I may have, but in the end it's about building a colony/village in America.
No, it's not about America.

Like all the other Key games it is set in the time of the medieval land of Keydom.
It's called Keyflower because that's a cute play on words, like "Keydom" and "Keythedral." (In fact, Breese credits the "Keyflower" name to Tony Boydell.) Thematic overlay, not historical representation. I'm arguing that there is a critical difference between the two.
that's fine that it's medieval & a fictional land but if "Keyflower" isn't a play on words with Mayflower than calling it Keyflower doesn't make much sense. Obviously Keythedral = Cathedral & Keydom = Kingdom but what do you suppose Keyflower is other than Mayflower? Thematically it's a game about people arriving on boats and building villages. This isn't just the case with the game mechanics but with the box art as well. If the name was not in any way intended to pay homage to Mayflower than it's a heck of a coincidence.

Why can't it both pay homage to the Mayflower and be set in a fictional land at the same time? That doesn't seem to require a very big stretch of imagination.
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colinmarsh wrote:
that's fine that it's medieval & a fictional land but if "Keyflower" isn't a play on words with Mayflower than calling it Keyflower doesn't make much sense. Obviously Keythedral = Cathedral & Keydom = Kingdom but what do you suppose Keyflower is other than Mayflower? Thematically it's a game about people arriving on boats and building villages. This isn't just the case with the game mechanics but with the box art as well. If the name was not in any way intended to pay homage to Mayflower than it's a heck of a coincidence.

Yes, it's a play on Key + Mayflower. But that doesn't mean that the game is "about" the colonization of America, or any other real place.

The game of Keyflower models 17th century colonization to approximately the same degree that the following game models 18th century political struggles.

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