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Subject: Goa suitable as next step after gateway games? rss

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Ender Wiggins
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I'm making a reference list for BGGers about this question: What games are suitable for people who enjoy Settlers of Catan (the social aspects of the trading, the negotiation, interaction, and the civilization building and resource management), and are looking for something similar or for the next step? The criteria: * Good with 4 players * Plays in 1-2 hours * Not too much heavier than Settlers of Catan, but nothing lighter * A fun interactive experience * Not too dry/abstract.
Goa is one of the 25 games I've selected for the list.
Do you think Goa would appeal to players coming from Settlers of Catan, and why or why not? To what extent would it be a good choice for this purpose?

Here's the information I currently have on the list for Goa, which I submit for the comment and correction of people who have played the game.

-------------BEGIN LIST COMMENT-------------
BGG Weight: 3.47; Rating: 7.83; Rank: #13
Designer: Rudiger Dorn
Players: 2-4 (best with 4, good with 2-4) Just with two: Yes, good.
Cost: $31.95 Duration: 120 minutes
Complexity: Medium-heavy
Mechanics: Auction, and action development
Description: 16th century Portugal-India spice trade with resource development
Review: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/26668
Theme:
Luck:
Confrontation (Vicious factor):
Tension:
Interaction: Low
Social:
Components:
Comparisons:



What are the biggest things we’ll notice when we compare this with Settlers? Is it too heavy, complex and long for us perhaps? Is this like an abstract multi-player solitaire with little interaction?
-------------END LIST COMMENT-------------

Goa is #25 on the list (it's the heaviest!), I would ask that you please add any comments on its suitability there (although any corrections to the above information can be placed here), since that's where they'll get the highest visibility and be most beneficial to others. Hopefully the list will prove useful as a point of reference to others in the future as well, so feel free to comment on any of the other suggested possibilities on the list as well.

The Ultimate Next Step List: What should you choose after Settlers of Catan?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/17146
#25 Goa

 
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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Although it pains me to say it, I recommend against Goa. The game is of a completely different order than the luck-ridden, friendly-teasing, let's-all-be-pals-and-trade nature of Settlers. Goa is a tight auction game in 8 rounds with at least 3 actions to be taken by every player after each auction. All interaction is present in the auctions, so you must make every single one of them count, and count hard. Not only can this cause major stress in chosing a proper bid (as you can place a bid only once per auction!), they can also backfire horribly and put you out of the game quite easily. There is simply very little room for error in this game. This is, by the way, a good quality, but it also means that you must invest time to learn the intricacies. In addition, there's lots of ways to score points, and the obvious Pavlovian urge might not always be the best course of action.

Luck: low to very low. Some players use a strategy which sees them hunting through a deck of cards, but it is quite dependent on the ability of the other players to allow them to get away with it. I have never seen this strategy being used, and from what I've read is that it more or less balances out once players learn that you make them pay through the nose if they use it.

Tension: undoubtedly high. But it's good tension.

Interaction: higer than 'low', as you must get in each other's way during auctions. If you simply let everyone have what they want, the game breaks down. Goa is an auction game with additional actions; if you see it as an action game with additional auctions, or multiplayer solitaire, you'll probably dislike it.

Social: hard to say. It depends on how good auction games are received in your group.

Components: HiG / 999 / 1st Ed. RGG: flawless save for a slightly odd tray which doesn't hold the board very well. 2nd Ed. RGG: some dispute over the feel of the board and cards.

Comparisons: elements from Die Händler von Genua (auctions, mostly) and Die Fürsten von Florenz (auction / actions / own player board).

What you will notice coming from Settlers: much more complex, must steeper entry curve, much more ways to achieve your goal, completely different ways of player interaction, less progression in the sense of actually 'building' a strip of towns and roads, a LOT less luck, but a much more rewarding experience if you win this game.
 
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david landes
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oak hill
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Goa is an awesome game, but definitely not the next step for people who enjoyed a gateway game. Goa is much more of a gamer's game.
 
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Dave Eisen
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I agree. Complex rule set that takes way longer to explain than I think it should. And a bewildering array of options that can overwhelm the first time player.

I note that I don't see a similarity here between Goa's auctions and Trader of Genoa's auctions, mostly because Trader of Genoa doesn't have auctions.
 
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Mark Wilson
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Funny enough, on Saturday I introduced someone new to gaming to Alhambra... and then we followed it up with Goa. He was a pretty smart guy, caught on really quick and didn't finish in last. He seemed to enjoy it. So it worked with me as a gateway game, but keep in mind, not everybody is the same when it comes to learning.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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dkeisen wrote:
I note that I don't see a similarity here between Goa's auctions and Trader of Genoa's auctions, mostly because Trader of Genoa doesn't have auctions.

Sorry, that could have been a bit more clear. The way in which the order of auctions is established has something vaguely ToG-like.
 
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Daniel Corban
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Newmarket
Ontario
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Goa is absolutely terrible as a gateway game. Until a new player has played several times, he will have no idea how much to bid on tiles. This combined with the extremely abstract scoring makes it difficult to judge your current status during the game.
 
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