Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Greentown» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Mini Review: GreentownXX A Pleasant Surprise rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am concerned that much of the negative buzz surrounding Greentown comes from a lack of context. Gunter Cornett has endeavored to create an accessible, 18xx style network game. As a long time 18xx player, I believe he has done so admirably. Of course, the stock component is out the window, but the stock game is emphasized or de-emphasized depending on which 18xx you are playing. But the heart of the building system -- touch these locations for a payout, upgrade tiles trying to get longer routes, upgrade tiles to screw with your opponents plans -- all that stuff is still here in spades. Yet, it is also in a digestible, 60 to 90 minute package.

I love the 18xx games, but I just don't have time to play them. This game will satisfying that same itch without swallowing a whole Saturday's gaming.

However, those unfamiliar with 18xx gaming -- who might be drawn in by the title, and presumption that this will be a rather light networking game may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Greentown is not light. There is serious analysis that goes into it. However, like a good 18xx, you can also do much of your analysis and planning between turns. Yes, your opponent's can mess with you (primarily by taking your trees), but this should also be part of your planning.

So, if you are playing with people who refuse to think between their actual turns, you will see some analysis paralysis here. That said, for any 18xx player, the choices will be relatively clear, and even the general configuration of the tiles will seem familiar.

I am beginning to think that Gunter mis-marketed this game. Had he presented it graphically a bit more like a conventional 18xx game, I think he would have found his target audience more easily. Furthermore, those who avoid such games would have been instantly warded off. As it stands, I am not sure the Puffing Billy crowd is aware that Greentown is really for them, while on the other hand, Gunter's fans from "Hey! That's My Fish" may be totally mystified by their recent purchase.

Well, having chanced upon it, I think this is a superb adaptation of the general features of an 18xx game. I thoroughly enjoyed my playing. I am concerned about replayability without lots of new setups and cards, but not too many games are going to get played more than 4 times in our group anyway, so perhaps that's an exaggerated danger for our group. Nevertheless, it is something that more consistent gamers may want to consider.

However, the central point of this review is this. Viewed in a vacuum, Greentown might seem too dry and too subject to the kind of downtime that only a deep networking game can bring. However, viewed as a reworking of 18xx, you will encounter a very engaging, streamlined game that hits its mark nicely. Viewed from that perspective, Greentown does everything I would ask of it, and does so in a charming, little, inexpensive package. If you are looking for Hey That My Fish II, look elsewhere, but if its a manageable 18xx you are looking for, you have found it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If his stated aim was to make a game which captures the essence of 18xx route claculations (and particularly games like 1830, where routes are rarely linear), he's succeeded admirably.

Me, I hate the whole "explosion in a spaghetti factory" that 1830 usually becomes, and particularly loathe trying to make routes out of the results, so I passed on Greentown very, very quickly.

The only point of interest (because frankly the game itslef is of no interest to me) is that this Essen say TWO games drawing heavily on different asppects of 18xx for their gameplay - Greentown's routes, and Imperial's control of countries through shares & finances.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
EGG Head
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review and good to hear. I think if I present this in the manner you suggested my group will take to the game. I'm glad it's not a total wash as I like the Bambus games generally, huge fan of Kanaloa and China gold.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peer Sylvester
Germany
Berlin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I belong to Günters Playtest group, so im naturally a bit biased.
I have to agree with Jason: Its basiccly a train game and it tends towards a riddle sometimes (That was even more true in the prototypes, with cards ranging from 6-9 instead of 5-8).
He planned to give it a train theme and I was surprised that he didnt do it in the end, because I agree with you: As train game, the target audiance would have been clearer. I dont know why he didnt pursuit his original plan - Maybe it was the cute graphics delivered from Ro Sato, maybe it was lack of time in the end (I know he always is lacking time to do what he plans to do )
The low ratings comes in some degree from the two dutch players whoe were wondering, that you couldnt do much. Like the game or not, but that statement is simply wrong. There are tons of ways of screwing the other player, especially in a two-player game. I know that at least one group of people didnt see that you can change tiles, with someone standing on them, so probably that was the problem here as well.

Im not a huge fan of Greentown myself (I think the "Counting the route"-Aspect isnt really the best part of 18xx), but I do appreciate its design. And I do think the target audiance would enjoy the game more then it would see from the ratings here.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geo
Greece
Athens
Marousi
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JasonMatthews wrote:
I am concerned about replayability without lots of new setups and cards.


I redesigned the cards in Illustrator CS2 (and changed the few German words into English) so it is very easy to create new cards.



If people need my Illustrator files for editing, let me know and i'll upload them here.

NOTE: You need a program that reads Illustrator files to edit these.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi GeoMan,

I would love to use your new English cards to help out with teaching the game. Would you be able to upload the set?

Thanks,

Simon
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geo
Greece
Athens
Marousi
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
acetate3 wrote:
Hi GeoMan,

I would love to use your new English cards to help out with teaching the game. Would you be able to upload the set?

Thanks,

Simon


I uploaded the Illustrator files and a Player Aid. I guess that they will be available in a couple of days.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Geo,

Just checked out the card files today... they are great! Thanks again for uploading them.

Cheers,

Simon
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.