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Subject: Do You Want The Truth Reviews Oddville rss

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Dustin Bartman
Canada
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Oddville


Review Date: March 25th, 2015
Ages: 10+
Players: 2-4
Time: 30-60 min
Release Date: 2012
Mechanics: Hand management, worker placement, city building
Developer: Carlo Lavezzi
Publisher: What's Your Game?




Some of the contents included.


Introduction


I'm just gonna say that thematically this game makes no sense, but stick with me cuz this will be worth it.

Welcome to the city of Oddville (well right now it is just a town square, but whatever.) Each player runs a construction company that has been hired to build the city of Oddville. Each building that can be built belongs to 1 of 4 guilds. Each time a player builds a building they will get a visit from one of the guild members who will grant a special power to the player. The game is part worker placement, part city building, and part hand management. Somehow it all comes together to create a surprisingly deep and memorable game. This game is difficult to explain, so sorry if I confuse you here.

Game Components


64 Coin/Building Cards: These cards have two roles in the game. On one side is the image of a coin, if this side is face up then the card is worth 1 coin. On the flip side is a building and a lot of information. The top left of the card tells you how many points the building is worth at the end of the game. The top right of the card first tells you which guild the building belongs to and then what bonus you will get for building it. The cost to construct the building is noted along the bottom of the card.


The Building on the left gives a bonus 3 points at the end of
the game for every building adjacent to it. The building on the right
gives 1 point plus 1 for every building in the same column.


1 Main Square Card: This is Oddville. And buildings must be built off of this card. It is important to note that no cards may be played in the rows above this card.

16 Worker Cards(4 of each color): Each player will have 4 workers of various skill. These workers can be used to collect coins, gather resources, or purchase building blueprints. These 4 cards make up a players hand.


Workers organized from worst to best.


36 Worker Meeples(9 of each color): These are used to represent workers who are out gathering resources and to mark which buildings you built.

1 Resource Board: This double-sided board shows the 4 resources (wood, clay, stone, crystal) that can be gathered. The cost to gather a resource increases as more workers are assigned to gather that particular resource. One side of the board is used for a 2-player game and the flip side is used for a 3 or 4-player game. More resource slots are available on the 3 and 4-player side. This board was the only thing in the box that I was disappointed with. It is very small and made of very thin cardboard.


The resource board in action.


12 Character Cards: These are the guild members that will come and help you out if you build one of their buildings. Their special power is shown on the right side of the card along with the guild that they belong to and the points they are worth if they are still with you at the end of the game.


Some of the characters that might help you out.


Rulebook: 6-page rulebook that skims over the rules and thankfully explains what all of the symbols on the cards mean. You will need this next to you whenever you play.

Box: Very simple box that will hold everything in place if it is stored horizontally. Does not travel well.

Setup


Player Setup: Each player chooses a color and takes the 9 meeples and the 4 worker cards of the chosen color.

Table Setup: Place the main square card in the middle of the table. Your city will be expanding down and out so leave plenty of space. Place the resource board out where everyone can reach it and with the proper side up. Shuffle the coin deck and place it in a pile with the coin side up. Flip over the top 6 and place them in a row next to the coin deck. These 6 cards represent the building blueprints that are available to purchase. Sort the character cards by clan and form a stack for each clan with the character side up.

Starting Resource: Each player will get to choose 1 free resource to start with. Choose a first player. Starting with the last player and going counter-clockwise everyone will put a meeple on a chosen resource on the board. Each player has to choose a different resource and their meeple should be placed in the section with 2 coins depicted.


The table at the start of a game.


Gameplay


Turns in Oddville are very quick. Each player will take 1 of 4 actions and then play will proceed to their left. Once a player places their 6th meeple into the city the game will immediately end. The 4 possible actions are:

Action 1 - Build A Building: A player may build a building in Oddville if that player owns the blueprints to a building, has the resources to build the building, and there is a valid place in the city to build the building. Lets say a building costs 1 wood and 1 stone to build. As long as the player has a meeple on a wood and stone section of the resource board then they have the resources to build the building. Those two meeples are removed from the resource board and the building is now paid for. If a player has more than 1 meeple on a needed resource then the one on the cheapest slot is removed.

When placing a building you must pay attention to the roads and the houses at the top, bottom, left, and right of the card. Houses must be played adjacent to houses and roads must be played adjacent to roads. Each card played must be adjacent to an existing card, and remember that nothing can be built North of the town square. Many buildings will score at the end of the game based on the buildings that surround it, so pay careful attention to that when placing buildings.


Can you spot the 3 mistakes?


The player then places one of their meeples on the building to indicate that they own it. If the building belongs to a guild they take the top available character card from the corresponding guild pile. The player may now use this characters special power. If the guild pile is empty then all players must return all characters of that guild. The cards are shuffled and placed in a pile and the active player then draws one.

The bonus listed in the top right of the card can now be taken. These bonuses usually let you place another meeple on the resource board for free or move a meeple from one resource to another. The player also gets to take the bonus of any card adjacent to the one they just played and directly connected with a road. These bonuses can be taken in any order.

Action 2 - Obtain Coins: A player can play one of the worker cards from their hand and obtain as many coin cards as depicted on the card. The coin cards are taken from the deck and kept coin side up. A player may only have 5 coins at any point.

Action 3 - Buy Blueprint: A player can play one of the worker cards to obtain 1 of the available blueprints. The cheapest blueprints will be on the left and the more expensive ones will be on the right. The cost of the blueprint is depicted on the worker card played. Green cards are free, red cards must be payed for. Skilled workers will get better discounts on blueprints. Coins used to pay for blueprints go to the top of the coin deck. Whenever a blueprint is taken the rest shift to the left and a new building blueprint is revealed. The purchased blueprint is placed in front of the player building side up and may be built on their next turn.

Action 4 - Collect Resources: Play a worker card to obtain a resource depicted on the played card. Place a meeple on an empty slot on the corresponding resource on the board and pay any associated coin cost. There is no limit to the number of meeples that can be on the 2-coin slot of a resource. All other slots can only have 1 meeple.

Important Things To Remember: At any time a player can remove a meeple from the resource board and put it back into their supply. This is not an action. At any point a player may pick up all played worker cards and return them to their hand. This will cost 1 coin for every card in their hand before the pick up occurs. This also does not count as an action. Players may only have 5 coins in front of them and 2 blueprints at any given time.

Scoring: Once a player adds their 6th meeple to the city the game ends. Players will add up the points scored by all of their owned buildings as well as any character cards in front of them. Each meeple on the resource board counts as 1 point. The player with the most points is the winner.

Strategies That Work For Me


Pay Attention To Building Bonus: Many buildings will give you a free resource bonus after they are built. This is pretty much a free turn that you are getting for building them and this is a huge advantage. If you can have it connected by a road and adjacent to another building that offers a free resource then you are getting two free turns. Your goal is to get 6 meeples out on the city ASAP. Free resources will help speed this process up.

Pay Attention To Building Victory Points: Many buildings will score at the end based on how many buildings are surrounding it or how many buildings are in the same row or column. Pay careful attention to this. If you build a building that scores for every building that is adjacent to it then you better make sure that that building is surrounded by the end of the game.

Be A Resource Blocker: It is usually a good idea to build a building as soon as you can afford it, however there are times when it is ok to be a jerk. As soon as you build a building you will free up spots on the resource board. It might be beneficial to waste a few turns buying blueprints or collecting coins so that your opponents will have to pay more for the resources that you are blocking.

The Truth


Way Too Much Going On: I was shocked at how deep and 'thinky' this game was. The rulebook was basically a 6-page pamphlet and I was expecting a filler game. Don't get me wrong, I love a game like this for myself, but with so much going on it is very very hard to teach to new players. Trying to explain why you should go with building A over building B can be very difficult because there is so much to consider. Can they legally be placed in the city? Do you have the resources to build them? What building bonus do they offer? How do they score at the end of the game and will they score well if you place them in a legal spot? What guild do they belong to and do you want that characters bonus?

This game may look like it is geared towards a casual gamer, but don't be fooled. A lot of players will be lost the first time that they play it and this can be a big turn off.

Too Many Symbols: There are symbols on the building cards depicting the bonus that you get when you build them and another symbol that tells you how the building scores at the end of the game. These symbols take a little bit of time to learn and if you are playing with new players expect a lot of questions about the symbols. While learning the game play with the rules close by as you will need to refer to the symbol guide frequently. Symbol reference sheets should have been included with the game for each player.

Each character card has a symbol on it showing the bonus that they provide. These were very hard to figure out and they should have been replaced with text as there was plenty of room on the card.

No Score Tracker: This is personal taste, but I like to know my score as the game is happening not just at the end. I like to see how I am doing in relation to others and know if I should change my strategy during the game.

When I am playing a game where the score is calculated at the end I find the actual game less thrilling and suspenseful. The only suspense is when the scores are all added up at the end.

There were several times where I played Oddville and I was about to place my 6th meeple and end the game, but I was unsure if it was the right move. I had to sit there and try to figure out how many points myself and my opponents had and judge if I could win by placing the last meeple. To me that isn't something I want to be doing while playing a game.

So once again this is my personal preference but I like games where there is a score tracker and your score is calculated after you make a move. And yes I realize that this would be difficult to do with a lot of the buildings and the way they score.

The Resource Board: Seriously this has got to be made of the thinnest cardboard on the planet. I would have gladly paid an extra $5 for this game if it came with a larger better quality board.

The Beautiful


Small, Cheap, And Quick: There is a whole lot of game in a small box. The game has so many layers and there are a whole lot of things that you need to consider when taking a turn. I haven't played a lot of $20 games with this kind of thinking involved. Games also play quick especially with 2 players.

Mechanics All Work Well Together: Hand management, town building and worker placement all blend together to create a surprisingly good game. Once you learn the rules you will be slapping down worker cards, constructing buildings, and claiming resources without giving it a second thought.

Different Character Card Powers: Each character has a unique power that they can give you if you build one of their guilds buildings. Their powers vary greatly making for quite a lot of variety when playing. Use their powers while you can as the character can be taken away from you when you least expect it.

Colorful Artwork: The city that you end up building is filled with bright colorful buildings and unique characters. The way that the roads and houses line up on the building cards makes it very easy to tell what can be built legally.

Overall Score: 7/10


Oddville is not really what you expect it to be and I think that is the games biggest problem. People expecting a light filler game will be impressed with the cartoony graphics and short playtime but may be turned off by the amount of heavy gaming that is involved. People looking for a deep strategy game will be impressed with the possibilities of what can be done in a turn but will not be too happy with the games very simple presentation.

At the end of the day I had fun with the game, but it didn't do anything new. It definitely isn't for everyone, but if you are looking for something quick to play that requires a lot of thinking and no dice then I would strongly recommend Oddville.

You can find more of my reviews at www.doyouwantthetruth.ca
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Mark Wilson
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I looked at your website. Keep up the hard work!
 
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Sebastian Frostie
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Hey Dustin, I really like the way you present in your review.
I saw that your website is still under development, but hey that's a start!
Kudos for you bro!

(Edit 1: Oh by the way, "do you want the truth" is a brilliant name in my opinion lol.)

(Edit 2: Oh and Dustin, I took a look at your website on other reviews as well, well done so far! On my browser, I saw that the descriptions under your pictures are aligned to the left instead of centered, also they are inside a box somehow, just wondering if that is intentional? If so then it's all good!)

(Edit 3: To add to "Edit 2", I'm thinking, if you were wishing to distinguish the description texts from the rest of the post, maybe using smaller font (maybe 10?) in italics will also do the job. Well, at the end it's all up to your style after all! So please don't feel pressured or anything! I like your website very much and just wanted to provide some opinions.)
 
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Dustin Bartman
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Thanks for all the great feedback. I am still trying to decide on the layout of the site. Hopefully I'll have everything finalized in time for an official site launch on international tabletop day.

I'm finding it hard to sit down and work on the site cuz I have a huge stack of games that I want to play.

Thanks.
 
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Phil Triest
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Being a person who enjoys the meatier side of gaming OddVille is my type of filler. Bye bye to all the lighter stuff. This will enter my current staple of The Speicherstadt and Expedition: Northwest Passage as my go to fillers. Your review strengthened my already self-convinced notion that buying this was a masterstroke.
 
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Christine Doiron
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Great review but I didn't find this game difficult to either learn or teach. There is quite a lot going on once you get into it but the turns are very simple. You either play a character card and do something on it or you build a building. It takes a play through to grasp the surprising depth of strategy but play itself is pretty simple.
 
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Mark Wilson
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Nice review. I've done a lot of thinking on how to teach this, and I think I have it down fairly well. But it wasn't easy, and presented one of the more obtuse teaching challenges I've faced. The theme doesn't provide an easy way into the mechanics, and there's a lot of fiddly stuff going on that can seem random until you've played it a few times.

Only parts I disagree with are point tracker (I kinda like not knowing for this one), and while I agree about the resource board, my preference is to use the PnP card version of the resource board, so that the game is more portable as a stack of cards and bag of meeples.

All that said, my gf and I really enjoy this as a 2P game and, once taught, it's cool in groups too. Thanks for the writeup on this, though! It's thorough and interesting to read.
 
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Quote:
Way Too Much Going On: I was shocked at how deep and 'thinky' this game was. The rulebook was basically a 6-page pamphlet and I was expecting a filler game. Don't get me wrong, I love a game like this for myself, but with so much going on it is very very hard to teach to new players. Trying to explain why you should go with building A over building B can be very difficult because there is so much to consider. Can they legally be placed in the city? Do you have the resources to build them? What building bonus do they offer? How do they score at the end of the game and will they score well if you place them in a legal spot? What guild do they belong to and do you want that characters bonus?


Disagree on this one completely. It's easy to teach the game. Yeah, this game is thinky. Yeah, it isn't so easy to learn the strategy in the first game but then you should say it's very hard to teach strategy... But the game itself has very simple rules. Why should I try to explain that person why building A is better than building B? Let him discover! I can even help him throughout the game but not teach before the game...
 
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