Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Arkadia» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Die Baumeister von Arkadia -- Session Report & Impressions rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Greg Schloesser
United States
Jefferson City
TN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Editor’s Note: My full review of Die Baumeister von Arkadia will appear in Counter magazine. What follows is an abbreviated version.

I was a big fan of Ravensburger’s “gamers” games, which included such titles as Tikal, Java and Mexica. Over the past several years, the company seems to have departed from these heavier games, apparently concentrating more on their family line of games. As a result, I haven’t automatically been drawn to their new releases. This year, however, Die Baumeister von Arkadia caught my attention, as it was from designer Rudiger Dorn, and it seemed to be a return to more strategy-oriented games.

In Die Baumeister von Arkadia, players represent wealthy families competing for prestige and influence as they assist in the building of the city and its massive central castle. Buildings are erected, workers are employed, the castle is constructed, and family seals are earned. The player most adept at exerting his influence at key moments will rise to the top of Arkadian society.

The rectangular board depicts a grid, with slightly over two-dozen camps scattered across the rather bland landscape. A smaller 3 x 4 mat is placed onto the board, and will be the site of the city’s castle. Ten of the twelve castle spaces depict family seals, two each of four different colors. Players aim to collect these seals and convert them into cash, which translates into influence.

Each turn, a player MUST either place a building, OR place workers. Then, he MAY trigger a scoring by surrendering one of his pennants. The ultimate idea is to surround buildings with workers, collect seals, then convert these seals into gold by triggering scoring. To score, a player surrenders one of his four pennants, and scores seals he has collected. The value of a seal is equal to the number of seals of that color that are visible in the castle when viewed from above.

The tricky aspect of scoring is deciding upon the timing, as well as choosing which seals to surrender. There is a temptation to wait, hoping to collect more seals of a particular color, or for more seals of that color to appear in the castle. However, opponents may cover those castle seals, so waiting too long can be costly.

After the second story of the castle is completed, one more turn is played. Each player then scores the remaining seals they possess, and the player with the most gold emerges as the most influential family in Arkadia, and wins the game.

The game plays rather quickly – an hour or so with four players. After a slow start, the board begins to fill with buildings and workers. This often causes several buildings to be encircled on one turn, which causes numerous castle pieces to be added. Thus, the pace of the game picks-up steam as it progresses, and the end can arrive suddenly. This quickening pace discourages players from being too conservative with their scoring pennants. I learned that lesson the hard way!

I would label Die Baumeister von Arkadia “medium-light”. There is enough here engage gamers, yet it is easy enough to learn and play to make it accessible for families. It doesn’t mark a return to “gamers” games for Ravensburger, but it is a step beyond most of the fare they have offered in recent years. For me, that is a good thing!

Gail used her pennants quickly, and I was worried that she was depleting them too swiftly. As it turned out, she was the wise one, as the game sped to a conclusion. Rhonda, Kevin and I each had a pennant remaining, which translates into lost points.

Finals: Gail 81, Kevin 74, Rhonda 64, Greg 60

Ratings: All 7s

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Die Baumeister von Arkadia -- Session Report & Impressio
For the record, leftover pennants do translate into lost points, but not because of the missed chance to score. the problem with not using your pennants is that you miss out on some workers - when triggering scoring you not only get to cash in seals if you want to, but you also get 2 more workers.

Not having these workers means not placing these workers, and not placing these workers means not getting about 2-6 seals, which means not scoring about 10-30 points.

I love this game, having played it 4 times at BGG.con, but thinking about it has got me worried about one thing - I wonder if it's always best to cash in a pennant turn 1 (and maybe turn 2 as well) in order to get more workers. Since you can sell whatever seals you want during any scoring phase or at the end, there's no good reason to sell early - unless the value happens to get up to 5 or 6. So far this hasn't been a problem though.

I wonder if Arkadia would work with a variant where you can only sell 1 color at a time. That way you'd have to be more careful about when to use the pennants. It almost seems like that was the original rule, and perhaps it was changed to make the game a little more forgiving.

- Seth
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geo
Greece
Athens
Marousi
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Die Baumeister von Arkadia -- Session Report & Impressio
I think that it depends on how your group play the game:

If players keep their seals and try to increase their price near the end of the game it may be wise to keep 1 of your pennants for the final rounds.

During our last game the value of the red seals increased to 6 during the last 2 rounds and dropped again to 2. Players with no pennants and red seals lost a lot of points.
 
 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.