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Subject: So1KS Gaming presents Taco's Take on Viceroy rss

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Josh Eisbrenner
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Edition: 2015 Mayday Games
# of players 1-4
Playtime: 60 minutes or less

Viceroy is a board game from Yuri Zhuravlev and released in North America by Mayday Games. Players are trying to recruit various characters and enact laws to become most powerful in Laar and become the Viceroy!

Components

I was very pleased with the quality of the components for Viceroy. Box is very solid and reminds me of the sturdiness of game boxes such as viticulture, Xia and Euphoria. The box will hold up to travel and fits in my backpack nicely. The cards are made of a very solid card stock and the art is absolutely outstanding. Each character has different art and does not distract from the game icons on the cards. All tokens are cardboard and so far have held up to many plays. I had no issues punching out the tokens which is always nice as I hate when the cardboard rips when punching them out. My only complaint is that I wish a baggie or some sort of storage was included for the tokens and cards. This is just a pet peeve of mine.


Rulebook

Rulebook is 12 pages long with many colorful illustrations. The Rulebook was organized very well and was easy to understand. In my opinion anyone can pick up this rulebook and understand the game in under 10 minutes. This also made teaching the game very easy to do for gamers and non gamers.


Gameplay

Viceroy is divided into two phases, the auction phase and the development phase. During the auction phase consists of bidding a gem of the appropriate color and claiming that character card if no one bid the same color. I had 2 games were someone else kept bidding the same color as I did. If this happens you bid again and hopefully you both bid different colors, if not then you try a third time and if that fails you both pass and receive some gems. The real strategy comes in the development phase when you are taking character and law cards to form your pyramid. Depending on which level you place cards impacts what you get from the cards, but it also costs more the higher you go up. There are many different ways to get points and through my plays no one strategy seemed to always win. Each game the score was very close at the end, which I enjoy rather than feeling of running away with a game.


Final Thoughts

I love Viceroy. It reminds me of great games such as 7 wonders and splendor. Viceroy was easy to teach and learn. Everyone that played felt confident playing going into round one. There are times when lack of cards and resources make you feel like the game is slowing down but you learn how to work around that with further game plays. Even though Viceroy is easy to learn, there are some deep strategies in building your pyramid to get the most out of every card. This is currently my game of 2015 and the majority of those playing with me agreed.


Score 9.2 out of 10

Pros:
Art/component quality
Solid gameplay
Ease of teaching and learning
Group interaction but also allowed for conversations to be had
Gamer and non-gamers enjoyed this game


Cons:
Some turns feel pointless when you are lacking gems or cards
Storage. Minor pet peeve as I am one to have my components organized
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birchbeer
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How were you able to get your copy already? Mine is evidently still on a slow boat from China.
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Hisala Mander
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I thought baggies were being included
 
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Josh Eisbrenner
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bamonson wrote:
How were you able to get your copy already? Mine is evidently still on a slow boat from China.


This is a review copy. I hope you get yours very soon, you won't be disappointed.
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Josh Eisbrenner
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Please let me know what you like and dislike about the review so that I may improve in the future.

If you liked this review please follow us on Twitter @So1KS.
 
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Reddish22
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tacojje wrote:
Please let me know what you like and dislike about the review so that I may improve in the future.

If you liked this review please follow us on Twitter @So1KS.


People usually like a longer conclusion section. At least for me, that's the most interesting part.
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Sergio Macias
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Solid review, thanks for sharing.

reddish22 wrote:
tacojje wrote:
Please let me know what you like and dislike about the review so that I may improve in the future.

If you liked this review please follow us on Twitter @So1KS.


People usually like a longer conclusion section. At least for me, that's the most interesting part.


I agree. Most of the times when reading a review I jump straight to the final thoughts ^^
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Josh Eisbrenner
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Thanks I will keep that in mind when I write reviews.
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Yaron Davidson
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tacojje wrote:
Please let me know what you like and dislike about the review so that I may improve in the future.

Some more specific points beyond the generic more/longer final thoughts:

1. It can help to state when a game is a review copy, unless you know for sure that the review copy is identical to retail.
This is less important in cases like this when what you have to say about the components is good (since it's probably not the case that retail components will be better) but still worth mentioning because there may be variations (either further improvements re adding baggies, or something else) so readers should know what they get might be different.
Beyond that the component section was clear and to the point.

2. While of course the main point of a review is the review part, it's usually helpful to give the readers a clear understanding of how the game works.
You did provide some in the gameplay section, but while the description of the auction phase did give a rough sense of how it will play (though it wasn't clear if the gem color pick is a completely arbitrary just-guess-something-different of if there's more there), the description of the development phase left me completely mystified (what pyramid? what are the differences between characters and law cards? what sort of things do cards give you and what sort of strategies do you use? are there any decisions to be made beyond a per card pay-more-to-get-more? ... ).

3. You mention that Viceroy reminds you of Splendor and 7 Wonders, but it's not clear in what way. Unless it's related to the following sentences, so it reminds you of them by being easy to teach/learn/understand?
But it's also currently listed on BGG as taking about twice as long to play (though of course if that's wrong then it may just need more feedback as it's still very new and unavailable). That raises the question of how does it compare to them in terms of complexity and depth (where I think 7 Wonders is above Splendor), and in terms of length?
And if it really is roughly twice as long, what do you get from it that justify this?


Or, basically when reading this review I did get a good impression of what you think about the game, but I didn't get a good impression what playing the game would feel like and what will be involved in it, and I didn't get enough specifics on why you feel like you feel about the game and why so strongly (9.2 is a very high rating not just a good rating). Both of which are what would have helped me form my own opinion about the game.

Beyond the issues above regarding the components/gameplay/final-thoughts sections they were fine, as were the rule book section, and the pros/cons list.
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Josh Eisbrenner
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yarondav wrote:
tacojje wrote:
Please let me know what you like and dislike about the review so that I may improve in the future.

Some more specific points beyond the generic more/longer final thoughts:

1. It can help to state when a game is a review copy, unless you know for sure that the review copy is identical to retail.
This is less important in cases like this when what you have to say about the components is good (since it's probably not the case that retail components will be better) but still worth mentioning because there may be variations (either further improvements re adding baggies, or something else) so readers should know what they get might be different.
Beyond that the component section was clear and to the point.

2. While of course the main point of a review is the review part, it's usually helpful to give the readers a clear understanding of how the game works.
You did provide some in the gameplay section, but while the description of the auction phase did give a rough sense of how it will play (though it wasn't clear if the gem color pick is a completely arbitrary just-guess-something-different of if there's more there), the description of the development phase left me completely mystified (what pyramid? what are the differences between characters and law cards? what sort of things do cards give you and what sort of strategies do you use? are there any decisions to be made beyond a per card pay-more-to-get-more? ... ).

3. You mention that Viceroy reminds you of Splendor and 7 Wonders, but it's not clear in what way. Unless it's related to the following sentences, so it reminds you of them by being easy to teach/learn/understand?
But it's also currently listed on BGG as taking about twice as long to play (though of course if that's wrong then it may just need more feedback as it's still very new and unavailable). That raises the question of how does it compare to them in terms of complexity and depth (where I think 7 Wonders is above Splendor), and in terms of length?
And if it really is roughly twice as long, what do you get from it that justify this?


Or, basically when reading this review I did get a good impression of what you think about the game, but I didn't get a good impression what playing the game would feel like and what will be involved in it, and I didn't get enough specifics on why you feel like you feel about the game and why so strongly (9.2 is a very high rating not just a good rating). Both of which are what would have helped me form my own opinion about the game.

Beyond the issues above regarding the components/gameplay/final-thoughts sections they were fine, as were the rule book section, and the pros/cons list.


Thank you for all your input. I tried to summarize the gameplay but should have explained in more detail. I had cut a lot of detail out because I was worried that my review would be too long.

Now to answer some of your questions.
1) in the game you are taking the character and law cards and forming a pyramid in front of you. Depending on what level you place that card affects its cost (character cards only) and what benefit you will get from the card.

During the auction phase 4 character cards will be put out under 4 color gem cards. When bidding you match the color gem you bid with the card that is under that certain card.

Some benefits of playing character cards include power point tokens (victory points), gain gems, gain 1 of 4 tokens (shield,sword,scroll,science) each of which does something different, infinity gem which allows you to use that color once without paying the cost each round, draw character or law cards, and tokens that give power point bonuses for completed gems or tokens.

Cards have quarters of gems in both upper corners and half a gem on the bottom, this adds an additional way to get points by matching colors to complete gems. This gives no bonus, only points. It is not necessary to match colors when building the pyramid but it is nice to get the points.

Law cards are special cards you play for free and have different effects to include point bonuses at the end, gems, tokens, or changing card locations


2) how it compares to splendor- one is the obvious gem theme, but also how you have to pay different amounts of gems to play/take cards. The use of infinity gems is very much like when you control cards in splendor and they have a gem you can use to buy cards. It also in my opinion is similar in length and set up time.

How it compares to 7 wonders- the pyramid building with character cards feels a lot like playing cards in 7 wonders. A lot of the different strategies are the same as 7 wonders. (Ex: sword tokens and military, scroll,shield,science tokens reminds me of the science cards in 7 wonders and has a similar scoring feel). Big difference is I feel Viceroy you need to have a more balanced strategy while 7 wonders you seem to go more all out in one certain path.

3) reasoning for 9.2- it was rated high for many reasons. I feel it acts like a gateway game but also has enough strategy that even the most hardcore gamer will enjoy it. I have played this over 15 times now and I still look forward to it hitting the table. It's theme is something that no one has issues with, unlike horror or some magic themes that turn off some of my friends. The component quality was very good. Only way to improve would have been to use real gems in my opinion. The run time which was about an hour is a perfect runtime for a game like this. I enjoy how it combined auction and also a development building similar to Alhambra. It seems to take parts of games I really like and put them together successfully. It's a game I would recommend to anyone. Viceroy is a game that I do not see me ever turning down a chance to play.


Hope that helps clear things up a little bit. Sorry if parts don't make sense I am sick today but really want to try to respond to any questions or feedback.
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Jeremy P
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tacojje wrote:
Please let me know what you like and dislike about the review so that I may improve in the future.

If you liked this review please follow us on Twitter @So1KS.


My question is how you came up with a 9.2? I'd like more transparency surrounding that very specific score. Are you using the BGG rating scale in that you feel this is an "Excellent game. Always want to play it." +.2? OR did you consider different different values (components, theme, mechanics, replayability) and add them or average together to get to a 9.2? OR was it just a from the gut, "this game is a 9.2"? You kind of further expanded on why you feel you gave it a high score in the comment above, but I'm still not clear on why it's a 9.2, not a 9.0, 9.1, 9.3, 9.4, or 9.5?
 
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Yaron Davidson
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tacojje wrote:
Hope that helps clear things up a little bit. Sorry if parts don't make sense I am sick today but really want to try to respond to any questions or feedback.


Yes, thank you, much clearer for me. And certainly the sort of thing that would make a review more useful and valuable.

And feel better, that's more important.
 
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Josh Eisbrenner
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Wisecow wrote:
tacojje wrote:
Please let me know what you like and dislike about the review so that I may improve in the future.

If you liked this review please follow us on Twitter @So1KS.


My question is how you came up with a 9.2? I'd like more transparency surrounding that very specific score. Are you using the BGG rating scale in that you feel this is an "Excellent game. Always want to play it." +.2? OR did you consider different different values (components, theme, mechanics, replayability) and add them or average together to get to a 9.2? OR was it just a from the gut, "this game is a 9.2"? You kind of further expanded on why you feel you gave it a high score in the comment above, but I'm still not clear on why it's a 9.2, not a 9.0, 9.1, 9.3, 9.4, or 9.5?


Great question. I try to follow BGG's scale but also add variables in mu score. It was around 8.75 for gameplay. I do think it is an excellent game. I added .1s for differenta things that stood out, like the ease of teaching, the art, how I feel anyone will enjoy and understand playing this game. As isaid earlier, right now if someone asked me what game to play, this game isone i would mention to bring out and play. So with those variables and i admit i am new to giving games scores, both played factors in my 9.2 rating.

I may not have explained the score as best as I could (will work on that in future reviews), but at this moment with the amount of plays (17) I feel very comfortable about the 9.2. I do update my ratings periodically in my collection, ratings do change with times and more experience in rating.

What I hope is that everyone gives this game a try. As a board gamer I really enjoy it and it was no where on my radar till a little before origins when I started doing research.

Hope that answers your question. Thank you for bringing out that I really need to explain how I reach a certain score. I hope you enjoy this game as much as I do and will check out my future reviews and see (hopefully) progress in my writing.

Sorry if formatting is screwy, I am typing this on my cell at doctors office.
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Peter Schott
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Josh, not bad for a first review and I appreciate your take on it. As others noted, I like reading the conclusion more than the gameplay and knowing how/why you arrived at those concluding thoughts. Also, when you get a copy for review you really should note that. If this is for US consumption, I'm pretty sure that disclosure is needed to comply with the laws around what is given to reviewers. Generally a quick disclaimer such as "I got a copy for review. The thoughts are my own." is enough.

And assuming this is the full production copy, some pictures would be nice to see as well to further entice those of us waiting for our copy to arrive in the US.
 
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Josh Eisbrenner
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paschott wrote:
Josh, not bad for a first review and I appreciate your take on it. As others noted, I like reading the conclusion more than the gameplay and knowing how/why you arrived at those concluding thoughts. Also, when you get a copy for review you really should note that. If this is for US consumption, I'm pretty sure that disclosure is needed to comply with the laws around what is given to reviewers. Generally a quick disclaimer such as "I got a copy for review. The thoughts are my own." is enough.

And assuming this is the full production copy, some pictures would be nice to see as well to further entice those of us waiting for our copy to arrive in the US.


Thanks for the feedback. I am definitely seeing I need to make the conclusion bigger. I tried to submit some pics but I am a horrible photographer. I will try and get some this coming weekend with some help. I have eessential tremors so my pics tend to be shaky. I have never gotten a review copy before so wasnt sure how to handle it. I didnt initially want to say a review copy because it was truly my opinion alnog with thoughts from other So1ks members. Now I know for the future, though it will be awhile before I ever see a review copy again.

Thank you.

Josh "Taco"
@So1ks
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Good job. Nice to hear from another reviewer with essential tremor. I understand your photo woes.
 
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Peter Schott
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Don't worry too much about the pics, though you could possibly get a cheap tripod if you plan to do more reviews. It would have been nice to have, but you concentrated on your opinion. My reviews tend to be all text if I get around to them so no worries.

I did want to encourage you to keep going, even if you just review games in your collection or ones you play. The notice about getting a copy was just FYI because there was a law passed a couple years ago about that sort of thing to indicate that there was some form of compensation, even if just a review copy.

I'm still curious about the final bits, but mainly because I sprang for the add ons for a little extra being this time around. Sounds like your copy just had the tokens but that they worked well and the game played well with your group.

Keep on writing up your reviews and thanks for sharing thoughts on this game.
 
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Josh Eisbrenner
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paschott wrote:
Don't worry too much about the pics, though you could possibly get a cheap tripod if you plan to do more reviews. It would have been nice to have, but you concentrated on your opinion. My reviews tend to be all text if I get around to them so no worries.

I did want to encourage you to keep going, even if you just review games in your collection or ones you play. The notice about getting a copy was just FYI because there was a law passed a couple years ago about that sort of thing to indicate that there was some form of compensation, even if just a review copy.

I'm still curious about the final bits, but mainly because I sprang for the add ons for a little extra being this time around. Sounds like your copy just had the tokens but that they worked well and the game played well with your group.

Keep on writing up your reviews and thanks for sharing thoughts on this game.


Thank you. I plan on doing more reviews from my copies of games. I am glad you told me about that law. Hoping to get input on which games I should review next. I will probably do a geek list or something to figure it out. Also I will be at gen con so that will be fun and will try to do previews and pics to put up on Twitter.
 
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