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Subject: My kind of filler rss

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Josh Wheeler
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I had the opportunity to play a couple games of Gheos the other night, and let me start with my capsule review: I look forward to many future plays.

I'll give a quick overview of components, gameplay, and then some closing thoughts.

Components
The tiles are a nice thickness, sturdy enough that with their triangular nature, you could have a low key poking fight and walk away with some impressive welts and your tiles would likely still be in pretty good shape. The illustrations are pleasing to the eye, and it is very easy to distinguish the major symbols which do play an important part in your gameplay decisions.
The civilization markers are your standard wooden gaming disc, and the citizens of each civilization are small wooden cubes of the same color. Standard fare, but a nice inclusion especially considering the lower price of this game.
So far, the only component complaint I have heard that I might be willing to support was the scoring chits. Some of my fellow gamers have suggested that it might be nicer to have a scoring track, which probably would not affect the overall portability of the game, but it would preclude the option to have hidden scoring, so perhaps that was the thought behind scoring chits vs. a track.

Gameplay
While the components are nice, this little game of warring dieties shines in the gameplay category. After I finished my first two games, my thought was, "This is just my kind of filler."
A turn is very simple. Each player has a hand of 2 tiles. On your turn, you play one of the tiles in a new location or replace an existing tile. Replacing tiles has consequences, such as seperating landmasses and causing civilizations to migrate to the new land mass that has the most wheat symbols. Another possible consequence is the joining of two or more landmasses, which could cause two distinct civilizations to go to war. The winner will be the civilization who had the most swords in their original continent. These consequence are simple to execute, and fairly easy to see, thanks to the well designed tiles.

After placing or replacing tiles, a player will then either form a new civilization or acquire a new follower in one of the existing civilizations. This dynamic is very interesting, as two dieties may feel like cooperating for some space of time, as they are both invested in the success or failure of the same culture for some time.

Lastly, a player may use one of his three scoring tokens to score any of the cultures that currently worship him. A player will receive 1 point for each cup symbol that a culture controls per citizen that the player owns.

There are also random scoring tiles labeled Epochs which will give points to all players based on the number of citizens they have on continents with pyramids. The Epochs are one other minor quibble I have all ready seen written about, and which I could understand. It is possible that multiple Epochs could be drawn consecutively and bring the game to a swift close. I think this could be mitigated by creating stacks of tiles, with each stack only containing a certain number of Epochs. However, if you want a little press-your-luck feeling in the game, just leave the Epochs randomly seeded.

One other way players can score is with tiles that have temples on them. There are three types of temples, one for each of the three main symbols on the board. When a player places a temple, he will score points for each matching symbol on the continent.

Final Thoughts
The tension created between the desire for wheat to attract citizens, sword symbols to create a strong military society, and cups to make the culture worth scoring is delightful. The game can certainly have some 'take that' play, which adds to its attraction for me. It plays very quickly, and should easily be considered a filler, but still one that has a delicious amount of depth to it. I felt like I was playing the old PC game Populous, against a much craftier opponent.

Kudos to Z-Man game for a fun new release.

Grab & Grip Ratings
Grab: 7.5
Grip: To be determined. I would like to play about 3 more times before I settled on a long term rating. Stay tuned to this space for the Grip.

Thanks for playing.
Josh Wheeler
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Nonamnon wrote:
Lastly, a player may use one of his three scoring tokens to score any of the cultures that currently worship him. A player will receive 1 point for each cup symbol that a culture controls per citizen that the player owns.


Just a clarification, when you use a scoring chit, you score for ALL civilizations in which you have followers, not just 1.
 
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Mark Crane
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Orem
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Nice review! How long does a game take?
 
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Simon Hunt
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Roseville
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craniac wrote:
Nice review! How long does a game take?

In almost all of the games I demoed at Essen and GenCon SoCal, they were within 1 or 2 minutes of 40 minutes.
 
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Josh Wheeler
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I would reaffirm Simon's assertion. In the games I have played, we were finished in the 30 to 40 minute range.

And, yes, Seth's clarification is spot on. I apologize if that was not clear in the review.
 
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Chris Bailey
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Broomfield
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GO ROCKIES!!!!!
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I really like this game. Just the right weight and length.
 
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Josh Wheeler
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Casey,

I was discussing this question with a friend the other day. It has been awhile since we played Gheos, but I think it would be pretty beginner friendly.

Thanks,

Josh
 
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