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Subject: Should I buy this? rss

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Eric Bridge
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I know this is a totally subjective question, but I'll try to express my concern.

I view this game as "Catan light", with a more interesting theme (at least for us it is). Catan was too heavy a game for my in-laws and son, and it took a little longer than we like too. So the idea of building a town/city and the only commodity being coins appeals to me. I also like how fast it plays, and how you are interested every turn in what others are rolling.

But I'm also concerned about possible run-away leader syndrome, and especially "solving" the game, making it the same every game. This is because the competitive side of me likes to read strategy articles and/also, thru trial and error, try various strategies to help assure victory. My wife does this as well, whereas players like my son and in-laws are just playing the games to have fun.

So I'm concerned that, eventually, my wife and I would be playing to win at all costs rather than to just have fun, and we might suck the fun out of the game for other people if they are always losing. Even worse, if the other players start adopting the same strategies as us, then the game becomes even MORE the same, doesn't it?

Anyway, sorry to ramble. Are there any other families out there that had/have this problem? Are there ways to solve this problem in the game itself, or is the best way to solve the problem NOT buying it in the first place. The last thing I need is another game collecting dust on the shelf.

Thanks for the advice.
 
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Wally Jones
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Yes. Yes you should.

But you should also get the Machi Koro: Harbor.
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montag 66
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Based on what you wrote and with my experience (me, wife, 12yo,10yo), I'd say "no", don't buy the game.

Without the expansion, it can be same-y and runaway leader happens if someone figures out the good combo's. Especially bad if playing with younger kids or newbs.

With the expansion, I find the game is just too long for what it is.
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Marco
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There are 2 ways to solve it and you should combine them together for an even better solution:
-Buy the harbor expansion.
-Use the alternative set-up variants that have been suggested on this forum.

They will make it even more a luck based-game, but I guess there are still strategies that you can use, but that do not work every time, because of the alternative set-up.

ninja'd
 
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Trevor
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montag66 wrote:
Based on what you wrote and with my experience (me, wife, 12yo,10yo), I'd say "no", don't buy the game.

Without the expansion, it can be same-y and runaway leader happens if someone figures out the good combo's. Especially bad if playing with younger kids or newbs.

With the expansion, I find the game is just too long for what it is.
It's only too long if you play without the slight variants. Since making those slight changes (max of four purple cards, don't use airport), I've never had a game go beyond ~30 minutes.

The game without the purple card variant, we started with five purples of the ten starting cards. The game took an hour and was painful.
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Eric Bridge
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Regarding run-away leader potential, are there buildings that specifically take coins/buildings from the player with the most?

In other words, is there are "catch up" mechanic other than just rolling really well?
 
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Liam
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I think it's a race game - there isn't any time to stop and enjoy the game. Fast and furious and over quickly... often too quickly.

It does what it does well but you may be looking for something different. Don't buy this thinking your getting a city or civilisation builder.

(I haven't played with the expansion.)
 
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Jordan Booth
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No, wait for Valeria: Card Kingdoms later this year.

It uses the same "catan-lite" engine, but keeps things fresh by giving each player slightly different scoring objectives and modular setup (you don't use everything in every game). There are certainly some great combos, but when those cards come up there can be a tense race for it, and whoever gets it often misses the next bomb because they spent all their resources on the first.
 
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Bill Norton
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Seymour
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Not sure how old you son is but my son loves this game. Loves it. He likes other games, but loves Machi Koro.

Bill
 
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Bryan McNeely
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Rygel wrote:
Yes. Yes you should.

But you should also get the Machi Koro: Harbor.


I will parrot this thought as well. Despite the simplicities the game seems to show, there are several paths to victory to consider. Thanks to the dice rolling being more or less communal, downtime seems non-existent.

Plus, with the Harbor expansion, the variant set-up takes the game from Dominion-like predictability to a more proper Ascension style of tableau progress. I like the variance to what is made available from game to game.

Just played it again yesterday with in-laws and it was as fun then as it was when I first got my base set at release.

My only issues come down to the differences in card sizes between base and expansion sets. Mine are terribly off, so I have to throw all the cards in the box lid, swirl them around and draw them out Bingo cage style when I'm refilling the tableau. lol

No, I'm not going to sleeve them. laugh

 
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Eric Bridge
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So if I'm going to get the expansion too, I assume I should just get the tin? Am I correct that it comes out next month?
 
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Matthew Cordeiro
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ebridge wrote:
Catan was too heavy a game for my in-laws and son, and it took a little longer than we like too.

My 5-year-old can't handle Catan, but he can definitely handle Machi Koro (with Harbor). He doesn't always make the best decisions, but he can play the game and stay engaged until the end. And it definitely plays faster than Catan.

ebridge wrote:
But I'm also concerned about possible run-away leader syndrome, and especially "solving" the game, making it the same every game.

This is a base game problem, mostly. Having all cards available leads to finding optimal combinations and "sameness" from game to game. You can use the Harbor setup where you pick 10 at random, but the base game doesn't have enough card variety to make this very different than the normal way. The Harbor expansion adds a critical mass of cards so that you can't play the game the exact same way every time, and you have to adapt to what's available.

I haven't found the runaway leader situation to be a big problem. It's hard to catch up if you fall behind, but it's not impossible. The purple cards come in handy against runaway leaders. Plus, if you have a bad game, or someone gets really favorable rolls, it'll be over quick enough to play another round.

So, my suggestion would be to get the base game and the Harbor expansion, and just start playing with the expansion from the start.
 
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Matthew Cordeiro
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ebridge wrote:
So if I'm going to get the expansion too, I assume I should just get the tin? Am I correct that it comes out next month?

You don't have to get the tin. The base game box will hold all of the cards for Harbor and Millionaire's Row, no problem. To the best of my knowledge, if you're buying the US version, the tin isn't any different than buying the base and expansion separately.
 
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Matthew Cordeiro
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ebridge wrote:
Regarding run-away leader potential, are there buildings that specifically take coins/buildings from the player with the most?

In other words, is there are "catch up" mechanic other than just rolling really well?

The purple cards do this pretty well.

TV Station lets you take 5 coins from any 1 player. Business Center lets you swap a building with another player.

In the Harbor expansion, Publisher gives you coins based on the number of buildings your opponents have, and Tax Office give you half of everyone's coins, but only if they have 10 or more.
 
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Robert Purdon

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If you think you might end up getting both expansions, then the tin is likely the cheapest way to go at this point.

I agree with other posters - at least the first expansion is pretty much a requirement, and absolutely use the expansion variant, as well as the 4 purple card variant. Sad that variants are needed as that should have been the base rules to begin with.
 
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Jared
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Machi Koro: Deluxe Edition would also hopefully ensure all original and expansion cards are the same size
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I seem to be in the minority opinion about this game, but I've played this game with expansions enough now to decide that it is really a terrible game. But if you must buy it, wait for the deluxe and save money. But in the price category, I'd encourage you to check out other games for a better shelf life. IMO
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Alejandro G.
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I think there are better choices out there when it comes to a mediocre game.

How about Munchkin Smash Up...?
 
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