Don't make me bust out the drama!!
Panda is a Werewolf. The Village wins!
Players: arkibet, ratpfink, nyriv
First of all, the screen is extremely busy. But we all knew the rules and sat down, and figured we could muddle through the interface. I had the first turn, and it took a minute to realize what I needed to do to start the game.
There was a small pop up window split into four sections. They were, on row one: a small Up Arrow and a large arrow pointing right. The second row had a small down arrow and a large X.
A pop up box appeared with my name and three fields. Under two of the fields was Ernten, the third kaufen. Okay... so I got the buy the third field, but it took me a minute to understand ernten = Harvest. Either way, the interface was waiting for me to plant 1 or 2 of my cards. This is accomplished by clicking and dragging the first card from your hand to one of your two available fields. You may, if you'd like, do it again. If you do, the dialogue box will disappear and the two cards will automatically appear.
Alas, I only wanted to plant one. So I had to discover what the next stage was. There was a small circle with two red cards and an arrow pointing to the right. It didn't look like a button, but indeed it was! Out sprang another pop up window with two cards. These must be the two beans I have to deal with! Let the trading begin!
Oh. Or let us try to trade. If you click on one of the two cards that were drawn, they appear on the top row of the small four section window... well, now six sectioned, and eight if you keep clicking on cards. By clicking on a card multiple times, a small number appears in that small box. It's tiny, but readable. If you click that card in the small sectioned area, it decreases the number.
If you click on your name, your field pop up springs to life on top of everything. Click it again to make it go away! If you click on one of the beans in your field, it appears on the second row of your little sectioned trade box. Clicking the X will cancel all cards there. Clicking on the Right Arrow does something: The whole thing suddenly appears main surface of the screen (which looks like a table). Then a sexy but in a creepy way German voice starts announcing the trade in German. All I caught was Blau Bohne. Woohoo! My first offer.
Except, the cards on the bottom row of my offer were now on the top row of my offer. I think. I'm not sure. It was really confusing.
Other people were making offers to. Now how to accept them?
Clicking on my own offer cancelled it. Ooops! I really wanted to give away that stink bean for free! Grrrr... So I clicked on someone else's offer, and this HUGE white window appeared. There was a card on the top and a darkened card on the bottom. Having no clue as to what to do, I clicked all around in hopes something would happen. I even tried right clicking, because it's been pointed out that Germans like to right click. Nothing. I finally hit ABBRECHEN, knowing that would cancel the trade.
No luck. I reached out to OldestManOnMySpace and he told me I needed to click and drag the darkened card on the bottom to the top.
So I tried again. The stink bean was darkened. I clicked on it, I tried to drag it to the Blue Bean spot. No luck. I tried draging it to the spot on the top row next to the blue bean. I told ratpfink what he's supposed to do and suddenly "FERTIG" appeared on the top row. WHAT??? I cursed my mother for forcing me to take Spanish in High School when I could have learned German.
I clicked Abbrechen again, and was too frustrated to continue. I just figured I'd plant it all and let ratpfink have a headache. I clicked on the little green up arrow, the x in the circle, and the little red down arrow to no avail. I saw a double headed arrow in a circle and decided it must be a button, because everything seems to be clickable in this game. Thankfully, it brought back my fields, and I dragged the beans to the field.
Except, I couldn't overplant. Both were 1 bean farms, so I should be able to ditch one. Ah, Ernten. Harvest. I clicked that, I harvested for zero, planted the last bean, and took a deep breath. I counted to 10 before I knew I would have to give some help to ratpfink.
I decided to check for a rules page, thinking a German rules page for this game would be better than nothing. To my surprise, English: http://www.brettspielwelt.de/Hilfe/Anleitungen/Bohnanza/?nat...
(Thanks, Kilt, Gloppy, and Melissa!)
Rat seemed to pick it up a little bit better than I did, but we were still moving awfully slow. There was an offer on the table that Rat suggested that I like. So I clicked on it to accept it. I was expecting that ginourmous white box to appear again. Instead, it made the same offer in my color. Oh no, I can't accept his, he has to accept mine. Fine, whatever.
The box appeared, and after reading the rules quickly, I realized that you have to click and drag the card *from your hand* to the white dialogue box. Then it's no longer dark. And I suspect that it shows "FERTIG" on the tradepartner's screen. HAHA!! Success! My first successful trade!! Rat and I traded some more and nyriv was kinda stuck. Having a turn has its advantages.
Onto nyriv's turn. He had the most trouble with the interface. It turns out he kept making offers with question marks in them. Red Bean for ?. Huh? How'd he do that?
Oh! You can click on the picture of the bean on the left had side of the screen. Oh! And they always appear on the bottom row. AH! That's how you do it. I could only get the bottom row to fill up if I click on a bean if I planted. I had expected the up and down arrow in the trade pop-up to toggle whether you wanted it to go to the top or bottom row. Nope. No luck. Doesn't work that way.
nyriv couldn't accept any offers, so if he saw an offer he liked, he just recreated that offer himself. Or maybe the game does that automatically. I couldn't tell if it was just his frustration or an actual interface thing. It was really hard to tell. He pretty much ended his turn in grumbles.
And so it went on. I got the interface enough and found the "bean demand tokens" to be absolutely useless. If I want to give a bean away, I can just offer it for free and it's first come first serve. I suppose if multiple people want it, then you want the right color to make the offer. But you can refuse offers, that is, if it's your turn by right clicking them. And you make your own offers disappear by right clicking. (HA! Germans *DO* like Right Clicking!)
We suffered through it, ending with ratfink for the win (with 19 I believe). Huzzah! It was over.
I don't mind interfaces... you just have to be willing to put up with them. I wasn't too thrilled with all the pop ups everywhere... especially when you're trading the two beans drawn, the white trade pop up covers most of the screen. So I had to click and drag it to get to the two cards underneath. Ah well.
So I sat down with Meistermacher and Paole.de. First thing, Meistermacher commented that I speak English and asked if I knew the game. I told him that I had played it earlier. He said something like, "My bad english cannot explain the interface." But I commented that I would be fine. So off the three of us went.
The game went considerably faster, despite the fact that I was horribly confused at times as to whether the offer on the table was me giving the soy and getting the blue, or me giving the blue and getting the soy. I really longed to see the word "Suche." But hey, the whole thing was over in 15 minutes.
One thing I noticed is that both Meistermacher and Paole.de bought the third farm as soon as they can. I thought that was bold, but because I got stuck a few times, I was forced to as well.
There wasn't much talking, except at the end Mistermacher asked if I had anything for him. So I traded a Soy for a Stink, not realizing it was the end of the game. He ended with 16 pts, but the trade made me end with 16 pts as well. A tie! Huzzah! for 15 minutes, it wasn't nearly as bad as the three clueless people.
For me, I'm not sure it's going to be common in my BSW rotation. But I'll probably try it some more to get a better feel for it.
I like Bohnanza, but I don't think I will play this very often on BSW. Negotiating through an interface just doesn't feel like Bohnanza at all.
Trading isn't well handled on BSW, I think... I love Settlers of Catan but can't stand playing it on BSW.
I think they will find they spent more time making Bohnanza than people will spend playing it. One, they did a crappy job on the graphics/UI, and two, it's not the right kind of game to play online.
There is a board game championship in germany. The finals will be played in Herne as face to face games. For the preliminary round, there are 15 local tournaments, but also the option to train and qualify by playing on BSW. Therefore, the DM games have to be implemented in BSW. Bohnanza is one of them; Fearsome Floors is another one, and will thus soon appear in BSW, too. The 3rd one, Puerto Rico, is already there. And the last one, Alhambra, has been in BSW and got removed. It will return to BSW for a few weeks, but will be removed again after the preliminaries are over in late february.
More info about the "Deutschen Mannschaftsmeisterschaft im Brettspiel":