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Subject: Last Spike ~ Deranged Review rss

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Grand Marshall Deranged
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Hello! Welcome to the review. Have a seat! Criticism is welcome - bitching isn't. My computer went beepbeepbeepbeep and it devoured my review! Thankfully it reloaded intact laugh.

I played this game in the FLGS yesterday, as the owner brought it from Essen and wanted to play.

I'll be giving grades on several aspects of the game, which are hopefully self explanatory .



The Game Itself: Acquire on Rails
You lay blocks on a track between St' Louis and Sacramento, along various routes through nine cities in a curiously fitting perfect diamond shape. Laying blocks costs money, buying stocks in cities costs money, city stocks pay out whenever the city gets connected to another one. Most cash wins - as is often the case .

ART
-The board and box look very nice, and the box seemed to have a sleeve of some sort but I wasn't really paying attention to that. The pieces and cards are devoid of illustration (the better to see their function). The board can be used to estimate rough costs of tile laying costs, since that cost is determined by terrain (but this is not in any way quantified except on the blocks themselves), which is a nice touch.

EASE
-The game is not very difficult to understand - explaining it whit the help of the board should take around ten minutes. Understanding what to do and why isn't all that difficult either. Winning apparently is, since Mr Shopkeeper has yet to lose to anyone :/.



FLEXIBILITY
-You get four blocks, and refill to four as necessary. The best play is usually obvious. There is some room for strategy, but it's not much. Replayability for me came mainly from a sense of pleasant frustration as I figured I was doing rather well my first game only to come in a distant third - the fourth being bankrupt through bad luck early.

FUN
-It's not fun. The opposite of Fun not being unfun but Seriousness. The game is very serious and there is not much enjoyment to be had from playing it. Satisfaction and pleasure, sure, but Fun is not the correct word.

COMPONENTS
-The board is as flimsy as it is well illustrated, the blocks are, well, blocks with stickers on'm and the cards are cards. Nothing special, but nothing to get excited about either.



Pro's
It has rails and stocks, which practically guarantees play.
The player that ends the game (by laying the tile that connects St. Louis and Sacramento) gets a 20.000 dollar bonus (20 points), which is significant.
It takes around half an hour.
There are enough options without having so much it leads to serious AP.

Con's
It has more luck than is wanted. One extra block could solve that.
There are (just about) enough choices, but you can easily end up with only bad ones.
For the serious gamer, this is a filler game. For the casual gamer, this is unappealing.
I felt like it pays to know the costs of the building blocks - I hadn't factored it in during playing.
The board's physical quality is really not as good as it should be.

End result:
It's a medium light block and stock game, where a sharp eye on your opponents and luck of the draw seems to be more important than engineering or economic savvy. I'm not sure who the target audience for this game is. I wouldn't buy this (not with my current unfulfilled wishlist), but I wouldn't mind playing it a few more times either. Perhaps it'll rise to the challenge after more plays. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt until then .

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"L'├ętat, c'est moi."
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Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
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A completely fair review.
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Adam P
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leroy43 wrote:
A completely fair review.

No. Only one play is not a fair review for either a positive or negative review. The review even states:
Quote:
Perhaps it'll rise to the challenge after more plays. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt until then

So therefore, it's an overview rather than an in-depth review. I'm fine with overviews.

I enjoyed the game. It plays fast because it has a lot of luck. Makes sense. I really enjoy trying to hang on to the final tiles that could be the last spike.
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Grand Marshall Deranged
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Two plays, back to back, and watching a third.

And yeah, that 20.000 last spike really helps !
 
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Shayne Richards
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adamredwoods wrote:
leroy43 wrote:
A completely fair review.

No. Only one play is not a fair review for either a positive or negative review. The review even states:
Quote:
Perhaps it'll rise to the challenge after more plays. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt until then

So therefore, it's an overview rather than an in-depth review. I'm fine with overviews.

I enjoyed the game. It plays fast because it has a lot of luck. Makes sense. I really enjoy trying to hang on to the final tiles that could be the last spike.


It is a fair review in that it is accurate and it contains what seems to be a fair application of honesty of opinion. I believe that is what my friend was meaning by a "Fair review".

From someone who has played it approx 20 times it is a spot on accurate review. Unfortunately the game is pretty basic so that after you play it once you can make a good review and after about 3 plays you have worked out all the possible limited strategy that it has and would qualify as a pro.

It is a light, predominantly luck based filler game that I play with my 8 year old but can't see it being something that would attract players.
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