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Subject: Trying to get a feel for the weight of the game rss

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The Surreptitious Fabric
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Hi,

I've watched a couple of Rahdo's videos on Inhabit the Earth but I'm still trying to figure out heavy this game really is in terms of rules explanation/gameplay complexity and if it would be suitable for my group. This is coming from an ever-changing lot for whom Shakespeare or The Manhattan Project are the heaviest games they've ever played and take a while to digest the first time around.

While the gameplay seems like a lot of fun, I understand that it's probably the strategy (and associated analysis paralysis) that might give ITE a higher weight rating, as in the case of Five Tribes (I consider that a medium weight game in terms of rule explanation/gameplay complexity but can see that long-term strategy might take it higher on BGG's scale).

Otherwise, simply for the similarly interesting theme, I'm considering suggesting Evolution to them, but the runaway leader problem with an experienced player will make it tough for an inconsistent group.

Can anyone who has tried out the game or really understood what I might've missed comment on this? Thanks!
 
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Thanasis Patsios
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I think it's one of those games where the rules are simple enough, yet what to do with them is another story. Basically, you have 3 actions to choose from.
- Breed is straightforward, it's (almost) your only way to get cards.
- Movement is, again, simple enough. It's only a matter of timing (with the exception of migration).
- The Menagerie options are the tricky ones, as these will dictate your overall strategy and at the same time, fine tune your engine. It's a combination of what you want to do, plus what your cards allow you to do, plus what the board looks like when you want to do it, plus what your opponents do.

First time players will mainly focus on their own situation, completely ignoring their opponents. I seriously doubt anyone will in practice include his opponents in his tactics until his second game (ok, maybe late in the first game).

I believe it's more thinky than Lewis & Clark and a bit more "dry" too, due to it being less thematic. Especially the fact that your menagerie can constantly change the way you score points at the end of the game can be very challenging.

I'd say it definitely requires more planning and thinking than, say Shakespeare or The Manhattan Project, but it's a lot more satisfying as well!
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alan beaumont
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Evolving Viewpoint
thodinc wrote:
Hi,

I've watched a couple of Rahdo's videos on Inhabit the Earth but I'm still trying to figure out heavy this game really is in terms of rules explanation/gameplay complexity and if it would be suitable for my group. This is coming from an ever-changing lot for whom Shakespeare or The Manhattan Project are the heaviest games they've ever played and take a while to digest the first time around.
It's pretty low complexity.

Quote:
...it's probably the strategy (and associated analysis paralysis) that might give ITE a higher weight rating...long-term strategy might take it higher on BGG's scale.
You'd better get back to us then, it's too early to say.

After 2 games I reckon it doesn't have a steep learning curve, but will rapidly become a question of who is better at exploiting the opportunities that those large decks and the board movements of rivals' animals present, rather than exercising some kind of master plan from the start.

I rate it light/medium.
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I haven't played it, but I think it's pretty hilarious that anyone would rate this Light/Medium.

After watching Rahdo's runthroughs, it's clearly a medium or medium/heavy game. This is not a subjective opinion either. It's based on BGG's available ratings.

For this game to be light/medium, than ALL games "lighter" that this have to fit in the Light category. That just doesn't make sense. Nor does it make much sense to argue that not only are there games that are significantly more complex than this, but that there are three more categories more complex than this.

The simple fact is that BGG only allows 5 "weight" categories. To put this as a 2/5 is frankly ridiculous. The real debate is clearly whether the game is "Medium" or "Medium Hard", which is where it is currently split 7 votes to 6.

The 4 people (as of this writing) who rate the game "Medium Light" are just fooling themselves and others.

*grumpy face* laugh

Edit: here's just one example using a game with a similar theme. Evolution appears to be noticeably simpler in both rules and gameplay. If ItE is Medium Light, then Evolution would probably need to be Light. So Evolution is in the same category as Dixit? Or Timeline? Or are those not games which can be rated on this scale? See my point? No, Evolution is lighter than ItE and has an appropriate rating (by most sane people) as being between Medium Light and Medium.
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David Janik-Jones
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I'd guessing from the run-throughs and rule reads and people I've chatted with who have played it, medium-heavy. It's one of those lovely deceptive games where the mechanics are pretty straightforward, but the gameplay is deeper than first glance.
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Thanasis Patsios
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I've got 4 plays in and it definitely belongs in the medium/heavy category. I can see how some - really - experienced players might categorise this as "medium", but anything with the word "light" in it, is definitely inaccurate
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Gary James
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I have played three games, each one with some new players (we were all new for the first of course!).

The rules are easy and logical to explain. The action options are straight forward. It is the tactics and game plan that take some working out - but this is a good thing, provided your group are ready for a game they can grow into and unlock over two or three games.

In one of the three games the newbie at the table won a good victory over the two of us who had played before. In the third, one newbie left his scoring drive too late and was taken by surprise by how quickly the game can end, and he finished with only 1/3rd of the points of the other players.

I find the theme quite plausible and engaging actually. I like the notion of developing a menagerie of animals and curating them over the course of the game. There is some humour to be had, such as 'I'm just inserting a few polar bear genes into this wombat to help him over those water terrain spaces...'. In our last game Steve adapted his gibbon with vampire bat attributes - a truly scary proposition.

I am not sure how to gauge the weight for you as your list of played games does not include anything I can link ITE to. I don't like overly heavy games on the whole. I think this is heavier than Ticket to Ride and Small World, but not because the rules are difficult or the gameplay complex to explain. It is the mastering of the game flow that takes some thinking about. I don't suffer with the multiple options and brain burning that Rhado describes - perhaps I play it more simplistically. I still enjoy it a lot though.

I really like it and think anyone who is used to learning new games would get the gist of it.

Gary
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alan beaumont
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Misterboy wrote:
I haven't played it, but I think it's pretty hilarious that anyone would rate this Light/Medium.
I aim to please.

The mechanics are really simple. The gameplay requires careful attention, but isn't a brainburner. So light/medium.
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misteralan wrote:
Misterboy wrote:
I haven't played it, but I think it's pretty hilarious that anyone would rate this Light/Medium.
I aim to please.

The mechanics are really simple. The gameplay requires careful attention, but isn't a brainburner. So light/medium.
Well no one can fault you for not sticking to your convictions.

Of course, that's rarely a good thing
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alan beaumont
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Misterboy wrote:
Well no one can fault you for not sticking to your convictions.
Of course, that's rarely a good thing
Well I used to play a lot of wargames. An introductory wargame would come in at medium compared to ItE and most of the even moderately complex would be off the scale if that scale is linear, which it clearly can't be.
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misteralan wrote:
Misterboy wrote:
Well no one can fault you for not sticking to your convictions.
Of course, that's rarely a good thing
Well I used to play a lot of wargames. An introductory wargame would come in at medium compared to ItE and most of the even moderately complex would be off the scale if that scale is linear, which it clearly can't be.
Right. But then you have issues with lighter games on the scale. That was the point of my post.

No matter a user's experience, the rating system has to be taken into account when rating.

I definitely appreciate that to you, this game is not terribly complex.
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Graham Charlton
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I'd rank it a Medium, probably towards the lighter end of that bucket. The rules are mostly simple but aren't particularly intuitive. Once you have your head around the basics though it's not difficult - there are no complex special cases or weird card interactions. Everything flows quite well. What little heaviness there is comes from the puzzle aspect that comes from the wide decision tree you're applying to the hand of cards.
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Derry Salewski
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misteralan wrote:
Misterboy wrote:
Well no one can fault you for not sticking to your convictions.
Of course, that's rarely a good thing
Well I used to play a lot of wargames. An introductory wargame would come in at medium compared to ItE and most of the even moderately complex would be off the scale if that scale is linear, which it clearly can't be.
It works a lot better when you rate games relative to similar games, not to every other game.
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Graham Charlton
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scifiantihero wrote:
misteralan wrote:
Misterboy wrote:
Well no one can fault you for not sticking to your convictions.
Of course, that's rarely a good thing
Well I used to play a lot of wargames. An introductory wargame would come in at medium compared to ItE and most of the even moderately complex would be off the scale if that scale is linear, which it clearly can't be.
It works a lot better when you rate games relative to similar games, not to every other game.
That makes no sense. All games are by definition Medium weight under those rules.
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The Surreptitious Fabric
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What a great discussion, everyone! Thanks for the input. It actually helps me to compare this to other games I've played as I haven't experienced all types of games out there. For my group, I'm almost sure anything a lot more complex or a lot longer than Shakespeare will never get played.

Inhabit the Earth still sounds like it's similar weight-wise, which is pretty good. While its rules don't seem too complex, I get the feeling that the game lends itself to quite a bit of downtime between turns (very likely with my group). I'll keep an eye out for this when it shows up at retail here with the hope of trying it out before buying it.

Thanks again!
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alan beaumont
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thodinc wrote:
For my group, I'm almost sure anything a lot more complex or a lot longer than Shakespeare will never get played.
By coincidence I played ItE immediately after Shakespeare last weekend. We enjoyed Shakespeare (I was last in a 3 player game), but it was Inhabit the Earth that we immediately agreed to play again.
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David G. Cox Esq.
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Misterboy wrote:
misteralan wrote:
Misterboy wrote:
I haven't played it, but I think it's pretty hilarious that anyone would rate this Light/Medium.
I aim to please.

The mechanics are really simple. The gameplay requires careful attention, but isn't a brainburner. So light/medium.
Well no one can fault you for not sticking to your convictions.

Of course, that's rarely a good thing
The rules are very simple. There are three possible actions and each one is straight-forward.

Achieving optimum results is difficult as there is a lot of information to think about with your cards as you perform those actions.

Light/medium.

This is not a brain burner. It is a beautiful little game with lots of meaningful decisions and interesting choices.

I think it is much more intuitive than Lewis & Clarke.


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Hoot McToot
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I played my first game last night with my wife - 2 player and I thrashed her soundly, although she was suffering from a cold (excuses!)

I'd say the game is medium, bordering on medium-heavy. The mechanics aren't complicated but that doesn't mean it's a light game. The heaviness comes from the complexity of managing your cards and creatures, particularly late game when you have a full series of 6 out to think about and how best to use your cards and improve your creatures.

Really enjoyed it though.

Compared to Lewis and Clark as some seem to do, I think there's a lot less mass resource building followed by sudden rush and a much more measured progress. I think the token bonuses make the stockpiling approach less appealing. A lot of my winning points came from those.

Although there wasn't much player interaction I think there was more than I'd see in 2-player L&C. You're constantly looking for opportunities to leapfrog your opponent for extra moves.
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