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Castles of Mad King Ludwig» Forums » General

Subject: This game closer to Isle of Skye or Vegas Showdown? rss

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Jeff Miller
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I've had Castles of Mad King Ludwig on my wishlist in some form since the announcement of the game. It reminded me of Vegas Showdown (a personal favorite) with a different auction method, but still a fun tile-laying puzzle the ends with a satisfying "Look what I made" feeling.

But recently I played Isle of Skye, another "acquire tiles and build something with them" game. It's a fine game but had a few things I was disappointed in... upon reflecting on those things, I'm now wondering if Castles of Mad King Ludwig would more reflect the negative points of Isle of Skye than the positive points of Vegas Showdown.

Here's some of my disappointment in Isle of Skye:

d10-1 The piecing together of my land was too straight-forward, tiles almost certainly had an optimal place that was fairly apparent. And once they were there, they were locked in, with no chance to adapt to new tiles later on through some method of rearrangement (Vegas Showdown like). All this is to say I found the tile-laying aspect of the game to be very "blah".

d10-2 Turn order really played a role in getting what you wanted. If anyone had an especially juicy tile, the person with first dibs in turn order could snag it... The auction in Vegas Showdown generally ensured everyone had a shot at the tile they wanted.

d10-3 For whatever reason, at the end of the game, I never once cared to look around the table at the "work of art" they had pieced together during the game nor was all that interested in my own. (I'm actually quite sure this wouldn't be a problem with CoMKL.)

One strength of Isle of Skye:

d10-1 The simultaneous pricing of tiles was nice, offering the most gut-wrenching decisions of the game in a fashion that limits down-time considerably. I worry these juicy decisions are still there, but done far less efficiently in CoMKL.

In summary, I'm beginning to think that the biggest strength of Castles of Mad King Ludwig (versus VS and IoS) is the wow factor of having built a castle. Beyond that, it might lean toward the negative aspects of IoS than some of the things VS does so well.

Am I missing something?

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Josh Wood
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So I feel like the game is closer to VS. Only CMKL is better.

the only negative it might have in your opinion is that someone could snag up something you want before you, but there's typically many options in CMKL that this doesn't feel painful, but typically people are also going for different things (Remember people can bid more money than you have in VS so this can still be an issue)

I prefer the master builder pricing over the simultaneous pricing in IoS because you are not forced to buy useless tiles and the money in CMKL is someone buys something you want that money you get means more than it does in IoS.

IoS and CMKL suffer from the issue that whoever you sit next to matters quite a bit. ie a poor player to your right might price something good insanely low.
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Jeff Miller
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Great info, thank you!

TheOriginalJwoo wrote:
(Remember people can bid more money than you have in VS so this can still be an issue)

I see what you're saying, though I can accept not having enough money in VS as that'd be a product of how I played up to that point rather than simply who got to pick first... if that makes sense.

Back to Castles of Mad King Ludwig...

Something that you didn't touch on is how interesting the tile laying portion of the game is. In IoS, (as stated above) it just felt like something you did and pretty straight forward at that. VS layered some nice things into the tile laying that made it both important and challenging (having the different entrances, goals of connecting sides, completing diamonds, lining up doors, completing the hotel and casino sections, spending an action to remodel... all in a confined space).

So I'm still curious which way CoMKL leans in the tile-laying category. Is it a driving force of the game or just something you do in the game?
 
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Peter Hazlewood
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mildthrill wrote:
So I'm still curious which way CoMKL leans in the tile-laying category. Is it a driving force of the game or just something you do in the game?


I haven't played either VS or Isle of Skye so can't compare. But what I can say is that the placement of tiles in CMKL is interesting to me. You may sometimes have an obvious choice, but the challenge of the game is making sure you secure maximum point bonuses, complete your rooms to earn different rewards and fit everything in your castle geared towards endgame scoring.

I found the tile placement in Suburbia pretty uninspiring, but in CMKL I do get that warm feeling about the castle I'm building.
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