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Subject: Heavy Cardboard takes on FCM rss

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Edward Uhler
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Link to Heavy Cardboard - Episode 35: Food Chain Magnate

Food Chain Magnate. Joris and Jeroen talked about it during our interview. We got hyped up for the game. Finally, it arrived. Finally, we played it. Did it live up to the hype? Absofreakinglutely!


0:53:51 – Featured Review:Food Chain Magnate


Enjoy and I'm sure there will be plenty to discuss.
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Fabrice Dubois
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I have listen to it yesterday evening.

Great job guys.

You have said that you can't decide to go for burgers before the set up of the game. I would also agree but i think that it is not the case for the first recruitment. No ? I think that it is possible to say, "well, this time i want to run a small, cheap and flexible organization in rake (Executive Vice President with Errand Boys, Kitchen Trainees, Waitresses....)".

I didn't figure out that a Local/Regional Manager could be used as a defensive way -- to open a restaurant with waitresses in the same tile than a competitor in order to be able to deliver first. devil
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Thibaut Palfer-Sollier
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Nice talk.

Some milestones are indeed enlarging the decision space.
The "First To Train" milestone is a prime example : impossible to start the game by recruiting a Trainer without this milestone.
 
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Scott Nelson
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Did one of you play the intro game, or just dive into the deep end?
 
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Edward Uhler
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ropearoni4 wrote:
Did one of you play the intro game, or just dive into the deep end?
No one in our group has played the intro game. We are of the mind that you can play the first 3-4 rounds of the regular game to see how the mechanics work, then restart and have at it.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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eapeas wrote:
ropearoni4 wrote:
Did one of you play the intro game, or just dive into the deep end?
No one in our group has played the intro game. We are of the mind that you can play the first 3-4 rounds of the regular game to see how the mechanics work, then restart and have at it.
Honestly it's faster to do that with the intro game. The intro game is easier to understand and you don't have to finish it.
 
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Edward Uhler
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jschlickbernd wrote:
eapeas wrote:
ropearoni4 wrote:
Did one of you play the intro game, or just dive into the deep end?
No one in our group has played the intro game. We are of the mind that you can play the first 3-4 rounds of the regular game to see how the mechanics work, then restart and have at it.
Honestly it's faster to do that with the intro game. The intro game is easier to understand and you don't have to finish it.
Correct me if I'm wrong (no rules in front of me), but was it no milestones nor/or no paying employees? Those are far too vital to the game that you need to see how they work to ignore. But if it works for some folks, absolutely go for it. thumbsupthumbsup
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Bruno Valerio
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eapeas wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong (no rules in front of me), but was it no milestones nor/or no paying employees? Those are far too vital to the game that you need to see how they work to ignore. But if it works for some folks, absolutely go for it. thumbsupthumbsup
Yeah those were my concerns reading the rules... The introductory rules leave to much important stuff out...
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Zachary Homrighaus
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I enjoyed the review and like how you break down your reviews. I agree with whichever of you felt that the milestones expanded the decision space and that without them, the players would likely go down one of a few paths (at least to start).

I suppose until someone plays a few games without milestones, we won't know, but it creates a situation where players have different "powers" and asymmetry that is much more interesting that everyone being identical. Lot's of games build this into the starting characters or board positions, but here you get to choose how you want to start the game and which powers you want to acquire. I think that's amazing and don't understand how that doesn't expand the decision space vs. a completely symmetrical game.
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Zachary Homrighaus
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Oblivion wrote:
eapeas wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong (no rules in front of me), but was it no milestones nor/or no paying employees? Those are far too vital to the game that you need to see how they work to ignore. But if it works for some folks, absolutely go for it. thumbsupthumbsup
Yeah those were my concerns reading the rules... The introductory rules leave to much important stuff out...
I agree... that is my struggle. I'm planning to introduce my group to this soon and think I'm either going with a 3 turn intro game followed by full on or just expand the rules explanation and then start a real game. I feel like learning the basics (recruiting employees, training, setting your org, marketing, when campaigns run, fulfilling demand, range for campaigns and drink pick up, etc.) is good, but the milestones and paying salaries are so key to the actual game that it seems hard to start without them.

Now that I've made that list of "basic" stuff, I'm kind of convincing myself that there is value in that quick intro game... just play 3-4 rounds so that everything has been done once and then go back to start in earnest.
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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eapeas wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
eapeas wrote:
ropearoni4 wrote:
Did one of you play the intro game, or just dive into the deep end?
No one in our group has played the intro game. We are of the mind that you can play the first 3-4 rounds of the regular game to see how the mechanics work, then restart and have at it.
Honestly it's faster to do that with the intro game. The intro game is easier to understand and you don't have to finish it.
Correct me if I'm wrong (no rules in front of me), but was it no milestones nor/or no paying employees? Those are far too vital to the game that you need to see how they work to ignore. But if it works for some folks, absolutely go for it. thumbsupthumbsup
Remember you are trying to learn the rules, not how to play the game . Throwing in the milestones and salaries is not a big deal on your real try. The intro game is to show how the game works, that's all. We have yet to finish an intro game but that's not the point either.

The problem (and maybe this is not for every group) with starting with the full rules and then wanting to stop and start over is that some players may feel frustrated if they 'got' the game and have to start over again. When you play the intro game, it's obviously not the full game and no one has any issue with stopping and starting over.
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Kent
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I will trust the designers on this one. They didn't create the intro game in a vacuum, after all! Unless I am playing with experienced players, I can see how the intro game will make playing a first game faster and easier to get a sense of the core mechanics down.
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Scott Nelson
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I guess I am the only person who has played the intro the whole way through, two player mind you, 1 hour game - a little more time added checking over the milestones and the changes that are on offer for the full game, after the game was over. Having only a few hours to play, we were not going to dive into the full game to be left unfinished. So, the verdict on the intro game. Without the milestones and paying salaries, one can work on dealing with the business tree end of things. I guess it would be like playing and losing out on all of the milestones - a losing move there.

The only problem I saw with the intro game is that it is too short. It was just getting good and ended. Had we had more waitresses it would've gone quicker. $150 is a small amount to cover, and within an hour it is done; not satisfying as you are just getting your company structure going. So, if time is a constraint, intro is nice; If time is not, dive in, the whole deal isn't much of a stretch to throw in all the bells and whistles. Like was mentioned the game isn't hard to play, as the complexity comes with the game play, not the mechanisms.
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eapeas wrote:
ropearoni4 wrote:
Did one of you play the intro game, or just dive into the deep end?
No one in our group has played the intro game. We are of the mind that you can play the first 3-4 rounds of the regular game to see how the mechanics work, then restart and have at it.
Heck, we just played a full game from start to finish our first game, and it was fine. Granted, not everyone did amazingly well, but it's certainly not unreasonable.

It gets even easier to play a full game for beginners if you have a solution for everyone being able to easily see the milestones. There are some good files/ideas available for this that help a lot!
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Scott Nelson
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I guess I'll have to be the first (and maybe only) person to go on record and say "the milestones do not make or break the game". A very fun game can be had without any of the milestones used. The game would go longer without some of those bonuses, but that notwithstanding, it would be a blast to play just the same, trying to make your company succeed without any bonuses, and only your skills of building a structure that will prevail against others.

Now, that said, a 5 player game (which I have not played) seems that the milestones would be harder to get. 2 player it is easy and player order matters a lot there.

And the reserve cards may not look all that different in values, but that 100-300 extra in the bank can mean one or two turns less, and if the player with an efficient early engine has 50-80 coming in per round, it means the longer strategy will not make it in time.

If you don't get the CFO before raking in the money, think how much more you could get. Not a no-brainer, but very nice to break the bank. Denial of sells is about the easiest way to stop the influx of money to an efficient engine. Sometimes those infinite campigns can hurt more than help. Start a campign for the items no one is acquiring.

Undercutting prices so you sell more first. Adding a lower number house to the field so it is sold to first, leaving you to sell the mass amounts of stuff needed further on, for more profit. Like the book says, you can help others make money, just make sure you make more.

Adding a garden doubles the value sold. Don't forget to get the houses down in your region. adding a restaurant, moving a restaurant to a better locale is important.

There is a ton to digest in this game, and that was not even counting the milestones.
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Edward Uhler
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chaddyboy_2000 wrote:
eapeas wrote:
ropearoni4 wrote:
Did one of you play the intro game, or just dive into the deep end?
No one in our group has played the intro game. We are of the mind that you can play the first 3-4 rounds of the regular game to see how the mechanics work, then restart and have at it.
Heck, we just played a full game from start to finish our first game, and it was fine. Granted, not everyone did amazingly well, but it's certainly not unreasonable.

It gets even easier to play a full game for beginners if you have a solution for everyone being able to easily see the milestones. There are some good files/ideas available for this that help a lot!
We gave you credit for them too, on the show.
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Steve Carey
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First play (3P) today, regular (not intro) game, and I think Heavy Cardboard nailed it - FCM is a spectacularly engaging design that's equally brutal at times too.

Player decisions are constantly changing the landscape (with twists and turns), so much fun, we loved it!
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