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Subject: Good game that can be great rss

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Sutanto Joji
Indonesia
Jakarta
Jakarta
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I played this game once and encountered some problems that drag this game down to only a good game.

First, a few things that I like
1. Two layered scoring is brilliant. Jockeying for having the right timing on population scoring is big in this game, creating an additional layer of tactical decision.
2. Special Worker Placement. A "mutated" x-men in your worker pool that acts as the "special one" that gives extra benefit. This mechanism adds a little bit of complexity (by explaining what would be the benefit of the mutated worker is on each action space), but create angst and meaningful decision when used.
3. Market mechanism that creates tension to jockey around the position of the market tiles. In 4P game, this makes the market really tight but the last player still has something to choose from.
4. End-game bonus market tiles have to be earned through market tiles. This tiles that give you 4/3 population is HUGE VP. Not knowing what tiles are available to give you end-game bonus options are a real disadvantage to newer player. But if you have played it once/twice and know what are the available bonuses, it's a strategy in itself to try to get one or hinder your opponent from scoring one.

Things that need improvement (probably in second edition) whistle
1. Player aid is almost non-functional. It only tells the resource needed for each building. Would be much better if it has turn structure, and each building's benefit on the aid. Right now, we have to consult the aid and the building itself to see which buildings produce what kind of resources. Unnecessary fiddliness. And then, it can also shows the benefit of each market tiles in the flip side of the player aid.
2. Some of the market tiles are unbalanced. Two of it are already addressed by the designer here. I don't mind weak tiles as that can be one of the major decision point in game (to purchase or not), however, overpowered tiles are no brainer. Everyone will go for it. Most of the times, all the cube based tiles in the early rounds are really worth it. With 3 money, you can get 2 tiles if you're lucky and get 4 resources. That's a saving of 4 actions! (or 3 if you use the mutated one). To get 3 money, you only need to sacrifice 1 mutated man.
3. All the action spots are too loose. If I recall correctly, there's almost no contest for spots on the board. Even if I go last, I can still do what I want (maybe you will lose some spot on the cubes action space, but you can work around it using the mutated man). I think refreshing the market tiles at the beginning of the action phase can create additional tension to get the turn order action. Right now, even if you're first, you are not guaranteed a good market tiles distribution on the next turn. The contested spots will only appear on the later round (when people start having money to purchase market tile, and switching the building's benefit)
4. Some of the choice for the game components can easily be enhanced. The mutated worker can be a small meeple from carcassonne (in fact, I will replace it with a regular meeple for easier explanation). Purple and red cubes are very similar in less than sun-strong lighting. Resource and player cubes can easily differentiated by having a different size (smaller cubes). And the final nail in the coffin is the color choice for the building. Why all medium sized building has that pastel blue color? Would it be easier to sort if it's at least has different color or DISTINCT graphical art? 0 and 1 building are already a main offender on its own. But 8 different tiles over 4 rounds? This is exacerbated by you can't look the tile by only from its back, because there's no other aid that shows you what is the benefit of a building. (see #1)
5. The rules didn't explain the house figure on the player mat well. On the example, there should be a figure to explain how to move the building marker.
6. And of course the turn order marker. I thought I have to saw that myself. I'm using the black cube instead for the less than elegant solution.

That's just my $0.02 from my limited play. I enjoyed it but its potential is hampered by its downfall.

Best Regards,
Joji
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Francesco Grimaldi
Italy
Limbiate
Monza
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I think that yes, Some of the market tiles are unbalanced. But i can't see the problem when there's an action spot only for turn order.
Situation is different for example in "Stone age" where there are some very powerful (unbalanced) cards, but in that case they are really a problem because of the pre-structured turn order. My two cents
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Thomas
United States
Michigan
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"Music That Glows In The Dark"
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Is there even going to be a second edition?
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Greg Silberman
United States
Portola Valley
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I would be surprised. Not unless another publisher picks it up. I doubt there is a call for another 1000 copies.
 
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