Greg
United States
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Aid, please! Though my plea may be futile given the heterogeneous list of games.

I'm stuck on these.

I aim to get two of these. Of the Feldverse, we only have CoB. And we love it. I suppose eventually I'll get all of these, unless one goes OOP. We love heavy games.

Some criteria

d10-1 Theme is not important but cool graphic design is.
d10-2 A game that forgiving > a game in which mistakes are punished.
d10-3 Player order should not be crushingly important, because, hey, I'm now first, is not too exciting to us, even if it gives other advantages.
d10-4 Multiple paths to victory!
d10-5 An avalanche of rules > a deluge of iconography on pieces.
d10-6 A sense of building or "getting somewhere" that is demonstrated in board-state other than accumulating points or chits.
d10-7 Engine-building, chains of production, or otherwise linking actions to get bonus actions are slick.
 
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David B
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Trajan and Bora Bora are both pretty decent games, but my gosh they have a ton of bits and set up can be a chore. Trajan is not very interactive and so I would go with Bora Bora if you stick with Feld. However, I think La Granja is the best of the ones you are considering. Caylus is a classic but I sold it due to the fact I eventually found it to be more work than fun. I also have Hansa Teutonica and I'm beginning to have the same opinion of it as I do Caylus.
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Joe Salamone
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Hansa Teutonica can be punishing if you mess up early.

La Granja is a very good game, but the graphics are very bland.

I don't think any of them have what I would consider to be an "avalanche of rules." The games are deep, but I think most of the rules are concise and straightforward.

Caylus probably has the best "on board" depiction of "getting somewhere" because you are adding buildings (tiles) to the road and erecting the castle throughout the game. Panamax also shows you "getting somewhere" as the ships move through the canals.

Based on your criteria, I think Caylus or Panamax would suit you best. I enjoy all of the games on your list, although, Hansa Teutonica is probably my least favorite. I'm not saying it's a bad game. I'm just saying it's my least favorite of the good games on your list.
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Cory Yates
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Pekin
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I've played Bora Bora, La Granja, and Caylus. Those are literally 3 of my top five games and I have a decent sized collection. Based on your criteria though, I can't recommend any. I'd say turn order matters in all of those games. You do get a sense of building in all three. Bad moves can hurt you in probably all the games you have chosen because these are all tightly balanced euros. Man though, if you don't get these at some point you are really missing out on some of the most amazing game ever made.
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Nick Henning
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Bora Bora is the definition of point salad. You have a certain number of actions each turn based on dice you roll (like CoB). I don't think its particularly exciting but its alright.

I havent played La Granja but hear good things about it. Curious myself.

Hansa Teutonica is a fantastic game, but probably the most different of the group above. The mechanics really really encourage you to block other players (you basically get to place an extra person if you do so) and you can go for different strategies by leveling up your various aspects. This makes for a game that starts everyone off on the same footing but differentiates as you go through. I eventually traded mine away after playing a bunch of games because I thought we found a somewhat degenerate strategy but I have been told by a bunch of people that we weren't countering correctly.

Trajan is a great mechanism plus a boring scoring system. You use a mancala-esque board to indicate which actions you are taking and what potential bonuses you can get. It is a game that really encourages you to think 3-4 steps ahead, or even more. The mancala part is super cool and unique, but it lets you do all these actions that are then just different ways of scoring points and not terribly exciting. Like it and own it but not my favorite.

Caylus is solid and very tight, but I don't consider it to be super interesting. Ill let someone else try to sell it.

I played Panamax once and really liked it. THe mechanism of moving ships through the channel was incredibly fun and different. You can load things on boats that other people are using and try to get them to do your dirty work for you or you can focus on doing your own thing. Its been awhile since i played it so I cant say much more but it was fun and unique.
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Jonathan Challis
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I don't know La Granja or Panamax at all. I own the others and love Bora Bora and Trajan in particular.

MagusDuNord wrote:

d10-1 Theme is not important but cool graphic design is.

Bora-Bora would be the winner for me here, although none are outstanding.

MagusDuNord wrote:

d10-2 A game that forgiving > a game in which mistakes are punished.

Well that rules most Felds out (CoB is not typical of Feld beyond the point Salad aspect). Bora-Bora is the least forgiving, but it's harsh on everyone (just like Year of the Dragon, Macao, etc), Hansa is also pretty unforgiving.

MagusDuNord wrote:

d10-3 Player order should not be crushingly important, because, hey, I'm now first, is not too exciting to us, even if it gives other advantages.

Caylus is somewhat guilty of this (you get money as well which is a big deal). Bora-Bora makes it part of a useful point scoring action.

MagusDuNord wrote:

d10-4 Multiple paths to victory!

Trajan and Bora-Bora are best, Caylus really has one path, but with a lot of variety in the detail.

MagusDuNord wrote:

d10-5 An avalanche of rules > a deluge of iconography on pieces.

I'd say the iconography is fairly basic and easy on all of them, although you won't like the player aid in Bora-Bora.

MagusDuNord wrote:

d10-6 A sense of building or "getting somewhere" that is demonstrated in board-state other than accumulating points or chits.

You won't like Trajan much by that, and Bora-Bora is tepid. Hansa Teutonica is probably better and Caylus best, although none of these games excel at this aspect.

MagusDuNord wrote:

d10-7 Engine-building, chains of production, or otherwise linking actions to get bonus actions are slick.

This is Trajan all over, and in spades, and Bora-Bora has some of it in one of the game phases. Not the others.

Basically, you won't hit all those criteria, and need to decide what is most important to you?

Of the 4 games of 6 that I can comment on; Bora-Bora and Trajan are the best for some categories and worst for others, so they may be marmite games for you. Hansa is lukewarm all around, and Caylus a little better.

If all these criteria are really important to you then I don't think I could recommend any of these games, although I think the 4 I have commented on are all good games, and 2 amazing.
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Dave Eisen
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Caylus is by far the best game on this list. Tight, challenging, highly interactive. It does the best job of any game of players determining what actions are available as the buildings built by players provide most of the actions. But it is a mediocre fit for your criteria and in particular, MISTAKES ARE PUNISHED. A new player would be down by 1 coin to an experienced player after the first couple of turns and this would end up leading to a 40 point victory by Mr. or Ms. Experienced.

Of course, I view this as a positive. De gustibus.
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Steve Austin
Canada
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Bora bora is good. Better than trajan. I brought trajan to a game night and it was a total fail due to long set up time, too many chits. Fine if you can set it up ahead of time with people who actually like it and don't mind lengthy rules explanations.

La granja is great if you like bland boards and zero tension. It is very forgiving. We found it much too light and consider it a gateway game. there are far better worker placement games out there, like caylus.

Skip all on your list and go direct to Madeira.
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Clyde W
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OP, will you be playing at 2 or at 4-5? Cause HansaT is the best 5p game on the list hands down.

If 4, give Luna or Panamax a shot.

If 2-3, I'd pick Trajan or Caylus.
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Greg
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Whoa. Many thanks here.

The criteria are just my attempt to capture my group's tastes. "More of a guideline than a rule."

We will be mostly doing 2-4'ers. 5'er is rare.

Good to get these views on these very different games.
 
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Greg
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Peepser wrote:


Skip all on your list and go direct to Madeira.


How does Madeira compare to this list?
 
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Steve Austin
Canada
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MagusDuNord wrote:
Peepser wrote:


Skip all on your list and go direct to Madeira.


How does Madeira compare to this list?


It's better (heavier, more interesting decision tree) than la granja, trajan, caylus, bora bora. I have not played panamax because it won't work for two players. Madeira is the first and only game I ever rated a 9.
I now look for games that can match the level of Madeira and that is really difficult.
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Matt Gustafson
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Warsaw
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Pike Brown
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I'm another fan of Madeira. I prefer it to Trajan and Bora Bora, both of which I prefer to Caylus. I haven't played the others.
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Panayiotis Zois
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From all of those that you mentioned I would be among:
1) Caylus because it's a classic and I love the chess feeling plus the unforgiving aspect
2) La Granja because it's a design by Carl Feldenberg! (Joke here from a video-review of)
3) Trajan because I love the mancala and Stefan Feld games!

I didn't care too much for Bora-Bora and traded it away. Nice and beautiful game but it has some crazy combos, enough mean actions and the worst is the setup every round!

Hansa Teutonica is a really nice game but not that heavy and it plays in half the hour of those that you mentioned. Plus it has to be played mostly with 4-5 players, 3 is nice but with 2 I didn't like it at all. Very abstract, highly strategic a very good game but I would give priority to the above.

I haven't played Panamax but from what I've seen in videos and actual gameplay it's not my cup of tea.

Other games you might want to consider: Luna, Agricola, Le Havre, Terra Mystica, In the Year of the Dragon, Brass, Troyes, Tigris & Euphrates, Mage Knight, Snowdonia, Lewis & Clark, At the Gates of Loyang, Bruxelles 1893, Keyflower.
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Stuart Burnham
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Abingdon
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What sort of player count would you typically be playing at?

For example I think that Panamax is great at 4, OK at 3 and not really worth playing at 2....

EDIT: (Oops, just re-read all posts and see it's already answered!)
 
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Joe Salamone
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MagusDuNord wrote:
Peepser wrote:


Skip all on your list and go direct to Madeira.


How does Madeira compare to this list?


Good suggestion. Madeira is one of my favorite games. In fact, it may be my #1. One of these days, I will fix/update my game ratings and we will know for sure . . .
 
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