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Subject: Looking for a Castles of Burgundy "killer"! Please help me! :) rss

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Jonathan Brodeur
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Hey guys...

My girlfriend loves this game and I kind of dislike it.. very.. much..

I would like to find a great replacement to CoB.

Here is what makes me dislike CoB :

- I can't feel the theme at all, I don't feel like I build something
- This game is ugly, I call it Fifty shades of Beige for a reason
- Components are way too cheap
- the game takes too much time, we are far away from the 30-90 minutes BGG says this game should take.. My gf has some AP syndrome but a single game can take as much as 2 hours


I'm pretty sure I need a game with similar mechanics to bait my girlfriend into your recommendation (I also want her permission to get rid of CoB once she finds a game she likes more than CoB).

Please name a few games and tell me why it can fit the criterias!

Thank you!
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Gabriele Pezzato
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My suggestions:

Bora Bora
Marco Polo

- dice placement(both better than Burgundy, imho)
- more interactive (i.e. meaner, especially Bora Bora)
- way more colorful
- way better components
- better setting (still not very thematic, though)


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Nick Shaw
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Keeping with the castles theme, how about Castles of Mad King Ludwig?
- Tile purchasing/laying;
- Bonuses for completing buildings (covering all entrances/exits on a tile);
- Nicer art (especially if you get the Polish edition!)
- Much more thematic - you're literally building a crazy castle for the mad king. (Well, ok, it doesn't much feel like the king has anything to do with what you're doing, but you ARE building a mad castle!)
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Marco Schaub
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To me, Bruges has a very similar feel to Castles of Burgundy. Instead of having two actions that are determined by your dice, you have four actions that are determined by your cards.
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Mark Johnson
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“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done, the Dornishman’s taken my life, But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”
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Grand Austria Hotel

Grand Austria Hotel is a good dice drafting euro. Recently a number of dice euros have been worker placement + dice, so this feels a bit unique. When you draft dice, the action is amplified by the number of dice in that actions section (which is determined by the number of pips). These actions are as follows:

1 - Acquire strudel/cake
2 - Acquire wine/coffee
3 - Prepare rooms
4 - Acquire money/advance on the emperor's track
5 - Play a staff card
6 - Pay $1 to choose one of the other actions

You will be able to draft 2 actions per round. If you don't like the position of the dice, you can 'skip' that round of drafting. After everyone has drafted or passed, all the non-drafted dice will be re-rolled minus 1 die for a second round of drafting within the same game round. If you're still not satisfied, you can pass again, at your own risk.

In the game, you're fulfilling the desires of customer by feeding them strudel, cake, wine, and coffee. When fulfilled, they will provide VP, a one-time benefit, and will stay at your hotel. To stay at your hotel, you must have a room prepared that the particular type of customer will want to stay in. Preparing a room usually takes actions and money. There is a Castles of Burgundy thing where, you will get a bonus for filling all the rooms of a clumped colour. Though, in GAH, it's not solely VP and the current round has no bearing. Like COB, there is a basic board that's the same for everyone and an asymmetric one on the opposite side.

Here are the things I enjoy about GAH:

-There are a lot of card effects that you will be utilizing over the game between the staff cards and the customer cards.

-There are goal tiles that you and the other players are racing towards. Only 3/12 are used each game.

-The emperor track can be viewed as a 'feeding your people' sort of mechanism. I normally dislike this, but it's only punishing if you ignore it and can actually be quite rewarding if you focus on it. You only use 3/12 of the tiles associated with this track each game as well.

As you can tell, it has a bit of similarity to Castles of Burgundy. Like CoB, I prefer playing Grand Austria Hotel with 2 players only. With more players there can be a fair bit of downtime due to the turn order (1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1). So much so that the designer has posted a variant for people who want to reduce the downtime:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1490865/turn-order-variant-...

Other than that, if you like dice euros with a ton of variety, this is one that you should definitely check out.

---

I don't think At the Gates of Loyang is similar to Castles, but it would be my mid-weight 2-player euro of choice, if Grand Austria Hotel didn't exist.
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Jimmy Smith
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Poseidon's Kingdom I believe fixes all your issues
 
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Jonathan Brodeur
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Thank you all!

I tried Bruges and I liked it very much. Unfortunately, my gf didn't.

Marco Polo and Austria are very attractive to me. I did read the Bora Bora rules and watched a few videos, it looked a little bit too complicated and themeless.. But it is a beautiful Feld game!
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Shawn Fox
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I've got some bad news for you, CoB is a great game and you aren't going to be able to replace it with something else.
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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If it's always the two of you, you might consider Arena: Roma II from the same designer. It has the same sort of dice-driven action selection mechanism, but it's a two-player duel game. The components are pretty and sturdy, and the play is fast (about 1/2 the time of CoB).

If she likes the building developments into an existing map more than choosing what to do with her dice, or if direct antagonism is a turn-off, you might consider Concordia. It's not so very similar, but I suggest it because it actually has pretty much replaced Castles in my household. The play time is a little bit longer, and there's really more strategic possibility than Castles offers, with a rule set that is actually a bit simpler. Don't be put off by the box art; the game inside is beautiful.
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Marco Chiappa
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La Granja

Macao
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Gary H
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OH YAH, Macao.

But, what does she like/love about CoB?

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chris lake
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Can you please direct me to the companion thread where your girlfriend is asking for help to convince you that this is a good game.

Why not try a different tactic, get better at the game and consistently beat her so she starts hating it. I'm sure anything will look good to her then.

I suppose I better include a game recommendation as well. TryTaluva, its got hexes, you build. less critical decisions so should reduce AP.
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Greg
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+1 Grand Austria Hotel
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Jacob Martin
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I bet this is way different then what you would be looking in to as a replacement game for Cob, but I find Keyflower to be a great 2 player game and even up to its max number of players. I don't think you can replace most Feld games, but you can find some that you can enjoy more. And for my group of people that I play with Keyflower does a awesome Job. The expansions adds tons of replay value, but they are not needed to enjoy this great design.

- it is much shorter.
- still to get titles to add your town.
- feels like you are building stuff(upgrading)
- You can manipulate bidding tokens(like Cob manipulate dice)
- Tons of ways to score points(very close to feeling like a point salad)
- you can interact with others in this game.
- gorgeous game and not cheap looking like Cob.
- feels like it is the same theme but feels like it matches game play.
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Mary Weisbeck
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Sorry, but I'm siding with your girlfriend. laugh

Nothing will replace CoB in her heart; it's a unique, fun, challenging game with a great use of dice.

Maybe you should try to find the fun in the game play mechanics, see the colors as soothing, the components as useful and more-than-adequate, and the game length as a nice time spent with someone you love.
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Andreas Becker
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MagusDuNord wrote:
 
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chris ward
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I love Grand Austria Hotel but by no stretch of the imagination is it shorter or less ap prone than Castles.

Great game. But don't get it if you want shorter and less ap-ness as your main criteria. (I do have it in my top ten games though... Alongside Castles :-))

With the emphasis on game length and speed but retaining tile laying. Have you considered Isle of Skye? Lots of fun. Plays fast. Unexpectedly good with 2 players
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Scott O'Brien
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in addition to Grand Hotel Austria and Marco polo
Troyes
Suburbia
Notre Dame
OR
Puerto Rico
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Alison Mandible
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Other people are covering the "other Feld games" and "other games that might as well be by Feld" options, so I'll go with a weirder potential suggestion: Impulse.

I thought of it because my partner and I are both slow players, and it's one of the few games we turn to when we really don't have even an hour to play but we want a substantial game.

The combo-ing and action-chaining have the same kind of appeal that Castles Of Burgundy does, to me. I've never heard anyone else say this, so I bet they aren't actually similar to most people! But none of the other Felds I like (and there are several) really play any faster than CoB, so if time is a limiting factor, I fear you may need to explore outside the Euro zone.

(One warning, too: Impulse is the opposite of Feld in its attitude toward points. In CoB you stack up a lot of points; even a terrible strategy will score points often, just not very many. In Impulse, every single point you get will feel like an accomplishment.)

Again, this would never be the first game I thought of when somebody mentioned Castles Of Burgundy, but it was the first game I thought after I read your whole post.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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bop517 wrote:
But, what does she like/love about CoB?

This.
 
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Corey Hopkins
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I was about to post a suggestion until I read that you were going to try to get rid of CoB once you found a replacement.

How dare you?

My new suggestion is that you improve your taste in games!
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David Taranto
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How about El Gaucho? It takes dice drafting and adds in a pretty simple set collection element (cow herds) with some special actions you can "charge up" with dice, either specific numbers for higher numbers or as very useful dump actions for lower ones.
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Jonathan Brodeur
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the_windcaster wrote:
How about El Gaucho? It takes dice drafting and adds in a pretty simple set collection element (cow herds) with some special actions you can "charge up" with dice, either specific numbers for higher numbers or as very useful dump actions for lower ones.


I got it in a recent mathtrade. I didn't have time to learn the rules yet. I will try it asap now that you say it might scratch the same itch!


chopkins828 wrote:
I was about to post a suggestion until I read that you were going to try to get rid of CoB once you found a replacement.

How dare you?

My new suggestion is that you improve your taste in games!


Hahaha, I'll try!


grasa_total wrote:
Other people are covering the "other Feld games" and "other games that might as well be by Feld" options, so I'll go with a weirder potential suggestion: Impulse.


Interesting suggestion but she cannot get into scifi theme at all.. But if a friend has it, I'll ask to play it!


cw67q wrote:
With the emphasis on game length and speed but retaining tile laying. Have you considered Isle of Skye? Lots of fun. Plays fast. Unexpectedly good with 2 players


This one is on my radar. As soon as I can get it for a decent price, I'll grab it!


rudder wrote:
I bet this is way different then what you would be looking in to as a replacement game for Cob, but I find Keyflower to be a great 2 player game and even up to its max number of players. I don't think you can replace most Feld games, but you can find some that you can enjoy more. And for my group of people that I play with Keyflower does a awesome Job.


We tried it the other day with a friend that has it. She liked it. But she told me it cannot kill CoB..


saltis wrote:
Can you please direct me to the companion thread where your girlfriend is asking for help to convince you that this is a good game.

Why not try a different tactic, get better at the game and consistently beat her so she starts hating it. I'm sure anything will look good to her then.

I suppose I better include a game recommendation as well. TryTaluva, its got hexes, you build. less critical decisions so should reduce AP.


Hahaha, that would work for sure. She hates to lose. She had Taluva before we met and she deeply hated that game.. I don't know why, I never tried it.


Carthoris wrote:
If it's always the two of you, you might consider Arena: Roma II from the same designer. It has the same sort of dice-driven action selection mechanism, but it's a two-player duel game. The components are pretty and sturdy, and the play is fast (about 1/2 the time of CoB).


Thanks, I'll take a look at this one
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Bernard
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You have a girlfriend that likes to play board games. Count your blessings! :P
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Eric Booth
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sfox wrote:
I've got some bad news for you, CoB is a great game and you aren't going to be able to replace it with something else.


This
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