Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Viceroy» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Not my vice, Roy rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matt
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
That's my perp! Futsie, all right - crazy as a coot! He's got to be stopped!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Originally released in Russia the rights for Viceroy were soon snaffled up by Mayday Games who were quick to launch an ambitious Kickstarter campaign. The promotion turned out to be a bit of a phenomenon and in a blaze of publicity the game raced to its funding targets with effortless ease. Yet, once the hype had settled did the game turn out to be all that it promised?

In Viceroy players build a pyramid of power by using character and law cards. Building character cards on higher levels costs more but the rewards are also greater. These rewards come in the form of advancements in magic, science, military and technology, the opportunity to recruit new cards, extra gemstones and victory points.

Viceroy uses four different coloured gemstones for acquiring character card, bids must be made using a determined single matching colour gemstone. Sadly, due to the colours chosen and despite small distinguishing marks being added to the gemstone counters there are still concerns for the colour-blind amongst us. One solution for Deuteranopia sufferers is to take advantage of Mayday’s plastic gem upgrade offer, these are differently shaped and so easy to distinguish. But, although they may look prettier in practical terms the gems are not great, being harder to spot when placed on your pyramid. Incidentally Mayday also offer a player mat upgrade for those who have trouble organising a row of five cards, this also takes up more precious table space in a game that already spreads across the table like a drunk businessman in economy class.

It is the auction system itself that causes many of the games frustrations. If players bid for the same card then they have to forfeit their bids and lock horns in a new round of bidding. Admittedly in later rounds there may be an extra card left over from the previous round so two players who bid the same maybe able to negotiate a deal. However, there is no escaping the feeling that the blind bidding mechanism punishes players who are unfortunate enough to bid on the same card, thus making their purchases more expensive, whilst players lucky enough to bid unopposed get their card for a bargain price. You could argue that this is all about mind games and second guessing but it just feels frustrating and irritating. In a game that already takes two hours to play, having to study you opponents pyramids and try and work out what they may or may not be bidding for just doesn’t seem worth the effort so you inevitably end up bidding just on the basis of what you want and keeping your fingers crossed. Furthermore if you introduce a player AI to make up the numbers then their bids are entirely random and players unlucky enough to match bids with them really do get the raw end of the deal.

Then we move on to the numerous balance issues, the law cards in particular have proven to be very problematic, just take a look at the number of posts relating to this issue. Since some of these cards are dealt out randomly at the start of the game and the rest drawn blindly as the game progresses there is always the likelihood that some players will get a big leg-up with overpowered law cards purely thanks to lucky breaks. How did Mayday try to remedy this? Well that didn’t, in fact they compounded the issue by offering some even more unbalanced cards as Kickstarter stretch goals. There are other balance issues such as the initial draw for character cards giving a distinct advantage to those lucky enough to get characters who have the infinity gems special power that is if you can actually see them on the clutter of chits that build up on you pyramid cards.

As a whole the game just does not seem very satisfying you are doing exactly the same thing turn after tune and instead of building to a climax the game just turns into a grind through the protracted rounds. There is little sense of achievement as building a long term strategy is too heavily reliant on card draws. If Mayday had spent more time developing and playtesting Viceroy rather than coming up with fancy add-ons then the game may have lived up to expectations.


Here is a list of all my reviews, some with puns that I really should be ashamed of.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Corrigan
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
[[img]https://boardgamegeek.com/jswidget.php?username=Krsnaji&numitems=5&header=1&text=title&images=medium&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=left&inline=1&addstyles=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1[/img]
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another single play impression masquerading as a "review"?
This game actually rewards having a sound long term strategy, the adroitness for a tactical adaptability to the unexpected and bit of cunning player interaction. There is a depth here that was evidently not fathomed by your toe in the water.

Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
That's my perp! Futsie, all right - crazy as a coot! He's got to be stopped!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
By all means disagree, but it is unfair to make ungrounded accusations. I have played numerous times at various player counts.

I'm off to give my feet a soak, much more satisfying.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Corrigan
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
[[img]https://boardgamegeek.com/jswidget.php?username=Krsnaji&numitems=5&header=1&text=title&images=medium&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=left&inline=1&addstyles=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1[/img]
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Have not!
"Have too"
HAVE NOT!
"HAVE TOOO ... Eh!"

Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Sanchez
United States
chaska
MN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Interesting. Matt, I'm with you. I backed the kickstarter of this and was very disappointed. Like many games I think this could be fun with the right people. I just don't happen to be one of those people.


I found the auction mechanic to be dull. As this is the primary mechanic of the game I ended up with a lot of games having very quiet player experiences. I don't remember any interaction of players outside of the auction.

I didn't find the balance issues to be a determining factor for me. Possibly because I never cared if I won or lost as I was bored by the end.

I'm not saying it's a horrible game just very underwhelming.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Pittman
msg tools
mbmbmb
I'm yet to play at higher player counts. Most of my games have been two-player or solo plays.

Solo is an interesting solitaire experience, but as Matt points out, the random draw for the 'AI player' dramatically impacts how effective your game will be. I scored very well in my first game and thought 'well, that's not too hard', but then scored a fraction of that the next two solo plays.

The game is super abstracted and there isn't a lot of player interaction at the two-player level. I imagine the auction gets more frustrating/fighty depending on player count and the player group. In my two-player games, we have been discussing what we are planning to take before bidding and haven't done a lot of bluffing or backstabbing. It makes it even less interactive, but it also makes things run pretty smoothly.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mayday Games
United States
Layton
Utah
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We appreciate your comments and value your opinion. We are sorry the game didn't live up to the "hype" for you. We would just like to note that the game was licensed by Mayday and we were not involved in its actual development any more than Rio Grande was involved in Carcassonne's development, etc. We took the game as is and while there may be some who do not like it, there are certainly others who do.

We do appreciate the feedback though too!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
That's my perp! Futsie, all right - crazy as a coot! He's got to be stopped!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the clarifications, and apologies for any unfair comments.

I guess I was just frustrated that a game with some neat ideas was (i felt) let down by a few things that could have been resolved. I realise now that the terms of the license meant that things are never that straightforward.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike P
Australia
Bunbury
Western Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My issue is not with the game itself but the fact that I've still not received a box that isn't severely beaten up.

Both my original Kickstarter ltd edition box and the replacement were wrecks thanks to being shipped in plastic bags.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.