Recommend
24 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

World's Fair 1893» Forums » Reviews

Subject: This game replaced Stone Age as my gateway Euro rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Stuart Dunn
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The World's Fair of 1893 was held in Chicago to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's 1492 arrival to the New World. It was also used to demonstrate Chicago's revival after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It took up over 600 acres of lands and contained over 200 buildings, which contained food, art, technology, and entertainment. More than 26 million people visited the fair. One of the greatest sights at the fair was the Ferris wheel - an original invention meant to rival the Eiffel Tower, which was the showpiece of Paris' World's Fair in 1889. This Ferris wheel helped save the Chicago World's Fair from ruin and it serves as the game board for one of Renegade Game Studio's recent games - World's Fair 1893. The game is designed by J. Alex Kevern and plays 2-4 (ages 10+). It sells for anywhere between $25 and $40, depending on where you shop.

Setup
1. Place the central board and top wedge together to form a Ferris wheel, making sure both sides match the number of players. (In a two-player game, there will be nine spaces to move on the Ferris wheel.)
2. Arrange the five area tiles (Agriculture, Electricity, Fine Arts, Manufacturing, and Transportation) randomly around the Ferris wheel.
3. Place the Ferris wheel car on the central board covering the start space and the round marker at on the far left space at the beginning of Round 1.
4. In a two-player game, remove one midway ticket card five main exhibit cards (one from each of the five categories mentioned above). Then, shuffle together all the midway ticket, main exhibit, and influential figure cards together.
5. Place two cards from this deck next to each of the five area tiles.
6. Give each player 22 supporter cubes of one color (purple, blue, white, or yellow), and have each player place one cube on each of the five area tiles.
7. Set all exhibit approval tokens, midway coins, and leader medals in an easily reachable area.
8. Randomly determine a start player and give each player a start bonus card, which corresponds to their player number.

Game Play - The game takes place over three rounds with a scoring phase occurring after each round. A round ends when the Ferris wheel card makes it around the central board one time.
1. Place a supporter cube in one of the five area tiles.
2. Play any influential figure cards you may have collected from previous turns and perform the action on the card.
3. Collect the cards from the area tile you placed your supporter cube, and place them face up in front of you. For every midway ticket card you claimed, move the Ferris wheel car one space.
4. Add three new cards to game board - 1 in front of the area tile, you just placed your supporter cube and 1 each in front of the next two area tiles (assuming they are not at their maximum card limit).

Scoring
1. Redeem midway tickets - Gain one midway coin for each midway ticket. The leader (or leaders if there is a tie) gains a bonus two midway coins. Discard midway tickets.
2. Score area tiles one at a time - The player(s) with the most supporter cubes in an area tile gains a leader medal worth two or four points (depending on number of players) and may approve a certain number of main exhibits (depending on number of players and ties). Each exhibit approved receives an exhibit approval token of the matching color. These tokens will be specially scored at the end of the game, depending on the variety you have managed to collect.
3. Recall supporter cubes - For every pair of supporter cubes in an area tile, remove one from the area tile and put it back in your supply. (For example, with two or three supporter cubes in the area, you would have to remove one.)

Review
This game is a Euro game at its core. You put cubes on a board, execute an action. The three game mechanisms for this game are area control (having the most supporter cubes on an area tile), set collection (having a variety of exhibit approval tokens i.e., one of each color to score fifteen points as opposed to five of one color to score five points), and card drafting (collecting the cards in front of the area tile where you placed your supporter cube) So what makes this different from other Euro games? I would say theme and the approachable nature of the game. Let's look at each of those individually.

Let's start with the theme. A lot of themes in Euro games feel like they were pasted on and you are only focusing on the mechanics. World's Fair 1893 is steeped in theme, and one that makes sense! The game board is a giant Ferris wheel, which was the showpiece of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. The main exhibit cards are beautifully illustrated and contain fun facts about the exhibits. For example, did you know that "Norway sailed a replica ship to Chicago to show that Vikings could have reached America."? The midway ticket cards also contain attractions that people were able to attend. Lastly, the influential figure cards contain several important people, like Daniel Burnham who was the Director of Works for the World's Fair. The only complaint I have with the theme is that I wish there had been more unique influential figures as opposed to multiples of the same ones.

The next thing that makes this game better than other Euro games is its approachable nature. I feel like I've said this about a few games recently, but it is easy to learn and quick to play. (Maybe my group just tends to steer towards lighter games.) I would say this game is even easier to learn than Stone Age, which until World's Fair 1893, was my go-to for teaching Euro games to people. World's Fair 1893 also takes half the time to play (30-45 minutes compared to 60-90 minutes) compared with Stone Age. However, this ease of learning and playing doesn't make the strategy and decisions any less tense. For example, if someone played in the Agriculture area the turn before you did, then there would only be one card up for grabs in that area on your turn. However, you might really need to go there to get a specific card or re-gain majority. So do you go to that less than desirable spot and give up potentially more cards and/or the chance to tie/gain a majority in another area? TOUGH DECISION!

Euro games are usually tough to bring to my game group, because we are all parents with young (sometimes very loud children), so we have to play quicker games usually. However, this is a quicker Euro game, and because of that it has received the most playing time. The first time we played through it, we were more focused on getting used to the game and well, winning. (Because who doesn't want to win?) The next couple of times though, we slowed down a little bit and appreciated the art, factoids, and theme of the game. So if you are new to the hobby or haven't found a Euro game to introduce to your group yet, look no further than World's Fair 1893.

This game was provided to me for free by Renegade Game Studios in exchange for an honest review.
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tee Cee
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Area control isn't usually my thing, but I really like this game for the same reasons you mentioned: if offers some interesting decisions, but with a really clean, elegant design and for a very short playtime.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Clarke
United Kingdom
Caithness
Scotland
flag msg tools
Avatar
Dismas wrote:
The World's Fair of 1893 was held in Chicago to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's 1492 arrival.


I had no idea he visited Chicago.
9 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Highfill
United States
Boston
MA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Stone Age is not a gateway game, or at least it shouldn't be. If you are a skilled player at Stone Age, you can easily defeat a first-timer by 100-150 points. That's not much fun for the opponent. That said, it's far and away the better game of the two.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stuart Dunn
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I use Stone Age as a gateway Euro, because it's easy to teach and most people with limited board game experience feel like dice are essential to a board game. But you are correct, with any experience, you could slaughter a Stone Age rookie.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Susan
United States
Mesa
Arizona
flag msg tools
www.Meetup.com/ArizonaGames
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dismas wrote:
But you are correct, with any experience, you could slaughter a Stone Age rookie.


I watched a rookie put one meeple on wood, one on brick, one on stone, etc even against my suggestions to pile them up on one due to the odds, etc.

Then she would go "Now I'm rolling 1 for wood and roll at 3". "Now for Stone, and would roll a 4" wth? She rolled exactly what she needed each and every time. If it wasn't my game I would have totally accused her of using loaded dice. lol

And because of this she got a lot more tiles than normal and gave us experienced peeps a run for our money.

But back to the OP's great review.
I agree its a better gateway, if for no other reason, than it's shorter and sometimes short is much better.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stuart Dunn
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
That's hilarious, Susan! You should have just pointed at her and shouted "WITCH!"
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Leach
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review. I agree, this is a very slickly put together game that plays super smoothly and is accessible to all. It feels like a faster less gruellingly long-winded TTR, and that's a good thing. The theme is clearly very pasted on, but it's so lovingly pasted on you don't really care. Overall one of the Kickstarter games I'm most happy with - far too many turn out to be meh or duds, very few outstanding. And this definitely falls in the latter category - it's definitely got that classic feel to it, up there with Burgle Bros as one of the best KS bets I've made.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Hawks
United States
Des Moines
Iowa
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I disagree that this game feels more thematic than most Euros. This game is about as thematic as Ticket to Ride, and less thematic than something like Stone Age. Yes, there are pretty pictures on the cards, but the gameplay itself is super abstract.

Honestly, I thought the pictures and flavor text on the cards was distracting to gameplay. So much of the cards are taken up with these things, and every card is different. It was hard to tell the cards apart, especially the midway tickets and the gray cards.

That being said, I thought the gameplay itself was great! I agree it is a fast, light game with just enough interesting decisions.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dawn Leinberger
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DD
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Linville
United States
Sun Valley
NV
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The theme to me is interesting enough to want this game. I was never a huge fan of Stone Age, for it's theme, but World's Fair seems to tickle my interest.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I disagree with what the OP refers to as "steeped in theme". Adding flavor text to the cards that has nothing to do with the gameplay does not make a game thematic. To be thematic, the gameplay itself should evoke theme. In that regard, Worlds Fair is actually less thematic than many, if not most, euros. However, it is a great game. But I am still a bit bewildered by all the comparisons to Stone Age. That would be like me saying eating sugar free ice cream has replaced watching action movies.
4 
 Thumb up
0.01
 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.