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Subject: Glory to Rome vs Mottainai? rss

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Lawrence
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Tustin
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My girlfriend and I are looking for a new travel card game with relatively deep gameplay. We loved Race for the Galaxy. I recently came across Glory to Rome and was very interested. The gameplay seemed right up our alley, but the art in the original version is virtually unplayable for us. I'd love to get my hands on the black box edition, but I'm not sure it's worth the $120+ price tag when there are already a couple of implementations available... i.e. Mottainai.

Do you think Glory to Rome gives you $100 more worth of gameplay than Mottainai? Or does Mottainai succeed in refining the mechanisms in Glory to Rome?
 
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Simon Maynard
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Exeter
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I haven't actually played "Glory to Rome" but I can assure you that "Mottainai" is very good indeed. I obviously can't compare them but surely the price difference alone makes it worth at least trying "Mottainai" first...
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Jay Sachs
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Woodinville
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Virtually unplayable, but not completely unplayable. I can understand not appreciating (or even hating) the art, but the design is usable.

I suggest you find a clamshell 1.5 edition of GtR relatively cheaply and just play it. The gameplay is compelling enough to overcome your aesthetic objections.

Mottainai is a good game, but to me doesn't have the depth of GtR.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that GtR has more "take that" than Mottainai, which has "a little", and both of which far outweigh RftG in this regard.
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Geoff
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Natick
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Both are great, and they are similar enough that I definitely wouldn't suggest anybody start with Glory to Rome at such a premium. Mottainai relies on subtler card interactions. Glory to Rome is bam slam in your FACE card combo madness.

I'd say start with Mottainai, and if you exhaust that and are still dying for more, perhaps consider one of the other many games that rely on big combos. Impulse may also appeal to you and doesn't cost $120.

Edit: For what little it's worth, I do prefer Glory to Rome myself, and I might recommend holding your nose through the art of the clamshell edition.
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C H
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There are also a couple of alternatives. Some people have started just making their own copies of Glory to Rome due to the publishing hell that the game is caught in.

I don't find Mottainai as good as glory but it is pretty inexpensive.

Another game that I love is Innovation. I'd consider it over Mottainai and runs a normal price. A bit different but still really great.
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Pete Martyn
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Guilford
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+1 for Innovation, for what it's worth. I prefer it to Glory to Rome and Mottainai.

That said, I also really like both of those! I personally wouldn't say that Glory to Rome is 100 dollars better than Mottainai, especially if you're looking for a predominantly two-player game. Glory to Rome really shines with four-plus players but I found it less thrilling at lower player counts. As far as I'm concerned it would be a "try before you buy" kinda thing.
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Jill Reid
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Lincoln
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We prefer Glory to Rome, though keep in mind that we had 40+ plays of that before we ever got Mottainai. The game play in Glory to Rome feels a little more straight forward. Mottainai felt like they were trying to change the game just enough to make it a different game, but to us it translated into odd terms and unclear rules. (Again, that may be our own brains trying to reconcile the differences from Glory to Rome.) We ended up selling Mottainai because we didn't think owning both was necessary for us.

Our copy of Glory to Rome is the clamshell box. While the art is cartoon-like, I think the vibrant colors make the cards easily distinguishable across the table, and that is a MUST in the game. I don't think I would have liked the art in the black box for just that reason. Not that this is to debate the versions; you have to go with the art you like because ultimately you will play it more if you like the way it looks.

Edit: +1 to the Innovation recommendation. I would give it a slight edge over Glory to Rome, even though we love Glory to Rome.
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Brad Keusch
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Ann Arbor
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re: Glory to Rome, look into finding a german edition. I actually think it has the best art of all the version, and there are paste ups readily available in the file section to make it highly playable. They are way cheaper than the black box version too.

https://boardgamegeek.com/image/999892/glory-rome
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David Dawson
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You may also look at Eminent Domain. It shares some of the same mechanics as Glory to Rome, along with some other games. It also has a relatively small component footprint, and plays great with two.
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David Reed
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Don't forget Uchronia, which is yet another re-implementation of Glory to Rome. It has nice artwork and is readily available. I have not played it, so I can not vouch for how close it is to the original or whether Mottainai is a better re-implementation. Still, at >$20, it may be worth exploring.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I think Glory to Rome is probably easier to teach, but the average play of Glory to Rome is longer (even factoring in quick endings via Catacombs).

With Mottainai, you have a game that has the potential (for 2-3 players) to play in a short time while still having some weight to it. The catch is that you need to convince people that it is worth learning it.

I agree with those who said earlier that the I.V edition (with the bright-colored cards) is great in terms of usability. It's very easy to see which color a card is in this edition -- not so easy if you are looking at the cards in Black Box (which I understand also had some production issues, at least in some copies).
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Lawrence
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After some research, it looks like the European editions aren't too pricey since they're still somewhat in print. I think I might actually like the art on the Italian and German versions more than the Black Box. And the pasteups on the BGG forums make it relatively painless to convert.

I did some quick looks at Rahdo's thoughts on Glory to Rome vs. Mottainai vs. Uchronia, since we usually have similar tastes. Uchronia looks like a pass for us due to cluttered rules. Mottainai looks to have the closest feel to Glory to Rome, but isn't quite as epic (sacrificing that to be more streamlined). I like the theme and the bigger scale of Glory to Rome more, and with the European editions being more attainable than the Black Box, I think it's a clear choice.

Thanks to everyone for their input!
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Jon Bowker
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I prefer GtR far above Mottainai. But if you are looking for a two-player game, I'm not sure GtR is the better choice. The structure of the game where you feed off your neighbors actions is something that makes GtR good, not having neighbors might make that a bit lackluster.

As far as the artwork. After you learn the rules, you won't be looking at the art beyond what the card's color is and what the building power is. I also personally find that the white background of the black box edition makes it harder to quickly identify which roles/materials you have in hand.
 
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