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Subject: Brick and Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review) rss

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Alex Singh
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Modern industry means big factories, mega-warehouses, massive R&D departments and sprawling mining operations. But like all grand things its beginnings were more humble. It meant local craft workers and artisans making quality goods and working with each other. Early industry was about working hard and carefully managing limited resources. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Fun enough to make you exclaim, “Oh My Goods!”



How it Plays

Your goal in Oh My Goods! is to create the most valuable production chains. You will do this by constructing buildings that produce goods which can be sold to fund the construction of further production buildings and so on. That’s the idea anyway. Knowing what needs to be done is different than actually doing it, so let’s get into the nitty gritty.


Cards represent can represent multiple things depending on how they are played.


Before running through the turn structure of Oh My Goods! it’s important to understand that every card in the main deck can be used in three distinct ways. When a card is played to the table it becomes a production building. The goods produced by these buildings are represented by other cards placed face-down on top of the building card. And finally, cards can be used for the specific good printed on it when discarded.

Every round begins with all players drawing two cards into their hand and then cards are revealed one by one to the center of the table until one of the cards revealed has a sun symbol on it. All players will then simultaneously assign your worker to the production building you would like to use that round. If you want to build a production building this round you can place it face down on the table at this time.

Once all players are done assigning their workers, more cards will be drawn one at a time from the main deck and added to the cards that were revealed earlier. Once another sun symbol is revealed, no more cards are drawn this round. These revealed cards make up the common market. Each card in the market shows a particular good which is available for all players this round.


Cards are revealed to create a common market.


Play then continues in turn order. You will check the building where you assigned your worker previously and see if you are able to produce. Each building requires a certain number and type of goods to run. A bakery, for example, may require 2 stone and 3 clay in order to produce bread. If the common market contains all of those goods then you have met the requirements and the building will produce. If the market does not contain all of the required goods, you can discard cards from your hand to make up the difference.

An important element to understand is the concept of chaining. Every production building, in addition to its cost to produce, has an additional chaining cost. If a building produces, you can then pay the chaining cost to produce additional goods. A shoemaker may require 4 grain and 2 clay in order to produce and has a chaining cost of leather. If you are able to meet the grain and clay requirement to produce normally, you can pay any number of leather to produce the same number of additional shoes.

Then if you had placed a card face down earlier, you can build a building by discarding goods on your production building that is equal to or greater than the cost depicted on the building you are trying to build. Any coins you are short can be made up by discarding cards from your hand.

At the beginning of the game, assistant cards are placed in the play area. After production and building, you will be able to hire one of them by paying the cost and meeting certain requirements. Assistants function as workers and allow you to produce in multiple buildings in a single round.

Play continues until a player has eight buildings. You will add up the points depicted on the assistants you acquired and the buildings you constructed over the course of the game. Additionally, you will gain another victory point for every 5 coins you have in goods still left on your buildings. The player with the most points is the winner.


An example of a game in progress.


Build Up

Oh My Goods! is a big tease. It lures you in with the idea of creating your own little industrial engine. From the opening hand you start envisioning how you are going to combo together various buildings and production chains that fuel your well-oiled machine of industry. You start making plans to build a sawmill that will provide wood for the mill so that you can get grain to run the bakery so that you can sell enough bread to construct the tool maker for major points and valuable tools. At least you try. You quickly realize that there are holes in your chain and the only way to fill them is through the measly 2-card draw that happens every turn. And then you realize that in order to produce enough goods to cover the 17 coin cost of the final piece of your industrial puzzle it will require a multitude of rounds. By that time, your opponent already have eight buildings and have ended the game, leaving your manufacturing empire as more of a tinkerer’s township.

The problem with Oh My Goods! is expectations. It comes from excellent genes. Publisher Lookout Games has put out some of the finest board games in the modern era. From Agricola to Grand Austria Hotel to Snowdonia, there is no denying that they’ve had a hand in creating some of the best and enduring games of the past 15 years. If any company can identify a good resource conversion game, I would think the company that brought us Le Havre would be it.

Then there’s designer Alexander Pfister. He’s made quite the name for himself recently as being the designer of the last two Kennerspiel des Jahres winners in Broom Service and Isle of Skye. And when he’s not designing games that warrant the most prestigious award in board gamingdom, he’s creating excellent titles in Mombasa and Port Royal.

And how can you overlook artist Klemens Franz? For my money, he is amongst the top three or four working board game artists out there. His distinctive dark outlines add character to the people depicted in the game and the amount of detail hidden in his work rewards those who take the time to look closely. It’s an all-star board game team and I had high hopes going in. My mistake.


Your charburner, worker and hand of cards form the basis of your potential production powers.


I’ll admit that I may have had too high of expectations for this little card game based on the names behind it and that sense of disappointed may have colored my initial plays. But beyond the game’s stellar pedigree, the game itself builds itself up as one thing but turns out to another, less interesting, thing.

From your opening hand you are exposed to an assortment of buildings and possibilities. You’ll see the seeds of what might turn out to be a mighty industrial complex and you might see some high value buildings that will require a fair amount of goods in order to build. The problem is Oh My Goods! isn’t really a production game, it’s a game about trying your luck. In order to get any semblance of a production chain going, you’re almost entirely dependent on drawing the right cards and having the right goods show up in the market. There are some special buildings that help mitigate the luck somewhat, but they are dependent on being drawn and by the time you’ve built a few of them, the game is halfway over.

And that brings me to Oh My Goods! weakest point. The most common road to victory is the most boring. More often than not I’ve found that building low value buildings as quickly as possible to end the game as soon as possible turns out to be the most successful path of play. Unfortunately, there’s very little thought or true decisions when pursuing this strategy. It’s a route that runs on rails and your decision tree looks a bit like this: “What’s the easiest building I can build this turn? OK, I’ll build it.” The most fun had in the game is in taking advantage of the chaining and building large value buildings. Unfortunately, it’s also at odds with the overall point of the game, winning. Ideally, pursuing victory aligns itself with the most satisfying and fun actions in the game. That’s not the case here. There just isn’t enough time or opportunity to get your engine going in any meaningful way.


You can assign your worker to work sloppily. It requires less initial goods, but you only produce 1 good instead of 2.


A board game is more than a collection of cardboard, wood and plastic. Each box is a collection of systems and ideas compiled by the designer in order to facilitate an experience. In order to convey those systems and ideas a rule book is provided both as a tutorial to explain and as reference to make sure those ideas are properly being executed by the players. After multiple plays of Oh My Goods! I was convinced I was playing it wrong. No one was able to get any production chains going and high value buildings were rare. I was so convinced that I had been playing incorrectly that I searched internet forums for some clarifications. I’m no stranger to looking up rules clarifications online, but it’s usually for more involved and intricate games and not such an unassuming one like Oh My Goods! To my surprise, I found other people with similar experiences. The rumblings captured the attention of the designer who actually acknowledged that the game as designed was not meant to facilitate the play that most people expected. He went so far as to completely revamp the rules and posted them for players to try.

I’m of two minds on the matter. On the one hand, it’s admirable that the designer has heard the cries of the players and made an attempt to meet their needs. It always amazes me how accessible the designers of some of my favorite games are. It’s nice, it really it. But on the other hand, why did the game even release in the state that it was? As far as I can tell, the rules aren’t even posted in an official capacity. You have to dig through forums and find a specific post to access them. I’m not sure if they will be adopted officially for future editions. It’s a little sad, really. When I open a game, I expect whatever’s inside to be the best it could have possibly been.

Oh My Goods! is not the best game it could have been and the designer himself tacitly admitted it when he rewrote the rule book and fundamentally changed the way the game works. Ultimately, I decided not to try the new rules. They might be great and they might make Oh My Goods! into something great. But that’s not the game that currently comes in the box. By all means, feel free to seek out those revised rules, but this review addresses only the ones that come in the box.


The card art is great and the symbols easy to read.


Conclusion

I had high hopes coming into Oh My Goods! but I left lamenting all the wasted talent and potential. It’s hard for me to recommend the game to anyone when I see the designer himself acknowledging problems with it. Perhaps the publisher will adopt the rules officially and include them in future printings and maybe they will fulfill the untapped potential latent within the box. But I can’t recommend maybes and possibilities. Instead I’ll judge what’s in front of me and the verdict is lackluster at best.

iSlaytheDragon would like to thank Mayfair Games for providing us with a review copy of Oh My Goods!

---

I originally posted this review on iSlaytheDragon. Visit for more board game reviews and coverage.

*Edit*
It has been pointed out to me that the revised rules briefly mentioned in the review have been officially adopted by the publisher and will be included in future editions of the games. If you are interested in viewing those rules you can do so here: http://www.mayfairgames.com/files/supportfiles/mfg3513_rules.... The review as written is a reflection of my experience with the first edition of the rules and may not reflect the game experience as played with the new edition. It is unclear to me whether or not the first edition rules will be included in future editions of the game.
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Cubby Moore
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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
I do like the game with the updated rules. But, I think the fundamental problem with the game is that the points from more expensive cards aren't high enough to reward you bothering to build them. The points range is so small between the cards and yet the costs of some of the cards is so high so you may as well spend $4-5 and get 2 points instead of $11-13 and get 3 points. I think that's the part that really needed looking at, rather than the rules themselves.
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Christopher Corrigan
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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
Hmm, interesting, that out of some strange Je ne sais quoi, you can not like this game because the "out of the box" rules did not work particularly well in your perspective. Despite their being amended rules widely available that most folks actually do play by. Why not play it as modified? I do, and as a result I enjoy myself. That is the point, non? "Fun, your Honor, I put it to the court, the main raison d'etre of a game is ... Fun" My play is about fun and is not "by the book, Sir" I am fairly certain that most well played games are house ruled to some extent. I say play free parking and stop insisting on property auctions.
 
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Chris Funk
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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
cubbymoore wrote:
I do like the game with the updated rules. But, I think the fundamental problem with the game is that the points from more expensive cards aren't high enough to reward you bothering to build them. The points range is so small between the cards and yet the costs of some of the cards is so high so you may as well spend $4-5 and get 2 points instead of $11-13 and get 3 points. I think that's the part that really needed looking at, rather than the rules themselves.


The point value of the card is not what is relative tot he cost. It's the goods produced and the resources for the production chain. Production is where the real points are. If you have one piece of the chain and that 13 coin building takes your goods and uses them to chain into something much more expensive, that's the incentive. The VP amount of the building itself is mainly inconsequential.

With the amended rules, those chains are even more valuable, since one of the major adjustments is that you can trigger all of your production chains at the end and it's a great opportunity to maximize points.
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Cubby Moore
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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
FunkyBlue wrote:
cubbymoore wrote:
I do like the game with the updated rules. But, I think the fundamental problem with the game is that the points from more expensive cards aren't high enough to reward you bothering to build them. The points range is so small between the cards and yet the costs of some of the cards is so high so you may as well spend $4-5 and get 2 points instead of $11-13 and get 3 points. I think that's the part that really needed looking at, rather than the rules themselves.


The point value of the card is not what is relative tot he cost. It's the goods produced and the resources for the production chain. Production is where the real points are. If you have one piece of the chain and that 13 coin building takes your goods and uses them to chain into something much more expensive, that's the incentive. The VP amount of the building itself is mainly inconsequential.

With the amended rules, those chains are even more valuable, since one of the major adjustments is that you can trigger all of your production chains at the end and it's a great opportunity to maximize points.

I agree that it seems the production ability is more relative to the cost than the points, but the ability to generate more expensive goods is negated by the fact you can only spend them on buildings with barely differing points values.

You can only build one building per turn, and buildings are the main source of points, are they not? How is production the main source of points? I may be misunderstanding something there so you could enlighten me.
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Chris Funk
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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
Each good produced is worth coins that turn into points based on the type of good. That 13 point 3VP building may produce an 8-coin good. If it takes two cards to trigger the production chain, that makes 16 coins in goods that could translate into 3 VP at the end.

Example. You have a Mill - 3 coins/2vp. It makes flour when it produces. Flour is worth 2 coin each.

You build a bakery. 12 coins/3vp. It produces bread. Bread is worth 4VP each. The production chain is one coal and one flour to make bread. If you produce bread, you can take a 1 coin charcoal and a 2 coin flour to make 2 x 4 coin bread and go from 3 coins to 8 coins.

You build a food factory. 21 coins/5vp. When it produces, it makes... We'll call it a feast. A feast is worth 8 coin each. The production chain takes a single 4 coin bread and turns it into an 8 coin feast.

Now, as you can chain as many times as you like, you can take all of the bread you're holding and convert it for double coin in one turn.

After converting 5:1 coin:vp, those will be worth far points than the building itself in the end.

That's what makes it important to plan your buildings instead of racing to just be the first with 8 buildings to end the game. You want to build buildings that work with each other to maximize the efficiency of those chains when your buildings produce. Even more so if you play with the amended rules where everything has a chance to chain together and score a lot of points if you have played your cards right.

That's why building anything you can as fast as you can isn't always the best strategy. If someone has 5 buildings, but they all chain together nicely, you're going to end up with more points because of your goods, even though the other person has 8 buildings. That extra 6-10 points may not be enough to insure a win if you don't have your buildings in sync.
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Ben Bateson
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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
FunkyBlue wrote:
Each good produced is worth coins that turn into points based on the type of good. That 13 point 3VP building may produce an 8-coin good. If it takes two cards to trigger the production chain, that makes 16 coins in goods that could translate into 3 VP at the end.

Example. You have a Mill - 3 coins/2vp. It makes flour when it produces. Flour is worth 2 coin each.

You build a bakery. 12 coins/3vp. It produces bread. Bread is worth 4VP each. The production chain is one coal and one flour to make bread. If you produce bread, you can take a 1 coin charcoal and a 2 coin flour to make 2 x 4 coin bread and go from 3 coins to 8 coins.

You build a food factory. 21 coins/5vp. When it produces, it makes... We'll call it a feast. A feast is worth 8 coin each. The production chain takes a single 4 coin bread and turns it into an 8 coin feast.

Now, as you can chain as many times as you like, you can take all of the bread you're holding and convert it for double coin in one turn.

After converting 5:1 coin:vp, those will be worth far points than the building itself in the end.

That's what makes it important to plan your buildings instead of racing to just be the first with 8 buildings to end the game. You want to build buildings that work with each other to maximize the efficiency of those chains when your buildings produce. Even more so if you play with the amended rules where everything has a chance to chain together and score a lot of points if you have played your cards right.

That's why building anything you can as fast as you can isn't always the best strategy. If someone has 5 buildings, but they all chain together nicely, you're going to end up with more points because of your goods, even though the other person has 8 buildings. That extra 6-10 points may not be enough to insure a win if you don't have your buildings in sync.


In principle, this is how the game is supposed to work.

HOWEVER, you need to a) get those cards in your hand, b) draw the right market cards to activate them (in the right order) and c) have enough staff to man those buildings c2) hope that the extra staff are colour co-ordinated with your plans.

This is a LOT of coincidence required, and I certainly don't see it pan out very often. It seems to me that the game is missing a deep-filtering engine (like San Juan's Councillor or Race for the Galaxy's Explore) to pull out the cards you really need.

On note b) above, an inability to draw and build black cards is potentially ruinous. But it's happened to me more than once.
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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
That is true that there are a lot of if's, but it can be done. And you don't need assistants. They can be helpful in some cases, but I've found mine have not been worth the effort to obtain most of the time.

And as I said, if you're patient to look at the hands you've drawn and possible combinations out there, wait for those even if the other player is just throwing down every 3 coin building they can to try and end early. Good play can counter that.
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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
ousgg wrote:

This is a LOT of coincidence required, and I certainly don't see it pan out very often. It seems to me that the game is missing a deep-filtering engine (like San Juan's Councillor or Race for the Galaxy's Explore) to pull out the cards you really need.

I think the mulligan in the updated rules tries to do this, but I think it would have be better if the option was instead to draw say 5 and pick from all the cards and then discard 5, rather than a dump discard and then draw.

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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
Just to be clear, the new rules ARE official. They were in the rulebook that came in the English edition I ordered from amazon.de a few months ago, and they should be appearing in US copies soon (if not already).
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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
I also want to point out, that this review is based on the 1st edition. The first edition targets casual gamers. Fortunately for you the 2nd edition targets more heavy gamers. And the best: They have the same material, so just download the rules for the 2nd edition and you can play it.
http://www.mayfairgames.com/files/supportfiles/mfg3513_rules...

Changes in short:
1.In phase I, before everybody gets 2 cards, everbody may exchange his/her complete handcards.
2. If you hire an assistant, you can't build this turn. You also don't loose the card you could not build but take it back.
3. In the very last round: Use all your production chains, no matter if there is a person working or not.
4. Market office: This gives you +1 card only if you have at most 3 handcards
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Re: Bricka snd Timber and Grain, Oh My! (An iSlaytheDragon Review)
And there you have it. Official rules changes, linked by the designer from the publisher's site.

Hardly a total "revamp", as the reviewer claims. More like tweaks. And they're really good tweaks. So good that my gf requests OMG! - unheard of - and I bumped my rating up to a 10.


Here's my review of AlexSingh and islaythedragon reviews:

In a word: disappointing.

I look for a reviewer to explore a game deeply and tell me what experiences it can offer. In this case, due to some weird qualm about using updated rules, the reviewer suggests that this small, cheap, deep, fast, unique and generally fantastic game isn't up to snuff.

So glad I already own it, and that this reviewer's half-baked opinion didn't influence my decision to buy!

Bottom line on this reviewer:

Best to ignore.



@Alexander Pfister: Any word on the coming expansion?

@Alex Singh: As a supposed authority, you might have mentioned the coming expansion. In the future, you might also want to check the title of your review for spelling errors.
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doctoryes0 wrote:
I look for a reviewer to explore a game deeply and tell me what experiences it can offer. In this case, due to some weird qualm about using updated rules, the reviewer suggests that this small, cheap, deep, fast, unique and generally fantastic game isn't up to snuff.


Reviewers can only review the game they have in front of them at the time of the review. There are plenty of people who are not on BGG and may find this review in another format. They wouldn't know about the updated rules unless they went looking for them. Some people may have already written the game off from those first few plays.
 
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doctoryes0 wrote:
And there you have it. Official rules changes, linked by the designer from the publisher's site.

Hardly a total "revamp", as the reviewer claims. More like tweaks. And they're really good tweaks. So good that my gf requests OMG! - unheard of - and I bumped my rating up to a 10.


Here's my review of AlexSingh and islaythedragon reviews:

In a word: disappointing.

I look for a reviewer to explore a game deeply and tell me what experiences it can offer. In this case, due to some weird qualm about using updated rules, the reviewer suggests that this small, cheap, deep, fast, unique and generally fantastic game isn't up to snuff.

So glad I already own it, and that this reviewer's half-baked opinion didn't influence my decision to buy!

Bottom line on this reviewer:

Best to ignore.



@Alexander Pfister: Any word on the coming expansion?

@Alex Singh: As a supposed authority, you might have mentioned the coming expansion. In the future, you might also want to check the title of your review for spelling errors.


And reviewers are welcome to their opinion. Some are not going to enjoy the game as much as others and that's ok. We can all chime in and give our own opinions about what a reviewer may not have seen or tried, but this is all about opinions when talking about reviews. If he didn't want to try the revised rules, that's his choice and I can't fault him for that, even though a second opinion at the end after having tried it with the revised rules might have been more favorably received.

I don't think we should be attacking reviewers, though. You may not agree with him, but to pretty much try and tear him down in the comments was a bit too far.
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veector wrote:
Reviewers can only review the game they have in front of them at the time of the review. There are plenty of people who are not on BGG and may find this review in another format. They wouldn't know about the updated rules unless they went looking for them. Some people may have already written the game off from those first few plays.

I don't fault the reviewer for reviewing the game they have in front of them. I expect reviewers to be clear and honest about any official errata or rule changes they are aware of. And I would hope they would mention any upcoming reprints or new editions, although I don't expect them to know about everything that might be in the works.

So in this case, I didn't like the mis-characterization of the new rules as being unofficial, and the failure to mention the new edition (which contains those rules). It seems like the reviewer was aware of the situation and chose to describe it inaccurately. However, if this review was written 3-6 months ago, and only posted now, that would explain it.

I totally agree that some attacks on the reviewer have been out of line.
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FunkyBlue wrote:
I don't think we should be attacking reviewers, though. You may not agree with him, but to pretty much try and tear him down in the comments was a bit too far.


I guarantee the designer put a lot more time and effort into the game than the reviewer put into his review. Why is 'tearing down' the game ok while 'tearing down' the review isn't? The reviewer had the rules revisions and chose not to use them. At least when I trashed the review I read the whole thing.

And again, I think it's a poorly reasoned review. Here's why:

I liked the game before the revision. I didn't mind that running your full production chain from top to bottom rarely happens. The reviewer claims that this is a flaw in the game. Is it a flaw in poker that you rarely get a straight flush? Do a moonwalk around the table. You made shoes!

But, many people didn't see it that way. The designer read the comments here on BGG and early reviews and he did something most designers won't.

He worked out new rules so people could be happy with their purchase.

No ego. No resistance. Just a desire to show people a good time with his game.

And it worked.

Avg. rating for OMG at the time of the new rules was low 6, it's now up to 7.

So how does Mr. Singh react to this care and attention? How does he view the changes that so many people are happy with?

He doesn't. Although he had access to these changes, he chose to ignore them.

I'm sorry, but seriously, wtf?

Mr. Singh, I think you should play with the new rules and revise your incomplete review. Otherwise your review, again, is:

Best to ignore.


p.s. I have gone to the mat with Tom Vasel twice in the past over the same issue. He is another reviewer who has gotten rules wrong, missed key points of strategy, and trashed the work of those who deserved fair consideration.

If you want to write negative reviews, expect some blowback. People work hard on their craft. You should work as hard on reviewing it.
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doctoryes0 wrote:
FunkyBlue wrote:
I don't think we should be attacking reviewers, though. You may not agree with him, but to pretty much try and tear him down in the comments was a bit too far.


I guarantee the designer put a lot more time and effort into the game than the reviewer put into his review. Why is 'tearing down' the game ok while 'tearing down' the review isn't? The reviewer had the rules revisions and chose not to use them. At least when I trashed the review I read the whole thing.

And again, I think it's a poorly reasoned review. Here's why:

I liked the game before the revision. I didn't mind that running your full production chain from top to bottom rarely happens. The reviewer claims that this is a flaw in the game. Is it a flaw in poker that you rarely get a straight flush? Do a moonwalk around the table. You made shoes!

But, many people didn't see it that way. The designer read the comments here on BGG and early reviews and he did something most designers won't.

He worked out new rules so people could be happy with their purchase.

No ego. No resistance. Just a desire to show people a good time with his game.

And it worked.

Avg. rating for OMG at the time of the new rules was low 6, it's now up to 7.

So how does Mr. Singh react to this care and attention? How does he view the changes that so many people are happy with?

He doesn't. Although he had access to these changes, he chose to ignore them.

I'm sorry, but seriously, wtf?

Mr. Singh, I think you should play with the new rules and revise your incomplete review. Otherwise your review, again, is:

Best to ignore.


p.s. I have gone to the mat with Tom Vasel twice in the past over the same issue. He is another reviewer who has gotten rules wrong, missed key points of strategy, and trashed the work of those who deserved fair consideration.

If you want to write negative reviews, expect some blowback. People work hard on their craft. You should work as hard on reviewing it.


Photos are good, though.
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Armand
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ousgg wrote:
Photos are good, though.


Ha!

Yes, they are! I just hope he ate the watermelon with a fork...
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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doctoryes0 wrote:
If you want to write negative reviews, expect some blowback. People work hard on their craft. You should work as hard on reviewing it.

My problem was when you said "Here's my review of AlexSingh and islaythedragon reviews:" and "Bottom line on this reviewer: Best to ignore."

In both cases, you appear to be attacking the reviewer, not the review. Criticizing aspects of THIS review, factually and respectfully, is awesome. Saying (or implying) a person should be ignored in all cases because of one post, or that every review they do is flawed, isn't cool. IMHO, of course.
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Steve Cohn
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doctoryes0 wrote:
I think it's a poorly reasoned review. Here's why:


I don't know about poorly reasoned, but his opinion is his own, right?

I've seen Alexander (big fan, Mr. Pfister, by the way, congrats on KDJ #2, and thanks for being so prolific here on BGG) post a few times--including again here--that the game was originally intended for, specifically, casual gamers and would be too light for heavy gamers. The reviewer states
singhalex wrote:
the publisher Lookout Games, games such as "Agricola to Grand Austria Hotel to Snowdonia" and "LeHavre"

gave him--the reviewer--as part of the publisher "cred"--
singhalex wrote:
"high hopes going in. My mistake."


We all make mistakes, so, there you go.

singhalex wrote:
and the designer himself tacitly admitted it when he rewrote the rule book and fundamentally changed the way the game works


Well, no, some adjustments were made, updating the rules that were specifically written for casual gamers--i.e. not people who regularly spend many hours playing farming/shipping games--to "get it" to give the game rules that are more in line with a heavy "gamer". I've played, and still play, with both rules depending on the game I'm looking for and the parties I'm playing with. I don't believe anything:
singhalex wrote:
fundamentally changed the way the game works


Adding an extra turn, an extra opportunity to use the production chains, and a decision about dropping your hand to redraw doesn't take a flow chart and a double-sided player aid to explain.
Using the bakery to make bread and using the bread to feed the Tannery and then taking leather from the Tannery so you can feed the Weaver, *that* would be fundamentally changing the game (and make no sense).

This is, at the heart of it, an opinion piece, and a fairly well done one at that. He stepped through parts of the game, provided his reasoning on specific areas, and openly admitted he was expecting X and got Y. I don't personally know anyone who has all the exact same games in their collection today that they did once-upon-a-time {in fairness, I don't get out much, so some of you very well might}, indicating many have the same "X play did not meet Y expectations" at some point, yes? Isn't that why we have a Marketplace?

That said, the opinion is not one I personally agree with, I really enjoy this game, especially at two players, but if a sudden surge of activity gets more parties interested in what I feel is a fine game, great!

~Steve


 
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Sam Hillier
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Sorry to side track, but I guess I just don't get what is so casual-friendly about the original rules. Do casual gamers really like having their plans wrecked by an unlucky market flop? Or fruitlessly chasing the expensive buildings?
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Alexander Pfister
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It's the shorter playing time. And yes, I think casual gamers are more willing to accept randomness.

Regarding the expansion: Chapter 1 begins with rebels burning down some crop fields. We should deliver some food (e.g. bread, meat, crop) to fight famine. You can play 5 chapters or if you are not interested in the story, just play the last chapter with all new buildings included.
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Chris Funk
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Of note: The revised rules are also use in the White Glove Demo:

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Alex Singh
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I was away for a bit and it's been interesting to see the discussion and feedback. Thanks all!

doctoryes0 wrote:
Here's my review of AlexSingh and islaythedragon reviews:

In a word: disappointing.

I look for a reviewer to explore a game deeply and tell me what experiences it can offer. In this case, due to some weird qualm about using updated rules, the reviewer suggests that this small, cheap, deep, fast, unique and generally fantastic game isn't up to snuff.

So glad I already own it, and that this reviewer's half-baked opinion didn't influence my decision to buy!

Bottom line on this reviewer:

Best to ignore.


Thanks for the feedback. Always looking to improve!

AlexP wrote:
I also want to point out, that this review is based on the 1st edition. The first edition targets casual gamers. Fortunately for you the 2nd edition targets more heavy gamers. And the best: They have the same material, so just download the rules for the 2nd edition and you can play it.
http://www.mayfairgames.com/files/supportfiles/mfg3513_rules...


I took a look at the revised rules. Will the 1st edition rules be included in any way?

When I played the game, I didn't know whether or not the new rules were being officially adopted. That information might have been out there, but it was spread out over forum posts and I missed it. I will amend the review with a note about the new rules being available. Thank you.

Thanks again everyone for the discussion and feedback. The review I posted reflect my experiences with the rules I believed to be official. I will make that more clear through an edit.
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singhalex wrote:

I took a look at the revised rules. Will the 1st edition rules be included in any way?

Thanks!
No, the 1st edition rules aren't included in the 2nd edition.
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