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Subject: Opinion/review from someone new to board gaming rss

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Constantin Mihai
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As the title says i'm new to this hobby, having only played games such as Monopoly or basic card games as a child, when the weather was not good enough to chase after a ball or play hide and seek. I have acquired five new games in the past month, and "Oh My Goods!" is one i enjoy playing most, alongside Port Royal and Carcassonne. The other two games are Eight Minute Empire and the small/cheap Settlers of Catan card game, which i didn't mind playing either, but were less popular among my playing partners as well. So definitely keep my extremely limited experience in mind, which could color my opinion of this game for better or worse.

Also, very important to note that i have only played the game with the second set of rules, which involve few changes, such as discarding your hand every turn or replacing your cards and activating all your production chains in the last round. I honestly can't imagine wanting to play the game differently, as you are getting a whole lot more control over what you plan on producing/building each round, as well as being allowed to build up towards that glorious final turn when all your work pays off, and more often than one might think, the player with a better strategy comes out on top, and runs past the one's that just randomly bought cheap buildings, and/or only thought about maximizing production each turn.

First, i'll address how new player friendly this game is. I have to say that in this regard, it's less so than the other game designed by Alexander that i own, Port Royal. While i had no problems teaching that game to anyone, including my 13 years old/low attention span niece, and all found it enjoyable, Oh My Goods! requires a bit more attention and willingness to understand all the game concepts. There are a few more elements to consider, and the multiple use cards i find lovely, but can be a bit more difficult to grasp than the simple coin on one side/ship, person, expedition or tax on the other one's from Port Royal. Some players were also confused about the value attached to each product depending on the building, and were thinking that they should receive a higher number of cards/products at the end of their production phase, which needed a bit more explanation to clarify. That being said, it's really not all that difficult, and works really nice once understood, but the beforehand mentioned niece gave up on it while i was explaining how the game is played, so this is probably something one should keep in mind when choosing the right time to get this game on the table.

But how good is the game once it gets going ? I really like it

After having played it more than 10 times already ( probably nearing 20, though i didn't keep count ), i enjoyed each and every one of them, and never felt that i lost one game because i was really unlucky. I've read through some reviews and seen complaints about the luck element when playing with the first set of rules, and how unrewarding it is to work towards building up chains. I can't really comment on that, but i do find it unfortunate that Alexander was not able to get this game going with the second set of rules from the very beginning, and i am thankful that he took the time to address those issues in such a wonderful manner.

I've won games by :

- Turning wood into planks, and then those into barrels.
- Feeding wheat to raise cows, and then turning those into meat.
- Turning textiles into more refined materials, and then making clothes out of them.
- Turning wheat into flour, and then making a bunch of bread out of it.

And there are even more options and strategies to explore with glass and windows, clay and metal based products and even more. For example a friend combined glass making with the building that allows you to draw an additional card each turn, if you have no more than three in hand. And yeah, it makes sense, right ? You need a large market to produce glass, otherwise you need to pay a lot of cards to produce. But if you pay a lot of cards, your hand size diminishes, and then you take advantage of the extra draw !

The final turn is when most of the magic happens though, and seeing your 1 coin value coal products and 3 coin value refined materials turned as pairs, into clothing each worth 4 coins for example, feels great and is really rewarding Scores even went as high as 15 + victory points being obtained solely from production, and that alone sometimes manages to almost match the points scored by a not well planned rush strategy, when one of the players tries to just get 8 cheap buildings built as fast as possible.

There was a single game when i did not manage to activate my chain properly, after i got a good understanding of how they work, and that was only because i did not construct the final building earlier when available, even though i could afford it, and greedily used the card twice to take advantage of some early chain production. I did not get my hands on the card again in the very last turn i could build and use it, and i definitely blame myself for taking such a ridiculous risk and not the mechanics of the game.

You are presented with a good amount of choices every turn, and these are meaningful and from my experience properly conveyed in the final result. You can take risks in order to pursue a certain strategy, or just try to make the most out of the available resources and adapt each turn. You can construct buildings each turn if you have the available resources, but will you exchange your potential 5 VP ( Victory Points ) worth of Coal ( if you chain each Coal into 4 coins value through the clothing chain described earlier ) for a 7 cost, only 2 VP building, if that said building is not essential for your strategy ? And then wasting that Coal will not allow you to chain your refined material into clothing either, for an additional 1 point each, which would make for 2 VP more in this example ( 28 coins worth of Coal and 7 extra from the refined materials, for a total of 35 coins that would convert into 7 VP ).

But obviously, you are going to need to construct as well, so being efficient with that, with your production, hand management ,and with investing your resources and building up to that final turn definitely leaves a lot of room for players to make good and better plays, as well as recognizing their own mistakes in the later turns.

An element of the game that was not very popular so far were the assistants. Personally i get a bit too invested into dealing with the other elements to care much about them, and no one else made great use of them either up to this point. It’s quite possible though that we are at fault here, and look forward to potentially seeing them shine in future games !

Overall, i am a fan of this game, and it’s designer, Alexander Pfister. I hope he continues to make these tiny awesome games, and am glad to have Oh My Goods! and Port Royal in my collection

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P. oeppel
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(quite some time since I played, once or twice, even then only the first version of the rules)

15 VP from production? that would be 75 coins, wouldn't it? That sounds massive....
 
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Chris Funk
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pinoeppel wrote:
(quite some time since I played, once or twice, even then only the first version of the rules)

15 VP from production? that would be 75 coins, wouldn't it? That sounds massive....


Can happen. Depends on the type of goods you managed to stock pile.
 
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Liam
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Good write up - thanks for sharing

As someone new to board gaming, you should consider listing and rating your collection.

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Constantin Mihai
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pinoeppel wrote:
(quite some time since I played, once or twice, even then only the first version of the rules)

15 VP from production? that would be 75 coins, wouldn't it? That sounds massive....


It is indeed a fairly high score, and usually the one getting such nice production will win the game, but it is definitely possible and not a one time occurrence either. For example, let's say you managed to produce 9 planks that would normally score you 18 coins before the final round. You then manage to produce another 2 by working at full capacity, and go up to 11. You chain another 3 wood from hand for a total of 14, and then turn all of them into barrels with the final round awesome guaranteed production chain activation. That's 70 coins from production right here, only from these two buildings. Get any random couple of goods from other buildings and you hit the 75 coins.

Or maybe you had something like 6 coal and 8 refined materials before the final round. You produce another two coal, and then chain a couple of raw materials in your Charburner and your weaving mill during your final round, for a total of 10 in each. Chain once again those into your Tailor's Shop, and you got a grand score of 80 coins.

Or you could just have 7 cows in your Cattle Ranch before the final round. Produce two and chain another single product in there, and you have 10 cows. Use the chain production once again to turn them all into meat with your Butcher, and you get 70 coins from this alone, while ignoring any other goods you might have in your other buildings

Definitely give it a try with the second rules when you feel like it, i can see how it's hard to believe you can get such high scores from production if you only used the old rules, and miss out on that awesome final turn global production chain activation.

monkeyhandz wrote:
Good write up - thanks for sharing

As someone new to board gaming, you should consider listing and rating your collection.



Ah, i have quite a hard time scoring stuff, don't like the definitive aspect of labeling something in that manner. Will think about it and might make such a list, thank's for letting me know about this option !
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Chris Funk
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sanjibg wrote:
Ah, i have quite a hard time scoring stuff, don't like the definitive aspect of labeling something in that manner. Will think about it and might make such a list, thank's for letting me know about this option !


My general score is 6 = good game, 7 = very good game, 8 = great game, 10 = bestest game ever.

It's all subjective, so you can use any metric you like for any game you like. And you don't have to follow anyone else's lead. If a lot of people rate a game a 6, but you love it and have a great time playing it, don't be afraid to put an 8 on there.
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Constantin Mihai
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FunkyBlue wrote:
sanjibg wrote:
Ah, i have quite a hard time scoring stuff, don't like the definitive aspect of labeling something in that manner. Will think about it and might make such a list, thank's for letting me know about this option !


My general score is 6 = good game, 7 = very good game, 8 = great game, 10 = bestest game ever.

It's all subjective, so you can use any metric you like for any game you like. And you don't have to follow anyone else's lead. If a lot of people rate a game a 6, but you love it and have a great time playing it, don't be afraid to put an 8 on there.


I guess that part of my issue with this is that scores will weight differently from person to person. I'm sure that you can find individuals that would perceive your 6 as a poor rating, even though your intent is to share that as fair praise towards a certain game. And then, if your ratings only make perfect sense to you, is there much of a point in sharing them and potentially creating confusion ? There should probably be a generally agreed upon scoring method, so that a 6 means the same for everyone

Though this is like i said just part of my issue, i genuinely have a fairly hard time rating something beyond a more relaxed scoring system such as :

Did not like it ; Quite fun ; Really Fun ; Best thing ever laugh
 
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Dan Lokemoen
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Constantin, the only problem I see with this review is that you didn't post it to the "Review" section. Don't feel that because you're new, your review doesn't deserve to be there. BGG is informal, and your review was very useful. Don't worry about giving a game a numeric score -- people will never agree what the scores mean, anyway.
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Constantin Mihai
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YourHighnessness wrote:
Constantin, the only problem I see with this review is that you didn't post it to the "Review" section. Don't feel that because you're new, your review doesn't deserve to be there. BGG is informal, and your review was very useful. Don't worry about giving a game a numeric score -- people will never agree what the scores mean, anyway.


Thanks ! It's nice to know that this was of some help. I actually almost posted this to the "Review" section, but i submitted it before it was finished, while trying just to preview it, and ended up deciding that it's more of a "share my thoughts" thing than an actual detailed review and moved it here.

I think this lacks quite a few of the elements needed for a fair quality actual review, but still wanted to write a bit about my experience with the game here, since i used this site as well to inform myself a little more about it before my purchase, after seeing a video made by Rahdo that had BGK linked in it's description

I also don't take pride in my English language /writing skills to be honest. It's not my first language, and i'm not using it in day-to-day life, which limits my ability to express myself to a fair extent
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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sanjibg wrote:
For example, let's say you managed to produce 9 planks that would normally score you 18 points before the final round.

It would be less confusing if you said "coins" instead of "points" in your examples. But thanks for giving those examples. They were helpful.
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Constantin Mihai
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peakhope wrote:
sanjibg wrote:
For example, let's say you managed to produce 9 planks that would normally score you 18 points before the final round.

It would be less confusing if you said "coins" instead of "points" in your examples. But thanks for giving those examples. They were helpful.


This is a good point, should have used coins from the very beginning. Thanks! I've edited both that post and the opening one, hopefully i didn't miss anything and it's all less confusing now
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