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Subject: GenCon Demo rss

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Brian Fay
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Waukesha
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My son and I played a game of this at GenCon and we both loved it. The game play is very quick and easy to understand. Once you have the base rules/buildings down, the # of changes you can make due the variety in other choices for buildings are astonishing. The box has a great insert and I am so glad I pre-ordered this.

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Marty Strubczewski
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I too enjoyed it and demo'd it twice to get a good feel for the game.
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Richard Derr
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100% agree! I demoed it at Gencon as well, which led me to pre-ordering.
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Peter Rabinowitz
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I demoed it at GenCon and a] loved everything about my turn and b] got very impatient waiting for it to be my turn again. There was literally nothing to do off turn. Maybe as we became more familiar with the cards the turns would become faster? Maybe there are other cards in the box that have more player interaction or off turn powers?
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Dirk Meijlof
Netherlands
Amersfoort
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I pre-ordered it a few months ago for an Essen pick up. Glad to hear that was a good choice!
 
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Irwin Dolobowsky
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Just to offer a counter-point, my group got a play-through of the recommended first setup yesterday from a demo copy. It fell completely flat for us, and we were all ready to be done 2/3 of the way through.

The down time did make us all impatient. Since I don't know 3 of my resources until the beginning of my turn (and maybe lose some in between) it was hard to plan until my turn. Turns got longer and longer as we got more and more dice.

The "catch up" mechanism was devastating to the person in the lead. Since the game ends instantly they had no chance to come back after someone rolled 3-4 extra die and jumped from 11->15 when the person in the lead was 1 point away - not a great feeling. They were punished for building a great engine.

The Pirate/Chain Link fence combo seemed off to us. We End up where each person had a fence and two people, in order, had Pirates. The first person was basically forced to attack the other person with the pirate. If they attacked anyone else then that leaves an easy win for the second person with the pirate. And once we all had fences no one wanted to attack since attacking was more likely to give your opponent extra dice.

And underneath it all, there's a pasted on theme. mechanics break down to roll dice, get the right combo to get cards that either give you more dice, let you manipulate dice values, or let you save dice.

Loved the look of the cards, the temporary & permanent dice (calling them resources just confused things...), and a great box insert.

I'm a big fan of Suburbia and Castles of Mad King Ludwig, but this one just fell flat for us. Maybe I'll try again with a different setup of cards, but overall, it was very underwhelming for our first play.

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Ted Alspach
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Louisville
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Irwin, while Colony can't be a game for everyone, it does sound like there might be a few issues with your game as it was a first game, and typically players don't grasp many of the strategies until partway through that game. That said, there are two particular issues to note from your comment:

Number of new resources each turn
At the beginning of your turn, you get ONE new resource, not three. The only time you'll get more than one unknown resource is if you turn in CHIPIs on that turn for additional Unstable resources. While that can happen occasionally, with the starting set of variable cards you should be getting CHIPIs once every 5 or 6 turns at most (you only get them when you don't purchase something on your turn).

Because you're only getting one new resource on your turn, players can pretty easily plan for what they want (i.e. "if I get a 4, I can purchase a Fiber mill, etc."), so turns should go fairly quickly. The first game things can slow down a little if you don't understand the cost structure of the cards (if they were set up as shown in the rules, they follow a pattern of lower numbers on the left, higher numbers on the right, which allows them to be scanned pretty quickly).

Discarding a card
The "discard a card" mechanism can be used as a catch up mechanism by anyone; knowing that, you never want to be one point short of the target score if that puts you way ahead of your opponents because that will give all of them a better chance to catch up...and if they do, it's because they built a very good engine too (or better than the leader's engine). It's not easy to get 4 points in a single turn unless they've been collecting resources and cards that allow them to do that (the 3 resources they would get by being down 11-14 on their turn are only enough to get them 2 points at most straight up by purchasing a Hospitality Suite in the starting set...if 2 Hospitality Suites were still available at that point in the game, anyone could get 4 points with only 6 resources).

The leader (or potential leader) needs to be hyper aware of what 3, 4, or more resources can do for a player, and hold back on his turn, saving those resources for a turn or 2 until he has what's needed to cross the finish line.
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Irwin Dolobowsky
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Thanks Ted for your response.

Number of Resources
By 3 I mean from the end of my turn, in a 4 player game, I will acquire 3 new resources - 1 from each of the 2 players before me + 1 from my own roll. Depending on what those are or aren't I have many more choices.

When you throw CHIPI's in if you're rolling 3 then you have another 3 more. So toward the end folks were looking down at 10-12 dice from: saved turns, production cards, CHIPI's, and rolling, and trying to figure out the best combo to buy.

Discarding
Totally get this. And the person who ended up loosing would have played different, but not in a way they would have enjoyed. It is much less fun to have to hold back so you don't inadvertently push someone else over the edge. Do I really buy less cards this turn just so another person can't springboard over me? Then everyone slows down their game so no one can spring ahead. Just not a feeling/way of playing we enjoy.

Thanks!

 
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Ted Alspach
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irwando wrote:
Thanks Ted for your response.

Do I really buy less cards this turn just so another person can't springboard over me? Then everyone slows down their game so no one can spring ahead. Just not a feeling/way of playing we enjoy.


Okay, I can definitely see this. It's a very different mindset, but once you start playing with this "hold back until you can win" concept at the forefront of your decision making process, it adds a very unique layer of strategy to the game that you won't find anywhere else. It reminds me of when One Night first came out...a lot of werewolf players hated that they weren't sure of their own role at the end of the night phase, because that was totally counter to their hidden role experience to that point. Now most of them (though not all, certainly) really like the dual aspect it has.

I hope you have the opportunity to give it another play regardless!
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Curt Frantz
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irwando wrote:


Discarding
Totally get this. And the person who ended up loosing would have played different, but not in a way they would have enjoyed. It is much less fun to have to hold back so you don't inadvertently push someone else over the edge. Do I really buy less cards this turn just so another person can't springboard over me? Then everyone slows down their game so no one can spring ahead. Just not a feeling/way of playing we enjoy.


I couldn't couldn't agree more regarding the catchup mechanism. As you pointed out before, it feels extremely swingy and the better someone plays, the more they're punished. If the catchup mechanism allows a person to overcome all the mistakes they've made on the last round of the game, doesn't it supercede any other elements of strategy? I don't want to be forced to play suboptimally so that I don't take the lead early. I know people who play Power Grid that way and it feels completely unnatural.

I guess I feel like the catchup mechanism becomes the game.
 
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