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Subject: Our Next Uwe Rosenberg Game rss

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Jim Parkin
United States
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Ohio
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Pound for pound, Herr Rosenberg is my favorite game designer. Over ten years ago, I was introduced to the humble but perennial Bohnanza, and it continues to be pure joy every time I play it. Later, my wife bought me Agricola for my birthday and Ora et Labora for Christmas.

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Agricola has risen to my #1 game, and Ora et Labora is not far behind. They are fabulous--but my posting here is not intended to inflate already-excellent titles. Given TMG's recent announcement of their reprinting At the Gates of Loyang, my Uwe-loving wife suggested that we pre-order it ASAP. There was a glassy madness in her eyes as she looked frantically for the "insta-buy" button. What's a loving husband to do? I acquiesced. I then noticed that the app for Patchwork was very cheap, so I downloaded it and slapped it on our iPad. We've had a blast with that one, too, which is nice as it is reminiscent of the lightness-but-depth of Bohnanza from Uwe's original design phase.

So with At the Gates of Loyang inbound to our blossoming Uwe cache come November, we decided to take stock of our overall collection. We've found that time and again, despite our broad taste in games and love for many not-strictly-Euro games (like Eclipse, Merchants & Marauders, and Ascension: Deckbuilding Game), we can't shake our mutual admiration for Rosenberg's designs. This brings us to my question at hand... given that we prefer these designs over many comparable Eurogames (and non-Eurogames, on the whole), which one should we add next?

We're looking at Le Havre and Glass Road, primarily, with some attention paid to Fields of Arle and Merkator, as well.

In a nutshell, we definitely enjoy the shackles of Agricola, but we also enjoy the sandboxy-ness of Ora et Labora. Both provide different types of engaging questions, and we enjoy answering all of them. I'm intrigued by the Knizia-esque scoring of Fields of Arle. Glass Road is fast, and more or less Rosenberg's take on role selection, and Le Havre is a landmark game of resource conversion which I once foolishly assumed was Ora et Labora v 0.5. Merkator strikes me as a great, if abstracted, pick-up-and-deliver game, which often gets left in the dust in these discussions.

We have a few games to trade or sell, so the question of adding another one of these excellent titles to our shelf is valid per our gaming "budget" at the moment.

Poll
Well, what should we get?
Le Havre
Glass Road
Fields of Arle
Merkator
Other
      85 answers
Poll created by Annowme


If you vote, tell me why you recommended what you did!

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Frankly, our interest is really high for all of these, but we'd like to pool community opinions in one place as we consider which direction to go in first. I would not be surprised if we eventually ended up with all of Rosenberg's games on our shelf.
 
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Greg Strobel
United States
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Glass Road is everything Uwe Rosenberg in a comparatively short amount of time!
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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You've done your homework with regards to what the options do and don't do. There's little to add, really. At this point you're quite capable of making your own decision.
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Jim Parkin
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cymric wrote:
You've done your homework with regards to what the options do and don't do. There's little to add, really. At this point you're quite capable of making your own decision.

Thanks--but which one would YOU pick?
 
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Jonathan Dodd
United States
Coraopolis
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I voted for Glass Road because it's the one I'd most like to play ninja
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Michael Oliver
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Argyle
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I love Fields of Arle, the only issue is how much space it takes up for only a two player game. That isn't a real negative, but, it does spread across the table, A LOT.

Have you played any of the other 2-player only games?

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small and Le Havre: The Inland Port?

My wife and I rotate between those and Patchwork a lot.

Also, anything on your list is good, but, please avoid Hengist. It is a rare miss with his name on the box.
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Dereck Sherrer
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I'd definitely vote for Le Havre. I love Glass Road as well, but I find Le Havre scales to different player counts very well and is an excellent, tense two player game. Plus, the variable set up with the large number of buildings and special buildings prevents it from getting stale.

If you're able to, the iOS version is a great way to test it (and Glass Road) out before making the plunge.
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Cagey McCageface
United States
Clawson
MI
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Wait, and get A Feast for Odin
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Jim Parkin
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jmayDET wrote:
Wait, and get A Feast for Odin

All in good time...

I decided that I want to go back and fill in Rosenberg's older games before launching after his newest release. This interest was redoubled when At the Gates of Loyang was announced for reprint.
 
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Phil Hendrickson
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Seward
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Le Havre is a truly wonderful game, but it fills the same place as Agricola in the gaming landscape: a big euro with lots of bits that takes an entire evening from box opening to closing.

That is why I voted for Glass Road. It fills a different spot in the landscape for several reasons. The action (role) selection mechanism is rather different from his other games, and puts more emphasis on guessing what your opponents are doing. So few of the possible buildings get used in each game that the replay variability is quite high. Also it doesn't take as long to set up and play.

When you and your fellow player(s) don't quite have the energy to play Agricola (or Loyang or Le Havre), but you want something more substantial than Patchwork, Glass Road fits nicely in that space.

(And when you are ready to enjoy a dice management game that feels like a member of the Rosenberg family, check out La Granja.)
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Cagey McCageface
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Of the four you listed in your poll, I narrowed it down to Glass Road and Merkator, as those are two most different than what you already have. You listed a preference for Glass Road over Merkator, so that's what I voted for.
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Jim Parkin
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jmayDET wrote:
Of the four you listed in your poll, I narrowed it down to Glass Road and Merkator, as those are two most different than what you already have. You listed a preference for Glass Road over Merkator, so that's what I voted for.

Sounds good. Agreed that prioritizing difference from current games is a plus.
 
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mark meier
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brookfield
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jmayDET wrote:
Of the four you listed in your poll, I narrowed it down to Glass Road and Merkator, as those are two most different than what you already have. You listed a preference for Glass Road over Merkator, so that's what I voted for.


Agree 100%. Glass Road for sure.
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Nate Linton
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Friday Harbor
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My wife and I also love Rosenberg and Agricola/Le Havre are our favorites. Loyang is nice, but we didn't like how it felt like multi-player solitaire. Le Havre is long, but is very satisfying and great with 2.
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Jim Parkin
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2 Salt City Gamers wrote:
My wife and I also love Rosenberg and Agricola/Le Havre are our favorites. Loyang is nice, but we didn't like how it felt like multi-player solitaire. Le Havre is long, but is very satisfying and great with 2.

Good point. We're comfy with aggressive Euro interaction and MPS, so it works both ways for us.
 
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Why isn't Caverna on your list? I would choose Caverna or Fields of Arle [Fields of Arle probably being the most sandbox-y, but Caverna offering new things, and we enjoy the 2p variant of using the starting board spaces, but filling them with random tiles, for a random (and quicker) setup].

I don't dislike Le Havre, but I've never quite gotten good at it. It doesn't excite me as much as some of the others. It feels more limited, one right path, fewer chances to catch up.

We sold Glass Road and Ora et Labora. Ora et Labora was too many cards with tiny text in a grid. Trying to read my own was hard enough, trying to figure out what my opponent had going on was nigh impossible.

I have 75 plays of Loyang, and we enjoy Merkator on occasion (you're right, it often gets left out of discussions).
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Jim Parkin
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indigopotter wrote:
Why isn't Caverna on your list? I would choose Caverna or Fields of Arle [Fields of Arle probably being the most sandbox-y, but Caverna offering new things, and we enjoy the 2p variant of using the starting board spaces, but filling them with random tiles, for a random (and quicker) setup].

I don't dislike Le Havre, but I've never quite gotten good at it. It doesn't excite me as much as some of the others. It feels more limited, one right path, fewer chances to catch up.

We sold Glass Road and Ora et Labora. Ora et Labora was too many cards with tiny text in a grid. Trying to read my own was hard enough, trying to figure out what my opponent had going on was nigh impossible.

I have 75 plays of Loyang, and we enjoy Merkator on occasion (you're right, it often gets left out of discussions).

Caverna strikes me as a last-to-the-party consideration for us, since we love Agricola so, SO much and it would be the most redundant option along those terms. I've read all of the back-and-forth arguments for one versus the other, and I've pretty much thrown in the towel for the time being. I mentioned that we'll probably end up as Rosenberg completionists anyway and grab it at some point in the distant future, but in terms of something we'd like to add sooner than later, Caverna doesn't make the cut. Being as expensive as it is, I'd rather pursue a few others before coming back for it later.

I thought of Caverna in the back my head when I added the "other" option to the poll.
 
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I have 96 plays of Agricola, and while I picked up Caverna on a good sale in case it would be hard to get later, it sat in shrink over a year (!) because I thought it was just Agricola with new art/bits. While there are similarities, it does offer some new things that open up the game. While it doesn't have to be your next game, I didn't want you to dismiss it completely.
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John Burt
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My wife and I are huge Uwe fans as well. My opinions:

It is said that Ora is a combination and improvement on Le Havre and Agricola, so you if you own and like Ora, then you might not get as much out of Le Havre.

I can't recommend Glass Road, though it might work for you if you like shorter games with abbreviated engine building.

I've never played Merkator.

Therefore, I voted for Fields of Arle, which is one of my two favorite mid-heavy games (other is Roads and Boats). This game fixes the "problems" with Caverna and hits the sweet spot for my heavy engine building sandbox preferences. Given your enjoyment of Ora, which has a similar niche (though plays very differently), then I think this will work for you.

As for Gates of Loyang: I like this game a lot. Bought it 6 months ago and have played about 25 games since, mostly solo. It is a card game, though, with a lot of luck, and is quite light weight, so it won't scratch any "heavy Uwe game" itch you might have. BTW, if you like this game, then have a look at La Granja, which borrowed many mechanisms from Loyang (and numerous other games), and which I think is a deeper and more satisfying experience.
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Sebastien Maire
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St Jean de Moirans
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I would say Fields of Arles as you seams to play mostly 2p games.
However considering Le Havre right now might be an option if you want to have the whole collection in a near future, as it begins to be very hard to find it on retail.
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Matt Brown
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Okemos
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DrumPhil wrote:
Le Havre is a truly wonderful game, but it fills the same place as Agricola in the gaming landscape: a big euro with lots of bits that takes an entire evening from box opening to closing.


The counterpoint is that Agricola is more stress inducing while Le Havre has a much more open feeling to it.
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Jim Parkin
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indigopotter wrote:
I have 96 plays of Agricola, and while I picked up Caverna on a good sale in case it would be hard to get later, it sat in shrink over a year (!) because I thought it was just Agricola with new art/bits. While there are similarities, it does offer some new things that open up the game. While it doesn't have to be your next game, I didn't want you to dismiss it completely.

Well put. I'd say it's not dismissed, just last in line, for now.
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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Annowme wrote:
Thanks--but which one would YOU pick?

Glass Road or Merkator. I'm partial to the 'simpler' Rosenbergs which don't require a PhD in engine building. Perhaps my definitive choice would be Merkator because it's the more unique game.
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Ryan Peddle
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Out of those, I have only played Le Havre, and it is a wonderful game. I also found Le Havre Inland port to be a fun game as well...but will probably grow stale quickly due to repetitive due to the same buildings being used.

Come on UWE....lets see and expansion for Inland Port.
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Scott O'Brien
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Beyond Agricola, Loyang, and Ora/Labora, I'm not sure I'd recommend anything but Caverna or Feast of Odin.

Le Havre seems long and dry and just isnt as good as the first 3.
Merkator also.
Glass road isnt nearly as deep a game as the first 3, and just didnt satisfy us.


If you are set against those 2, Maybe try something non-Rosenberg such as Keyflower or Voyages of Marco Polo.
 
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