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The Voyages of Marco Polo» Forums » General

Subject: Grand Marco Polo Hotel rss

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Since I own and highly enjoy The Voyages of Marco Polo and Grand Austria Hotel, and since both were made by the same designer (with different co-authors) I decided to post a quick comparation/competition between them. Let's see what happens:

DESIGN > Tied
Both games have really beautiful designs.

SCALABILITY > Marco Polo
2P Austria
3P, 4P Marco Polo

REPLAYABILITY > Tied
The different characters and goals in Marco Polo.
The different guests, staff skills, boards and bonuses in Austria.

THEME > Tied
In Marco Polo, the characters provide the theme (that's what will tell us what we can plan and do)
In Austria the hotel theme is spread all over the different mechanisms.

FLUIDITY > Austria
Set-up time is similar, and so is final scoring and game play, but Austria shines when finishing and starting a new round, it's so fast and fluid, almost like a non-stop experience, except when the emperor comes to visit...

DICE MECHANISM > Marco Polo
The blocking aspect in Marco Polo makes the little difference even if both are brilliant.

COMBOS > Tied
In Austria the guest's reward when served plus the increasing staff skills once added.
In Marco Polo the contract's reward plus some super-amazing character's abilities.

UNCERTAINTY > Austria
Considering that I prefer games where I can't plan everything in advance, Austria is a bit more open because of the unpredictable guests available. Of course both of them depend on how you adjust your plans to the dices you get.

TENSION > Tied
Last round in both games can be really tense! Both share that feeling of "Please give me just one extra round! Just half round!"

> FINAL VEREDICT > TIED
Somehow I suspected this was going to happen...

(Edit)

...BUT THE LAST QUESTIONS ARE:

> WHAT COULD AUSTRIA TAKE FROM MARCO POLO?
Hotel managers with super-cool different abilities?
The possibility to buy/win extra dices exclusive for you to use?
The option to block a dice action?

> WHAT COULD MARCO POLO TAKE FROM AUSTRIA?
More thematic flavour in city cards and contracts?
An extra common pool of dices already rolled (maybe the black ones)?
A reputation track similar to the emperor's?

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Phil Hendrickson
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I was just thinking over the past few days about how to do a comparison of two games like these. This is a good idea.

MP is a new favorite of mine; I've only played GAH once but quite enjoyed it. In your comparison, I don't think I would give scalability such an easy victory to MP, but both are great games.

The question I have is why MP is ranked so much higher than GAH here on the Geek. What do BGGers see differently between them to cause the disparity?

I'm curious what others think.
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DrumPhil wrote:
The question I have is why MP is ranked so much higher than GAH here on the Geek. What do BGGers see differently between them to cause the disparity?

I'm curious what others think.


The main complain about GAH is about scalability, 2-players seems to be the best for almost everybody because of the turn order, mainly with 4 players (1,2,3,4,4,3,2,1). The downtime between turns can be a bit long, even if with 4 players the game is tighter which paradoxically would make it better than with 2. From what I read this is be the main complain. On the other hand, I totally agree, the game deserves to be ranked a lot higher.
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David desJardins
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DrumPhil wrote:
The question I have is why MP is ranked so much higher than GAH here on the Geek. What do BGGers see differently between them to cause the disparity?


If you wanted to research this, the first step would be to consider only those users who have rated both games. Some of the difference might come from just a different group rating one than the other. If you made a graph for only those people who have rated both games, showing how often each (X,Y) rating pair occurs, it might be interesting and informative.
 
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Jimmy Mero
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Great post! The only thing I'd really disagree with is theme. MP's theme isn't bad (I like that it's historically specific) but it is still trading in the Mediterranean which is a well trod subject in gaming. The theme of running an old time hotel on the other hand is much more unique. I've actually been able to hook several people into playing the game on that theme alone.
 
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Just added an extra section: What could each game take from the other?
 
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Jimmydm90 wrote:
The theme of running an old time hotel on the other hand is much more unique. I've actually been able to hook several people into playing the game on that theme alone.


That's the thing. The theme in GAH is very atractive and the way it is developed helps you to believe it. When I bought MP I thought it'd be mainly about travelling and that's not exactly what happens, it does but not with the flavour it seemed like.
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Phil Hendrickson
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Jimmydm90 wrote:
Great post! The only thing I'd really disagree with is theme. MP's theme isn't bad (I like that it's historically specific) but it is still trading in the Mediterranean which is a well trod subject in gaming. The theme of running an old time hotel on the other hand is much more unique. I've actually been able to hook several people into playing the game on that theme alone.


Actually the theme is Mediterraneans trading in Asia, which is vastly different. whistle

For the record, I like games about trading in historic times.
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Tomas Riha
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I want to buy GHA but the turn mechanism has me turned off. There is no way Im playing that with 4 players and waiting almost 2 full turns on my turn.
 
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