Jeremy Avery
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Images by Michael Wißner.

Now that you have read the rulebook!...

Wait...um...you have read the rulebook right? What?! You haven't?! What kind of hype train is this?



Hold on... I can help you out... *rummages around internet*

The English translation is a little wordy, and I know some of your are thematic purists, so I'll give you the original Vikish rulebook first, with translation guide:




And the English link, if that's your thing:

http://www.zmangames.com/uploads/4/7/1/7/47170931/odin_en_ru...


I'll give you a few minutes to read that. Or sixty.

Okay! Ready?

Oh...so you don't have time to read it. Or the interest level. Or the devotion to Rosenberg releases. Very well. I will give you the VR;PR (Very Long; Please Read) version.


HERE IS MY PREVIEW!

A Feast for Odin is a Uwe Rosenberg epic strategy game, in the vein of Fields of Arle. For those who haven't played any Rosenberg strategy games (the best example being the Big 3 of Agricola, Le Havre, Ora et Labora, and Caverna: The Cave Farmers - and, yes, "Big 3" is a bit of a wink to the relationship between Agricola and Caverna!), it means that you will be playing a worker placement game using Wood, Stone, Wheat, Animals and other resources to feed your people and build things, while at the same pursuing victory points by swapping resources for other resources. By epic, I mean similar to Rosenberg's other beast, Fields of Arle: a mass of cardboard chits, a large board full of placement options, dozens of possible victory strategies, and more.

The reason us Rosenberg fans should be most excited is that, while most of his big games share a lot of ideas, A Feast for Odin would seem to be the biggest departure from this band of Rosenbergian mechanical togetherlings.


Here is a list of features, changes, and similarities:

Boards: Like a lot of the other U.R. titles, this game also features personal player boards. But right from the get go, you can see this game is going a different direction from the farming games. Do you see any farmland? Caves? A grid on which to build rooms and buildings? There is a a grid, to be sure, but those squares are surely too small for houses... And you would be right! That's for treasures from plunder, and that is the main focus of this game. And those outlines on the water? That is for your fleet of Viking ships that you will use to explore and emigrate!


Agrarian?: So, no farming (no plowing and sowing and harvesting in order to gain more crops). And no room for large pastures you can build to hold animals; just some small pre-printed stables that indicate limited animal husbandry (see above), and what animals you have do not have the same VP/feeding focus as the farming games. You breed, but not much. And the points you crave will not be found here. Vikings don't celebrate herds of sheep!

Meeting basic needs! Though there is some feeding, you will not need a "food engine" in the same way you did in many of the other games. Look at the feast illustration at the top right of the player board: You just need to come up with five food in Round 1, and that could be as simple as a red 1x4 tile with a single coin! So, more like the easygoing feeding of Fields of Arle than the soul-crushing feeding of Agricola. No fueling mechanic (i.e. peat, coal, coke); we are all inured to the Vikish weather. No family growth needed; we are all fecund, and breed at the same rate with shocking regularity...

Special powers?!: Far less focus on collecting resources to build a variety of special action enablers (i.e. Buildings or Minor Improvements). Instead, like Agricola, there are easy-to-put-into-play Occupation cards. Having said that, the Occupations (190 special action enablers) function a bit like Minor Improvements from Agricola, providing minor boosts to the owning player, and often some VPs as well. These sample cards give you an idea of what to expect from the deck of Occupations.



Clear-cut?: Nope! Not only will you not clear land, instead you will trying very hard to cover land at every opportunity. Covering land is done with cardboard tiles, very reminiscent of Rosenberg's Patchwork. Careful planning and placement can yield rewards (including your income!); poor planning could lead to a swath of negative points. Covering is not only a new idea in Rosenberg's heavier games, it is the most important focus of the game, since it determines income, reduces penalty points, provides resources, and is a home for your victory point tiles. We'll look at that more in the next section.

The Sven Seas!: You can also explore new lands! Covering is not only done on your home board, but also on island boards that you can acquire. (This idea of multiple boards for tile placement sounds very similar to Rosenberg's upcoming Cottage Garden.) Large islands are worth many points, but come with a lot of negative points to be covered; small islands have small upside, small downside. But islands are also potential sources of extra income and resources.


On the island tile below, the player will score points equal to the number in the top right corner (16). The player would have scored significantly less points if she had not covered all the -1 spots (24 of them!) the board had when she acquired it (see top left corner). So claiming islands is always a gamble for a player who has to hope that the combination of income, bonuses, and island points all are able to cover the significant hit the island presents at the beginning of the acquisition.


Above, the uncovered, pre-printed resource square (the little red fish!) is providing her with a bonus red tile because she surrounded it without covering it. But if you compare that picture with the picture even earlier, and compare the two images of Iceland, you see that this player did cover up several other resources in an effort to large-block the island to cover the -1's.

Blocking Scheme: I have to talk a bit more about the tile-laying. I said "like Patchwork", but as you can see, a number of (most, in fact) of the tiles in the game were rectangular? You might be disappointed. "Too easy, then?" Well, no. See, the grid that you are playing tiles onto has a line of income running diagonally, which means that small rectangles aren't conducive to covering up a diagonal line quickly. That is exacerbated by the bonuses available on the board elsewhere that you don't want to cover with your gigantic 4x4 tile; in order to gain bonus resources, you have to carefully surround them with tiles without covering them. Or just cover them because you are a clumsy Viking interested in LARGE BLOCKS!

Oh, and did I mention there are four tile colours with different rules for placement? Oranges and reds can't even go into your main board, nor can they go on the explored islands. They are domestic goods only that can only be kept in a longhouse. Green tiles are better since they can go on the main boards, but they are not allowed to touch any other greens. So, then, blues are the best, but they are difficult to get (you can get them from the risky and more demanding raiding actions, for example). The good news is that the game allows you to upgrade goods, so you will be able to get better stuff to throw down on your floor. Or...you know...whatever this grid is supposed to represent.

The boring rectangles are also supplemented by legendary treasures that are large and strangely shaped (go back to the island above and see). As you no doubt remember, those islands are NOT nice clean grids. They are messy coastlines and negative points galore. They are worth a ton of points...if you can cover up all the -1s!, and the treasures will help you do that!

Block Party: So how do I get these rectangles? Well, most turns you will get a set, small amount of orange tiles at the beginning of every turn (representing your meager agriculture). The rest of the tiles you need will come from actions. You can send viking(s) to go get a red stockfish tile, a blue spices tile, etc. If you have (red) animals, you can gain red milk and green wool tiles. If you already have green linen and leather tiles, you can tailor them to bigger green clothing tiles. You can spend ore to smith special tiles. You can craft stone and wood into types of blue tiles. And so on and so forth. Lots of ways to gain tiles for placement.


"You are the brute squad!": "Adventuring" with dice-based success is something brand-new for Uwe Rosenberg; it's not only unusual for this designer, but also this publisher, and the genre at large. You roll a die to hunt, whale, raid, or pillage, and success or failure is determined by your result. Results can be re-rolled up to two times, and can be modified by player cards and resources. Failure comes with some compensation. So no all out war, then? not exactly. You can hunt, whale, raid, and pillage - but in a very euro sort of way. No opponents. No combat losses. Just get the resources you were hoping for, or a bad roll that leads to some compensation instead.

Decisions x Decisions: If you thought you had a lot of choices in Agricola or Caverna, just you wait! This is more like Fields of Arle. Choices for days. Some direction comes from your starting Occupation, but still so many decisions available. Is this a good thing? In a 4p game, probably; in a 2p game, I am hoping that the game will not feel so open as to produce the odd effect of feeling like two people playing a 1p game each. This is where Occupation cards could be key; since you know what Occupation cards your opponent is utilizing for boosts, you could take spaces at key moments (sort of like claiming all the Clay in Agricola when your opponent was letting it build up because they have extra uses for clay). Not too sure how this will play out until I actually play the game, so this is the part I am least certain about.


Sooooo...it's too open, then? With all these actions, are we back to the wide-open spaces of Fields of Arle? Too many choices, not enough tension? (This is actually a main concern of mine, as I like the challenge of timing in a worker placement game...) Good news: each player starts with 5 Vikings, and adds 1 per turn, ending with 12 Vikings. Even in a 2p game, but mid-game that's potentially 16 claimed actions per round. That tightens things up a bit.

On the other hand, the actions are all split into four columns, and each column requires different amounts of Vikings to activate (1-4 respectively), so in my mid-game example, it's more likely your 8 Vikings would be doing 4 or 5 actions (of varying strength) . Still, it seems like there will be more toe-stepping than Fields of Arle, which is a good thing in my opinion. It does make me wish, though, that I could have 3p worth of Vikings in a 2p game...

HOW I VIKE GOOD?
Scoring comes from only a few sources in this game. Ships have various point values of 3, 5, and 8, depending on type; large ships can Emigrate during the course of the game, flipping to 18 points. Each separate board you acquire (sheds, stone houses, long houses, islands, and player boards) has a total point value in the top corner; players subtract any uncovered -1's from that score (sheds need to be covered with building materials). Sheep are worth 2/3 points, and cows 3/4 points each (with the second number being value for pregnant animal). Many Occupations also have a printed VP value. Oddly, Viking treasures, don't have point value, and neither do other tiles. Odd, you might think, but remember that you use tiles to cover -1's, so tiles affect scores considerably when well placed.

One could argue that except for the fiddlyness of the -1's, this game is much easier to score than other games in this series. And since a major goal of the game is to cover -1's, it should make scoring fairly straightforward.


My biggest complaint so far:
The font used in Fields of Arle and Glass Road is back. I hate that font. Grrr. (Personal preference. I also hate Comic Sans.)


Too Long; Didn't Read
Imagine the complexity of Fields of Arle; now change the focus from swapping resources for points (buildings, goods) to acquiring puzzly treasures for your puzzle boards; and now take out farming and replace with Vikings!


My thoughts
Having not played it, I'll say that my opinion is early and cursory only. But when you have played over 750 games, reading a rulebook for a game very often provides an excellent understanding of what is going on.

With that in mind, I think I can say that this is a game I am very much looking forward to. Tetris-style fitting puzzles obviously have near universal appeal: just look at...um...well...Tetris. The idea of taking the Patchwork fitting-planning idea and making it the ultimate focal point of an epic Rosenberg medium-heavy game has very high appeal for me.

That said, there are some concerns I have, some personal, some mechanical. Minor quibbles: I don't like the font, and I miss Klemens Franz's art (that's how closely I associate Klemes and Uwe). Bigger quibbles? Yep. The Occupation cards depict function only, and have no thematic character illustrations. This pushes the game away from the thematic moorings that a lot of Uwe's games have, and that mechanical focus is furthered by the Brechtian integration of square grid puzzle pieces into a Viking pillaging raiding mega-game (Hey gamer! Look at my mechanics!) That, of course, doesn't make it a bad game - it might be the tightest mechanical game ever designed - but it does hurt the crossover appeal (euro to hybrid) that I felt like Agricola, Caverna, and Ora & Labora had. They had enough illustrative flash to cover some of the euro feel. Honestly though, after reading through the 190 cards, they are fairly well themed (Pirates get Treasure...and -1 point!)

But back to the hype: This is epic. Hunt, whale, raid, pillage, equip weapons, specialize occupations, explore new islands, resource management. And the tile-laying, while appearing mechanical, is not as simple as you might think. The shapes, the colour rules, the swapping for colours, the Occupations that give you edges in acquisitions, the coastlines - it gives you some good challenges to solve! Some tiles can't be built or cultivated, but must be acquired through other means. And there are also Orange and Red tiles, which could be needed for food, though obviously you'd prefer to place them on your mapboards, which you can't...until you swap them.

Best of all (for me) is that the Occupations provide some variability by giving unique bonuses that will offer some incentives to try new strategies.



Unrelated bonus: Uwe designed this game in 2013, and tested in 2014. Just imagine what he might be working on right now! From farming to dwarves to Vikings. By 2022, he might get us into space!*

*Not counting Agricola X-Deck...
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that Matt
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Wow, great post. Feel free to do this for all the games I'm interested in learning about, forever. I will pay you in only the finest GG.
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François Mahieu
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Thank you for this pre-preview. Now I'm pretty sure I won't buy this one. That's not what I'm looking for anymore. Agricola was that good because it was that complex, of course, but above all so highly thematic. I don't feel the same strength here.
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Irwin Dolobowsky
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Awesome preview.

I pre-orderd the game along with Great Western Trail in order to hit free shipping. After watching videos and reading the rules I'm considering canceling my order and waiting to try this one.

I've played and enjoyed Ora et Labora, Caverna, Le Havre, and Agricola in that order. Agricola I'm not a big fan of starting in the negative and the imbalance/luck in the occupations and advancements. Le Havre is very good but a little dry. Caverna solved my issues with Agricola. Ora Et Labora I love the spacial aspects and the rondel. It and Patchwork are the two Uwe games I own.

The Tetris aspect of Feast for Odin looks fantastic and I love the idea of it - the puzzle looks incredibly fun. I also like the idea of different number of workers depending on the action. My concern is that everything around it looks very overbearing.

- There's your main board you need to puzzle out. Then there are islands you can get if you have ships first. And those flip at certain points to different islands. And there are longhouses houses except you can't cover certain points of the houses. And sheds and houses that you have to fill in resources on.

- There are so many types of goods they actually had to include chit trays. The rules for placing the blue & green ones are different than the rules for placing the yellow and red. On the main board you can only use Blue & Green but on the longhouse you can use all 4. Some pieces can be orthogonal, some can only touch on corners. Oh, and there are 3 more types of resources not on chits because...

- The dice. I don't mind the dice, thematically it's nice. But is there really a difference between them? Is there that much of a difference between Raiding and Pillaging? Whaling and Hunting?

- The visual design of that action board and its 60+ options is just... ew.

The core Tetris mechanic looks awesome, I'm just very concerned that all of the systems built around it are going to bog things down. It seems like you could strip out 1/3 of these things and still have the core of this. How about 1 type of add on board that follows the main board's mechanic? Or remove a color of good and let them all be used everywhere?

I love deep, heavy games. Give me Kanban any day. Let's throw down Terra Mystica tomorrow night. I'm sure this one will be successful but I don't know that it will go over well with my group who wants those more streamlined experiences that many developers are moving towards. I do look forward to trying it and hope it delivers for us.





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Phil Campbell
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Thanks Jeremy, for a very interesting preview.
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Great preview! Thanks.

To me there is one big issue with this that was also very clear in FoA: the almost complete lack of player interaction. Having so many choices that you can always do what you want to do or just do it next round makes quite boring to me.
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Tigrillo wrote:
Great preview! Thanks.

To me there is one big issue with this that was also very clear in FoA: the almost complete lack of player interaction. Having so many choices that you can always do what you want to do or just do it next round makes quite boring to me.


Agreed. Im hoping the FoA expansion will tighten it up as a third player will be added. Also hopefully the variable starting player powers will provide a bit of direction.
 
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Hm, I've awaited this game for quite some time, but I was put a little off when I heard that it is - again - just a small evolution of Fields of Arle / Caverna with Patchwork...patched in (Patchwork was actually released as some kind of spin-off when Odin was developed and they found, that the puzzle-style was fun).

So, I thought: again? Nothing new?

And now, since I've seen more of the game, I must say that I've still this exact feeling. It doesn't seem to stand out so much.

I can play Agricola, it's near-clone Caverna, Fields of Arle (soon even with 3 players!), Ora et Labora and Patchwork. Okay, I cannot play them all at once, but the question is: would that make for a better game?

So, my enthusiasm is somewhat diminished. I will not insta-buy this. Instead, I will look for an opportunity to play this, but I think I don't need it on my shelf.

In terms of new super-heavy boxes full of stuff, I guess I'll rather jump on the train to The Colonists-Land this fall.
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Great post but I can't agree with you about the art. Dennis is great. Fields of Arle in particular was wonderfully rich. I DO agree with you about the font though!!!

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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
I find the main mechanisms of devoting more workers to get more powerful actions and the added spatial component to resource production (how can I make a big or little piece) really interesting. There is a lot of interesting decisions regarding balancing needs of a round and wants, more actions or more powerful actions.

My two biggest concerns are the openness of worker placement (especially with lower player counts) and the lack of streamlining with things like upkeep (round resource boards). I do think the action board is a bit overwhelming as well (certainly from a visual standpoint).

I hope I get to give this one a try soon, thanks for the preview!
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Me, too!
I share some of your sentiments, but I have yet to play an Uwe game and not enjoy it. I pre-ordered... which is something I normally rail against, but considering the steep discount I got for the pre-order I consider it a decent investment. I also read the rules and felt like I got a pretty good feel for the game, and I find myself really excited about it.

The building is admittedly a little different. One of the best features of Uwe's games is that physical component where, at the end of the game, you look down at your board and say "I built this." With Feast for Odin, you're going to be building something different. In this case, you're going to build a hoard of supplies and plunder. And I think that's perfectly fine! Right now it looks like there are many paths to victory, and the solo looks pretty engaging as well.

I do have my concerns too, though. For example - scoring in this game looks like a PAIN. Do I really have to count up all those stray negatives on a center board and whatever islands I picked up? Is there going to be a more efficient way than counting one by one, because I read the rules and I don't see any cheat sheet for scoring. Also, there just aren't a lot of turns in the game. While that provides a fairly quick game, it looks like you'll be extremely lucky to cover the penalties on an island and still cover up your home board. Finally, the 12 phases of a turn give a "fiddly" impression that's uncharacteristic of his other games. I love Uwe games because they're usually pretty intuitive for people to understand, no matter how deep they are, but once you starts breaking out the round-tracking-cube-of-confusion, this might fly out the window.

I'm pretty sure that I'M going to love this game, I'm just worried my friends may not.
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Jeremy Avery
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Tigrillo wrote:
Great preview! Thanks.

To me there is one big issue with this that was also very clear in FoA: the almost complete lack of player interaction. Having so many choices that you can always do what you want to do or just do it next round makes quite boring to me.


That is my main concern with Fields of Arle, and it is my secondary reason for not enjoying it all that much. Why play 2p, when I can just play 1p to avoid having 2-3 actions a game being accidentally taken away from me by my opponent?

And, yeah, it looks like - at least as a 2p game - AFfO may have the same problem. BUT Feast can be played with up to 4p!! That changes things... That is, it would change things if only I wanted this as a 3p/4p, but most of my gaming is 2p.
 
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Jeremy Avery
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
raika11182 wrote:
I do have my concerns too, though. For example - scoring in this game looks like a PAIN. Do I really have to count up all those stray negatives on a center board and whatever islands I picked up?


I didn't mention that in the review, because I just figure it is par for the course with a Rosenberg game. Ora et Labora, Fields of Arle, Agricola, etc. all have a somewhat arduous scoring tally. Having said that, if you don't play those games often, this game might feel fiddly in the scoring phase. But since a main goal is to cover the -1's, I think it is less of an issue.

I'm going to add a scoring section to the preview and address your concern there with this.

Quote:
Also, there just aren't a lot of turns in the game. While that provides a fairly quick game, it looks like you'll be extremely lucky to cover the penalties on an island and still cover up your home board.


Each player has 12 Vikings by the last round, so you do have a lot more you can be doing that the average Rosenberg game.

Quote:
Finally, the 12 phases of a turn give a "fiddly" impression that's uncharacteristic of his other games. I love Uwe games because they're usually pretty intuitive for people to understand, no matter how deep they are, but once you starts breaking out the round-tracking-cube-of-confusion, this might fly out the window.


Yeah, the guide makes it look terrible, but it is one of those things in practice that won't be much of an issue. You learnt he rules, teach your friends, and just call those parts of turn out, and it should be fine. (One of the round phases is "add a viking", for example.)
 
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François Mahieu
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Brandigan wrote:
Fields of Arle (soon even with 3 players!)...


What!? Fields of Arle is to become a 3-player game!? surprise
How so?
 
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Jeremy Avery
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
patrocles wrote:
Great post but I can't agree with you about the art. Dennis is great. Fields of Arle in particular was wonderfully rich. I DO agree with you about the font though!!!



Let's agree to disagree about Klemens vs. Dennis, since that is likely a fairly minor point of preference between us. Rather, do you agree that the occupations cards lose something by not having a relevant "flavor" illustration? That's my main complaint of the art - Occupations are so transparently euro (though the titular occupations do fit most functions quite well); that little bit of extra art (cf. Agricola) really pushes the theme up for me.
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James Clarke
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)


"Great idea to drink out of these"

"Yeah, they looked stupid on our helmets"


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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
poifpoif wrote:
Brandigan wrote:
Fields of Arle (soon even with 3 players!)...


What!? Fields of Arle is to become a 3-player game!? surprise
How so?


Check this thread out (here is the main quote from that thread below):

nan3000 wrote:
Actually, a 3 player expansion will be published in 2017!
It will introduce ships and Tea as a new resource besides wood and clay, since the people from East Frisia are very fond of their black tea, a special blend that is mixed in that region only.
Players will be able to dig ditches as an alternative way to dry the bog and to speed up agriculture and sheep breeding. Also new buildings will be introduced.
The game for 3 players will go over 7 half years and the players will each start with 2 crafting developments/improvements.

Of course the expansion will be a great addition to a 2player game as well!
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Richard Dewsbery
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
I've been lectured in another thread that the word "hype" carries strongly negative connotations for people from the U.S., basically meaning that saying a game has been "hyped" is accusing the publisher of having misrepresented the virtues of the game, and is extravagantly and excessively advertising it.

Cobblers on two levels, of course. Firstly because that's not what "hype" means to most of the world; and secondly that it's really, really hard to lavish excessive praise on a Rosenburg game. Unless we're talking about Merkatur.
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
RDewsbery wrote:
I've been lectured in another thread that the word "hype" carries strongly negative connotations for people from the U.S., basically meaning that saying a game has been "hyped" is accusing the publisher of having misrepresented the virtues of the game, and is extravagantly and excessively advertising it.

Cobblers on two levels, of course. Firstly because that's not what "hype" means to most of the world; and secondly that it's really, really hard to lavish excessive praise on a Rosenburg game. Unless we're talking about Merkatur.


But I didn't say "hype", I said "HYPE TRAIN". It's like "French" and "French toast". Or something.

You could say I am using it the 4-lulz, Redditesque sense. Which is to say, ironic and bombastic, but quietly genuine.
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Michael Young
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
After several solo plays, I was able to get a 3 player in this weekend. Very enjoyable! I think it's less complex than Arle and Agricola. However, like Caverna (and Arle), the sandbox is huge on this. It takes a play or two to kind of get your bearing straight for objectives, but like most Uwe titles it rewards multiple plays in mastery.

I think it's far more forgiving than Agricola (which is good and bad). I feel like it's less thematic for all the reasons listed, but it's a neat combination of an abstract with a euro heart. To its benefit the occupations aren't as game changing which helps mitigate a lucky draft/card pull. It's thinky and heavy. It invites players with its enigmas. It's strong and probably is right behind Agricola/Caverna for me.
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
Highland Cow wrote:


"Great idea to drink out of these"

"Yeah, they looked stupid on our helmets"




I guess you never set your "glass" down until it's empty.
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
familygaming wrote:
patrocles wrote:
Great post but I can't agree with you about the art. Dennis is great. Fields of Arle in particular was wonderfully rich. I DO agree with you about the font though!!!



Let's agree to disagree about Klemens vs. Dennis, since that is likely a fairly minor point of preference between us. Rather, do you agree that the occupations cards lose something by not having a relevant "flavor" illustration? That's my main complaint of the art - Occupations are so transparently euro (though the titular occupations do fit most functions quite well); that little bit of extra art (cf. Agricola) really pushes the theme up for me.


Completely agree about the occupation cards. It seems that AFfO is far less card-driven than Agricola, but I still am a little sad to have a stack of occupations without Franz's charming depictions. My first thought at seeing this Rosenburg big box game.
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
EchoOperative wrote:
After several solo plays, I was able to get a 3 player in this weekend. Very enjoyable! I think it's less complex than Arle and Agricola. However, like Caverna (and Arle), the sandbox is huge on this. It takes a play or two to kind of get your bearing straight for objectives, but like most Uwe titles it rewards multiple plays in mastery.

I think it's far more forgiving than Agricola (which is good and bad). I feel like it's less thematic for all the reasons listed, but it's a neat combination of an abstract with a euro heart. To its benefit the occupations aren't as game changing which helps mitigate a lucky draft/card pull. It's thinky and heavy. It invites players with its enigmas. It's strong and probably is right behind Agricola/Caverna for me.


What do you think of the concerns some of us have about the openness of the 2p game?
 
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
familygaming wrote:
EchoOperative wrote:
After several solo plays, I was able to get a 3 player in this weekend. Very enjoyable! I think it's less complex than Arle and Agricola. However, like Caverna (and Arle), the sandbox is huge on this. It takes a play or two to kind of get your bearing straight for objectives, but like most Uwe titles it rewards multiple plays in mastery.

I think it's far more forgiving than Agricola (which is good and bad). I feel like it's less thematic for all the reasons listed, but it's a neat combination of an abstract with a euro heart. To its benefit the occupations aren't as game changing which helps mitigate a lucky draft/card pull. It's thinky and heavy. It invites players with its enigmas. It's strong and probably is right behind Agricola/Caverna for me.


What do you think of the concerns some of us have about the openness of the 2p game?


I'll get a 2p game in soon. I owe a friend a visit and this is as good of a reason as any. 3p wasn't too loose but the tension isn't in actions, it's in filling your boards. IMO - this is why each category has multiple spots for various quantities of Vikings.

I personally like Caverna's openness and, in turn, Odin's for the flexibility of strategy. The game is pretty forgiving which makes it easier to get to the table. My wife indicated that she enjoyed it more because it didn't punish her for a misstep. That's the novel part, everything is eventually contributing.

I'll get a 2p game maybe next weekend. I'll update you shortly after. Or I may just take the role of both players.
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Re: You've read the rules, so let's discuss! (Hype AND dissection thread! and sort of a PREVIEW too, but the same sort of preview you would already have if you too had read the rulebook.)
familygaming wrote:
patrocles wrote:
Great post but I can't agree with you about the art. Dennis is great. Fields of Arle in particular was wonderfully rich. I DO agree with you about the font though!!!



Let's agree to disagree about Klemens vs. Dennis, since that is likely a fairly minor point of preference between us. Rather, do you agree that the occupations cards lose something by not having a relevant "flavor" illustration? That's my main complaint of the art - Occupations are so transparently euro (though the titular occupations do fit most functions quite well); that little bit of extra art (cf. Agricola) really pushes the theme up for me.



I do agree absolutely. The extensive occupation and minor improvement artwork in Agricoal lends wonderful to the thematic play. It's a shame that these occupation cards will be a step more towards the abstract in feel. It requires more imganation work on the part of the player to immerse. Glasstraße feels pretty thin sometimes thematically even though, really if you have a good think about all the buildings and what they do it is very clever thematically. I think this is something that artist and designer could work on to communicate better with us the depth of ideas in these games.
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