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Fields of Arle» Forums » General

Subject: I find Caverna 'okay' but love Glass Road - Fields of Arle for me? rss

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Heather Stanley
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DH and I play almost exclusively 2-player. We own Caverna and play it occasionally but we don't love it. It's so open we can do anything and there's no tension or purpose/goal to work toward. I do believe if we played it more we could appreciate trying different strategies but its a bit too relaxed for us.

Like:
building an engine
flexibility to try different things rather than purely turn efficiency

Dislike:
set up time and cleanup between rounds
lack of goals
game set up is static
No resource conversion


On the other hand, we both absolutely love Glass Road. It's a much tighter game and we have to adjust our plan every game based on the tiles that come out. The tiles also give us goals to work toward. We like the resource conversion and the ability to chain

Like:
speed
resource conversion
speed of setup and no cleanup between rounds
variable tile setup changes game each time
tightness of game

Dislike:
Nothing really, but I wouldn't mind more time to build the engine and a more epic feel.

I've watched Rahdo's runthrough of Fields of Arle and I'm super intrigued. It looks like its a bit streamlined vs Caverna (set up, turn cleanup and resource management) with resource conversion. It's flexible like Caverna but it seems like the variable tiles and the resource conversion allow me to work toward something and could feel epic. I'm fine with low player interaction but is it as loose as Caverna? Any of you so-so on Caverna who love Fields?
 
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JR
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Fields is beautiful and my favourite game of the sort, I also love Glass Road. That being said, your criteria listed would suggest to me you should try before you buy. Fields is very open, very low pressure.
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Dave Moser
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jrebelo wrote:
Fields is very open, very low pressure.

You can always add pressure. Just play for a dollar a point. arrrh
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John Burt
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What do you mean by wanting a "purpose/goal to work toward"? Are you saying that you want the game to tell you what your strategy should be? If so, then another sandbox game like FoA might not be your thing.

Personally, I like sandbox games precisely because they allow me to decide my own strategy. When I play Caverna, I always look at the board and decide what I want to do this time. For example, expand my field, do a lot of exploring, etc. That becomes my goal, and I formulate a plan to achieve it.

Similarly to Caverna, FoA has a number of different paths to build a VP engine, and they are somewhat interrelated and sometimes at odds (do I use my wood to build a vehicle or upgrade my tools?). It rewards players for planning a strategy at the beginning, and executing that plan well. Unlike Caverna, about 1/2 of the buildings are different every game, which affects your strategy and keeps the game fresh.

If you don't like the openness of sandbox games, then I'd highly recommend that you try Agricola, which has much more restrictive strategy pathways due to its scoring rules.
 
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Dave Moser
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Just curious - have you considered La Granja?

It has a bit of a "sandbox" feel, with multiple viable strategies and a sense of engine building, but with a lot less setup time that either FoA or Caverna. It also has resource conversion, and very tight cash flow at the start.


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Aaron Edwards
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I think Fields of Arle is more similar to Caverna than any of Rosenberg's other games. I like it better than Caverna in that it has more variability and it eliminates the "he with the most workers wins" problem by giving both players all 4 workers upfront. But, like Caverna, it is very sandboxy. That is, you have a bajillion possibilities and early on, your options are wide open. Where Agricola suggests you adopt certain strategies by dealing you cards, there is really nothing in Arle that steers you in one direction or another.

There is:
-resource conversion
-engine building
-variable setup
-flexibility to try new things or change directions

There is not:
-an especially quick setup time (holy crap there is a lot of cardboard in this box)
-the sense of "tightness" that Glass Road has
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Mike Davis
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I own Fields of Arle and think it is a fine game. Fits the itch for a 2-player version of Caverna or Agricola in a way.

But - having said that, based on some of your 'dislikes', I agree with another poster in saying you should see if you can try it before you buy it.

There is a LOT of initial set up - not too bad from round to round.
There are about a billion things you can do - very point salad like.
The set-up is MOSTLY static - though there are a subset of building each game that vary from play to play.
The game is pretty forgiving as far as your 'food' and resources you need to have at the end of each turn. And there are ways to get them (convert stuff) if you are low.

Again - I enjoy the game - I am just not sure it is what you are looking for.

MM
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Royce Calverley
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Fields of Arle is definitely not the game for you.

I would suggest Ora et Labora

Ora and Labora is a direct ascendant to Glass Roads and shares many of the same mechanisms but on a larger scale.
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Heather Stanley
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'll look for a chance to play it first and I'll look up Ora & Labora.
 
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JR
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Heather: your profile doesn't say where you're located, but on the off chance that you're on southern Vancouver island, I have a copy here.
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I.M. Jeremic
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the ultimate antidote to Caverna is Agricola
Agricola is a very tense game and that is what we love about it
the cards give rise to many different strategies
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