Oh yes, I love this game so much that I am afraid of every whipping that I know I’m going to get from the Queen when I play this game.
Since I spend at least one night a week at the same table playing boardgames as Rudy, our beloved Game Brewer, I have already taken a lot of penalty points from the Queen. Every new game is as excited as the previous since you never know what the Queen is going to want, and whether you are able to offer it.
The theme is awesome. Everything fits and is just right about this. And the artwork is magnificent. Jochem did a great job, everything is super detailed and al the actions are clearly shown on the board. I have noticed that when explaining the rules to new players, they pick al the rules up pretty easily because it is so clear.
There are a lot of things you must keep an eye on. You can’t allow someone to be starting player for most of the game. He wil have a lot of profit from this, since the starting player is the queen’s favorite. He wil never have to send a pixie down to the mines to work as a slave, he always takes the best action first,… The player order mechanisme is there to prevent this. Offer honey to the Queen and become first player and her favorite yourself! Kiss the Queen’s royal Pixie ass while other players send their Pixies to the mines.
There is no downtime. Whenever an opponent is doing his action, watch him closely. Try to guess his strategy so that you can act accordingly. If you know wat his next action wil be, make sure you beat him to it. Then he must take a penalty for copying your action. Even better: make sure you perform the best action, and then be the first to copy that action, so the rest has to take even more penalty!
The actions phase is very fast, so plan ahead. Know what you want to do and make sure you spend your limited action cilinders as efficiently as possible.
After all the stress of planning your actions you didn’t think the round was over, did you? Immediately when the action phase ends, the Queen demands food! She reveals the specific food she wants this round, and you better make sure she gets what she wants!
So here comes your next challenge: am I going to offer my last three honey to promote my Pixies? Am I betting no one else wil offer gold so I can promote 2 spaces on the gold track for only one cube? Or wil I spend that mountain of silver I have mined? You see the other players in the exact same situation as you are in. They are rumbling in their resources behind their screens, asking themselves what you are about to offer.
The tension builds. Every one has made their decision. Every one holds their resources firmly in their fists, and we all reveal at the same time.
Sometimes you get relief, but often you’re just mad at yourself for not offering that one cube of gold extra so you could promote to the last place on the gold track.
The game is near it’s end. The dilemma’s increase. How do you maximize your final points? What are you going to do with all the apples you stole at the beginning of the final round? The Queen already ate 3 times your apples. You know you must get rid of every resource you have before the game is over. The Queen wil punish you when you hold all that gold to yourself. And you know it.
Every game of Pixie Queen gives you new dilemma’s. There are multiple ways to victory. But you know you must be the best at sacrificing. And kneeling. And when you are starting player, be the best ass-kisser she has ever had!
All this and even a lot more are the reasons why I enjoy every game of Pixie Queen I play. I hope there are a lot of people who get to enjoy the game as much as I do when the game is successfully kickstarted. Rudy, you have done a great job!
Was player elimination often a part of your experience? I’m not a fan of it in any game, but don’t think it’s a good fit for a 1-2h strategy games.
To go a bit further, the possibility you could still win IF you were given the chance to apply your positive points seems a bit odd. A few take that actions from your opponents can quickly get you out even if you had a good plan. Heavy penalties seem better fitting to me: Make it impossible for pixies in oblivion to become loyal servants or the Queen’s favorite and get another -5 point penalty at the end. Was something like this playtested, or did everyone go along with being kicked out close to the end, if it happend?
In the final game I haven't seen anyone reach the pit of oblivion.
During playtesting in early stages there wasn't an elimination, otherwise I would have got there for sure!
But that's the reason it is there: you see it come closer and need to take action!