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Subject: Good gravy THANK YOU Queen Games for printing this one soon. rss

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The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
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I've had this game in my "want" list which I use as pretty much a catch all for games I have interest in for quite a little while now. The game looked pretty keen and the ratings were high but sometimes ratings get a little over inflated on games like this that are limited run because those who have played them want to be 'cool' and have played an awesome game that you haven't played. So I took a big ole grain of salt and want listed it hoping I might get to play it one day at a con or something.

Low and behold a friend of mine scored a copy of this hand made (only 300 of 'em made) game on eBay for a stupidly low price of $28 which included the freaking shipping! YES I hate him too but that not the point. The point my dear children is that I was able to finally play the game us (as in our play group) silly American now endearingly refer to as simply JVT. Ohhhhh let me tell you, I'm not just trying to be 'cool' when I tell you this game is now one of my favorite.

Alright so the game is played in weeks. Basically think of them as your action points but being as they are weeks it's a really keen little mechanic so that if you spend a lot of weeks to do something BIG it will put you way out in the future. Now the other players may get to play several turns as they "catch up" in time to where you are spending their weeks only a couple at a time. WOW! That's pretty cool, and I personally haven't seen this before but that's not to say it hasn't been done before...just I haven't seen it.

So what can you do with your weeks? Well you can travel from city to city. Each city will cost you 1 week time. Once you get the various cities there are items you can pick up that will help you in your excavations, or learn about the different areas to make your digs go easier. There are 5 different dig sites (Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Crete and Palestine) so you need to be knowledgeable in that area to get the most bang for your digging buck.

So after you've spent some time researching the great libraries of Europe picking up knowledge it's time to get your hands dirty. So you travel to the dig site (at 1 week per point so this could be like a 4 or 5 week journey if you are in London or Paris and heading out to Mesopotamia) and then dig for a set number of weeks. The longer you spend the better your chances of pulling a rare artifact...for a large number of VPs. There is also the chance (as you are flipping cards from a deck, but in the Queen edition I understand it will be pulling tiles from a bag) that you get blanks and all you found while digging was dirt!

That's the basic core of the game right there with some other nice little things thrown in for funnities. Congress cards that give exponential VPs based on how many you have, Exhibits that you need the right type of artifact for and then have to be in the right city on the exact week of the exhibit in order to be eligible for, bonuses for most knowledge in different areas and oh I could go on but I'm not that kind of reviewer.

I've played the game now in 2, 3 and 4 player versions and I like 3 the best personally. This game definitely works 2 player but tension and pressure to get to the dig sites really comes on strong with each additional player. With 4 it seems like the dig sites get literally dug out and then it becomes this race around Europe to get knowledge cards for bonus VPs at game end.

Still I have rated this one a solid 9 and don't see myself getting tired of it at all. It's got a great feel, plays quickly and solidly and gives you some tough choices to make. All things I like in what I call a great game and my beloved JVT is indeed a GREAT game.


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Mik Svellov
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Good review, but I don't think the game works with two.
It is playable, but the game is too long (the deck of cards needs to be trimmed) and the competition is too light.

I am sure someone will come up with a good 2-player variant at some point, but as it is the game is for 3 or 4 players.

But the new Queen version is not only more beautiful than the original, it has also been streamlined to give a much better gaming experience.

It is time to sell the 1st edition!
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Doug Adams
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Re: Good gravy THANK YOU Queen Games for printing this one s
Great Dane wrote:
I am sure someone will come up with a good 2-player variant at some point, but as it is the game is for 3 or 4 players.


Agreed, you barely get to the exhibitions in a two player game.

2P tweaks...?
- make refreshing in Warsaw free, then 1, 2, 3 weeks, etc.
- play 2.5 or 3 years.
- trim the deck
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Mik Svellov
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dougadamsau wrote:
2P tweaks...?
- play 2.5 or 3 years.

Doug, the 2-player game is played over 3 years!
(See rules, page 3)
 
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Eric Knauer
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Nice review. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the changes in the new edition?

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/156615

 
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Doug Adams
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Re: Good gravy THANK YOU Queen Games for printing this one s
Great Dane wrote:
dougadamsau wrote:
2P tweaks...?
- play 2.5 or 3 years.

Doug, the 2-player game is played over 3 years!
(See rules, page 3)


Yes, you're right. We caught that yesterday and had a couple of games Felt much, much better. We even made it to the "spare" deck. Playing it correctly, I don't have a problem with it now.
 
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Doug Adams
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Re: Good gravy THANK YOU Queen Games for printing this one s
eknauer wrote:
Nice review. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the changes in the new edition?

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/156615



They all appear to be for the better. The "1" treasures at each site are a nice carrot. The biggest difference is the exhibitions, which were set up at a particular week and required players to get there and "battle" for the win - now you just turn up and grab it first - this feels cleaner but takes a way a bit of time juggling working out how to claim it. This one shot use option of single shovel/assistant cards is a good change. Not sure why they dropped the "best worst" scoring - too hard to figure out? - easy to add back in though if you want it.
 
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Mik Svellov
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There is no question that the new system for the Exhibition works better than the old - it is very clean and easy to access. But I miss the miss the timing needed to make it back in time, and I miss the competition.

The original way was very cumbersome and prone to luck, so I don't think I would want it back, but it has almost become too clean and streamlined now. There isn't much excitement about making one anymore.


And I agree that it gamers could easily add the 'best worst' scoring. And if kept at the original 7 VP will it even have less impact than in the original since the 'best best' score has been increased from 3 to 5.
 
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Re: Good gravy THANK YOU Queen Games for printing this one s
You asked for it!

My initial thoughts on the changes to the rules and these are obviously subject to change A) when I've had more time to think about them and B) when I've actually tried them out and seen how they work.

I like the one "1 point" treasure added to every dig site for the first person to dig there. Thematically it works (as in it proves that this site was a good choice to dig as an item was found very easily and afterwards others came to dig there too) and given that the game the first part of the is people racing around setting themselves up it will put a different pressure on you take items. Should be interesting to see how this plays out but so far I'm good with it.

Rumors card, and one time shovels and assistants...meh I could take it or leave it. Fine that they are here and fine that they weren't previously.

Best specialist increased to 5 is good but I'm most certainly bringing back the "All Arounder" scoring. It's very easy to calculate and an excellent addition that should not have been removed from the game. Not a big deal just a 7 point bonus for 1 player given that ties for Best Specialist is 3 then ties for this should be 4 with the full award being 7.

I really like the congresses being capped at 7 instead of 8. 28 points is still very intimidating and a strong end game bonus but 36 points just seems like it can almost be unrecoverable. I don't know I might be putting more stock in that extra card but most of the games I've played have been close scoring games and only 1 was a blow out.

Which brings me to the exihibits. SIGH. this is the rule change I will not like the most. I really liked the way this worked previously. YES there is a die used in it but you know isn't drawing cards from a shuffled deck (or pulling tiles from a bag) a random element? If it is and you are willing to accept that element then why can't people just accept a die once in awhile. Why's there got to so much hating on dice? What we got a bunch of dicest. Got no love for dice? Damn people. OK so back on target. Seriously I enjoyed the aspect of getting to a certain date at a certain time. The whole idea was if you wanted to be a part of the exhibit you had to be at the right city at the right time. Was this a pain? YES but do we play games for them to be easy? NO. The thing about the exhibits simply put was to work them strategically into your game plan and see if you could make a good showing when you did. Now...just go grab the exhibit you happen to have items in. Huh?

I do like seeding the exhibits because if you had 2 or 3 of them come out in the first few card pulls they were wasted. The comments above about a 2 player game never fulfilling them is wrong. My 2 player games usually had 4 or 5 fulfilled by game end between the two of us.

OK well that's my thoughts.
 
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Mik Svellov
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thoia wrote:
Which brings me to the exihibits. SIGH. this is the rule change I will not like the most. I really liked the way this worked previously. YES there is a die used in it but you know isn't drawing cards from a shuffled deck (or pulling tiles from a bag) a random element? If it is and you are willing to accept that element then why can't people just accept a die once in awhile. Why's there got to so much hating on dice? What we got a bunch of dicest. Got no love for dice? Damn people. OK so back on target. Seriously I enjoyed the aspect of getting to a certain date at a certain time. The whole idea was if you wanted to be a part of the exhibit you had to be at the right city at the right time. Was this a pain? YES but do we play games for them to be easy? NO. The thing about the exhibits simply put was to work them strategically into your game plan and see if you could make a good showing when you did. Now...just go grab the exhibit you happen to have items in. Huh?

The publisher is more interested in selling the game to half a million casual gamers (after it has won the SdJ) than a few thousand hardcore gamers - which is quite understandable.

Queen Games are making games for the entire family, not just a bunch of geeks. The exhibition system was far to complicated to be used in a family game, but maybe we will see some improvement in a future expansion - if the game wins the award (which I believe it has a good chance of doing).
 
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Based on the theme alone, I'm really interested in this game.

The good reviews make it sound even better!

Brian
 
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Re: Good gravy THANK YOU Queen Games for printing this one s
Great Dane wrote:
thoia wrote:
Which brings me to the exihibits. SIGH. this is the rule change I will not like the most. I really liked the way this worked previously. YES there is a die used in it but you know isn't drawing cards from a shuffled deck (or pulling tiles from a bag) a random element? If it is and you are willing to accept that element then why can't people just accept a die once in awhile. Why's there got to so much hating on dice? What we got a bunch of dicest. Got no love for dice? Damn people. OK so back on target. Seriously I enjoyed the aspect of getting to a certain date at a certain time. The whole idea was if you wanted to be a part of the exhibit you had to be at the right city at the right time. Was this a pain? YES but do we play games for them to be easy? NO. The thing about the exhibits simply put was to work them strategically into your game plan and see if you could make a good showing when you did. Now...just go grab the exhibit you happen to have items in. Huh?

The publisher is more interested in selling the game to half a million casual gamers (after it has won the SdJ) than a few thousand hardcore gamers - which is quite understandable.

Queen Games are making games for the entire family, not just a bunch of geeks. The exhibition system was far to complicated to be used in a family game, but maybe we will see some improvement in a future expansion - if the game wins the award (which I believe it has a good chance of doing).


Oh I'm not going to argue that at all not in the least. There is no doubt what-so-ever that the new system is a more friendly system made for the masses. That doesn't mean I can't be persnickety about the fact they decided to gimp the system down though!
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Derek H
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Re: Good gravy THANK YOU Queen Games for printing this one s
Great Dane wrote:
thoia wrote:
Which brings me to the exihibits. SIGH. this is the rule change I will not like the most. I really liked the way this worked previously. YES there is a die used in it but you know isn't drawing cards from a shuffled deck (or pulling tiles from a bag) a random element? If it is and you are willing to accept that element then why can't people just accept a die once in awhile. Why's there got to so much hating on dice? What we got a bunch of dicest. Got no love for dice? Damn people. OK so back on target. Seriously I enjoyed the aspect of getting to a certain date at a certain time. The whole idea was if you wanted to be a part of the exhibit you had to be at the right city at the right time. Was this a pain? YES but do we play games for them to be easy? NO. The thing about the exhibits simply put was to work them strategically into your game plan and see if you could make a good showing when you did. Now...just go grab the exhibit you happen to have items in. Huh?

The publisher is more interested in selling the game to half a million casual gamers (after it has won the SdJ) than a few thousand hardcore gamers - which is quite understandable.

Queen Games are making games for the entire family, not just a bunch of geeks. The exhibition system was far to complicated to be used in a family game, but maybe we will see some improvement in a future expansion - if the game wins the award (which I believe it has a good chance of doing).

How hard will it be to "add back" the original rules for the exhibition system into the new version?
 
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Greg Cox
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Looking at the images for this game it looks more like a card game than a boardgame, ie a LOT of cards and a small board with not much on it?
 
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