Nathanael Allison
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Title says it all, and I know its a tough one. I'm really looking for something meatier; however, that typically comes with 2-4 hour playtime, crazy fiddlyness, and complex rules.

My typical Eurogame plays include: Castles of Burgundy, Keyflower, Five Tribes, Orleans and the like.

Food Chain Magnate looks perfect being a high strategy, meaty, brain burner that scales well and has comparatively light rules, but here again its a looong game, and the price is really high. Other Splotter games look great, but probably won't hit the table enough to justify the price.

Other games I'm thinking about:
Mombasa seems to scale well, but might be too fiddly?
Madeira and other What's Your Game? titles
The Gallerist and other Lacerda games, but they could be too long and rules heavy
Dungeon Petz I had this, but traded it before I played, kinda regretting it now.

Help confirm any of these, or please suggest something I'm missing. Thanks BGGers!

 
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Marc Lemagnifique

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Did you think of Tzolk'in or Megawatt?
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Tigris & Euphrates
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The problem with most heavy games is that the complexity of interwoven mechanisms often results in a heavy rulebook.

Can you give some examples of what you're talking about?

I've played/own every game you mention in your post.

Castles, Orleans, etc. that you mention are what I'd call medium-light or even gateway games. Dungeon Petz I'd rank as medium. Mombasa, Madeira, and Larceda games I'd rank heavy. There's a lot more to think about in those games.

I'd say your best bet is Gallerist. The gameplay is pretty simple. You have 4 locations you can go to and can choose 1 of 2 actions at each location. The complexity lies in how all of the game's resources (Influence, Money, Fame, Assistants, and Visitors) tie in together. Unlike a lot of other games, there really aren't any spots you can go to in order to get a set amount of money. Rather, you're constantly trying to manipulate the game state and timing when you take your bonuses to get the most out of your actions. We finish 2P games of Gallerist in around 45 minutes. We don't play a lot of 4P, so it's often with new players. Our average 4P is 2 hours.

Paul Grogan has a nice, concise 5 minute rules overview video that you can check out and see if it's your cup of tea.
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Consider Troyes.
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marclemagnifique wrote:
Did you think of Tzolk'in or Megawatt?

Tzolkin seems great, but I'm worries about the claim that their is a superior path to victory. Never heard of Megawatt!? I'll check it out!
 
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bgamern8 wrote:
marclemagnifique wrote:
Did you think of Tzolk'in or Megawatt?

Tzolkin seems great, but I'm worries about the claim that their is a superior path to victory. Never heard of Megawatt!? I'll check it out!


For us, the dominance of Big Resources was never really as big as a lot of people make it. On average, Big Resources scores 5 - 10 points more than something like Big Corn. I've won and lost using it several times. Much of the imbalance was really eliminated with introduction of the expansion, which introduced Prophecies. These punish players who aren't more flexible in their strategies and reward those who are.

Additionally, most threads I see of people complaining about Big Resources either haven't figured out how to exploit the spaces left open and long setup time of Big Resources or haven't optimized their own gameplay strategies yet.

Tzolk'in is like chess. People study openings and write LONG strategy primers for a reason.
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mavericklancer wrote:
The problem with most heavy games is that the complexity of interwoven mechanisms often results in a heavy rulebook.

Can you give some examples of what you're talking about?

I've played/own every game you mention in your post.

Castles, Orleans, etc. that you mention are what I'd call medium-light or even gateway games. Dungeon Petz I'd rank as medium. Mombasa, Madeira, and Larceda games I'd rank heavy. There's a lot more to think about in those games.

I'd say your best bet is Gallerist. The gameplay is pretty simple. You have 4 locations you can go to and can choose 1 of 2 actions at each location. The complexity lies in how all of the game's resources (Influence, Money, Fame, Assistants, and Visitors) tie in together. Unlike a lot of other games, there really aren't any spots you can go to in order to get a set amount of money. Rather, you're constantly trying to manipulate the game state and timing when you take your bonuses to get the most out of your actions. We finish 2P games of Gallerist in around 45 minutes. We don't play a lot of 4P, so it's often with new players. Our average 4P is 2 hours.

Paul Grogan has a nice, concise 5 minute rules overview video that you can check out and see if it's your cup of tea.


Wow thanks for the breakdown on the Gallerist. You definitely made me want it more, especially since you say 2 player is 45 minutes; however, I'm assuming that is after you've played a couple games. I'm surprised that you consider Dungeon Petz medium as most people think its a bit heavier. Also, I'm not sure I have many examples, but I did say that Food Chain Magnate seemed to have most of what I want outside of gameplay time and price. I want to believe games can be heavy and cause lots of brainburn, without super complex rules, but maybe it doesn't exist?
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Voyages of Marco Polo is a great game. Agricola is an old stand by as well.
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Mad Math wrote:
Consider Troyes.

I have owned and played Troyes...there seems to be a turn order issue in that game, and ultimately I felt like I was just constantly doing math the whole game, which lessoned the experience for me. Thanks for the suggestion though!
 
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Keith Zman wrote:
Voyages of Marco Polo is a great game. Agricola is an old stand by as well.

I would love to trade for a copy of Marco Polo, and forgot to mention that I do play Agricola, but would either be considered heavier?
 
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mavericklancer wrote:
bgamern8 wrote:
marclemagnifique wrote:
Did you think of Tzolk'in or Megawatt?

Tzolkin seems great, but I'm worries about the claim that their is a superior path to victory. Never heard of Megawatt!? I'll check it out!


For us, the dominance of Big Resources was never really as big as a lot of people make it. On average, Big Resources scores 5 - 10 points more than something like Big Corn. I've won and lost using it several times. Much of the imbalance was really eliminated with introduction of the expansion, which introduced Prophecies. These punish players who aren't more flexible in their strategies and reward those who are.

Additionally, most threads I see of people complaining about Big Resources either haven't figured out how to exploit the spaces left open and long setup time of Big Resources or haven't optimized their own gameplay strategies yet.

Tzolk'in is like chess. People study openings and write LONG strategy primers for a reason.


Hmmm your making me reconsider, although I'm never thrilled about needing an expansion to balance a game. I also heard that there wasn't much flexibility in strategies, but you find this to be false? Also, how well does it scale? I would be playing with 2 as well.
 
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bgamern8 wrote:
I also heard that there wasn't much flexibility in strategies, but you find this to be false?


With only the base game, there really are only 4 viable optimized strategies (those mentioned in the strategy primer):
- Big Resources
- Big Corn
- Chichen Itza
- Buildings

In the base game, you also can't really afford to ignore temples.

With the expansion, I've won games without going higher than the 2nd step on any temple and using more generalized strategy focusing on fulfilling prophecies. The prophecies change every game, so there's a lot more adaptation required with them. You get negative points for not doing the bare minimum, and a large amount of extra points for going beyond the initial requirement.

The expansion also has tribes, which give each player variable player powers. I will say that the tribes are horribly balanced, and we only play with about half of them (the other half are next to useless).
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mdrog2 wrote:

Thanks for the suggestion; however, CE seems more medium level and does not play well with 2.
 
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bgamern8 wrote:

I would love to trade for a copy of Marco Polo, and forgot to mention that I do play Agricola, but would either be considered heavier?


For us, Marco Polo is lighter than Dungeon Petz and Agricola. Still a great game though.
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bgamern8 wrote:
Re: Looking for a heavier euro game, not heavy rules, with long-term strategy, scales 2-4, low luck, not fiddly, under 2 hours playtime?


Brass

Low luck - check

Long-term strategy - check

Scales 2-4 - check

Not fiddly - Well, not too fiddly

Not heavy rules - I wouldn't say they're heavy. A little disorganised, maybe. A few exceptions here and there, but what you do in the game makes sense thematically, for the most part. Which helps a lot.

Under 2 hours playtime - I'd start with the 2 player version. You can get that done in 2 hours. Then work in more players. Once you all know what you're doing you can get a game done in about 2 hours or so. Probably.
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mavericklancer wrote:
bgamern8 wrote:
I also heard that there wasn't much flexibility in strategies, but you find this to be false?


With only the base game, there really are only 4 viable optimized strategies (those mentioned in the strategy primer):
- Big Resources
- Big Corn
- Chichen Itza
- Buildings

In the base game, you also can't really afford to ignore temples.

With the expansion, I've won games without going higher than the 2nd step on any temple and using more generalized strategy focusing on fulfilling prophecies. The prophecies change every game, so there's a lot more adaptation required with them. You get negative points for not doing the bare minimum, and a large amount of extra points for going beyond the initial requirement.

The expansion also has tribes, which give each player variable player powers. I will say that the tribes are horribly balanced, and we only play with about half of them (the other half are next to useless).

Seems as though the expansion is necessary to really take the game to the next level. How does it play with two?
 
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McGames wrote:
Tigris & Euphrates

Sorry I missed responding to this. Oh Tigris, I go back and forth on you all the time. However, it doesn't seem to play well with two. Am I wrong?
 
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bgamern8 wrote:
How does it play with two?


I play 90% of my games 2 player and we love it. It scales well since you block off a certain number of spaces (different each game) depending on player count.
 
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mavericklancer wrote:
bgamern8 wrote:
How does it play with two?


I play 90% of my games 2 player and we love it. It scales well since you block off a certain number of spaces (different each game) depending on player count.

Thanks, fuller disclosure, I did own Tzolkin at one point, but traded due to perceived problems before I played it. Now with the expansion, I'll give it a second look. Any other suggestions out there?
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I consider Use Rosenberg games to be heavy in the decision space while also being straight forward in the rules department. I really love Le Havre, which is rumored to get a reprint soon. I have soloed Ora et Labora a few times, and it's amazing as well. Still need to play with a real opponent though. I have also preordered A Feast for Odin, which is due out next month. To me, these games provide exactly what you are looking for.
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Matt Logan wrote:
I consider Use Rosenberg games to be heavy in the decision space while also being straight forward in the rules department. I really love Le Havre, which is rumored to get a reprint soon. I have soloed Ora et Labora a few times, and it's amazing as well. Still need to play with a real opponent though. I have also preordered A Feast for Odin, which is due out next month. To me, these games provide exactly what you are looking for.

Your right about Le Havre and I've been looking to trade for a copy. Don't know much about feast yet. Is it supposed to be a similar weight to Le Havre?
 
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bgamern8 wrote:
Matt Logan wrote:
I consider Use Rosenberg games to be heavy in the decision space while also being straight forward in the rules department. I really love Le Havre, which is rumored to get a reprint soon. I have soloed Ora et Labora a few times, and it's amazing as well. Still need to play with a real opponent though. I have also preordered A Feast for Odin, which is due out next month. To me, these games provide exactly what you are looking for.

Your right about Le Havre and I've been looking to trade for a copy. Don't know much about feast yet. Is it supposed to be a similar weight to Le Havre?
Feast is being compared to Fields of Arle which I haven't played yet. However, I'd lump all his big box games into the same weight class.
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Madeira scales very well, but it loses just a little something with 2 players. The only fiddly part I think are the rules regarding wood use/collection -- you can only get wood if you have access to it, and you can only buy wood if you need to use it immediately. Very cool game with every choice really consisting of several choices. I would probably not say that it has "comparatively light rules" however.

Mombasa fits the bill a bit better I think, but again you lose just a little something with only 2 players. Definitely worthy of consideration.

The Gallerist scales beautifully (even the solo game is enjoyable I think). However, I would definitely exclude this one due to rules complexity (length will be right around 2 hours with 4 moderately experienced players) and fiddliness. It's one of my top 10 games, but it's just not a good fit for what you are describing.

As far as other What's Your Game? titles are concerned, I would highly recommend ZhanGuo. Not only is there an amazingly deep game with what I consider relatively light rules (at its heart is one very elegant choice each turn -- discard a card or tuck a card under your board), but it's also a steal right now on Amazon ($25 prime). It's my favorite of the WYG? games (and my #1 games of all time), narrowly beating out Madeira since it is almost as heavy and just as deep with a significantly lower rules overhead.

Nippon is not too fiddly or complex I think, and it scales well also. I think it's definitely worth considering, but the game play is not quite as intriguing as that in ZhanGuo in my opinion (though I still consider it one of my top 10 games).

Signorie is on par with Nippon and ZhanGuo for complexity I would say, but it felt a little under-developed to me (there are several official variants that give me the impression it was a bit rushed). Moreover, it lacks some of the variability of Nippon or ZhanGuo. I ended up selling Signorie because I would always pick one of the other WYG? titles over it.

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