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Subject: Marco Polo / Orleans / Mystic Vale rss

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Pete Lane
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So I've been out of the loop for a while and asked people a couple of months ago what medium weight euro to add to our collection. I ended up picking up Concordia and we've really enjoyed it. It scratched the itch without being too overwhelming and the "deck building" mechanic was a nice way to make the game unique for us.

So next purchase is looming as we're starting to do more gaming partly thanks to the winter months ahead. It's come down to these three games. However I have my concerns as we're long past the desire of having games that are too "samey" as something else in our collection. At one point we had 60+ games and ended up selling most of them because we couldn't justify owning games that scratched the same itch.

Marco Polo - Seems really interesting, but we own and enjoy Kingsburg. My worry here is that it might be too "deep" and we'd just rather play Kingsburg in the end.

Orleans - I find this one the most exciting, but I worry since we just picked up Concordia it will be too similar. Is there a place for both games in a tight collection? I like that this seems like a deeper Uwe style game packed into a tighter playing experience.

Mystic Vale - This caught my eye as it just came out. Looks SUPER pretty and fun and think the theme and game play is enough to make it a unique purchase for the collection. However I worry that if we play a lot of Dominion and Ascension that we'd find more joy in those games in the end. Seems like this game might be all fluff and ends up being dull after 3-4 plays.

Otherwise is there something I'm not considering that might be worth tracking down? I passed on Roccoco, Vitaculture, and Arcane Academy because I felt like they didn't do anything new for our group's collection.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/collection/user/stagger%20lee

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Brad N
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I've played Kingsburg and Marco Polo several times. Marco Polo is definitely a "deeper" game, as you put it. There is more planning and more variety with how your dice are used. I like Kingsburg and will play it, but I don't seek out the game. Marco Polo provides quite a bit more interesting play. The special characters that each player gets add to the variety from round to round too.

I've played Concordia a bunch and Orleans a couple times. Orleans is much more deck-building like than Concordia. I like both games and they do have similarities, but Orleans will have a bit more luck in it regarding which pieces you draw from the bag. In the case of Concordia, you are always in control of what's in your hand and what's played on the table. I prefer Concordia of these two games.

I've not played Mystic Vale, but I've seen how it works. It looks like a neat idea. However, the people whose opinions I value have said the game is not well developed and not really worth playing. So, I'm keeping my distance.

Based on what you've written and my experience with the three games that you noted, my recommendation is to go with Marco Polo. It's a high quality game that I think will build on what you like in Kingsburg and be different enough to keep it interesting. You do need to know that it is a deeper game though, so if that is a concern then it may not be the ideal choice.

Have fun!
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Michael Drog
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Based on your collection and your requirement to avoid something samey, I would not recommend any of them.

Marco Polo is the same dice allocation as Castles of Burgundy
Orleans and Mystic Vale are both Dominion with minor twists supposedly to make them "unique"
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Ray
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mdrog2 wrote:
Based on your collection and your requirement to avoid something samey, I would not recommend any of them.

Marco Polo is the same dice allocation as Castles of Burgundy
Orleans and Mystic Vale are both Dominion with minor twists supposedly to make them "unique"


I concur.

Marco Polo is great...but instead of tiles giving you points...it's just a bunch of unlocked powers and places to get more stuff. I really do find it to be a great game, but if you are trying to keep a tight collection, it might find duplication.

Orleans was fun the one time I played, but I don't have the desire to play it again. You do the bag building and try to use those for points on the map. A good game, but not required.

Mystic Vale: it's Splendor with cards. The mechanic is neat and I look forward to using it more in other games, but you just use your deck to buy other ways to get points and more 'mana' to buy more cards. I didn't find it fun at all. I'm buying cards, so I can buy more cards...but these have points! If it was short, no problem...but for an hour to 90 minutes? And then if you have someone who makes this drawing/buying engine....you'll get to watch them churn through cards for many minutes before their turn is over. Sorry, for the partial rant. In short, I hate Mystic Vale
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